You have a problem with your electability quotient. Witness this, "water, Jack?" moment:
Kerry and I met, for the second of three conversations about terrorism and national security, in a hotel room overlooking the Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica pier. A row of Evian water bottles had been thoughtfully placed on a nearby table. Kerry frowned.
''Can we get any of my water?'' he asked Stephanie Cutter, his communications director, who dutifully scurried from the room. I asked Kerry, out of sheer curiosity, what he didn't like about Evian.
''I hate that stuff,'' Kerry explained to me. ''They pack it full of minerals.''
''What kind of water do you drink?'' I asked, trying to make conversation.
''Plain old American water,'' he said.
''You mean tap water?''
''No,'' Kerry replied deliberately. He seemed now to sense some kind of trap. I was left to imagine what was going through his head. If I admit that I drink bottled water, then he might say I'm out of touch with ordinary voters. But doesn't demanding my own brand of water seem even more aristocratic? Then again, Evian is French -- important to stay away from anything even remotely French.
''There are all kinds of waters,'' he said finally. Pause. ''Saratoga Spring.'' This seemed to have exhausted his list. ''Sometimes I drink tap water,'' he added.