THERE are many people who are hurt by Michele Bachmann’s divisive brand of politics, but perhaps none in quite the way that Helen LaFave is.
The two women once shared confidences. They’re family. Some 40 years ago, Michele’s mother married Helen’s father, and when Michele was in college, the house she returned to in the summer was the one where Helen, then finishing high school, lived. Helen craved that time together.
“I remember laughing with her a lot,” she told me in an interview on Thursday in her home here. She remembers Michele’s charisma and confidence, too. “I looked up to Michele.”
As the years passed they saw much less of each other, but when their paths crossed, at large family gatherings, there were always hugs. Helen was at Michele’s wedding to Marcus Bachmann and got to know him. And Michele got to know Nia, the woman who has been Helen’s partner for almost 25 years.