Wednesday, December 17, 2008

An Evening With The Clintons: Part One

Monday night, my good friend Tiffany and I had the pleasure of attending a special event with two of the most dynamic political figures of our time, Bill and Hillary Clinton.

The sold out fundraiser, aimed at retiring Hillary’s presidential campaign debt, featured some Hollywood star power and an excited crowd of about 1,000 people.

After a stirring rendition of The Star Spangled Banner by American idol finalist Kimberley Locke…

American Idol: Singer Kimberley Locke sung the national anthem

….”Ugly Betty” star and Hillary supporter America Ferrara took to the stage, sharing her experience of campaigning in seven states and introducing President Clinton.

America The Beautiful: Ferrara introduced President Bill Clinton

I was especially thrilled to see the former president in person – I signed up for a 2004 event with him that was cancelled and he was a no-show at a Hillary event I went to during the summer of 2007.

Looking fit and drawing the audience in with his legendary charm and candor, Clinton told us his wife’s day had started at 5am and included a trip to Chicago for a meeting of President-elect Obama’s national security team.

Hello, Mr. President: Bill Clinton told the enthusiastic crowd about his wife's busy day

After praising Obama for the transition work he has done, Clinton focused his remarks on the economic crisis.

He cited the sobering statistic that 27 trillion dollars have disappeared in the last couple of months, twice the annual GDP of the United States, and encouraged everyone to allow the new president to get his job done.

“We owe him the breathing room and the chance to work through these problems,” Clinton said. “We have maximized the chances that a recovery will begin as soon as possible. When we come out on the other side, people will make money.”

On that optimistic note, with another wave of thunderous applause, the former president introduced his wife.

All Smiles: Senator Clinton happily greeted her many supporters

Ferrara returned to the stage, for a Q&A with Hillary based on questions submitted by audience members. Senator Clinton made it clear right away that, even when she becomes Secretary of State, she’ll always be connected to the Empire State.

“I’m not going anywhere,” she said. “I’m a New Yorker -- I told somebody the other day, I want it on my tombstone.”

Up next….Hillary shares memories from the campaign trail and reflects on her new role on the national stage.

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