It wasn’t a dream; Bill Clinton is finally embarrassed. During last week’s DNC fundraiser at the Dream nightclub in Northeast D.C., Clinton told the crowd, “I’m a little embarrassed to live in a country that gives me a huge tax cut and runs a huge deficit so that when the baby boomers retire you’ll be taking care of them instead of your own kids. I don’t think that’s right.”
Not surprisingly, Clinton wasn’t embarrassed when he took the stage, serenaded to the chorus of rapper 50 Cent’s “In Da Club”, which features the refrain: “You can find me in the club, bottle full of bub. Look mami I got the X if you into taking drugs. I’m into having sex, I ain’t into making love. So come give me a hug if you into getting rubbed.”
The evening’s impresario, DNC chair Terry McAuliffe, had assembled a mixture of Democratic heavyweights and celebrities to attend the event. As he addressed the crowd, the DJ segued each of McAuliffe’s sound bites with a scratch of his turntable that felt about as pertinent as ultra-liberal professor Cornell West’s attempt to release a hip-hop album two years ago. At the top of the celebrity billing was hip-hop duo Outkast, whose most recent album had lead the Billboard charts two weeks in a row. However, Outkast was mysteriously absent from the proceedings. It might have been that the DNC caught wind of the duo’s recently announced plans to begin selling a line of adult sex toys, with such descriptive titles as the Big Boi 3000. Instead, lead entertainment was provided by Harlemm Lee, recent winner of NBC’s reality TV show “Fame”, and his R&B take on the Annie musical number “Tomorrow”.
The entertainment brought it’s own message of hope for the liberal loyalists. Laying out the evening’s agenda, democracy received a strong third-placed showing from emcee Marcus Johnson, narrowly edged by an anecdote of his successful ventures into record producing, and a salute for his colleague Yahzarah, who’s album “Blackstar” is currently pulling a strong 45th on the Billboard charts.
Back in the press room, an informal poll of DNC volunteers showed a strong showing for former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. He took the majority of support for his party’s nomination, with John Edwards placing a respectable second. While former senator Carol Moseley Braun did generate one supporter out of the dozens of Democrat volunteers, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry’s name didn’t register. In fact, at least three of the respondents signaled, “I don’t like Kerry at all.”
You could feel the media savvy dripping over every inch of the place. A reporter for BET made his way around the press room, several times announcing, “I’m for anyone who’s against Bush.” With the exception of this reporter and the BET pontificator, the rest of the press corps pressed diligently against the room’s far wall for over two hours, watching the DNC volunteers shoot pool and drink from the open bar while we waited to be escorted downstairs for Clinton’s speech.
Some confusion came in ascertaining just how many people had shown up for the event. DNC spokesman Tony Welch offered a plausible tally of 2,700. But before long, DNC staffers were telling me the number had swelled past 3,000, with special access provided for high-level donors and VIP’s. By the time McAuliffe took the stage romancing the crowd with notions of a 5,000 member attendance, it was starting to feel eerily like a press-conference for international ANSWR, and their 100,000 member “super-protests”, which are later revealed to stand at somewhere around 10,000 by the most liberal of estimates.
While Clinton, McAuliffe and their colleagues charmed the audience well-past midnight with nostalgic references to the former president’s eight years in office, none of the nine Democratic presidential hopefuls appeared on stage or mingled in the crowd. As McAuliffe said, the most-important objective was wooing young voters back into the Democratic Party before next year’s elections. His gang of nine was off giving nightmares to Iowa and New Hampshire seniors over their prescription drug costs. As they work the primary trail with their notions of defeating President Bush next November, it could be that they are the ones who are dreaming.
Eric Pfeiffer is a writer in Washington, D.C.
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Joseph Hammond
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Emma Elliott Freire