Heard on the Hill: Stars Out at GOP Confab, but Slightly Dimmer
Plenty of important, powerful political organizations have descended on the Twin Cities for the Republican National Convention this week, but if last weeks Democratic National Convention is any indication, one star-studded group will outshine them all.
[IMGCAP(1)]The nonprofit political advocacy group the Creative Coalition held nearly as many events in Denver as there were delegation breakfasts.
Coalition members such as Susan Sarandon, Spike Lee and Anne Hathaway tackled an eclectic list of issues, from honoring African-American leaders to hosting receptions on housing and health care. In Minneapolis and St. Paul, the coalition will try to match that schedule, repeating many of the same events with, er, lesser-known stars such as Tim Daly, Kerry Washington and Richard Schiff.
The group is nonpartisan, although spokesman Morris Reid said the work of all those top-shelf celebs in Denver reflected the tone and mood of the country. And even if the Twin Cities celebrity contingent is a little lower-wattage than in Denver, Reid said the artists are on the same mission: getting schooled on politics while advocating for increased funding for the arts.
They came here to be citizens first, he said. They didnt come here to get a check … These people are real Americans, and they are touched by the issues and problems that all Americans have.
And while Hollywood has a reputation for having liberal tendencies, Reid said the famous folks wont try to change anything up in the Twin Cities.
Theyre not trying to talk at the Republicans; theyre trying to listen, he said. The process is the same.
Adieu, Denver. Oh, Denver, we hardly knew ye. The Democratic convention is over, but HOH brings you a wrap-up of the circus-like week:
Most Sought-After Ticket: The Google/Vanity Fair party. Even A-listers were grumbling about the tight guest list for the swanky and exclusive soiree, held Thursday night at the Exdo Event Center.
Runner-Up: Sen. Barack Obamas (D-Ill.) acceptance speech at Invesco Field at Mile High. Sure, the stadium seats more than 75,000 people, but most of those seats were reserved for real people, leaving groups scrambling to provide passes for their VIPs who were clamoring to see the weeks main event.
Worst Do-You-Know-Who-I-Am? Moment: When Monica Conyers, wife of House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.), didnt like the way the staff at the Magnolia Hotel handled her complaints about the Conyers accommodations, things didnt go well. Police wound up responding to an incident at the hotel on Tuesday stemming from the dispute, sources say.
Most Ubiquitous Member: Rep. Loretta Sanchez seemed to be everywhere this week. Our favorite moments with the California Democrat included a loopy interview in a video posted on TMZ.com and when she dissed Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) during a speech to a group of young women Monday, essentially calling Feinstein frumpy.
What Well Miss About Denver: The friendly people. We big-city folk from uptight Washington, D.C., just arent used to so much friendliness, from people offering lost-looking HOH directions on the street to folks making not-hitting-on-you small talk at bars.
Runner-Up: The weather. It might have gotten plenty warm in the Mile High City, but as so many people say, its not the heat that gets to you, its the humidity. Well fondly remember those crisp Denver mornings when were back in the sweltering swamp we call home.
What We Wont Miss: Hot dogs. They were the meal of choice for harried reporters, staffers and even delegates at the Pepsi Center half-smokes, regular dogs and dogs served on sticks and everyone was eating them.
Grooming Notes. HOH previously has reported on the grooming choices of two of Thursdays warm-up speakers for the big acceptance speech by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). And now we feel obligated to provide an update: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson appears to be sporting something of a demi-mullet hairdo, with slightly longer hair in the back (whats known in mullet parlance as the party side) than the front (the business side), in addition to the beard that HOH reported he began to grow after dropping out of the Democratic presidential primary race in January. The guvs new style looks something like the one Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty gave up recently, perhaps in a bid to look vice presidential in the hopes of being selected to run with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
And Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, who also warmed up the crowd before Obamas address, appeared to be sporting a serious case of five oclock shadow, our on-the-scene informant tells us. Some of Kaines other facial hair his wiggly eyebrows have previously caused a sensation.
Lobbyists in Waiting … and Waiting. Updating ones Facebook page from the conventions changing the status line to denote ones whereabouts is the new black. Take these lobbyists, who let their Facebook friends know all about that interminable wait in the blocks-long lines to hear the Thursday night speech by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) at Invesco Field: Lobbyist Steve Elmendorf of Elmendorf Strategies was beginning hour two in the longest line ever and is surprised that there is nobody organizing the line. Todd Webster of Webster Strategies is at Invesco waiting for history to be made.
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