Sunday, November 12, 2006

Exciting Times

In the women's toilets at the Democratic Party party last week, the girl behind me in line was almost delirious - she'd almost had her photo taken with Clinton but had not managed to find her camera, which was hiding somewhere in her handbag. Luckily her friend had taken a picture instead. I asked to see, and shouldn't have really been surprised to find out the Clinton was actually the male member of the family, rather than the star of the evening, Senator Hillary. Then the flustered girl found her camera, hanging off her arm.

All Bill did at the party was stand behind Hillary, rather red-faced, clap and look proud. Then kiss her at the end, which was the picture that ended up in the papers. It's a funny thing, that he holds so much public appeal, even among the random Republicans I've encountered, but for her it's a different story. New Yorkers are fans; she is seen to have tried her best for the state under difficult circumstances, and the huge swath of people crammed into the Sheraton ballroom were vocal and exuberant in their appreciation...but to win over America as whole, there's a massive PR campaign to run. The media portrays her as someone who polarises the populace. I'm new here, and don't know what this is based on. Or whether it is actually true or not. But seeing how she handles the next couple of years will be very fact, I've now decided to stay here til after the presidential elections in 2008. Whoever runs, it will be exciting times.

When you're at a political party with 4,000 people, it's good to be on the winning side. The place was decked out in red/white/blue balloons, a huge American flag as a back-drop (I noticed the Republicans had exactly the same backdrop at their celebrations.... the American flag has a monopoly on so many events!) a large, well lit stage and a small mountain of press people - TV, radio and print. There was food, although not suitable for anyone on the Atkins Diet - all deep fried carbs and sweets - and free soda wine and beer.

I was invited to the party by C, my political campaigning friend. J also came along with his parents - his father gave me a US politics 101 class as we were watching CNN as the Democrats took Congress. Rather than me try to explain sucking eggs, for those who don't know, info is here

Hillary is a good speaker when in front of the audience. Engaged and smart. Spitzer, another Democrat, won the governor's seat and brought up his whole family on stage, as did the guy who won for the Attorney General position. His family looked very wealthy, all furs and expensive suits, even his Grandma and Grandad - who had been together 60 years. Family is a big deal here, a real bonus-points opportunity. Spitzers wife - I swear - was the mother off The Sopranos. Chelsea wasn't there, and compared to everyone elses stage-cramming, Hillary's one supporter looked like a sparse offering. But then again, I can't say I recognized anyone else's whanau from the front page of the daily papers. Everyone thanked God and Blessed America! A good tactic - new statistics (Time magazine) show that the US is 85% Christian and most of these are born again/evangelical.

Another toilet queue conversation - again about Bill, and commenting on how supportive he was of his wife. The general consensus (among the ten or so girls in the line) was that he'd damn well better support her. He owes it to her.

Afterwards C got me into the private Clinton post party. It was held at a nightclub called the Pink Elephant, a trendy place in Chelsea where on a normal night it will set you back a few hundred for a bottle of vodka. As an aside, the elephant is a Republican symbol, although i doubt there was any intended poking going on. Tonight was excellent nibbles and free cocktails. I was hoping to get a photo with Ms C...but on entering and hearing the music (my hump my hump my hump) I realized quickly she wasn't coming. Damn! Oh well. Maybe I'll volunteer in the mission to win over America. And sometime in the next year and a half get a picture with a Clinton....even Bill will do!


Anonymous said...

toilet queue? I love kiwis

CB said...

a man (?) with taste