Hillary Clinton at The Abbey, Insider Account
Hillary Clinton is a Political Rock Star And I’m An Idiot
We’ll get to why I’m an idiot in a bit but first a little about why Hillary is a political rock star. Last night, after her appearance on the LOGO-HRC Presidential Forum, she made her way over to West Hollywood hot spot The Abbey for what Abbey owner David Cooley claimed to be the first presidential candidate fundraiser at a predominantly gay establishment. To me this is a pretty huge, history-making feat and I almost felt it was internally important that I attend. A few blocks over on La Cienega Blvd, Barack Obama was holding his own fundraiser at the somewhat gay Area ($250 a ticket) and John Edwards was having his at the not really gay at all Republic ($15 a ticket).
From ‘The Hills’ to ‘The Hill,” read more of Wayne’s first hand account and see more photos from the event after the jump.
From the accounts I’ve read so far, it sounds like Hillary’s $50 a ticket soiree ($1,000 for the VIP room) had the largest and most energetic crowd of supporters. Jon and I arrived at The Abbey about 5:45 PM and there was already a huge line stretching past the park down the street. While waiting in line we noticed my favorite ‘power gay’ Tony Tripoli (“Fashion House”) and Jesse Brune (“Workout”) looking very healthy and slim. We entered The Abbey at about 6:10 and it really wasn’t as crowded as I expected yet. At least not around the velvet rope area decorated with Hillary signs where it was clear she would be speaking. The Presidential Forum, which was live in Studio City, was already playing on multiple screens, but the crowd didn’t really start paying attention until Hillary came on about an hour later.
We found a spot right in front, pressed up against the velvet rope and planted our feet firmly for the next 3 1/2 hrs until she arrived. Well, ok I did leave to go get a dirty Ketel martini but c’mon, I was going to be standing in the same place for 3 1/2 hours. The Abbey began to fill up quickly with a predominantly well-dressed crowd of gay men of all ages (the usual Abbey crowd), but there was also a solid gathering of straight Hillary supporters as well. We stood next to a very kind woman who told us stories of seeing Hillary at past events and how surprised she was at how tiny she is in person.
Fast forward to 8:40, the crowd is getting more than anxious. We’ve already had to deal with a couple rude people pushing and spilling wine on our backs. Then we hear people starting cheering loudly in the VIP room and camera flashes seep through the curtain separating us common folk. She’s coming! The crowd begins to chant “Hillary! Hillary!” and it really starts to feel like a rock concert. Then at about 9:00 we see it, her bright red jacket slips through the maroon curtain and the crowd is in a frenzy! “We Love You Hillary!” and “You’re Fabulous!” seem to be the shouts of choice. She shakes a few hands on the way to her platform but unfortunately doesn’t make it to our side.
After a short introduction she comes forward to give her speech and is met with the deafening sound of cheering. I switch my camera to video mode and get an excellent side angle for filming. Hillary attempts to begin her speech but is unable with all the noise and she makes a comment to the effect of “Isn’t this an energetic crowd?” In fact, the yelling became obnoxious because many people kept at it throughout the speech and she was having a hard time getting heard. She mentioned at one point she’s losing her voice a bit. One guy insisted on yelling “We Need You Hillary!” every minute or so. Even after she turned to him and replied “And I Need You!” he kept at it.
Her speech itself left a little something to be desired. It was the same canned speech I believe she has given to several groups in the past, about us needing change and taking our country back. In fact I don’t know if she ever uttered the words ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian.’ To be honest I was focusing more on getting good video footage than her speech, thinking I could just re-watch it later for content. Well, this is where we get to the ‘I’m an idiot’ part. After her speech was over I knew, because of the 9 minutes of video I had just took, I would be out of memory for more photos unless I deleted some of the bad shots I had taken earlier. So I quickly switched over and looked for blurry photos to remove. I had no idea the first frame of the video would show up in the photo mode. Yes, I deleted my great video of this historic event. Sonofabitch.
Hillary was rushed off immediately after her speech and we left the Abbey feeling, first of all a little sore from all the standing but also very moved and excited that we got to see our political rock star, Hillary Clinton, up close and personal.