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CONVENTION 2000 / THE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION: SOCIAL
WHIRL

Raising Funds to House Memories of Way They Were

August 14, 2000|J. MICHAEL KENNEDY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

President Clinton got right to work on his fund-raising Sunday, picking up where he left off the night before.

The president and his entourage made their way up Pacific Coast Highway to Barbra Streisand's ultra-swank Malibu compound. There, the president hosted a Clinton Library fund-raiser for 100 extremely select (and rich) guests, who were expected to contribute as much as $10 million toward the construction of the Little Rock, Ark., library.

Streisand's huge estate, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, has manicured grounds that include a rose garden described as larger than the one at the White House. James Brolin, Streisand's husband, was seen walking in the gardens with Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Though a tight lid was put on the guest list, Mrs. Clinton could be heard addressing the assembled group, thanking them for "understanding the importance of the library and the importance of carrying on the work, the causes and the concerns of the president." She also said her husband would remain a "continuing, active, dynamic presence in the country and the world."

Reporters accompanying the president were asked to cool their heels in a guest house/gym that was filled with Brolin's weightlifting equipment, along with many of Streisand's personal mementos.

After the fund-raiser, Clinton's stepfather, Dick Kelley, said the guest list leaned more toward captains of industry than Hollywood glitterati. "It was very nice to see all those people supporting Bill and his library," Kelley said. "That library means a lot to him."

The fund-raising was a continuation of the Clintons' efforts the day before to reel in California cash. At a Saturday night dinner for big donors--$25,000 a head--John Travolta raised a glass to Clinton.

To the mostly celebrity crowd, Travolta said, "Let's raise our glasses to our president, the greatest president of all time. I only wish we could have you for another eight years."

With that, the crowd said, "Hear, hear."

Sorry, Al.

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The guest list was upscale as well for a private dinner Sunday honoring Vice President Gore's daughter Karenna Gore Schiff. The dinner was held at Le Colonial (tony Indochinese cuisine) in West Hollywood and was hosted by Vogue Editor Anna Wintour and communications mogul Shelby Bryan.

The elegant dinner was attended by about 100 people, a mix of media, politicos and entertainers. They included Hollywood's Jennifer Love Hewitt, Salma Hayek, Claire Danes, Leelee Sobieski and Sheryl Crow. Chelsea Clinton, the president's daughter, was also at the dinner.

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Leave it to Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina to turn a boring Sunday brunch for the media at Paramount Pictures into a rousing rally for Latino communities. As she was delivering her speech about Latino struggles--one of many addresses at the event--Molina became incensed the press didn't seem to be listening. So she let them have it. "One of the toughest things is to organize the media and get them to focus on the message here," she said. The press members stopped talking among themselves and listened to the rest of the speech.

*

Maryland delegate Rikki Spector summed up the Jewish Community Celebration on Sunday afternoon in Culver City when she said over the din of klezmer music, "It feels like Hanukkah in August!"

More than 1,000 delegates, elected officials and members of Jewish organizations gathered on Sony Pictures Studios' Main Street to celebrate the nomination of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, who wasn't there (though the Clintons were). Staking out shade under the fake storefronts, guests sipped sodas, munched on cookies and bought $1 campaign buttons that read "Gore for president" in Hebrew.

Scott Svonkin of West Hollywood drew smiles for his yarmulke. Painted in an American flag motif, it read, "Gore/Lieberman 2000."

"I wore one that said 'Clinton/Gore' to the last convention and now it's in the Smithsonian," he said, explaining that the museum scouts every convention for memorabilia.

At the Empress Pavilion in Chinatown, Asian American delegates and government officials such as newly named Commerce Secretary Norman Y. Mineta hobnobbed and networked as they noshed on dim sum. James Arima, a delegate from Bellevue, Wash., said the purpose of the Sunday reception was to "connect Asian American politicians with other citizens so they can be more cohesive. It's like a double-edged sword. We can blame the party for not being inclusive, yet the Asian community itself has to be responsible in getting involved."

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Times staff writers Josh Meyer, Booth Moore, Michael Quintanilla and Marian Liu contributed to this report.

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