Saturday, October 11, 2008

Cocktails & Cheesesteak

As I alluded to the other day, during my "live instant messaging" of the debate with my daughter, I was able to get an invite to a Cocktail reception last night with Barack Obama in attendance (without the minimum financial contribution). See Phila. events for Obama could rake in $5 million. Helps to have friends at the big Center City lawfirms who give the big bucks. so you don't have to.

With security issues and all, it took a little finagling to get the ticket transferred to me, but with my friend Steph on the case, I knew I'd be in for sure. After all, she's the same person who managed to get me in to a sold out Helen Thomas event a few years ago. No one does it better!

As the Inky described it, Rendell Welcomes Obama to Philly with Cheesesteak Gift Certificate:

Sen. Barack Obama got a true Philly welcome tonight at a Center City fundraiser when Gov. Rendell presented him with a lifetime gift certificate to Pat’s Steaks.

“A cheese steak once a day,” Democratic presidential nominee said, surveying at the gift. “And I’ll have the pleasure of looking like Ed Rendell.”

Obama appeared last night at two fundraisers. First came a cocktail hour at the Sheraton Center City Hotel, followed by a private dinner at the home of Comcast executive David L. Cohen. Organizers said they raised over $5 million.

* * * *

All of Philadelphia’s political elite turned out for at the Sheraton fundraiser. Elected officials included Gov. Rendell, Mayor Nutter, Sen. Bob Casey, U.S. Rep Chaka Fattah and U.S. Rep Allyson Schwartz. Rocker John Bon Jovi warmed up the crowd with an acoustic set that included “Livin' on a Prayer.”
Hopefully the song was not a prediction of what's to come with our scary financial times.

After the surprise (for me anyway) appearance of Bon Jovi, who sang a few tunes to warm up the crowd (“crowd” is used loosely, since there were only a few hundred people) and the intros from Ed Rendell, Bob Casey & Michael Nutter, Obama gave a short talk, touching on issues of the economy, the financial crisis and health care.

Obama was good, up close & personal. He was definitely a bit more relaxed in a setting like this, a small crowd of supporters in a leisurely cocktail party setting. He joked a bit and as I watched him, he struck me as smart and dedicated, even under the political veneer. I thought that he & Michelle were really the type of people that would be part of our crowd if they were just a regular couple living in Philly.

I also joked to my friend that I was definitely an elitist, since this was the only way to see him. No long lines, big crowds, standing in the streets for hours for me. And although our LLWL Gang* may be small, we are certainly a power force. One of the other LLWL members was at another Obama event at the Sheraton and on the way out, I ran into another LLWL member, who was there with her daughter.

(*LLWL Gang = Lady Lawyers Who Lunch, a/k/a my officemates)

No comments: