Bill Clinton to Appear at Trendy Nightclub Fundraiser
July 7, 2008 - 8:29 PM
(CNSNews.com) - The Democratic National Committee still considers former President Bill Clinton "wildly popular" as a political fundraiser, and a prominent conservative journalist concedes that Clinton maintains a "kind of sex appeal" with young Democrats.
So it is that Clinton, the only president ever impeached for behavior related to a sex scandal, plans to headline a Democratic Party fundraising event at a trendy Washington, D.C., nightclub that features a fourth-floor penthouse bedroom that rents for $5,000 a night.
The Oct. 27 fundraiser at the Dream Nightclub, scheduled to run from 7 p.m. until 3 a.m., will also include several members of the Washington Redskins football team, celebrities like comedian Chris Tucker and Democratic political figures like U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
But they will all receive second billing to the 42nd president of the United States.
"[Clinton] is still wildly popular with Americans and Democrats, and so far, he's been a wonderful draw for us as well, so it's actually a great fit," Democratic National Committee (DNC) spokesman Tony Welch told CNSNews.com. Welch said he believes the fundraiser is a great idea.
When asked whether he saw any irony in the fact that Clinton, who endured a sex and perjury scandal that almost toppled his presidency, plans to appear at a nightclub with a $5,000-a-night bedroom rental, Welch laughed for several seconds.
"Oh gosh, no, I don't think so. It's a great nightclub, but I wouldn't be surprised if Republicans without any knowledge of something would try to throw stones. That is usually the way it works," Welch said.
DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe believes the event will help the party reach out to young voters.
"If Democrats are going to be successful in reaching out to young people, we're going to have to take the party to them - where they work and where they play," McAuliffe said.
The website Digital City describes the club as "New York style," complete with a "fourth floor, which you can rent for $5,000 per night: It has its own deck, pool tables and bedroom."
In addition, according to the website, the club is "a dress-to-impress type of place" featuring "sleek lighting, velvety couches and chairs."
Rich Lowry, author of the new book on Clinton titled Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years, agrees that the event will be tailor-made for the ex-commander in chief.
"It's totally appropriate," said Lowry, who also edits the National Review.
"Clinton is exactly the right guy to headline such an event since he had so much experience renting out the Lincoln bedroom prior to the 1996 campaign," Lowry said in a joking reference to the club's available penthouse bedroom.
Lowry believes the Monica Lewinsky scandal and other alleged sexual trysts that plagued Clinton's presidency have heightened the former president's popularity with many Democrats.
"In a way, he kind of benefited from his sex scandal," Lowry said. "It gave him a certain cache among a certain set of people, where it sort of reinforced his kind of sex appeal for a certain segment of people out there who tend to be young Democrats," Lowry added.
Lowry noted that while many Clinton detractors are bound to see the irony in the former president appearing at the nightclub fundraiser, Clinton's supporters are not likely to form any connection.
"We may look [at the fund-raising event] and say, 'Oh my gosh, do they have no shame?' [But the Democrats] are looking at it and saying, 'Oh my gosh, this is a natural fit.'" Lowry said.
"The Democrats stuck with Bill Clinton through thick and thin because he gave them the presidency, and that made everything - every last lie, every last scandal - worth it, and that is why he is remembered so fondly," Lowry added.
Welch countered that Clinton's critics were acting "mean-spirited" in their attacks on the former president.
"Republicans can be mean-spirited when we are just walking down the street. I think they would like to be at the Dream. I think they are waiting for their invitation," said Welch.
According to Lowry, Clinton has been striving for a celebrity lifestyle since he left office.
"He shows up at places - fancy restaurants and nightclubs in his souped-up SUV, and I have literally had people in New York say, 'I was somewhere last night, and I saw this huge entourage pull up, and I figured it's either [Rapper Sean] 'Puffy' Combs or Bill Clinton,'" Lowry said.
"[The fund-raiser at the nightclub] is the kind of environment he wants to be in, and I am sure he will soak up adulation," Lowry added.
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