GOP Goes Major League

  • Capital Connections ®
  • |
  • July 26, 2000

by Karen Feld

If you’ve always wanted to peek into the Oval Office, now’s your chance. At PoliticalFest at the GOP convention in Philadelphia, you will see full scale replicas of the President¹s office as well as Air Force I (live out those Martin Sheen and Harrison Ford fantasies!). Last minute plans are underway for literally thousands of parties during convention week, and although not the most exclusive, this is certainly the biggest production outside of the Floor festivities. Organizers compare it to a Major League fanfest. The 250,000 square foot exhibit at the downtown convention center (which the Republican’s opted not to use — the First Union Center is more media savvy), also includes a mock convention stage, a whistlestop tour, and cyber café. Visitors can register to vote, and take a shot at their 15 seconds of fame at the anchor desk and even take home the tape.

Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, whose father was nominated for President in L.A. 40 years ago, will make a rare public appearance speaking at the Democratic National Convention. And another political daughter will be in the limelight as well. Karenna Gore Schiff, 26, will be one of those nominating her father.

Barbra Streisand may be on the verge of retirement. . . yet again. . . but not before she sings at a fundraiser in Los Angeles for Al Gore during Democratic National Convention week in August. However, this is far from singing for one’s supper — this event will add some hefty dollars to the DNC’s coffers.

The Creative Coalition, led by actor Billy Baldwin, has planned fund raising panels at both political conventions and has promised a smattering of celebrities — their “observers” at the GOP Convention include Richard Belzer, Bianca Jagger, Joe Piscopo and Joan Rivers. But they reneged on the invitation to controversial author Joe Eszterhas, Hollywood¹s badboy screenwriter (Basic Instinct, Showgirls) because of concerns that his new political tome on Bill Clinton and Hollywood , “American Rhapsody,” would shift the focus of the panel on youth violence.

Other “star” entertainment power at the Republican Presidential Convention includes a mixture that covers all musical tastes: country and western superstars Brooks & Dunn fete George “W” and his wife Laura and 5,000 of their closest friends after his acceptance speech on Thursday, August 3rd; The House Entertainment Industry Caucus parties to Cuban-born singer Jon Secada at Shampoo on August 2nd; and Senate Majority Trent Lott hosts the “Lott Hop” with the best of the golden oldies Dick Clark, The Shirelles, the Four Tops and Bobby Vee on July 31.

President Clinton hasn’t let the Mid East peace talks or his wife’s Senate campaign interfere with plans for the traditional White House “picnic” on the South Lawn for his “friends” in the media. The big bash this week is a send off for pressies on their way to cover the Republicans in Philly.

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