Usually fund-raising events are a lot of “grip and grin” as my father-in-law used to say. Say hello, move on, you try to remember names but inevitably they disappear when you walk two feet away. I can sympathize with politicians. It is very much like making a personal appearance as a celebrity; same drill, just a different field. All in all though, it is a lot of “razzle-dazzle”.
I was invited to the Romney Victory fundraiser last Saturday night in Beverly Hills by my friends in the film community. Yes, believe it or not, there are a lot of us out here in Hollywood that really care about this country and are committed to sending Barak Obama into another profession. Hey, maybe he should come to Hollywood and stay. He is worshipped and loved by the liberals out here, he feels right at home with “E!” and “Entertainment Tonight” and the Leno show. Maybe he has a career as an actor; he’s been practicing role-playing for almost four years now. Well, it’s a thought.
But I digress. Back to the fundraiser.
The event was at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Very “old Hollywood” with lots of crystal chandeliers and gold curtains. As I entered the hotel, everywhere I looked there were familiar faces. I saw many political pundits and heads of industry; actors, singers, some athletes, lots of heavy hitting folks. Everyone was very excited to be there, buzzing about Romney and Ann.
The cocktail party was a schmooze-fest with like-minded people discussing the polls and the turmoil in the Middle East. Talk turned to Ann Romney and the close call on her plane flight. I heard a lot of “thank God she’s ok” from many people.
After about an hour it was time for the main event. There were six tables of ten up front for the “conservative Hollywood corps”. I can’t give you the names of the people who were there for fear they would be blacklisted, but as a tease, at my table were a famous superhero, a beautiful young leading lady, a gorgeous comedian you would all know, a very famous singer from the past, me and Clint Howard. (I can say his name; both he and I are out of the closet!) Plus four more film heavy hitters. It was even better at the other tables!
The show began with Dennis Miller. He was great! His cutting-edge humor was right on the money. He skewered Obama and didn’t mince words. He got worked up towards the end of his act and had the crowd cheering.
Miller then introduced Governor Romney and Ann. The crowd went wild! It was a standing ovation and you could feel the support and warmth that everyone felt for them. Ann spoke for a few moments and then it was up to Mitt.
I have to tell you, Paul Ryan must be rubbing off on him because from the first word of his speech to the last he was polished, confident and down to earth. Everyone always complains that he is too forced or robotic when he speaks. Well, that is not the case anymore. He was clear, concise, personable and very Presidential. He spoke with passion for this country and everyone in it. He laid out his plans for getting the economy on track and he made it clear that no matter what the media or anyone else says he was going to stay the course and win this election. One thing that particularly struck me was that he used the word “we” many times. “We can do this”, “We are the greatest country in the world”, “and we are strong”. That was in sharp opposition to Barak Obama who has consistently used “I” in every speech he gives. There was not one hint of arrogance in Governor Romney.
At the end of his speech he came out into the crowd to watch the rest of the show. He and Ann were given seats right alongside everyone else. They weren’t shuffled off to the side to be isolated from everyone. David Foster took over and he entertained us with his musical talents. It was a fabulous show with wonderful singers and uplifting songs and just a sense of joy.
Finally the event wound down and Governor Romney and Ann turned to leave. They stopped by a few tables, shook hands and looked people in the eye. I was right there, I could see that this wasn’t an act that they were putting on just to raise money. They are truly “good” people, sincere, honest and connected. Their hearts are real and you can understand why they have been blessed in life.
I have no doubt that Romney will sweep the floor with Obama come debate time. He had a lot of practice during the primaries and he is well prepared. Obama on the other hand, doesn’t bother with preparing. He’s brilliant don’t you know, and he has debates handled. It’s more important that he appear on “The View” to answer those really tough questions!
So all in all, I’m feeling really good about our chances in November. Ignore the polls, they don’t mean anything until right before the election. We just have to keep our focus on voter turnout and stoking that excitement. Even if Obama pulls a rabbit out of his hat sometime in October, don’t let it throw you, we can do this.
I saw it in Mitt’s eyes.