WASHINGTON, D.C.—The wine flowed mostly white as Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton took the stage at a female-oriented “Women for Hillary” event Monday night at the Hyatt Regency hotel.
Flanked by thirteen of fourteen Democratic female senators (excepting Elizabeth Warren), Clinton railed against Republicans for a litany of ill-defined offenses mostly centering on their supposedly trumped-up rhetoric and opposition to Planned Parenthood. As her supporters drank more than their fair share of booze, Clinton and her allies hammered Republican targets like Donald Trump, who garnered multiple rounds of booing.
“What we saw in Colorado Springs the other night was just horrible,” Clinton said, making political hay of the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic carried out by a man who reports suggest might have been a transgender left-wing activist. Clinton said that the nation must protect women who choose to get an abortion.
“We have strong, strong soldiers for that fight behind me,” Clinton said, referring to the Democratic senators, after declaring to applause, “I will defend a woman’s right to choose.”
“When you listen to the attacks on” rights for women, gays, and other groups, coming from Republicans, Clinton warned the crowd, “Pay attention.”
The rest of Clinton’s remarks were largely rehashed from her other stump speeches, as she told the story again of how both Presidents Clinton and Obama told her that the economy was “so much worse” when they took office after Republican administrations than they even expected.
Some of Clinton’s talking points were unwittingly exposed as the talking points of others.
“Republicans say, ‘Well, I’m not a scientist.’ My response is, go talk to one,” Clinton said, apparently not realizing that Sen. Barbara Boxer said the exact same thing to the same crowd minutes before.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen quoted Clinton at the previous night’s New Hampshire Jefferson-Jackson dinner, saying, “I’m not running to make a point. I’m running to make a difference.” Shaheen apparently did not realize that Sen. Mazie Hirono had just quoted her “sister” Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who apparently used that same talking point when she ran for Senate.
The crowd, meanwhile, was well-to-do and dressed accordingly. When Claire McCaskill said, “There’s no playing to the cheap seats” in Clinton’s rhetoric, she meant it.
Young progressive women posed for cell phone pictures of themselves in the crowd, texted, scanned Facebook, and sought out good selfie angles while Clinton spoke, all the while cradling $10 cocktails purchased from multiple wet bars around the perimeter of the ballroom.
“Lots of policy,” a twenty-something Clinton supporter complained to her male friend clad indoors in a high-dollar scarf.
Before the speeches began, some middle-aged white women danced woodenly and offered supportive “Woos” to each other as the darkened venue blasted female-themed Top 40 hits like Andra Day’s “Rise Up” and Martina McBride’s “This One’s For The Girls.” A baby in a mother’s baby carrier, meanwhile, made noise during the senators’ speeches, and the occasional supporter, overly fired up, yelled out too loudly in agreement during Clinton’s remarks, while other women shot her a sideways glare.
Clinton took the stage only after an extended video showing small cute children reciting progressive talking points, which was greeted with audible crows of “Awww” from the crowd.
As the women and assorted bespectacled progressive men made their way outside to black cars and waiting valets, a homeless man desperately badgered the Clinton supporters for “some help tonight.”
And police sirens, just blocks away in the direction of Capitol Hill, blared in the city night.