By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
But then you have to figure out what to do in such a party. Chatting with Anderson Cooper would be boring, and striking up a conversation with John McLaughlin would be intimidating. I knew enough people to have a good time, but there was still the feeling of being at the wrong end of the totem pole. I was in, but not quite. There’s always one more door.
Bob Hattoy is kicking around in the back of the ballroom where the 500-plus-member California delegation is slurping coffee in a desperate attempt to wake up (there were parties last night, and there’s this time difference, and, well, don’t ask). Hattoy is an accomplished kick-arounder — a longtime AIDS, enviro and gay-rights activist, and one of the party’s foremost wags. Now he approaches me with an idea for a California political button: “I’m a Nancy Boy, Not a Girlie Man.” House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is addressing the caucus as Hattoy is schmoozing with me, and I’m not sure if he means the button as a statement of support for Pelosi, as a charmingly quaint gay usage, or both. Well, probably both.
More than a Feeling
So I was outside the Fleet Center casually talking to this guy I’d never met, when he leans over and says in a confidential tone, “Man, there’s some serious titty around here . . . if you know to find it.”
That’s really the story I wanted to relate.
Except that the encounter reminds me that my traveling companion Steve Elliott and I, while casing the joint on Friday, wandered past the Hooters on the way to the Haymarket Station.
The one time I’d ever come close to dining at Hooters was in Phoenix, with my grandparents. We were trying to think of a place for lunch, and they both suddenly said: “How about Hooters?”
“No!” I said, for obvious reasons. (You too, Grandma?) By way of explanation, my grandpa offered, “They make an excellent club sandwich, Joshy.”
The downtown Boston Hooters has its windows plastered with children’s menus — “Honey, I shrunk the menu” — on which there is no club sandwich.
Thieves’ DenNot only are most journalists covering the presidential campaigns anxious, grudging careerists, one among their number is also a petty thief! It’s true: Someone stole my phone charger from the pressroom at the Fleet Center.
On the campaign trail, people left computers, bags and cameras unattended all the time. We were a tight group, despite the anxious careerism. Now it’s a free-for-all. When I went to retrieve the charger — a handy model that worked in both an outlet and a car — the journalists who had re-settled the area feigned ignorance. It wasn’t in the outlet, but maybe, I thought, someone took it out to plug in their computer or camera. “So perhaps it’s just lying around the area,” I said. Everyone shifted around to look for it, except one guy, seated in a lotus position but wearing a suit with a laptop in hand, who would neither budge nor acknowledge the search. Finally I said, “Listen, pal, I gotta find this thing. I don’t think anyone would steal it.” As he scooted up onto one side of ass to reveal a bunch of Ethernet cables but no charger, the guy said, “Oh, I do think someone would steal it.”
“So it’s come to this,” said my friend Stephen Elliott. “It was probably that guy. He was wearing a suit? Oh, yeah, he’s the thief.”
There is more L.A. mayoral politics going on in this gathering of the California delegation than anywhere in Los Angeles right now. The mayoral talk in the room centers on Antonio Villaraigosa; numerous delegates volunteer that Villariagosa has called them in the past two weeks to ask for their support. Villaraigosa’s somewhat late entry has caused a problem for Howard Welinsky, long a leading figure in Jewish Democratic organizations. In 2001, Welinsky was one of Villaraigosa’s leading backers, but earlier this year, when it looked as if Villaraigosa wasn’t running, Welinsky backed Bob Hertzberg, a longtime friend. That didn’t mean that Welinsky said no to Villaraigosa when the councilman called him a couple weeks ago. “I’ve endorsed them both,” Welinsky said. “Antonio connects with me politically, and Hertzberg is very good at putting together good organizations, and when I disagree with him, he calls me and explains his position right up front. I love them both.”
As the breakfast ended, former LAPD Chief Bernie Parks stood in the lobby, mentioning to L.A. political maven Kerman Maddox and me that just after he’d arrived from the coast, he’d attended a Gladys Knight concert last night that ran pretty late, and that when his clock went off this morning, he’d said, “Oh, no. Already?” Be it noted that at his groggiest, Bernie Parks looks composed, immaculate and commanding.