Hillary and Bill Make the Bucks

In what’s sure to be the first of many star-studded events for presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, about 1,000 well-heeled New York Democrats gathered last night for a sit-down dinner at the Sheraton to get their first taste of the Clinton '08 campaign machine. Ron Howard, Chelsea Clinton, and Moby mixed it up with a slew of Wall Street types and the state's congressional delegation. Charles Rangel and Chuck Schumer warmed up the crowd, who paid $1,000 for a plate of filet mignon, risotto, and spinach served with Cabernet Sauvignon. (The good seats were $4,600 each.) But everyone was just waiting for the Clintons (or just Bill?), who took the floor accompanied by Jesus Jones's "Right Here, Right Now." The former president jawed on for a good fifteen minutes, lauding his wife and comparing her to Eleanor Roosevelt. Reluctant to yield the stage, he finally did — just so a raspy-voiced Hillary could launch into her stump-speech points: health care, lower college tuition, and pulling troops from Iraq. The audience warmed when she talked about how the couple conserves energy up in Chappaqua: He replaces lightbulbs, and she mutters to herself with every flip of the switch, "Take that, Iran! Take that, Venezuela!" At 8:31, 90 minutes after the event began, Bill Clinton returned to the stage for an autograph session. The eager donors clamored for him.