early and often

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama Are Like ‘Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’

There’s no question about who leads anymore.Photo: Getty Images

The lines were out the door for the Women for Obama fund-raising breakfast this morning at the New York Hilton and Towers. For the event, yes, but also for the ladies’ room. (One of the men’s rooms was, in fact, turned into a ladies’ room for the day.) The fairer sex made up most of the crowd of about 2,000, the latest gathering in which Obama and Clinton pulled it together for the team. Obama and Clinton, like any battle-worn pair, have their comedy shtick down pat. “I’m trying to exercise a little bit now, which I’m told does wonders for a person,” Clinton said in her remarks. “During the campaign, Barack would get up faithfully every morning and go to the gym. I would get up and get my hair done.” Cue laughing crowd. “It’s just one of those Ginger Rogers–Fred Astaire things,” she said, as if no one remembered that, only recently, they were a lot more like Liza Minnelli and David Gest. But forgetting their past strife was, of course, the point.

Anyone who voted for me has so much in common with those who voted for Barack,” Hillary said. “And it is critical that we join forces because the Democratic Party is a family — sometimes a dysfunctional family — but it is a family.”

As for Obama, he pretty much seconded everything Hillary said and expanded on it — after, of course, lavishing praise. “As someone shouted in New Hampshire when we were there,” he said, “she rocks.”

So did the crowd buy it? “It looked like Clinton-Gore up there to me, but better,” said Ali Muney. “They looked like a real pair. I’d like to see them running on the same ticket.” Muney, like most of the people there, has been an Obama supporter since the beginning. But a handful of Hillary fans also came out to warily show their support.

I was with Clinton all the way, but now I’m with the Democratic candidate all the way,” said Shirley Hurwitz, visiting from Lexington, Massachusetts. “Her support helped me make the switch.” Could she see an Obama-Clinton ticket? “Yeah…yeah,” she said hesitantly. “It seemed wacky a while ago, but now I think it could work.” —Kelly Marages

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama Are Like ‘Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’