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‘H’w’d Salute’ benefits Hillary’s senate run

GOOD MORNING DEMOCRATS: As President Clinton’s days in the White House dwindle down to a precious few, he admitted of the past eight years, “Even the bad days were good days.” And one of his best days had to be last Saturday night. He, wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea stayed until 2:45 ayem Sunday following the “Hollywood Salute to President William Jefferson Clinton” at Ken Roberts’ ranch in Mandeville Canyon. The evening was a fund-raiser for “New York Senate 2000,” Hillary Clinton’s senatorial campaign. And $1.5 million was raised from the evening, a prices-to-fit: cocktail party, attended by over 2,000 guests; 1,400 at the star-studded concert; and 225 at the Spago-catered concert, with 225 teary-eyed during many of the tributes — Clinton said his presidency was “an affair of the heart.” And he noted, “When Hillary decided to run for the Senate, I was proud of her. We could have gone on just celebrating — I hope you’ll help her win.” He also hoped all who were there would continue to support Al Gore in the work to be finished from their team in the White House . . . What the guests at the gala and dinner did not see was a gag reel that producer Gary Smith had prepared, including interviews with celebs offering “jobs” to Clinton after he leaves the White House. Those offering jobs (on camera) included Sherry Lansing, Les Moonves, Bob Daly (at Dodger Stadium), Nate & Al’s Dave Mendelson, the Beverly Hills Hotel’s doorman Chris and pool man Sven. Also Michael Eisner, with a “list of 10” possible jobs, Jay Leno in a tearful farewell to someone (Clinton) who has provided Jay with much of his humor, pointing out “NBC stands for ‘Nothing But Clinton.’ ” Norman Brokaw admitted Clinton could not get a job at the William Morris office — because he’s too tall. Yes, even yours truly offered Clinton a job, helping me introduce stars at the Academy Awards. The clips were to have been interspersed between the entertainment acts. However, the White House nixed the tapes — even though it’s no secret the President has a great sense of humor. He will see ’em privately and — ?

“HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD” was the theme song with which Ian Fraiser launched the orchestra into the Gala entertainment. Gary Smith who produced the show, had been bicycling from the Staples Center, where he is also producing this week’s big(ger) show. He had assembled the top TV crews for the staging at the Roberts ranch — their shows include the People’s Choice, Emmys, Grammys, etc. Stan Lee, who hosted the evening, welcomed the concertgoers and intro’d Shirley MacLaine, who admitted, “I got here from the 14th century — in less time than it took me to get up Mandeville Canyon.” She wasn’t kidding. Many, including Whoopi Goldberg, decided to walk up the winding canyon! If it weren’t for Chuck Pick’s parking attendants, many would still be in the narrow road. Pick says it was the toughest job of his career. The entertainers who followed: Patti LaBelle, Jimmy Smits, Sugar Ray, Red Buttons, Toni Braxton, Anjelica Huston, Melissa Etheridge (who admitted she “came out” during Clinton’s first inaugural). Also Dylan McDermott, Alfre Woodard, Michael Bolton. Whoopi said Clinton had “kicked ass” and “never faltered” during his presidency. Cher admitted she didn’t vote for Clinton during his first two terms — “but if you were running again I’d vote for you now!” Muhammad’s wife told Hillary, “We are both married to ‘The Greatest.’ ” Paul Anka created new lyrics to link “My Way” to Clinton. One of the most dramatic moments was Gregory Peck (seated in the audience) telling of Clinton’s battle against the gun industry and the NRA. Diana Ross brought down the house (Mary Wilson was in the audience!) and Mary Steenburgen and a white-haired Ted Danson told of their long, warm association with the Clintons. Hillary Clinton thanked Stan Lee and Peter Paul, Ken Roberts, Aaron Tonken, who miraculously put together this event in four weeks! There was huge applause for them all.

JOHN TRAVOLTA, TOASTING THE PRESIDENT at the supper party, said, “I’m sure you’ll miss your 707 plane. If you ever need one, Kelly and I will give you our plane anytime you want to go anywhere.” The Travoltas and Patrick Swayzes were the last to leave the party farewell’ing the president, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. Cynthia Gershman, a big supporter of Hillary, sat next to the president at the dinner and thanked them for the past, present and future with Hillary. Among the other Hollywoodites on hand: the newlyweds Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston (back from their honeymoon — in Malibu), Milton Berle, Olivia Newton-John, Carol Burnett, David Spade, Laura Dern, the Michael Yorks, Frances Fisher, Angie Dickinson, Rod Steiger (said he gave Clinton tips in his debate vs. Dole), Kathy Bates. Camryn Manheim (star of “The Practice”) said an upcoming seg of “The Practice” will have them suing the Environmental Protection Agency. . . Also there, Ed Asner, Robert Wuhl, Richard Lewis, Annabelle Weston. . . The departing guests found the Mandeville Canyon ranch entrance lined with anti-abortion placards. Departing guests were gifted with “goodie bags” containing CDs of the performers, a copy of Gore Vidal’s “Empire” and a Walk of Fame “Star” for “Bill Clinton.”

AT THE CONVENTION TONIGHT, before speeches by Hillary and Bill Clinton, Melissa Etheridge will again sing, and Dylan McDermott reads the Declaration of Independence. Eight-year-old Juan Carlos Hernandez of Harvey, La., with Mario Lanza-like (kid) voice, sings the National Anthem. Tuesday it’s Los Lobos, Pat Morita and Luther Vandross. Wednesday, it’s Stevie Wonder, Diane Schurr, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Jimmy Smits — and Joe Lieberman. Thursday, it’s Plus One, Boyz II Men — and Tipper and Al Gore. Welcome Democrats.

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