NEW YORK – Sir Elton John’s AIDS foundation gala honoring Hillary Rodham Clinton Tuesday night was a glitzy affair. Sure, the Hollywood stars and Manhattan bigwigs who arrived in black-tie were supporting John and his partner David Furnish and supporting the fight against AIDS. But they also came to see Hillary, of course.
So The Washington Post hit the red carpet outside the grand ballroom at Cipriani Wall Street to ask arriving celebrities what they thought of the prospect of a President Clinton come 2016.
We started with Sir Elton, who stepped onto the red carpet with sparkly red shoes. A publicist, who pointed out “the shoes are always incredible,” warned reporters in advance that “we’re only talking about the foundation tonight.” But Clinton was on our minds.
“It’s a huge honor just to even honor her!” gushed John, who of course is a British citizen. “She’s the kind of human being that I love. I hope she becomes president of the United States. You could use a woman president."
Next came Billy Joel, the “Piano Man” from New York. He noted he did a fundraiser for one of Clinton’s Senate campaigns, but that he’s keeping out of the 2016 race – for now. “I still think it’s a little early to start stumping for somebody,” he said. But surely, he has an opinion. Should she run for president? "I’m not going to answer that,” Joel said. “I’m a piano player.”
Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis, was more blunt. “I’d love her to run for president,” Presley said.
“I’m a woman, for one thing,” Presley replied. “She’s been around long enough. She knows the deal and knows the ropes.”
One of the last stars to arrive, actor Alec Baldwin, moonlights as a political animal. After all, he was an early endorser of Democrat Bill de Blasio in the New York mayoral race, and he just started hosting his own MSNBC show. So, about Clinton in 2016…
“I’d be the worst person to ask that question,” Baldwin said, walking away. Chasing him up the steps to Cipriani, we followed up. Really? No thoughts on Clinton? “I think it’s fantastic for Elton,” he offered. “She’s the best guest he could get.”