Bill, Hillary and Chelsea draw Democratic VIPs to closed-door foundation fundraiser

The BHC roadshow rolled into Washington Monday night, a global production running for 21 years and no end in sight.

BHC, aka Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, made a rare appearance together as part of a campaign to raise a $250 million endowment for their newly renamed family foundation. For $1,000, donors attended a reception with the trio at the Italian Embassy. Especially generous do-gooders ($25,000) were then invited to stroll up the block for dinner at the Clinton home on Whitehaven Street.


Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton spoke to guests in Chicago at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in June. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

So, who were these Good Samaritans missing the Redskins season opener for a noble cause? No publicity for them, sadly — the Clinton Foundation did not respond to several requests for comment, nor would it let us in. (“This is closed [to] press,” said a spokesman. Why? “Because it is.”) So we had to shamelessly stake out the entrance to find out.

Traipsing in from the Town Car-clogged street: lobbyist Heather Podesta; BET founder Bob Johnson; superlawyer Bob Barnett; actor Jeffrey Wright; Clinton’s old White House chief of staff Mack McLarty; mega-fundraiser Elizabeth Bagley.

Huma Abedin, left, aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, walk to a meeting with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheik Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, June 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool) Huma Abedin and Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2011. (Susan Walsh, AP Photo/Pool)

Look! Was that Huma Abedin? Yes, indeed, it was Hillary’s loyal aide, visiting Washington on NYC election eve, minus her struggling mayoral candidate husband Anthony Weiner. She did not stop for questions.

Also, fundraiser/CEO Ron Dozoretz; former Chief of Protocol Capricia Marshall; former social secretary Ann Stock; Vernon Jordan’s wife Ann; lobbyist Jack Quinn; and at least one or two Kennedys.

Dan Glickman, are you going to the dinner? “Noooo!” the former agriculture secretary and MPAA chief laughed. “I had $1,000. I didn’t have $25,000.”

But socialite/jeweler Ann Hand (wearing a “Hillary” pin of her own design) and her husband, veteran Democratic player Lloyd, were headed to the dinner. “It’s my 80th birthday present,” she said.

For years, the William J. Clinton Foundation was Bill’s baby, a launching pad for his various global causes with his wife and daughter making occasional guest appearances at events. This summer, the organization officially expanded the name to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation to recognize their “past contributions and acknowledge their role in shaping the Foundation’s future,” according to its Web site.

Unsaid: That donating to a foundation with Hillary’s name is a no-brainer for Democrats with eyes on 2016. And a no-brainer for the Clintons, who can scoop up millions for their charity before/if the former secretary of state runs for president.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walks on stage with her daughter Chelsea at a White House forum to combat wildlife trafficking, in Washington, September 9, 2013. Clinton, a potential 2016 presidential nominee, spoke about Syria at the event and backed President Barack Obama's attempts to seek military action against Syria on Monday and urged Congress to support him. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) The Clintons at a White House forum to combat wildlife trafficking in Washington on Monday. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Ears pressed to the embassy door (no, really), we could only make out the cheers as Chelsea spoke, followed by Bill, then Hillary. Earlier in the day, though, mother and daughter teamed up to lobby at the White House against wildlife trafficking, reports our colleague Melinda Henneberger, calling for a return to the stricter anti-poaching rules of the ’90s.

“You can’t be a little bit pregnant,” said Hillary, “and you can’t be a little bit okay” with buying ivory. Chelsea agreed, noting that “I want [better for] my daughters and my sons – theoretically.”

Hmm. Pregnant pause. Hillary — who possibly might not want to be president but does want to be a grandmother — shrugged, and the audience laughed.

Earlier: The Clintons launch a new campaign — for the foundation that bears their name, 8/24/13

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Michael Livingston · September 9, 2013

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