Meg Whitman, fresh off her Hewlett-Packard layoff tour, hosted a lavish Romney fundraising event last night at the swanky Chateau Carolands in Hillsborough, California. In case you missed my previous diary Chateaubriand at the Chateau, Part "Une", this was to be "the" place to be if you want to mingle with the uber-rich.
For those of you who weren’t able to attend the lavish Romney fundraiser at the uber-ostentatious Chateau Carolands last night due to prior commitments or the fact that you didn’t have $2,500 to $50,000 for a ticket, here are some excerpts from the press pool report in the San Francisco Chronicle
Your pool was briefly ushered into Chateau Carolands interior,which was everything we were to expect: dominated by black and white tiles, Roman columns, statues, huge hanging tapestries, and a 75 foot atrium said to be the largest of any private residence in the United States.You kids remember Versailles, don't you? The elegant home of famed one-percenter Marie Antoinette?
But the event itself was held in a tent outside in the expansive gardens, designed to resemble those of Versailles.
That nice lady with the over-the-top hair who was living large while making helpful suggestions regarding the starving peasants along the lines of "let them eat cake”?
(Actually, the quote was more along the lines of “let them eat brioche", but you get the picture.
This Versailles setting was therefore a particularly apt theme for the self-absorbed glitterati who ponied up some major bucks to eat fine food, drink expensive wine, and reminisce fondly over the people they’ve fired, the companies they’ve destroyed, and the millions they’ve gleefully pocketed as the little people fall, noiselessly, through the holes that these pillagers have ripped in the safety net.
What an enchanting evening it must have been, the old riche and nouveau riche “job assassins” rubbing shoulders with GOP luminaries, scheming together about how they could engineer a return to the golden days of the robber barons, when men were men and women were amenable. When making money was regarded as a sign of success, not a basis for scorn.
Follow along below the stale brioche for more highlights of the evening.
Guests sat on white chairs or stood to listen to Romney and speakers on a stage before a bank of American flags.Whoa, what?? I mis-read this the first time. Why would there be “Bank of America” flags? Better check with Dr. Freud on this.
Event drew 300 people, with guests including Ambassador Howard Leach, former Secretaries of State Condi Rice and George Shultz, and Mrs. Romney.Quel bummer! I thought Meg was the hostess of this event. What on Earth would keep her away? After all, Mittens was her boss and mentor at Bain, the guy who launched her career. Some have even speculated that she’s angling for a vice presidential spot on the Romney ticket. Makes sense. She just lays off 25,000 Hewlett-Packard employees. Some would see that as a sign of failure. Your intrepid diarist sees it as a sacrifice laid at the feet of the mentor by the adoring protégé. “Look what I’ve brought you, most esteemed Mitt. Some fresh sacrifices. I hope you like them. I was thinking of you every time I fired one of them. It was almost, well..."
Not present were Meg Whitman, the HP CEO – who was a host of Ann Romney’s earlier “ladies luncheon,’’ or Carly Fiorina, a Romney endorser.
Tickets ranged from $2,500 to $50,000 for “Founder” status.In keeping with the Romney campaign’s well-known penchant for financial nondisclosure:
Guests were told that it was “the most successful event that we’ve had in California,’’ but campaign officials would not divulge a number.Like all fundraising dinners, there were the obligatory speeches.
The whole program lasted 46 minutes, including intros by Shultz and Rice, who both formally endorsed Romney. Mrs. Romney also spoke briefly.
Remarks at length can be found at the link at above. Let me spare you the details, dear reader. I wouldn't want to bore you to death.
Condi began with a moving retrospective on her three years post-W, professing to care about the future of the country, and of the world, endorsing Mitt, and noting:
“Today, more than ever, we need U.S. leadership to affirm that the future belongs to free markets and free peoples.”Then more blah, blah, blah about leadership, defending the country, terrorists [and whose lapse was it, Condi dear, that enabled Bin Laden to attack us?], and our brave men and women to whom we owe “our eternal gratitude”: [the troops that you and your chickenhawk neocon friends so readily put into harm’s way.]
America’s leadership “is craved in the world, and Gov. Romney, you can bring it back,’’ she said to applause.Next up was George Shultz, former Secretary of State:
"I join Condi in enthusiastically endorsing Gov. Mitt Romney for POTUS and for Ann Romney as first lady,’’ he said to cheers and applause.This is probably the first "enthusiastic" endorsement we've had in a while for Mittens.
Shultz said that he served in the Eisenhower administration (“He was a general who became president, for you young people”) and he recalled “the way that wonderful man went about the task of leadership.”Interesting reminder that Mittens spent the war years hanging out in France… I'm not sure how this will equate to future Profiles in Courage retrospectives on a Romney presidency.
Continuing on, Schultz reminisced about his time in previous administrations.Yeah, other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?
Nixon, he said, “was a brilliant president in a great many ways,’’ though “people only remember Watergate.”
Serving with Ronald Reagan, “I have seen real leadership in action.”Seriously? He’s talking about Mitt? Mitt Romney? A guy who can’t remain true to any moral stance for more than a nanosecond without flip-flopping? A guy so lacking in vertebrae that he wouldn’t take on a spider in the bathtub? A guy who spends his time pondering whether the trees are the right height?
“This man has that kind of mind,’’ Shultz said of Romney, adding it was “an ability to grasp what’s going on” and “the long-term issues that you have to pay attention to.”
Shultz mentioned Romney’s business background, saying that “what he has done at Bain Captail has been a major contribution to the American economy…helped make our economy more competitive, learned to keep costs under control,’’ and found the right investments.Now you can see, dear reader, why it's not such a good idea to give a speech after you've had too much to drink beforehand. For we all know that Willard Mitt Romney has no intention whatsoever of separating his billionaire peers from their "huge amount of money"... unless it's for his campaign. After that, it will be back to the One-Percent Status Quo: the rich get richer; everyone else gets a morsel of brioche.
He represents “the people who can figure out” how to get people sitting on “this huge amount of money” to invest in “products that people will buy and will create an ongoing and explosive expansion.”