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Election special: long time comingElection special: long time coming

The 2008 holiday season marked the close of a year where America was the ultimate reality television show star, report Elyse Glickman and Leyla Messian
Expanded from issue 27 of Lucire



TWO THOUSAND AND EIGHT was another year in Hollywood for the books, with its mix of the good, bad and unwatchable in all sectors of the media. Then reality caught up to us, not only making us rethink industry festivities, but also what was truly important—like holding on to our jobs and paying the bills. However, by midsummer, even with the MTV VMAs and Emmy Awards on our calendar, it was the election and recession coverage that had us on the edge of our seats. Given all the drama that was affecting us directly, it was no surprise that many night-time dramas (save for Law & Order, now in its 20th year) just didn’t do it for us. It is also no surprise that Saturday Night Live came back to life with some of its most inspired and hilarious material in years.
   And yet, all things must pass, as the late George Harrison mused. And the passing of this American election was as momentous as its build-up.

Campaign buzzed

Ultimat Vodka, in its bid to win election for best new ultra-premium vodka among tastemaker consumers, made its formal début in Los Angeles in front of A-list Hollywood delegates at the the Kress, recently elected the city’s new “it” gathering spot. With the grooves of DJ AM playing in the background, there was enough action for some stargazers to actually be distracted from what many of us this side of the pond consider the most important election in US history. Kim Kardashian, sans boyfriend Reggie Bush, refused all interviews and posed for only one photo putting her ongoing media campaign on hold. Also putting their fame campaigns on hiatus were Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt. However, as soon as the cameras stopped rolling, the couple changed moods, making out, laughing and drinking cocktails until the last call.
   John Paul DeJoria, Patron Spirits Co. and Paul Mitchell Systems’ mogul, was on hand to personally greet Peter Fonda, Cheech Marin, and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons. After the last cocktail had been consumed, Peter Fonda tried to sneak out the back door of the Kress. However, he was bombarded by paparazzi. When asked whom he was voting for, Fonda proudly exclaimed, ‘Obama, of course! It’s either Obama or I’m moving out of the country!’
   Based on the outcome of the real election in the real America, Fonda will be staying for a while. McCain supporter Montag, meanwhile, would probably be in less of a party mood come November 5.

Election night: happy new world

Why was this election night different from all other nights? Rather than ask the four questions some of us ask every Passover, there was a simple answer applicable to everybody: history would be made, no matter the outcome. For this reason, ambitious viewing parties were organized in Chicago (Obama’s home town), New York, Washington and from coast to coast. In downtown Los Angeles, one very fitting place to be was the Edison, where Causecast ( staged an I Voted party that multitasked as a fund-raiser for charities Invisible Children, Farm Sanctuary, and the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network.
   The party was designated as a non-partisan event, and all guests (including scheduled-to-attend Mathew Modine, Lucas Haas, Adrien Grenier and Sarah Carter) wearing their ‘I Voted’ sticker got a cocktail of their choice. However, at approximately 8.04 P.M. PST, like a bolt out of the blue, results from the western states were announced, pushing Obama well over the 270 electoral votes needed to win. Obama’s majority ruled the night, with a collective, controlled yet ecstatic chaos that rivalled the typical New Year’s Eve party or sports team championship victory.
   As the reality of Obama’s electoral college landslide sunk in, Causecast revellers feasted on the Edison’s updated classic American finger-foods (teriyaki wings, sweet potato fries, truffled mac and cheese, and tomato soup) as flat screens projected alternating images of the celebration at Chicago’s Grant Park, Obama’s victory speech, Oprah beaming with pride, veteran activist–politician Jesse Jackson (who ran in 1984) moved to tears. It was also quite a sight to see those in Grant Park carrying themselves with the same dignity as the president-elect, as it was to see his rival at the Arizona Biltmore in Phœnix concede with grace.
   ‘The election happens only four years, and typically what happens is people celebrate alone at home or go to a local bar and are not connecting with a large group of people,’ notes Causecast’s Levi Felix. ‘We figured that as we all have the right as citizens to vote, let’s go out and celebrate that no matter what party you belong to. When you get people together in one space, celebrate everybody’s right to vote and watch the returns come in, particularly in a year that is so important—some say the most important election of all time—the idea is to bring 600 people together, have them contribute a $5 donation going to one of three charities and enjoy a free drink, this is truly the right way to usher in the arrival of change in an amazing place like the Edison.
   Felix also notes that another popular LA restaurant, Pitfire Pizza, teamed up with the organization and Tom’s Shoes (the unique, charity-driven canvas fashion shoe company), and you could get a commemorative Jones soda with bottles bearing Obama’s or McCain’s likeness, or a beer. Not surprisingly, turnout at Pitfire was impressive, and the Obama bottles were gone long before the end of the lunch rush. •


Elyse Glickman is US west coast editor of Lucire. Leyla Messian is west coast correspondent for Lucire.


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The author with fellow celebrants and a cardboard cut-out of the president-elect. The speech bubble reads, ‘It’s great to be president.’

Food at the Edison.

Causecast’s Levi Felix and Sloane Berrent.

The money shot: President-elect Barack Obama and Vice-president-elect Joe Biden on television.



Peter Fonda tried to sneak out the back door of the Kress. However, he was bombarded by paparazzi. When asked whom he was voting for, Fonda proudly exclaimed, ‘Obama, of course! It’s either Obama or I’m moving out of the country!’

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