PROVINCETOWN – Tim Howe of Los Angeles and Steve Pompeo of Boston waited for hours in the hot sun in matching lace tops, mesh stockings and towering black wigs outside the entrance to the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum yesterday where Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for President, was scheduled to appear at a fundraiser.
Hillary was not the only reason they came.
“We’re here to support Hillary Clinton. We believe in Hillary. We are Chers for Clinton,” Howe said. “She’s not perfect. But she really is the most qualified.”
The fact that Cher was appearing with Clinton at the fundraiser clearly was a major draw for the two, who dressed up like Cher for the Provincetown Carnival Parade last Thursday.
“The parade theme was the 80s. That’s why we’re dressed like 80s Cher,” Howe explained.
He added that their parade entry, the Tina Turner float, was judged best self-propelled entry.
Howe said Provincetown’s most famous Cher impersonator, Thirsty Burlington, was attending the fundraiser as his alter ego, Scott Townsend. According to Howe, Cher once told Thirsty, “You do me better than I do me.”
High praise indeed.
Back to Hillary.
About a thousand people were said to have attended the fundraiser at tickets prices that ranged from $45 to $27,000. This is Hillary Clinton’s second fundraiser in Provincetown this election cycle. A fundraiser was held last summer in the West End.
Another couple hundred were standing on Winslow Street in Hillary T-shirts, hats and other special Hillary garb hoping to get a glimpse of the candidate.
Not everyone was happy about the event.
A man sat on a bench near the road to the monument museum with a bullhorn yelling, “Bernie or Jill. Jail for Hillary.” The woman next to him was wearing a Feel the Bern T-shirt. A teenage boy sat with the couple. When a Cape Cod Wave reporter attempted an interview, the man responded, “Can you do me a favor and leave me alone. I just want to protest.”
Back on the hill near the monument entrance, a growing crowd waited for Hillary and Cher. At about 1:45, Cher showed up in the back seat of a black SUV. She flashed a big smile to the enthusiastic crowd and when she saw her doubles, Howe and Pompeo, she pointed to them, laughed and waved.
Other celebrities and politicos who attended the event included tennis star Billie Jean King, who also received loud applause; former Congressman Barney Frank, who stopped to shake hands and acknowledge cheers; Democratic National Committee interim Chair Donna Brazile, Attorney General Maura Healey and Senator Ed Markey.
Markey, among those walking to the event, had trouble pushing through the large crowd that had gathered.
“Can I get through? I’m Senator Markey. I’m supposed to speak,” he said and gave the crowd a wave before heading in to the party.
Comedian Kate Clinton served as MC of the event, according to Ed McManus of Harwich, who was one of the attendees.
“Hillary hit the stage and the warmth and competency and insightfulness of what’s going on in America, what needs to go on in American, just came rolling through. And the reaction of the crowd to all of it was just overwhelming,” he said.
Ed McManus describes his impressions of the event, including Cher’s speech and the crowd’s reaction to Hillary Clinton in the video below.
The event was billed as being from 2 to 4pm. Hillary arrived at about 3:10. All that was visible to those gathered in the street hoping for a glimpse of Hillary was her arm waving inside the car.
During the course of the event, enthusiastic sounds of applause, chanting and parts of speeches from Hillary, Healey and even Cher could be heard by those gathered out on Winslow Street. Perhaps most appreciated by those without invitations were the sounds of Cher singing “Believe” and “Turn Back Time.”
Three friends from Boston, Tova Litwak, Daniel Cohen and Mike Gonyeau took a day trip down to Provincetown in hopes of seeing Hillary and Cher. “We wanted to be a part of the energy,” Litwak said. As for voting, they counted themselves solidly in the Hillary camp. “Is there a choice?” Gonyeau asked.
At about 5pm, Hillary’s caravan of state police cars, black SUVs and white vans full of press corps, pulled slowly out of the monument driveway. She could be seen smiling in the back seat of the SUV, looking content.
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