About 600 people gathered at Charlotte’s Marriott City Center for the Victory / Human Rights Campaign luncheon honoring lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered elected officials. People clustered around U.S. Rep Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, who is running for Senate, to get pictures taken with her.
Attire ranged from Washington power suits to rainbow beads and plastic leis. The plates that greeted guests looked as if they were designed to promote the first lady’s healthy eating campaign: Two small, halved tomatoes, two celery sticks, two asparagus spears, two small cheese slices and about a dozen currants, all artistically arranged.
Dorie Cranshaw of Dallas said she was initially perplexed by the absence of silverware.
“Who cares?” she concluded. “I didn’t come for the food.”
What did she come for? She spread her arms.
“Dallas is so Republican,” she said. “You can’t imagine what it feels like to be surrounded by Democrats.”
First Lady Michelle Obama visited with the attendees, recognizing that Baldwin “will make an outstanding Senator for the state of Wisconsin,” The audience applauded loudly.
Mrs. Obama told the audience the President is fighting to do “what Barack and I did, marry the love of our lives.”
Human Rights Campaign and Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund Lunch Honoring LGBT Elected Officials on the second floor of the Marriott City Center. HRC is the largest gay political organization and Victory Fund works to elect out candidates.
Among the notables attending the lunch:
Andy Tobias, DNC treasurer
Reps. Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, and Jared Polis
Md. Gov. Martin O’Malley
Calif. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom
Christine Quinn, NY City Council speaker
Mark Segal, Karl Frisch, Jeremy Hooper - media figures
Mark Pocan, running for Tammy Baldwin’s seat
Rea Carey, the executive director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, who noted, “I’m just back from vacation.”
Adam Unsdorfer / Justin Mikita - from the American Foundation for Equal Rights, founded by now-HRC president Chad Griffin
Neil Giuliano, former Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation president
Diego Sanchez, first out trans Hill staffer
Terry Penrod and Jack Wheeler, members of the Ohio delegation, talked to pooler about the importance of Ohio to the election.
Lee Storrow, a young out elected official in Chapel Hill, said he was down for a couple of days and would be on a panel abut young elected progressives. Of the convention: “It’s great for North Carolina.”