Got a media alert from the Clinton campaign that Hillary'd be lunching at Herrera's today -- the one on Denton Drive, near Love Field. And it promised big things -- Queer as Folk star Robert Gant, Kansas Democratic Party vice chair Teresa Garcia Krusor, Dallas County constable candidate Jaime Cortes, Dallas city council member Pauline Medrano and ABC World News anchor Charlie Gibson, in town covering Super-Duper Tuesday. Also, a heaping platter of Meathead.
The release said she'd be there at 10:30 a.m. -- sorry, it was more like noon. Then it was all applause and "Hil-la-ry!" chants and digi-camera flashes welcoming the woman in the power red blazer. Her peeps corralled her immediately and steered her down a very specific path, so she could shake hands and take pictures with the predominantly Hispanic crowd. It took a while, and, of course, Rob Reiner was trailing behind her.
Having busted out of the press pen, I joined a couple of patrons (thanks, Shannon and Erin) at their table -- not before getting stopped by Secret Service agents, how thrilling. Clinton never stopped to make a speech but proceeded with the smiling and the handshakes. I was trying to capture some with my camera phone -- RAZRs are the worst -- when, hello, Clinton was right in front of me. Saw her first through the cell phone -- thought I'd zoomed in for a close-up. But, no, there she was, extending her hand. Awkward. See for yourself.
It was rumored she was going to sit and eat, but after the rounds she moved on to the cantina -- I guess for some quick private dining. Secret Service was pushing us out the door at this point. Soon after, she exited with her motorcade on her way to Love Field to finish out Super-Duper Tuesday in Ohio.
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I was curious why this location was picked, it being tucked away and all. Medrano told Unfair Park the campaign called her today to recommend a place, and Herrera’s was her first choice -- and, probably, the proximity to Love Field was equally attractive.
Charlie Gibson and I had a moment alone. He seemed a little entranced by the video games in the arcade; like a little kid, he started pushing a couple of buttons and stared at the screen savers. I asked him how his visit to Dallas is going, and he proceeded to discuss sports, “I was hoping to see the Mavericks.” We discussed their losing to Los Angeles and Utah in the last couple of days. But Gibson advised to keep the faith: “Once Jason Kidd gets acclimated, they’ll be fine.”
Before being pushed out, I met with Robert Gant, who was pleasant enough till he went on this crazy Obama rant. After telling me to show up at the precinct where he’ll be all day today, he said he wants people there to convince gay Obama voters to go Hillary instead. Pleasant went right out the window, as he started on about how Obama's "anti-gay" because "he wouldn’t’ take a picture with [San Francisco mayor] Gavin Newsome.” Then he said something about how “Obama said he would take all of his cues on gay and lesbian issues from his church. There’s a lot that we don’t know about Obama.”
Crazy. --Rich Lopez