Hillary Rodham Clinton loves the Hamptons and the Hamptons loves her right back. She has been welcomed with open arms ever since she took up residence for a few weeks in Amagansett earlier this month. There she was hosting a fund-raiser with Bill Clinton for their foundation at the home of the philanthropists Joan and George Hornig in Water Mill. Later, she turned up at the screening of the new Meryl Streep movie, “The Giver,” at the Amagansett home of producer Harvey Weinstein, a longtime pal.
On Saturday afternoon, she held a book signing at Bookhampton in East Hampton. The store, owned by another supporter, Charline Spektor, had been advertising it was “honored” to welcome the author.
This story first appeared in the August 19, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
On the day of, security began setting up around noon for the 5 p.m. appearance. The line went around the block. A phalanx of supporters, famous — Martha Stewart, Howard Dean — and not came to pay their respects.
“I had to give her a kiss because I love her so much,” Stewart recalled later.
If Clinton were to run for president tomorrow, she seems to have the East End of Long Island locked up.
“I’m the biggest fan,” Lisa Perry said. “It’s incredible, the support, so who knows…,” she said optimistically.
On Saturday, the designer and Richard Perry opened up their home in North Haven for the Paddle & Party for Pink fund-raiser, which benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Because the Perrys are Clinton supporters, there was, throughout the night, the hope that the former secretary of state herself would show up.
Donna Karan, a devoted supporter of various cancer research organizations, was there because she had designed, along with Perry, Stewart, Tory Burch, Kim Kardashian and others, a paddleboard to be auctioned off.
She was also unreserved about her enthusiasm for Clinton.
“Well, given the world situation right now, who else in the world could potentially fix our problems?” Karan said. “There’s no question in my mind, never has been, we as a world need a woman, need a caregiver, need someone who really has the compassion and understanding, and has the experience, to deal with the world as it is today, which is in total chaos.”
For her, the 2016 election cannot come soon enough.
“We need them now,” the designer continued, referring to the Clintons. “They truly understand it. They’ve been everywhere. Where else can you have somebody who’s that knowledgeable and aware of how to deal with the issues we’re dealing with?” (Their admiration is mutual: The Clinton Foundation did, after all, give Karan its Global Citizen Award in 2012 for her work in Haiti, one of the former president’s key causes.)
Paddle & Party has become a hot ticket in the three years the Perrys have hosted it, this year drawing Leonard and William Lauder; Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, who came with Olivier Sarkozy; Molly Sims; Hilary Rhoda and Sean Avery, and Danielle and Jodie Snyder of Dannijo. The Eighties singer Taylor Dayne was by the bar after a performance of some of her biggest hits, “Tell It to My Heart” among them. “I’m a vodka girl, usually a dirty martini. But tonight I couldn’t really. I had to work, baby,” she cooed of her drink of choice. “Tonight is very simple, vodka-soda splash.”
The celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson was billed as a cohost of the benefit with Gwyneth Paltrow, but the actress did not show up. She has been recently dogged by tabloid reports that Chris Martin, from whom she’s separated, has been dating Jennifer Lawrence.
“We’re busy. She wasn’t able to make it,” Anderson said of Paltrow’s absence. When pressed for a reason, her publicist intervened: “Next question.”
The benefit wound up raising $1.5 million. As the night was wrapping up, it was clear Clinton would not be making an appearance — the New York Post later reported she was at an early birthday dinner for her husband. But Huma Abedin, Clinton’s close aide, did materialize at the last minute, ensuring the prospective presidential candidate at least had a presence at a benefit hosted by important supporters. (Republicans were doing their own politicking last weekend — Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. John McCain were two of the marquee names at a fund-raiser at the East Hampton estate of billionaire Ronald O. Perelman.)
Abedin communed with the Perrys and posed for photos and, after a quick lap around the residence, headed over to check out the paddleboards. She declined interviews. “I’m not bidding on anything but all the boards are gorgeous,” she said.