Lobbyists Shed Scarlet L in Charlotte

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Attendee Monique Smith poses in front of a President Barack Obama photograph on the National Jewish Democratic Council bus during CarolinaFest 2012 ahead of the Democratic National Convention.

Lobbyists Heather and Tony Podesta, who donned scarlet L’s four years ago as a reaction to then-candidate Barack Obama’s attacks on lobbying, threw the first of two brunches today at the Mint Mseum.

Guests, including lawmakers and corporate representatives, dined on mini-crab cakes, quiche and ham biscuits, and drank moonshine, among other libations.

“People are here for the food and the good company, not necessarily us,” Heather Podesta said.

Their clients include AMR Corp.’s American Airlines, Prudential Financial Inc., BP Plc, General Dynamics Corp., Oracle Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co.

The museum is just a few blocks from the arena where Obama will be nominated for re-election at the Democratic National Convention this week and adjacent to a Charlotte street fair that kicked off today.

Tony Podesta knows the curator well, and he and his wife have been longtime supporters of the museum. They recently donated a Shepard Fairey painting of Obama to the museum.

The only political comments came in the form of small place cards on each table: “’Thank you for not Eastwooding” — a reference to actor and director Clint Eastwood’s monologue with an imaginary Obama in an empty chair at the Republican National Convention.

Heather Podesta explained that she didn’t want her guests talking to nearby empty chairs.

 

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