Hollywood on the Potomac
by guest contributor Kandy Stroud
During Inauguration week as the District prepared for the Inauguration of an Administration that stands to cast doubts on the future of Women’s rights, the Woman’s National Democratic Club (WNDC) turned political disappointment into action by welcoming marchers, activists and allies to their DC headquarters.
On Wednesday, January 18th the WNDC kicked off a series of cultural programming workshops and activities to empower allies to organize and protect the rights of women. The events featured special guests including, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sen. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Jackie Speier, Actress Fran Drescher and Political Commentator, Symone Sanders among others.
“It’s great to be here, first of all, and I just have to say the Women’s Democratic Club is more important now than ever because we’ve got to work together, stand together to make sure we don’t allow this incoming President to turn back the clock on social progress in America,” Senator Van Hollen told Hollywood on the Potomac. “That’s why I’m going to the march on Saturday. It’s really important that we have a show of solidarity saying that we’re together, we’re going to resist any effort to drag this country backwards.”
It was a twofer celebration for Kellyanne Conway who was the guest of honor at The Four Seasons celebrating Women Leaders the day before the Inauguration hosted by the leaders of RightNow. Considered a valuable asset in moving Donald J. Trump past the goal post to win the election, she is now settled in at the White House as Counselor to the President. Not only was she celebrating her boss’s win, but also her 50th birthday – her revelation, not ours.
The program was introduced by Marlene Colucci-Renna while guests carb-stuffed on croissants. “I want to thank you all for celebrating our Democracy and the peaceful transition of the government from one President to the next.” Long time Conway friend Shelley Hymes introduced Kellyanne and Harris Faulkner, Fox News Host. “She has the ability to stay calm and not get rattled or angry and always keeps the show together. She is an incredible referee,” said Hymes when introducing Harris. “You probably know her best as the first woman to successfully manage a presidential campaign,” she said of Kellyanne. “I know her as an incredible business woman and friend.”
Good thing we arrived early at the private reception before the premiere screening of THE END: INSIDE THE LAST DAYS OF THE OBAMA WHITE HOUSE hosted by CNN honcho Jeff Zucker & CNN Films because shortly after arriving at 701 Restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, iPhones were bursting with news that President Obama freed up Chelsea Manning by way of a Presidential pardon. CNN Politics Nightcap by Daniella Diaz and Eric Bradner described it this way:”President Barack Obama this afternoon commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, who was convicted of stealing and disseminating 750,000 pages of documents and videos to WikiLeaks. Manning, a transgender woman and former US Army soldier, was serving a 35-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth, an all-male Army prison in eastern Kansas, despite her request to transfer to a civilian prison. Her prison sentence is now set to expire on May 17.” So now, that’s the end of that!
On the other ‘end‘ Inside the Last Days of the Obama White House, will premiere in simulcast on CNN/U.S. and CNN International Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 9:00pm. According to CNN, filming began shortly after Election Day 2016, and concluded with President Obama’s farewell address. Leading voices in the film include Josh Earnest, White House press secretary; Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor; Cody Keenan, director of speech writing for the White House; Jen Psaki, White House communications director; Angella Reid, chief usher of the White House; and Tina Tchen, assistant to the President and chief of staff for First Lady Michelle Obama. Each granted exclusive access to key meetings, their work, and their personal thoughts on their final days inside the White House. The rare interviews capture the nostalgia of the people who have worked closest to the Obamas during their White House tenure.