Wednesday, October 19, 2011

AOL Huffington Post's Game Changer 100 Awards
The Governor via Caroline Torem Craig/ HotelFashionLand

This blogger was still thoroughly confused into the early morning about why some of the Occupy Wall Street protesters were shouting outside of last night's Huffington Post Game Changers ceremony until Dylan Stableford and Bucky Turko reminded me that Governor Cuomo, who let the millionaire's tax expire, was a speaker. Still, the protesters won't find greater allies in the world than the crowd gathered for last night's swishy dinner.

It was a wonderful event, jam-packed with media A-Listers, from Gayle King, gladhanding and back-slapping (Is Ms. King running for office in the near future?), to Jann Wenner, Brian Williams, Tom Freston and even Arianna herself as the evening's MC.

It is at these evening events -- dinners, philanthropy galas, ceremonies -- that some of the real power in this city is on display. Cuomo was introduced by his father, former Governor Mario Cuomo, early on in the evening. That's one way to guarantee an eloquent and non-controversial intro in a strange room. Cuomo then very cleverly pivoted Progressive during his speech. The room, of course, was very progressive, so Andrew Cuomo fed into the crowds ideology -- small d democrat 101. At one point someone behind me actually shouted "Cuomo for President!" Andrew has definitely learned the lessons of his father, unlike, say, George Bush the Younger. Both politicians were very influenced into running for higher office to right the wrong impressions their fathers made in their respective political eras. Of the two, however, Cuomo was more successful -- and, as a result, still rising and well-remembered.

And speaking of family, the Huffington Post is definitely making its yearly Game Changers dinner into something of a family event. Many of the same players -- Gayle King, for instance, Caroline Rhea -- from last year were front-and-center once again. There was also new blood added, more of the philanthropy of Hollywood wives this year and less beltway insider this year. Next year, clearly things will be more international.

This is also the second year that the Huffington post threw their Game Changers event at Skylight Soho at 275 Hudson ("#OccupySoho," jokes Arianna). The wonderful menu was also very much the same. Ariana joked from the podium that next year, because of the additions of international editions of HuffPo ("Le Huffington Post France"; Huffpo Spain), "we will need a lot of UN head phones and translators."  The Huffington Post has a year to figure out those logistics. And with the wonderful Mario Ruiz, their senior vice president of media relations, handling things, I don't doubt HuffPo will come up with an efficient, glitzy multiculti solution.

photo by Caroline Torem-Craig

Also spotted in the crowd: Robert Kennedy, Jr and his new squeeze actress Cheryl Hines (see above), Grace Hightower, the seriously gorgeous Cindy Leive, Dr. Oz, Naomi Wolf (before she was arrested), Matthew Modine, all six-feet four inches of Gabrielle Reece and Nora Effron. There was also a flawlessly-skinned Kim Kardashian, who appears to be veering into a somewhat political stage of her charmed life.

image via Billy Farrell Agency

I ended up gossiping and playing catch up with my old friend, the awesome photographer Caroline Torem Craig and also unsuccessfully trying to get these A-Listers to dance to the tunes of the awesome DJ. I tried (but A-Listers hardly ever dance); maybe next year?

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