Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hosting Hillary Clinton - A Review in PIctures

Last night, The Commonwealth Club of California hosted Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in San Francisco. A sold-out crowd of at least 1,400 people attended the event, which was held at the Marriott Marquis hotel.

We had three photographers at the event (as well as radio and video people). None of the photos on this blog post here came from those photographers. We'll get their photos and disseminate them starting on Monday. But here are some photos I took on my Nexus One smartphone before, during, and after the event. If any of you have ever been involved in putting on a large public program like this – one involving hundreds of guests, a very tight security line, national and local members of the press, one of the most famous people in the world – then you'll already know what the Commonwealth Club's staff has been through in these past two weeks.

Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Above: The view from the podium, where two hours later Clinton would deliver her opening remarks. The ballroom (actually two rooms combined to accommodate 1,400 guests) stretches before her. Though, in the darkened lighting when she gave her speech, visibility was something different. She joked that she could only see the first three rows, though she knew there were many other friends in attendance.

 Above: Part of the audience, once the crowd filed in.

Above: A view from the chair in which Clinton would soon be seated. Waaaaaay off in the distance, in what is the far side of the auditorium, you can barely make out two photographers on a low stage. The photographers needed special (rather expensive) lenses to allow them to take good photos from that distance and in the darkened lighting of the auditorium during the actual program.
 Above: The view from the podium of the chairs in which Clinton (foreground) would sit for most of the program while she answered questions from the audience, which were read to her by Climate One Director and Commonwealth Club Vice President of Special Projects Greg Dalton.

Above: Clinton (seated) looks on as Commonwealth Club President and CEO Dr. Gloria Duffy makes opening remarks from the podium.
 Above: After Duffy spoke, Dr. Mary Bitterman, the chair of the Club's Board of Governors, officially began the program and introduced the secretary of state.

Above: Clinton begins the program with a short speech from the podium, where she called on more Americans to get involved in American foreign relations.
Above: After her speech, Clinton shook hands and chatted very briefly with folks in the front rows before heading off the stage.

Above: After the program, while speaking with other Club staffers off to the left side of the escalators, I suddenly noticed Clinton and her large security detail walk through the hall and up the escalators. It took me too long to take out my phone, switch to camera mode, and aim, which is too bad; because if I had been five or ten seconds faster, I'd have had a great photo of her at the bottom of the escalator. As it is, one of the people in the photo above is her. I'm not sure which. I think that's her at top center, wearing black. Such is tangential fame.
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