Photos by Long Beach Post staff.
The line to see Cher speak at a Hillary Clinton fundraiser at Hamburger Mary’s Saturday evening curled around the restaurant’s entrance doors and down the block on Pine Avenue as hundreds waited to see the diva queen.
“We’re just here to support Hillary and see Cher,” said Gina Lopez, attending with her friend and Long Beach resident Starr Oyerinde.
“I feel like she has the experience to elevate issues and make a positive change. And.. I mean… it’s cool that she has Cher coming to this event,” said Oyerinde with a laugh and a wink.
After a wait of over two hours, the event—which started at 6:00PM—brought Cher onstage at around 8:10PM, following a lengthy introduction by Mayor Robert Garcia, the event’s host. He focused on talking about Clinton and her resume.
“We are here tonight because we believe Hillary Clinton is the most qualified person to lead America,” said Garcia. He emphasized her role as a female leader, before taking the time to note the guest of honor. “We are way overdue to elect a woman in this country. When women are in positions of leadership and power, we are all better off.”
Cher quickly followed suit, taking the stage with self-deprecating humor and calmly elaborating on reasons she’s voting for Hillary. With long black hair curled away from her face and light, loose leopard-print pants, Cher waxed nostalgic on old times and expressed puzzlement regarding the Republican Party.
“[...]I have never understood [the] Republican idea of not promoting love unless you are their kind of people,” said Cher. “In trying to curtail our civil rights and not taking care of poor people, not taking care of children and just not being so concerned on our welfare.”
She talked about “not being very good” at campaigning, going on to discuss the shock she felt regarding a few of Donald Trump’s moves on the campaign trail.
“The first thing that got me was I am not a McCain fan, but when [Donald Trump] said John McCain was not a war hero,” said Cher. “When I was young I saw him come back with all his arms broken in different places. And so, as far as I am concerned, I am pro-military because you go and put your life on the line for your country. But I have never seen one ounce of genuine emotion or concern or love, or anything but hate.”
The exceedingly friendly crowd cheered and laughed along with Cher.
Cher speaks to Hillary Clinton campaign contributors at Hamburger Mary's Saturday night.Posted by Long Beach Post on Saturday, October 22, 2016
A few of her other best lines from the night:
“I’ve known her [Hillary] for a long time and I can’t say that I know her well like bros and buddies, but I helped her become a senator. I think, I really believe, I talked to her and I sat one day and we were doing this tea... I didn’t really know anything about her, except she was the first lady. Politicians are good at being friendly and being open, and she is not really [laughter]...because she is really shy. She is really shy.”
“I am so old; I’ve seen so much. I grew up in a time when nothing was bad. Sex wouldn’t kill you, didn’t know if smoking was bad, we didn’t know about climate change, we didn’t know about all that stuff.”
“Now it’s up to you. It’s time for you to take over and do the right thing by helping everyone vote and talking about it. Do not mistake him, because he is someone who will do something terrible.”
Her speech was followed by performances from some of Hamburger Mary’s resident drag queens. Those on the floor were entertained by the likes of Celine Dion, Adele and other celebrity dopplegangers, singing, dancing and vogueing the night away.
The applause from city officials and participants alike foreshadowed a fast-approaching election in a nation divided. But for the night, participants were content with showing their support for Clinton, the LGBT community and perhaps the most important person of the night: Cher.