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BETTY: A Presidential Encounter

USA Today
Life section
Monday, January 20, 1997

‘Hillary rocks!’ with the girls at ladies’ ball
by Deidre R Schwiesow

WASHINGTON – Festive in a sparkling black jacket and flared black pants, Hillary Rodham Clinton made a surprise appearance at the first Women’s Inaugural Ball Saturday night.

Interrupting a set by frizzy-haired girl group rockers BETTY, she slipped into the ballroom of the Omni Shoreham Hotel and gave a short speech. Referring to what has been called ‘the feminization of politics,’ she said, ‘I have said I thought it was the humanization of politics.’

But on inaugural weekend, ‘I just really want you all to have a good time,’ Clinton told the crowd at the National Women’ Political Caucus event. She left after a few backstage greetings, and BETTY resumed its set with the salute, ‘Hillary rocks!’

The ball – catered by local women chefs – was a successful study in contrasts. The young and hip mingled with veteran feminists Betty Friedan and Bella Abzug and Washington power women. Wings star Crystal Bernard sang her own folk songs and a female Big Band played.

And yes, everyone did the Macarena.