Sneed: Key DNC role put Chicagoan in center of Khan story

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Khizr Khan, father of fallen US Army Capt. Humayun S. M. Khan speaks as his wife Ghazala listens during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Thursday, July 28, 2016. (AP Photo/J.

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Who knew?Rick Jasculca, one of Chicago’s top PR mavens, was the stage manager at the Democratic National Convention in Philly last week.

Jasculca was backstage at the DNC when Khizr Khan, the father of a slain American Muslim war hero, Capt. Humayun Khan, delivered a powerful speech — which drew the ire of GOP presidential contender Donald J. Trump.

[Back shot: Trump mocked Khan’s wife, Ghazala, for standing mute by her husband’s side on the DNC podium — and seemed to equate his business sacrifices with the ultimate sacrifice Capt. Khan made for his country.]

“I was so struck by Mr. Khan and his wife,” said Jasculca, who helped orchestrate 240 speaker slots on the DNC stage.

“They sat side by side in chairs and seemed lost in their thoughts. Motionless and speechless. He was pensive. She seemed anxious and sad. And they continued to sit there until it was time to go on.

“I greeted the Khans, thanked them for being there, and expressed sorrow for their loss. They weren’t the only ones on the platform that had lost a child.

“It was constant chaos backstage, enormously uncomfortable. The noise. Yammering. Nervousness. But while almost everyone else backstage seemed to be busy, bustling, animated or anxious, the Khans were incredibly subdued,” he said.

“They just seemed like sweet, sweet people who practiced a quiet dignity.

“Holy cow! Who knew these gentle people would be responsible for such an electrifying moment at the convention?

“After they were done and came backstage, Mrs. Khan was shaking. She told me she had been afraid she would cry. You could see she was right on the edge.

“I grasped her by the arm and told her how sorry I was again, and then Mr. Khan reached out to my arm and then we embraced and hugged — and then we all started crying.

“We three were bawling our eyes out!

“It was literally the most jolting experience of the entire convention. This moment I will remember forever. Here was this gentle, wonderful couple who had suffered a horrific loss.

“I couldn’t believe it later that Trump teed off on them.”


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Who knew: Part 2?

Just in case you didn’t know, youngest first daughter Sasha Obama’s first name is actually Natasha.

Sneed is so behind.

Thumping Trump!

Hillary Rodham Clinton is heading home.

Sneed is told she is expected to attend the August 11 Chicago fundraiser being tossed by Wendy Paulson, the wife of former GOP president George W. Bush’s Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson — who recently announced they’ll be voting for Clinton.

• Contribution level: 50,000 bucks.

• A Sneed repeat: An off-the-record comment from a top GOP fundraiser: “It’s unf——-believable!”

Double ouch.

Hear ye! Hear ye!

Sneed hears Trump, the man who would be king, is expected to hit Evansville, Ind., on August 15.

Obamarama . . . 

Click. Click.

Cameras ready: Now comes word actress Alfre Woodard and Oprah Winfrey will be attending the boffo White House birthday party Friday night for President Barack Obama that Sneed exclusively tipped Wednesday.

Back in the news . . . 

Please note: George Zimmerman, who was acquitted in 2013 of killing unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin, is in trouble again.

The Florida press reports Zimmerman called 911 last weekend to report he had been assaulted by a man at a restaurant who had overheard him discussing Martin’s death.

Sneedlings . . .

I spy: Supermodel Kate Upton spotted last Friday at Lux Bar. . . Chicago Cub legend Ryne Sandberg, and wife Margaret, spotted at Harry Caray’s Water Tower restaurant Wednesday afternoon. The couple ran into Caray’s wife, Dutchie, while dining. . . . Actor Taye Diggs at Hugo’s Frog Bar on Tuesday night. . . . “Empire” actress Leslie Uggams and husband Grahame at Hugo’s Frog Bar on Monday night. . . . Rapper Kid Cudi at Gibsons on Rush on Sunday night. . . . Rock band Pinegrove dining at Ema Sunday night. . . . Rapper Tory Lanez spotted at Sub 51 Saturday night. . . . Chicago native Joey Purp and Towkio ate late night at Ramen-san Saturday. . . . Today’s birthdays: Jesse Williams, 35; Juan Pablo Galavis, 35, and Lolo Jones, 34.

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