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Schakowsky fund-raiser draws Illinois Democratic elite

Illinois Democratic House candidates, from left, Deidre “DK” Hirner; Rep. Jan Schakowsky; Rep. Melissa Bean; Rep. Debbie Halvorson; Dan Seals. At podium, Scott Harper (photo by Lynn Sweet)

Schakowsky on the big screen; lower right, Democratic activist Michael Bauer (photo by Lynn Sweet)

Schakowsky interviewing White House columnist and author Helen Thomas (photo by Lynn Sweet)

CHICAGO–Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s major annual fund-raiser–her 9th “Ultimate Women’s Power Lunch” drew Illinois’ Democratic elite. The event, at the Hyatt on Wacker Drive, has evolved into a showcase for Democratic candidates up and down the ticket.

Seen: Sen. Dick Durbin; Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias; Gov. Quinn’s runningmate, Sheila Simon; Attorney General Lisa Madigan and House members and candidates Deidre “DK” Hirner; Rep. Melissa Bean; Rep. Debbie Halvorson; Dan Seals and Scott Harper.

Hearst White House columnist Helen Thomas–who broke a number of barriers for women in the newsbusiness–guested at the event; Schakowsky interviewed her during the program.

This was President Obama’s crowd; lots of people there who knew him when. Said Schakowsky, “I was just in embassies in Cairo and Israel and there was his big picture on the wall and its like, ‘all right, he’s the president.”‘