Sneed exclusive: Hillary’s lunch date
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Amongst friends . . .
Pssst! Sneed is told Hillary Clinton grabbed a little downtime fun with her old school Park Ridge buddies before hitting two fancy fundraisers Wednesday night at the private homes of two billionaires.
Whether it’s a night on the town — or an intimate lunch chewing the fat over old times — the very formidable Dem femme never forgets the kids with whom she grew up.
“She never forgets us and is absolutely insistent she stays in touch with us,” said one of Hillary’s close pals following their lunch Wednesday with a dozen old school pals at Balsan Restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
“One of the things Hillary always says is how much more information she gets outside the bubble — which is why she kicked off her presidential campaign talking to people via bus across the country,” the lunchmate said.
“Her big kick-off will come later, but it has been delayed for some reason,” the source added. “But that wasn’t discussed at lunch.”
(It’s happening June 13.)
“But quite frankly, when we all get together to talk outside the bubble . . . it’s about family and grandkids and old school tales.”
“Hillary absolutely idolizes her granddaughter, Charlotte, and then out pops the pictures of our kids and grandkids and away we go.”
In attendance at the informal luncheon was Hillary’s best friend, Betsy Ebeling . . . who is so close to the former first lady and secretary of state they apparently wound up eating each other’s lunch.
Chatting away were Ann Drake and Patsy Bowles and Ernie Ricketts, who always makes Hillary laugh at his hijinks, and Chicago attorney Kevin O’Keefe, who once double-dated with Hillary when he was at the University of Illinois and she was at Wellesley.
Interspersed with the iced tea and burgers and salad and omelets and toasted cheese sandwiches “was just a lot of relaxed conversation amongst people who love each other,” said the Sneed source.
“It’s just fun, goofy stuff and a lot of giggling about Park Ridge shenanigans.”
Giggling? Hillary. Imagine.
AmBush ’em . . .
It isn’t official yet . . . but newsies spotted potential GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush’s wife, Columba, exiting a car in Florida with a Spanish language bumper sticker that read: “Viva Jeb! Presidente 2016.”
The “Chiraq” block . . .
The battle is heating up!
Feisty Ald. Will Burns (4th), a new City Council powerhouse, tells Sneed he and Ald. Ed Burke (14th) have set a City Council Finance Committee hearing on his anti-“Chiraq” resolution for mid-June.
• Backshot: Burns wants the state to deny movie director Spike Lee $3 million in tax credits for calling his controversial flick — which focuses on gun and street gang violence in Englewood — “Chiraq,” due to its potential negative economic impact for the city.
• Buckshot: Sneed is told Burns is marshaling his forces and rounding up “neighborhood voices” to back up his argument before the City Council. “These voices need to be heard,” Burns told Sneed.
It’s war . . .
Sneed hears rumbles State Sen. Jackie Collins, who has been in office since 2003, is eyeing a jump into the Dem primary for GOPer U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk’s seat.
• Upshot: The news comes before the imminent announcement of a bid for Kirk’s job by Chicago Urban League President and CEO Andrea Zopp, a former first assistant state’s attorney with blue ribbon Dem backing.
“This is gearing up to be one helluva battle for Kirk,” said a top Dem strategist.
Food groups . . .
Fresh off winning the James Beard Award for the nation’s “Outstanding Restaurateur,” Donnie Madia has his eye on O’Hare International Airport.
Madia and his business partner, celebrity chef Paul Kahan, run a string of Chicago restaurants, including Blackbird, avec, and Publican, through their company One Off Hospitality. Sneed has learned that One Off has signed a deal with O’Hare food concessionaire HMSHost to put a restaurant in O’Hare — if HMSHost continues to serve the airport.
• Backshot: Mayor Rahm Emanuel told the Sun-Times last week getting top chefs like Kahan to open restaurants at O’Hare ranks among his top priorities for the airport.
Sneedlings . . .
Friday’s birthdays: Naomi Campbell, 45; Morrissey, 56, and Ginnifer Goodwin, 37.