CURE Epilepsy’s 2012 Key to the Cure event announced a new Slash The Stache campaign: CNN pundit and Purple Strategies’ own Alex Castellanos has volunteered to give up his moustache if he can bring in 500 more donors. At the event, co-hosted by Connie Milstein and JC de La Haye Saint Hilarie, Tammy Haddad and Susan & David Axelrod, David Axelrod started off remarks with a rhetorical question: “So what’s a mustache,” said Axelrod. “What’s a mustache mean? We got $1.1 million to remove it.”
Held at a private residence in Washington, D.C., Susan and David Axelrod, fresh from their Morning Joe appearance where he lost his iconic mustache, informed the assembled crowd about the DC campaign. “Alex called me and said ‘I’d be willing to join you in this Slash the Stache’ movement if that would be helpful. Tonight we announced on CNN if we can add another 500 donors to the 26 donors we added this month, he will shave his mustache off on CNN. Which, as Alex pointed out, for a Cuban is even harder than it is for me.”
Axelrod closed out his announcement by making way for a surprise guest: Vice President Joe Biden.
“He has great empathy for people who struggle,” said Axelrod in his introduction. “He came out and spoke at our dinner last year in Chicago. Everyone in that room felt like there was a family member there talking to them because he understood their struggles.”
“I came tonight,” said Vice President Biden, “because I think it’s appropriate to nominate Susan for the Nobel peace prize. Because it’s great to be at a bi-partisan event in Washington where everyone knows what to cut and who should pay for it.”
The Vice President went on to address the effects of epilepsy, including the fifteen million effected throughout the world by the disease along with 65,000 that perish from the disease. Referencing his own sister-in-law’s son, Vice President Biden described it as “not only a lightning storm in the brain, but a knife in the heart.”
“All you have to do is look in my sister-in-law’s eyes,” said Biden, “Look at this magnificent child and know there’s not a damn thing you can do to stop the seizure.”
Biden singled out the great scientific work of three top NIH doctors, Dr. Frances Collins, Dr. Story Landis and Dr. Tony Fauci. He also praised the “bi-partisan” efforts of Alex Castellanos in joining the DC Campaign. Washington veteran Heather Podesta is Castellanos co-chair of the new campaign.
Guests included Obama top aides Alan Krueger, Fred Hochberg, Alyssa Mastromonaco, Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Favreau, Ben Rhodes, Bruce Reed, Evan Ryan, Tony Blanken and Cody Keenan. Tech was well represented by Fred and Kim Humphries of Microsoft and Walt Mossberg of “All Things Digital.”The Defense Department’s Jeremy Bash and former Defense Department official Doug Wilson attended along with Dr Mark Dybul, the new head of the Global Fund for AIDs, Tuberculosis and Malaria. GOP Hill top aides Doug Heye (Cantor) and Michael (Boehner) and MK Steel were there to support the cause and Alex Castellanos. Media favorites Jonathan & Betsy Fischer Martin, Ed Henry, Bill Plante,Kimberly Dozier, Luke Russert, Gretel Truong, Kelley McCormick and Patricia Harrison, President of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Washington newcomer, New York Times Congressional reporter Jeremy Peters and partner, Dr. Brendan Camp were greeted by new Washington colleagues. Purple was well represented by Steve McMahon and Rob Collins.
You can watch the full video of the event including the Vice President’s remarks below:
Friends and sponsors included Jim McGreevey, American Beverage Association, Dan Whyte, from Brookfield Renewable, Erik Smith from Blue Engine Message & Media, Microsoft, Walmart and American Airlines. Greta Van Susteren and husband John Coale were thanked for their support, friendship and co-sponsoring the event.
David Greenberg was the lucky 11 year old boy along with babysitter Lauren Campbell who were given a ride home by the Vice President in his motorcade!