Rep. Rangel welcomed a crowd of about 800 supporters that included family, friends and political allies last night at his annual birthday gala in New York City. The gala is part birthday fête and fundraiser and was held at the Plaza Hotel.
The congressman opened his own event in grand New York fashion, capturing the crowd’s attention with a simple, “Yo!” adding,
“You know, I”ve been to a lot of funerals where they worked it out but this damn sure ain’t no funeral, is it?”
Governor David Paterson served as master of ceremonies, inviting every politician at the event to come up to the podium to share a few words of cheer with Rep. Rangel, who turned 80 years old on June 11.
“Bill Clinton went to Congressman Rangel to carry that urban agenda during that congress. He ducked, he tackled, he got it done.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in attendance as were Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Comptroller John Liu. Lifelong friend former NYC Mayor David Dinkins was there to field and defend Rangel against a small group of protesters outside of the Plaza.
Dionne Warwick provided musical entertainment and led the whole room in singing, That’s What Friends are For to Charlie Rangel.
The congressman left the festivities in good spirits and with a few donations for his campaign chest.
Photo: (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)