Barack Obama | Bette Midler | Las Vegas | News

Bette Midler Stumps for Obama at Gay Nightclub in Vegas


Bette Midler stumped for Obama at Las Vegas' gay nightclub Krave on Monday night:

"Midler perched on a stool at the front of the club's stage, facing a packed dance floor. Wearing a leopard-print mini-dress and matching gloves, she proceeded to tell a few hundred of her closest friends what was on Miss M's mind. 'I am so distressed about this election, oh my God,' she said confessionally. 'I haven't left my house in days. I watch the news channels incessantly. All the news stories are about the election; all the commercials are for Viagra and Cialis. Election, erection, election, erection -- either way we're getting screwed!' Midler said she has sung for candidates and raised money for candidates, but she's speaking out more than ever before in this election because Obama has moved her more than any candidate before him. 'I come from an extremely poor family,' said Midler, whose father was a house painter. 'I know I look divine now, but I was not always divine.' Her humble background, she said, taught her to value hard work. 'I had big dreams,' she said. 'You know me. You've watched me for 40 frickin' years. Every single dream I had my entire life came true. Barack Obama says only in America could his story happen, and I totally understand because only in America could my story happen.'"

A couple of clips, AFTER THE JUMP...

Intro is the same on each.

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  1. I heart Bette Midler sooooo much right now! Gobama!

    Posted by: JTlvr | Oct 22, 2008 2:39:18 PM

  2. The Divine Miss M is divine.

    Funny, how some entertainers/stars remind you of your youth. Midler was product of the 70s, but turned out much bigger than Disco or that decade. Loving Bette Midler was part of being gay (the homosexual stuff was secondary).

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Oct 22, 2008 2:42:10 PM

  3. ♫ I ♥ The Divine Miss M ♫

    Posted by: 1♥ | Oct 22, 2008 2:54:45 PM

  4. too bad she told larry king that she doesn't support gay marriage...

    Posted by: galvin | Oct 22, 2008 3:04:23 PM

  5. And they're both from Honolulu!

    Posted by: Charles | Oct 22, 2008 3:04:49 PM

  6. oops, that was suppose to be.

    ♪♪ I ♥ The Divine Miss M ♪♪

    Posted by: 1♥ | Oct 22, 2008 3:05:53 PM

  7. I was one of the lucky few to be at Krave on Monday when she showed up and I have to tell you it was fantastic! Krave is a hot-spot anyway (especially on Tuesday's when Fashionista happens) but it was especially cool with Miss M taking the stage. If you've never been there take some advice and visit the next time you're in Vegas.

    Posted by: Wayne | Oct 22, 2008 3:17:01 PM

  8. I was there right in front. I got sick and had to leave right before she came on! Oh what a cruel god! But I did get to blog abut her before I went which brought up my days as a FHA (Future Homo of America)which she had a major influence in.


    Posted by: Derek Washington | Oct 22, 2008 3:21:10 PM

  9. gotta love the Bette!

    Posted by: nic | Oct 22, 2008 3:36:58 PM

  10. I love Bette, I love Obama, and I love America.

    But I'm getting a little tired of the phrase "Only in America..." The world is and always has been full of notable people who arose from humble backgrounds. Take Pope Benedict and Saddam Hussein, to offer two widely different examples. Maybe the rags-to-riches was a more typically "American" story a hundred years ago or more, but I don't think we have a monopoly on it today.

    Okay, I'm done. Go Bette!

    Posted by: Mark | Oct 22, 2008 3:48:54 PM

  11. On the one hand: anything non-violent that helps Obama get elected....even the endorsement of Gen. Rectum Powell [Senator-do NOT make him a part of your administration.

    On the one hand: Bette was once one of the greatest. The December 1983 San Francisco concert I saw was one of the most incredible entertainment experiences I’ve ever had, and I’ve witnessed the likes of LaBelle and Leontyne and Luciano at their peak. [For priceless, rare samples of some of those days go to the amazing site]

    But on the other hand: more than Midlers’s voice and rare gift of music hall chanteuse dramatique are gone. The diva of 2008 is not the Divine of 1977 when she answered a shell-shocked gay community’s call and headlined, along with Lily Tomlin and Richard Pryor, the then biggest fundraiser in history for gay rights in September at the Hollywood Bowl in response to the bloddy Anita Bryant-led defeat of gay rights in Miami, and produced by her then lover/manager Aaron Russo.

    Perhaps it was that the unity and sense of doing something good almost entirely crashed and burned when Pryor segued into an attack on gay racism, crowned by telling the audience, “Kiss my happy, rich black ass," before walking off stage. Even closing act Midler, wearing a Statue of Liberty costume and pulled on stage in chains by the Harlettes in KKK hoods, shouting, "Well, who wants to kiss this rich white ass?" could entirely save the evening.

    Regardless, 30-yr old post traumatic stress would not justify why she has apparently been entirely Missing In Action for most of the intervening holy war against gays nor, now, in relation to Prop 8 in California, and similar efforts in Florida and Arizona.

    You can read an expansion/update from this past March on her 2003 remarks to Larry King at the link below. The author is almost rhapsodic with gratitude, but, read carefully, the core of her attitude is patriarchal [gays generally aren’t mature enough for marriage equality] and submissive [society isn’t ready for it]. Would she have ever said the same about women not being ready for legal equality, or fellow Jews? We’ve still got to have friends, but Midler stopped being one long ago.

    It is not just because many gays, from Manilo to the owner of the Continental Baths to Bruce Vilanch and all the gay fans in between were the reason all her dreams came true that her close friend, the late Vito Russo, of “Celluloid Closet” fame, who once dubbed me a copy of her performance at NY’s 1973 pride rally, is somewhere weeping.

    "Long ago and oh so far away I fell in love with you before the second show. ... Don't you remember you told me you loved me, Baby. Said you'd be coming back this way again, Baby. Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby, oh, Baby. I [loved] you; I really [did].",...-a0176867345

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Oct 22, 2008 4:40:19 PM

  12. Interesting, LELAND. I was going to ask about the poster GALVIN'S comment earlier in this thread. Well, memories of Bette are good memories. Many black folks still admired Frank Sinatra, but he was no friend of ours in the end.

    Posted by: Derrick from PHilly | Oct 22, 2008 4:56:10 PM

  13. It seems a little cold in my house today, Leland could you direct some of your infinite hot air my way?

    Posted by: Derek | Oct 22, 2008 4:59:17 PM

  14. when the Divine speaks, everyone MUST listen...

    i've never heard an untrue word from her mouth, ever...

    al hail, the Divine!

    Posted by: mike/ | Oct 22, 2008 5:11:26 PM

  15. Derek, you leave Leland alone. You know not
    of what you speak. All hail the divine Miss M. I was a fan from Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.
    She is real, and she is ours.

    Posted by: Rocco | Oct 22, 2008 5:27:36 PM

  16. Yes, LELAND, and as I am sure you are aware people are allowed to change their minds and stances on their opinions as they grow and change.

    Posted by: JV | Oct 22, 2008 5:33:11 PM

  17. Thanks, Derrick. I meant to mention Sinatra as another legend who wasn't so great once one scratched below the surface. Add Brit gay diva Shirley Bassey and her saying seeing Peter Finch kiss Murray Head in "Sunday Bloody Sunday" made her sick. Etc., etc.

    Regardless of what's gone before, my point remains she's inexecusably absent today. But when so many GAY celebs are, too, I guess one can't expect too much of the straight ones.

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Oct 22, 2008 5:38:21 PM

  18. Leland, I'm not going to down you at all. However, she came out. Barry Manilow didn't. T.R. Knight didn't. Didn't see Sandra Bernhard (of course with her black guys raping..." comments I wouldn't have gone). Mary Cheney, nope, not here in Vegas. Lance Bass (my favorite bete noir)? No.

    The point is we got media in a positive way. Of course the local news only reported on her at appearance at the county library in front of like 12 people. The other point is that at least she showed up. Barack doesn't really fall that far from her views on issues affecting us and his ties to religious people makes me wary but am I going to let that negate the fact that he is VASTLY superior for our community than Pop-N-Fresh? ?No.

    As a black man I have often been expected to be happy "we at least got what we were given" so I understand where you are coming from. I have just decided to keep on keeping on full steam ahead and work towards the day that our little gay brothers and sisters won't have to compromise.

    Bette's baby steps will help us get there.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Oct 22, 2008 5:38:45 PM

  19. Rocco, click on my blog and take a look at my Bette Memories I bet we have a lot in common.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Oct 22, 2008 5:44:03 PM

  20. Gotta love Bette! But please give the "Only in America" business a rest. Oprah says this all the time as well...and it's just not true.
    It is actually quite presumptuous to assume that other countries do not offer their citizens the chance to fulfill their dreams. It also exposes a lack of interest and knowledge in anything happening outside of your borders.
    That being said...the election of Barack Obama will be wonderful news and anything that american celebrities can do to assist in this regard is very welcome....even up here in Canada.

    Posted by: excy | Oct 22, 2008 9:23:27 PM

  21. That's my Bette videos.... thanks so much for using my videos on your site. You Rock!

    :) J.Son of Naked Boy News!

    Posted by: J.Son | Oct 22, 2008 10:55:05 PM

  22. Thanks for mentioning the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, DC. Especially since we were not identified on HBO.

    Posted by: Dennis Williams | Jan 19, 2009 7:25:24 PM

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