Of the many campaigns and causes that stir the hearts and checkbooks of New York’s moneyed set, there is nothing quite so invigorating as a presidential race. The old rituals of money and power take on a sharper edge with the start of the fund-raising season, a time that verily thrums with the energy of impending victory (or possible defeat). It is a season of security details and $40,000-a-plate dinners, when the wealthy and well-connected head to palatial apartments on Park or Fifth for intimate evenings with the president.
Indeed, there are few more stunning social triumphs than having POTUS over for dinner. It is far less delightful, however, when it’s not your apartment where the president is supping, but your next-door neighbors’. In which case, you may not have an opportunity to rub shoulders with the commander in chief, but you’re guaranteed an intimate experience with the Secret Service. And those who share walls with the apartment in which the party is held are treated to a very intimate experience—they must submit their apartments to a full inspection (or so we’re told by those familiar with such fetes. The Secret Service does not comment on its policies or procedures).
“I had clients that lived next door to where a fund-raiser was being held, and the Secret Service basically went through their entire apartment,” said Michele Kleier, the president of brokerage Gumley Haft Kleier. “My clients found it very intrusive. Especially because they were of a different political persuasion.” Residents can refuse, of course, if they have no compunctions about scuttling their neighbors’ party plans at the last minute. Read More