William Hutchinson of Dunhill Partners, who has long shaggy hair and a laid-back party vibe about him, also has a spectacular mansion on Dallas’ Lakeside Drive. That’s where about 80 people gathered last night for a private fundraiser ($2,500 or $1,000 per head) for Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. Just three days earlier, the former Massachusetts governor had raised a whopping $10.25 million during a one-day phone-bank drive in Las Vegas.
Standing on a raised platform in Hutchinson’s big backyard, Romney–who was wearing a green tie that once belonged to the late Houston oilman Robert Mosbacher, a gift from the family–told the crowd that President Obama “threw Israel under the bus” with his Mideast speech earlier in the day. Later he noted all the businesspeople in attendance and said, “I don’t think President Obama likes you. I love you.” Then he defended his “Romneycare” health care law, which many conservatives don’t like because it requires people in Massachusetts to buy health insurance.
Out in the crowd were the likes of restaurateur Alberto Lombardi, media/auto mogul Scott Ginsburg, former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, and country-western star Randy Travis. Travis had kicked the evening off singing an acoustic version of his hit, “Forever and Ever Amen,” said to be a Romney favorite. Hutchinson, who’d introduced the former governor as the guy who will win the GOP presidential nomination, thanked Romney once his brief talk was finished and urged everyone to stick around and “hang out.” All he wanted out of the evening, the host added with a laugh, was to be named “ambassador to Cancun.”