Friday, July 07, 2006

Coulter: "Happy Birthday Mr. President"

Ann Coulter arrived in Chicago on the evening of July 5, 2006 to prepare for what would be one of her most memorable major public appearances, but tragically, her last. She had left Fox News Channel against the wishes of studio executives while filming "Hannity & Colmes", for a show that was never completed, to perform at the Republican Party fundraiser and birthday salute for President George W. Bush. Reportedly, Ann was paid $100,000 for the event.

Approximately 2,000 people filled a ballroom at the Ritz-Carlton on the evening of July 6, 2006 to take part in this gala which featured Rush Limbaugh and a host of stars, among them Toby Keith, Ron Silver, Bruce Willis, and Marey Carey. Famed singer Jessica Simpson was in charge of the musical portion of the show and had rehearsed with Ann to prepare her in singing "Happy Birthday" to the President. Limbaugh distributed his new Dittohead Pez dispenser filled with his favorite candy as a party favor to all guests in preparation for Coulter's performance.

What occurred that evening has become a legendary moment in the history of American pop culture, with politics and Hollywood colliding head to head while the entire nation looked on. Captured on a few minutes of grainy video, the image of Ann Coulter's harpy, nightclub version of "Happy Birthday" is forever stamped in our collective consciousness. Wearing a rumpled evening dress which Tony Snow described as "skin and bones", Ann's disjointed and uncertain performance gives us a glimpse into the vulnerability and insecurity that plagued her entire life and career.

(adapted from's May 19, 1962...."Happy Birthday Mr. President"...)


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