PRESIDENTIAL YACHT SEQUOIA'S FIRST OPEN MEDIA TOUR
HELEN THOMAS AND SAM DONALDSON NEWS CONFERENCE AND MEDIA TOUR
WITH AMAZING MEMORABILIA AND PHOTOS
HIGHLIGHTS ROBERT WEINER ASSOCIATES PUBLIC AFFAIRS' FIRST ANNIVERSARY
AMONG PROMINENT SPEAKERS RELATING YACHT'S AND PRESIDENTIAL HISTORY
WEDNESDAY, JULY 31, 5 PM, ABOARD PRESIDENTIAL YACHT SEQUOIA,
WASHINGTON DOCK, MAINE AVENUE, SW,
OPPOSITE GANGPLANK RESTAURANT, POTOMAC RIVER
HELEN THOMAS AND SAM DONALDSON
NEWS CONFERENCE AND MEDIA TOUR
Gary Silversmith, owner of the Presidential Yacht Sequoia -- owned and run by the White House for Presidents Hoover through Carter and privately owned since then, and used by all Presidents including Clinton and foreign leaders including Churchill, Gorbachev, Pierre Trudeau and Japanese Emperor Hirohito -- joins Bob Weiner, President of Robert Weiner Associates Public Affairs and Issue Strategies and a long-time top congressional and White House aide until last year, in celebrating the first anniversary of Weiner's company July 31 with the first open media tour of the famous yacht, stocked with historical photos and memorabilia.
Weiner said he is proud and grateful to celebrate his company's first anniversary on one of Washington's most historical venues – but one which until now had not been open to a tour by the media. Weiner has a Master's degree in American History Since 1900. He said, "The Sequoia is a living textbook of America's most significant recent leaders with both serious and quite amusing twists. It was exactly where my company and I wanted to celebrate, and it's great Gary has allowed us to do it in a way that gives something important back to our community, showing it to the media."
Famed Presidential reporters Helen Thomas and Sam Donaldson are among the prominent speakers at the 5PM news conference and media tour relating the Yacht's and Presidential history. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mark Shields, Dave McConnell, and Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Clinton's House impeachment defender and Weiner's last boss before he went to the White House, are also expected to participate. Weiner will also read a special letter from former President Bill Clinton for the occasion.
Among photos on the walls and tables of events occurring on the Yacht Sequoia are John Kennedy's last birthday party in 1963 in which Jacqueline Kennedy is said to have blocked Marilyn Monroe from coming aboard because of her having sung "Happy Birthday Mr. President" earlier in the day in New York; Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford holding meetings with members of their cabinets (including still familiar Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Cheney) -- Nixon planned his resignation on board. Franklin Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Lyndon Johnson are shown hosting meetings. Observers will also see the shower floor which was lowered by the tall President Johnson as well as his little bar serving area, which he converted from Roosevelt's elevator. Kennedy's bedding and seal remain and many other items from him and other Presidents. Other photos show meetings on the Yacht from Hoover to Clinton, and most recently Vice President Cheney and the Bush cabinet.
Many Washington political organizers and leaders will attend the Weiner celebration – his company specializes in public affairs and issue strategies. Weiner was Public Affairs Director for White House Drug Czars Lee Brown and Barry McCaffrey from 1995-2001, and had worked for Congressmen John Conyers, Charles Rangel, Claude Pepper, and Ed Koch, after working at the Watergate headquarters of the Democratic National Committee – now ironically Silversmith's Sequoia office -- in 1971-72 including during the break-in by Nixon re-election operatives. In 1998, Weiner received headlines for expressing outrage against his subpoena by Ken Starr and the demand that he testify in front of the Whitewater-Lewinsky Grand Jury for personal phone calls he and his wife made from home congratulating friends who had publicly criticized Linda Tripp's wiretapping of Monica Lewinsky. Bob is working on a book, Watergate to Whitewater -- The Joy of Politics.
"I'm a political creature," Weiner stated, "and the Sequoia is a boat stocked with American political history. That's why I was so excited when owner Gary Silversmith agreed to our joint celebration."
Weiner's clients and projects in the company's first year, for which he said he is grateful, have included the World Anti-Doping Agency, which oversees Olympic sports' drug testing, in media outreach during and after the Salt Lake Olympics; the president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, an advocacy organization for the rights of consumers and victims; United Defense, in its media outreach for the Crusader artillery system's efficiency and reach despite the Bush Administration's attempts to kill the program; General Barry McCaffrey in national security and drug policy issues; Vanguard Services drug treatment efforts; Knollwood Center of the Army Distaff Foundation for an upcoming dinner honoring NBC's Tom Brokaw; and the Democratic National Committee , in media and speaking efforts. In recent months, Weiner has been interviewed on CNN "Crossfire," ABC "Politically Incorrect," and had articles and op-eds in the Washington Post, Washington Times, Wall Street Journal, the National Journal, Associated Press, and radio.
The Yacht Sequoia will be open to the media from 4 to 6
PM with a news conference and media tour at 5 PM. Invited guests
will take part in a Potomac cruise past Washington's historic monuments
from 6 to 8 PM.