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Hillary Clinton’s ‘wonderful’ night out with school chums in Chicago

Hillary  Clint| Al Podgorski~Sun-Times

Hillary Clinton | Al Podgorski~Sun-Times

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Updated: July 2, 2012 8:24AM

The Buddy Brigade: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came to Chicago to work . . . and hang out.

◆ Translation: A Cubs baseball game first up — and then downtime with her old school chums.

◆ The script: So after heading to the Cubs/White Sox Crosstown Classic Saturday night, the former first lady “closed up da joint” at Stefani’s 437 Rush with her old buddies from Park Ridge.

◆ The scene: A table of 18 in a secluded upstairs room filled with gab, blab, laughter, hugs, and clinking of glasses.

◆ The stats: A trifecta of toasts (specifically raised glasses of Merlot by a happy Hillary) by the former first lady — and a scrum of her childhood friends, which included Betsy Ebeling and Ernie Ricketts.

◆ The chat: “It was such a wonderful evening,” Ebeling told Sneed. “The toasts ran the gamut from family updates to future plans and the next phase of her life.”

Future plans?

A presidential run in 2016 for Hillary?

No dice. Ebeling said: “I’m sure the next phase will include writing a book ... a book about how she feels about a lot of things.”

◆ The eats: Hillary had a fish dinner and didn’t order dessert, but had a taste of everyone else’s, according to a source. The group left around midnight after several credit cards were put down when the bill came.

◆ The toasts: “We celebrated fun times in the past and we also toasted Hillary’s mother (the late Dorothy Rodham) and all our all mothers,” said Ebeling.

◆ The Mother connection: “There is going to be a special exhibit at the Clinton Library in Little Rock, Ark., on June 10th in honor of Hillary’s and Bill’s mothers; the women who played such important roles in their lives,” said Ebeling. “And I believe their daughter, Chelsea, will help dedicate it.”

◆ The end: “It was a last minute get together and it was so sweet,” Ebeling told Sneed. “We also toasted Hillary’s efforts for women’s and children’s rights.”

◆ The future? Sure sounds like a future presidential platform to Sneed, who is hoping one day to be able to vote for one Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The Kennedy File ...

As Sneed tipped Sunday: The animosity between Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and the family of his late wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy — who reportedly committed suicide — reached such a boiling point that nearly all her relatives skipped her funeral last weekend. (The couple was in the midst of a contentious divorce filed by Robert Kennedy Jr.)

◆ The result: A bitter feud between Richardson’s family and the Kennedy clan, which organized the funeral.

◆ The kicker: Instead, a private memorial was held Monday by family and friends of Richardson — and Kennedy was not invited.

Press ’em ...

A somber and stiff White House press corps sat down Sunday at Chicago Cut Steakhouse, but “It took only about 15 minutes for the group to relax and act like humans and start telling stories and laughing,” said a source.

◆ Chat: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney made the reservation himself, and the special guest of the evening was Jacob Lew, President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, who schmoozed from table to table.

◆ Stats: Almost everyone in the group of about 60 ordered steak. Tab tally: Sixty different credit cards were proffered by the press.

Sneedlings ...

Congrats to legal eagle Thomas M. Durkin, a former U.S. attorney, on being nominated a U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of Illinois by President Obama. . . . Today’s Birthdays: Naomi Campbell, 42; Tom Dart, 50, and Ginnifer Goodwin, 34.

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