One day during his presidential re-election campaign in September 1996, Bill Clinton walked into a room in Westin Crown Center hotel in Kansas City, Mo. At stake was a quarter-million dollars in campaign fundraising. Clinton turned to his generous host, Farhad Azima, and led the guests in song.
“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you….”
Azima, an Iranian-born American charter airline executive, had long donated to both Democratic and Republican administrations. He visited the Clinton White House 10 times between October 1995 and December 1996, including private afternoon coffees with the president. Years later, as Hillary Clinton stood for election to the Senate in December 1999, Azima hosted her and 40 guests for a private dinner that raised $2,500 a head.