Bill Clinton Headlines Lauder Breast Cancer Luncheon... Narciso Departure...

The former president stayed off the campaign stump at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation annual luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria.

Evelyn Lauder and President Clinton

Evelyn Lauder and Bill Clinton

Photo By Rob Rich

PRESIDENTIAL PINK: Former President Clinton, appearing as the headliner at Evelyn Lauder’s Breast Cancer Research Foundation annual luncheon Wednesday, triggered applause in the Waldorf Astoria hotel ballroom Wednesday when he worried about the implications of Tuesday’s midterm congressional elections on the state of health care. No matter how the vote turns out, he said, he hopes that “Congress makes practical improvements in the health care law, rather than repeal it. I don’t want us to go back to the days when women lost their coverage because they had breast cancer.”

But he generally stayed off the campaign stump, opening with the admission that every time he sees a pink ribbon, it reminds him of how his mother died of the disease at 70. Clinton, who works with a group that predicted a target date for curing breast cancer, said, “I think a cure by 2020 is not unachievable. When it happens, a lot of you can take credit, none more so than Evelyn Lauder.”

The focus of the luncheon was handing out research money, totaling more than $33 million, to 172 researchers. A strong ally in the effort is producer Judy Cramer, who created a special T-shirt to be sold in conjunction with performances of her production “Mamma Mia.” She was presented with an award by Pierce Brosnan, who appeared in the film version. “Judy is a beautiful woman who comes into your life and changes it forever,” Brosnan said. “For me, it was putting on Lycra tights and dancing. I haven’t been the same since.”

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