Scene Last Night: Clinton, Schwarzman, Corzine, Neidich, Diamond

Nov 25 2014 | 6:52pm ET

By Amanda Gordon (Bloomberg) -- Steve Schwarzman had a granddaughter yesterday morning. Last night he sat one table away from new grandmother Hillary Clinton. On the joys of grandparenting, they can agree.

“You almost only get the good times,” said Schwarzman, the chairman and chief executive of Blackstone Group LP, who supported Mitt Romney for president in 2012.

“She really is remarkable,” Clinton, a probable Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, said of eight-week-old Charlotte.

The occasion was the fifth anniversary gala of the New York-based Child Mind Institute, which treats children with mental illness and researches the developing brain.

Clinton was honored and sat with Brooke Garber Neidich, a friend and co-founder of the Child Mind Institute, who’s eager to become a grandmother herself.

“I’m dying for it,” Neidich said.

Until then, Neidich gets to live vicariously through Clinton.

“She is so psyched, you have no idea,” Neidich said. “You can tell, there is nothing that matters more, period. World peace, OK, grandmother, let’s go for it.”

Jon Corzine noticed a change in Clinton last night. “She is beaming way more than anything that I normally see out of her,” the former governor of New Jersey and former co-chairman of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said. “Since I have five grandchildren and it’s the happiest part of my life, I know it resonates with her.”

Clinton’s Prospects

Being a grandmother “should help” her candidacy, Corzine said. Asked about Wall Street getting behind her, Corzine said, “I’m sort of removed.”

Goldman partner Ram Sundaram, David Shapiro of KPS Capital Partners, Carlyle Group’s Olivier Sarkozy and Thomas H. Lee of Lee Equity Partners were among the Wall Streeters at the event, which was held at Cipriani 42nd Street and raised $6.6 million.

Clinton was also honored on Nov. 21, by the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library, an event that raised $2.5 million and drew its share of finance types, including Robert Diamond, chief executive of Atlas Merchant Capital and former CEO of Barclays Plc; Richard Gilder, co-creator of Gilder, Gagnon, Howe & Co.; hedge-fund manager Joseph DiMenna and Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Isaacson Interview

For this crowd at the Mandarin Oriental, Aspen Institute head and author Walter Isaacson interviewed Clinton, getting her talking a lot about the Roosevelts and a little about her granddaughter.

Six days after Charlotte was born, Clinton said, she had lunch with Bernard Schwartz at the Four Seasons. “I didn’t realize I spent almost the whole time talking about her,” she said.

Later her brush broadened to consider Charlotte’s future.

“I’m excited about whatever she’ll wind up doing -- of course she’s brilliant, advanced, wonderful and all of that -- but I think talent is universal but opportunity is not,” Clinton said. “I think there were babies born in this country on the same day that Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky was born who are just as smart and will never have the opportunities to go just as far, and that bothers me.”

Clinton left Charlotte out of her remarks at the Child Mind Institute benefit, instead focusing on children’s mental health needs as “every bit as important as their physical health.”

Prison Care

She expressed disappointment that this notion “is not yet firmly enough embedded in our national understanding,” giving as an extreme example that prisons have become primary providers of mental-health care.

And she traced her interest in child development to her days at Yale Law School, when she said she took a year to study at the Yale Child Study Center, observing clinical sessions. More recently, Clinton Foundation research alerted her to the number of connections in a newborn’s brain.

“These early years are a period of great opportunity and vulnerability,” Clinton said.

No wonder grandparents are good to have around at this stage, or as the other honoree, Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, put it:

“For millennia, we grew up as tribes where multiple generations were together,” Insel said from his dinner seat. “The idea that you’d have three generations that would be separated in time and space, that was not the way we evolved as a species.”

Next to him, novelist Erica Jong set the record straight: “Grandmothers should be ruling the world,” she said.

‘Busy Lady’

Harold Koplewicz, founding president of the Child Mind Institute, said raising a healthy child is “all time and attention. That means sometimes it’s not about quality, it’s about quantity. Hillary is a busy lady, but Charlotte needs to be one of the priorities. With someone as organized as Hillary, Charlotte’s going to get that. I know Hillary and I assure you, there will be a playpen in the Oval Office because Hillary knows what’s important.”

And if Clinton doesn’t run for president? “Charlotte’s got the genes,” Koplewicz said.

As for Steve Schwarzman: the latest addition to his family arrived at 6:30 a.m. and her name is Mary, daughter of his son Teddy, he said. And she’s just the start of the family’s excitement these days, as Mary’s smiling grandmother, Ellen Katz, Schwarzman’s ex-wife, noted from her table across the room. “The Imitation Game” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, which Teddy produced, comes out on Nov. 28 in the U.S. “and it’s going to be a blockbuster,” Katz said. Teddy’s sister Zibby is due to have a baby next month.

What might be the perfect baby gift? The Child Mind Institute had an answer: an $18, special-edition Bloomingdale’s teddy bear, a bigger example of which shared the red carpet with guests. Two dollars of every sale will go the Institute.

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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