Conventional Democrats Prove in Atlanta That When It Comes to Parties, They're Pluralists

updated 08/01/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/01/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

In August 1968, activist Tom Hayden made history by rallying thousands of antiwar demonstrators outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Twenty years later, California Assemblyman Tom Hayden made a less tumultuous splash, '80s-style: He and his wife, Jane Fonda, showed up at the Democrats' latest fest, in Atlanta, trailing a star-studded entourage that included Rob Lowe, Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy. This time Hayden's recruits hadn't come to protest. "We're just observing, learning and trying to get informed about the political process," said Sheedy. "Tom brought 50 of us," added Alec {Knots Landing) Baldwin. "It's wonderful!"

Other guests doing the circuit of pre-convention parties in Atlanta seemed to agree. "I'm so excited that lots of celebrities are here," cooed Democratic National Committee Vice-Chair Lynn Cutler, who snagged one of them, Ed Asner, to accompany her to Jimmy Carter's Saturday night bash at the Carter Center. The next night, the Atlanta Constitution hosted such media and political heavies as Jane Pauley, Dan Rather, Bruce Babbitt and Paul (not the singer) Simon at the Woodruff Arts Center, while Ted Turner's fete for 3,000 at CNN headquarters across town was so celebrity-studded that the belated arrival of Michael Dukakis with running mate Lloyd Bentsen was something of an anticlimax. Cracked D.C. satirist Mark Russell: "Dukakis is going to have to get Ted Turner to colorize Lloyd Bentsen."

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