Who were those 938 lucky folks who spent a night at the White House courtesy of President Clinton? They were the corporate elite _ computer magnate Steven Jobs. The famous _ Barbra Streisand. The spiritual _ Billy Graham. And the big givers, with no other obvious cachet.
The list is long enough to have provided a house guest for the Lincoln Bedroom two nights out of every three in Clinton's first term. But the overnighters often came in bunches, and many stayed in other rooms.
One night in April 1995, the guests included two former governors _ Richard Lamm of Colorado and Ned Ray McWherter of Tennessee _ as well as Jean Houston, a New Age adviser of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
As Lamm remembers it, they stayed after a reception for about 60 people. Lamm and his wife slept in the room where Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
"It's a pretty heady experience," said Lamm, who had been to the White House 20 or so times before and didn't expect to be impressed. "We're not used to being awed. But we were awed."
In releasing a list of the overnight guests through last year, the White House divided them into seven categories: Arkansas friends; longtime friends from elsewhere; friends and supporters from the 1992 campaign or later; public officials and dignitaries; artists, entertainers and writers; Clinton relatives; and Chelsea's friends. The 107 relatives and friends of Chelsea were not named.
Big Florida donors were White House guests, too.
Topping the list was William Rollnick, a Coral Gables resident who has given $476,000 to the Democratic National Committee since 1992, according to Federal Elections Commission records. In a 1995 interview, he described himself as an ideological giver and arts patron who enjoys rubbing elbows with people he meets at the White House.
"It's fun. You get to talk to the president a bit, and that's not so terrible. He listens to your point of view, and in some way or another maybe he even absorbs it," Rollnick said then.
Another White House guest was South Florida businessman Paul Cejas, who has given $207,000 to the Democratic Party since 1992. Cejas' name has surfaced as a possible ambassadorial appointee in the second Clinton term.
Other Florida supporters who visited the White House were fund-raisers Hugh Westbrook and Howard Glicken and Democratic activist Dick Batchelor of the Orlando area.
Batchelor, an early supporter of Clinton, said he and his wife stayed overnight to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary in 1993. He described himself as a relatively small fund-raiser.
"There are fat cats and stray cats invited to the White House. I'm one of the stray cats," Batchelor joked.
Florida politicians on the list included Gov. Lawton Chiles and his wife, Rhea; former Tampa Mayor Sandy Freedman; and Florida Treasurer Bill Nelson.
Key financial donors or fund-raisers from elsewhere in the country show up on page after page, in every category.
Among the Hollywood elite are director Stephen Spielberg, who gave $200,000 to the Democratic National Committee for the 1996 election; producer David Geffen, who donated $200,000; and Streisand, who gave $60,000.
The list is rich with corporate executives and entrepreneurs _ some famous, some not _ who have given generously to the party. Computer magnate Jobs was a $150,000 donor. Former MCA head Lew Wasserman contributed $225,000. Photography executive Olan Mills II gave $60,000. So did Sacramento developer Angelo Tsakopoulos. (He's not a big name outside of California, but he gave the national party $165,000 and shelled out much more for Democrats in his home state.)
Among the friends from Arkansas were Victor and Susan Fleming of Little Rock, who visited twice _ once to babysit Chelsea while the Clintons were overseas. They brought along their daughter, Elizabeth.
"It beats the heck out of the Holiday Inn," said Victor Fleming, a Little Rock municipal judge.
The White House "is very similar to a first-class hotel operation," he said, including telephones set up for "something similar to room service."
Other longtime friends on the list were Carolyn Staley, who grew up next to Bill Clinton in Hot Springs, Ark., and Patty Criner, another of the president's childhood friends.
But many guests were businessmen or lobbyists who not only gave but raised money for the Clinton campaign or the party, including Washington lobbyist Daniel Dutko.
Other guests were mayors, lawmakers and other Democratic allies whose political support of Clinton was critical even though their pockets weren't deep.
Among the dignitaries were two presidential daughters _ Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg and Margaret Truman Daniels. Then there were King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway, the Rev. Billy Graham, and even a well-known Republican _ former President George Bush.
_ Times staff writers Katherine Gazella and David Dahl contributed to this report.
White House guests
+ Here are some of the more prominent people who were overnight guests at the White House:
HOLLYWOOD AND MEDIA EXECUTIVES
AUTHORS AND PLAYWRIGHTS
Doris Kearns Goodwin
FORMER AND CURRENT GOVERNORS
Evan Bayh (Ind.)
John Y. Brown (Ky.)
John Carlin (Kan.)
Mel Carnahan (Mo.)
Thomas Carper (Del.)
Gaston Caperton (W.Va.)
Lawton Chiles (Fla.)
Howard Dean (Vt.)
Parris Glendening (Md.)
Bruce King (N.M.)
John Kitzhaber (Ore.)
Tony Knowles (Alaska)
Richard Lamm (Colo.)
Michael Lowry (Wash.)
Ned McWherter (Tenn.)
Robert Miller (Nev.)
Zell Miller (Ga.)
Benjamin Nelson (Neb.)
George Nigh (Okla.)
Paul Patton (Ky.)
Ann Richards (Texas)
Roy Romer (Colo.)
George Sinner (N.D.)
Michael Sullivan (Wyo.)
John Waihee (Hawaii)
David Walters (Okla.)
Bill Winter (Miss.)