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Amid convention frenzy, Huffington promotes rest and massages

It’s just hours before a huge night at the Democratic National Convention — first lady Michelle Obama is poised to speak — and the first thing Arianna Huffington asks ITK is, “Did you get a massage?”

Dressed in a baby-blue suit, the founder of The Huffington Post and former California gubernatorial candidate floats around the Huffington Oasis making sure moments of Zen are taking place. 

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She says of the fresh-smelling space, which is decorated with white furniture and lies about two blocks from the Charlotte Convention Center, “We wanted to demonstrate that even in the most hectic weeks during the political calendar, both in Tampa and in Charlotte, we can find some time to unwind, recharge and then return to whatever we want to do renewed and restored and not dragging ourselves exhausted and sleep-deprived.”

Beth Myers, Mitt Romney’s campaign adviser, took a peek at the relaxation destination while at the Republican National Convention. 

In Charlotte, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa stopped by the yoga rooms and reading area to say hi to the media mogul. Huffington, who divorced former Rep. Michael 

Huffington (R-Calif.) in 1997, says that a day earlier, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) paid a visit: “Her husband had a massage and she had a conversation with people here and we had some healthy food.”

The Oasis is not only a way to promote her news site’s lifestyle sections — Huffington says the idea is part of a personal evolution. “Five years ago I fainted from exhaustion and hit my head on my desk. … It started me on this whole process of learning to unplug and recharge.”

Perhaps owing to her new outlook on life, Huffington says she wasn’t bothered back in April when President Obama threw a few zingers her way during his remarks at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.

“I’d be remiss if I did not congratulate The Huffington Post on their Pulitzer Prize. You deserve it, Arianna. There is no one else out there linking to the kinds of hard-hitting journalism that HuffPo is linking to every single day,” Obama said of the site, which aggregates some of its content.

“I thought he was great. He mentioned that we got a Pulitzer and about aggregation. I thought it was fun,” says a mellow Huffington.


Editor’s note: Kurtz is a former Huffington Post contributor.