By Stephen M. Silverman And Susan Mandel
Updated October 29, 2003 07:38 AM

Big Boi of Outkast and singer Ginuwine played second fiddle to former President Bill Clinton at the Washington nightclub Dream on Monday night, as the Democratic National Committee tried to excite young people to vote its way, reports PEOPLE.

The political fund-raiser was a strange gig for Ginuwine, who recently racked up his fourth platinum album with his latest release, “The Senior.”

“This is like my first real political event, but it’s pretty cool,” the 28-year-old tells PEOPLE. “It’s a little different from what I’m used to on a Friday or a Saturday. I’m suited up. I don’t wear suits. But it’s all right. It’s opening me up to new things.”

Ginuwine and Big Boi did well for the crowd, but it was Clinton, 57, who kicked the party into high gear when he finally showed up after midnight to the clamor of 5,000 people chanting his name.

Unlike current Democratic presidential contenders, Clinton, when he took the stage Monday night, didn’t attack President George Bush on Iraq — though he did suggest that a kinder, gentler U.S. foreign policy might be helpful.

“I am all for fighting terror, and I support all those young folks in uniform that are risking their lives,” said Clinton. “But we live in a world where we can’t kill, occupy or put in jail everybody that doesn’t like us. We’ve got to make some more friends in this world.”

Celebrity-friendly get-togethers such as this are a major part of the Democrats’ strategy for winning back the White House in 2004, says DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe.

“If we’re going to engage young people in this upcoming presidential election, we’ve got to take our party to the party,” McAuliffe tells PEOPLE. With entertainers who are “all coming to say they want to come help,” he says, “we’re going to replicate events like this all over the country.”