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A few more bits from Bill Clinton’s speech

As you’d expect, there was plenty more from 90 minutes of Bill Clinton in Cupertino last night than I could fit into my story.

On Afghanistan: “Unless you want to stay 25 more years, we might as well get out now,” Clinton said, noting that nothing costs a nation more in fortune and human toll than a war. “It’s time to come home – we’ve paid and paid and paid.”

On climate change: California will be glad it adopted a renewable energy portfolio standard, which will put it at the forefront of abandoning fossil fuels. Meanwhile, he said, there’s no easier and cheaper way to address energy supply and climate change than to invest in making existing buildings more energy efficient, which also creates good-paying jobs. “That used to be a conservative principle: Do more with less.”

On infrastructure: Even as the nation debates how to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” it should be looking ahead. South Korea’s average download time is four times faster than the United States’, he said, underscoring the need for public investment in a uniform, nationwide broadband infrastructure. “In all this budget debate, don’t forget the future.”

On staying in shape: Clinton discussed his heart disease, his 2004 coronary artery bypass surgery and the vegan diet he has adopted since. He said he now weighs 185 pounds – seven pounds less than his weight at his high school graduation, “but alas, it’s distributed differently.”

On his genes: Clinton digressed during his speech to talk about the interesting times in which we live, from our search for the possibility of extraterrestrial life to our discovery of the Higgs boson. He singled out the relatively recent discovery that elements of Neanderthal genome remain in most modern non-African humans; he said he’d excitedly told his wife and daughter about this discovery – and was told by both that they’d always been pretty sure he had some Neanderthal in him.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.