Bill Clinton speaking in Bay Area early next month

Former President Bill Clinton will deliver four lectures around the Bay Area in the first week of February.

Bill ClintonClinton comes as part of the MPSF Speakers Series, the nation’s largest community speaker series in the United States, averaging over 8800 subscribers annually. Previous speakers in the 2014-2015 season have included former FBI Director Robert Mueller; former President’s Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Austan Goolsbee; former U.S. Ambassador to China, presidential candidate and Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.; and former U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

Clinton will speak Monday, Feb. 2 at the Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium in San Rafael; Tuesday, Feb. 3 at the Paramount Theater in Oakland; Wednesday, Feb. 4 at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center; and Thursday, Feb. 5 again at the Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Tickets are sold only for the entire season of speakers, not for a single event, and are sold out for Oakland and San Mateo.

The former president visits the region as speculation heats up about whether and when his wife, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, will declare her candidacy for president in 2016’s election. She’ll be in the Bay Area later in February, delivering a keynote address at the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women at the Santa Clara Convention Center.


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.


Newest TV ads from Obama and Romney

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign today rolled out an ad featuring former President Bill Clinton:

“Clear Choice” will air in New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney’s campaign launched its latest ad yesterday:

FactCheck.org hasn’t done an analysis of either ad yet, though it did post an extensive rundown on the competing claims about Medicare, including this observation:

A Romney campaign ad wrongly claims that “money you paid” for Medicare is being used to pay for Obama’s health care law. But the law doesn’t take money out of the existing hospital insurance trust fund. It cuts the future growth of spending. And in the future, seniors will still receive more in benefits than they paid in.

PolitiFact has its own rundown on Medicare as well.


Bill Clinton tears into Mitt Romney’s welfare ad

Here’s Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s new ad on welfare requirements:

Here’s the statement that former President Bill Clinton released this morning:

Bill ClintonGovernor Romney released an ad today alleging that the Obama administration had weakened the work requirements of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. That is not true.

The act emerged after years of experiments at the state level, including my work as Governor of Arkansas beginning in 1980. When I became President, I granted waivers from the old law to 44 states to implement welfare to work strategies before welfare reform passed.

After the law was enacted, every state was required to design a plan to move people into the workforce, along with more funds to help pay for training, childcare and transportation. As a result, millions of people moved from welfare to work.

The recently announced waiver policy was originally requested by the Republican governors of Utah and Nevada to achieve more flexibility in designing programs more likely to work in this challenging environment. The Administration has taken important steps to ensure that the work requirement is retained and that waivers will be granted only if a state can demonstrate that more people will be moved into work under its new approach. The welfare time limits, another important feature of the 1996 act, will not be waived.

The Romney ad is especially disappointing because, as governor of Massachusetts, he requested changes in the welfare reform laws that could have eliminated time limits altogether. We need a bipartisan consensus to continue to help people move from welfare to work even during these hard times, not more misleading campaign ads.

PolitiFact.com gave Romney’s ad a “pants on fire” rating. And, from the Fox News analysis of the ad:

But that letter does not unilaterally repeal or waive the law. Instead, it gives states the chance to make changes to their welfare programs and still be counted as meeting work participation requirements. It’s a leap to assume that governors and legislators will seek to return to “plain old welfare” and that the Obama administration will give them the go-ahead.

And, in 2005, Romney joined several other GOP governors in promoting “increased waiver authority.”


Bill Clinton, Condi Rice to speak in San Jose

Former President Bill Clinton, Gov. Jerry Brown and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will headline the Bay Area Council’s 2012 Outlook Conference on Thursday, May 3 in San Jose’s California Theater.

The council – a public-policy group comprised of the region’s largest employers – invites attendees to “join an audience of hundreds of CEOs and top executives, plus civic leaders from across California … to hear the best thinking available about the future of our economy, our country and our world.”

Other scheduled speakers for the five-hour event include Dupont Chairwoman and CEO Ellen Kullman; Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO George Halvorson; LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner; and PG&E Chairman, President and CEO Anthony Earley.

Tickets start at $750 each and are available online.


Bill Clinton coming to Richmond

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton is coming to Richmond on Oct. 21, where he will deliver the keynote speech at the first Blueprint for Healthy Communities Summit sponsored by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

It may be the first official visit to Richmond by a former or sitting president. Longtime Richmond resident and county Supervisor John Gioia cannot recall any other.  (UPDATE ON 9/1/11 sent to Gioia by Michael Husser:  “Bill Clinton is technically not the first President to come to Richmond. In 1956, President Eisenhower stopped in Richmond as part of a whistle stop tour of the Bay Area during his re-election campaign. He spoke in Point Richmond at the Santa Fe Depot. It was not a long speech, but I was there with my father (Dr. Husser) who had served as a physician during WWII and knew Eisenhower.”)

But Clinton doesn’t come cheap. The district will have to raise $150,000 for his speaking fee, probably through corporate sponsorships.  (This ought to be interesting as some of Contra Costa’s biggest corporations are oil refineries subject to air district regulation.)

The invitation-only summit at the Craneway Pavilion on the Richmond waterfront will focus on the links between land-use planning and health primarily. Attendees will be elected officials, public health directors, city staffers and others.

Here’s the email that went out to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District board this afternoon:

Dear Board members,

As you know, the Air District has been working through the CARE program and CEQA guidance to help local governments consider air quality, public health and climate protection in their land use decision making. As part of this effort, the Air District will be hosting another cutting edge summit this fall focused on the linkages between public health and land use. I’d like to provide a few highlights of the summit planning.

Title: Blueprint for Healthy Communities Summit

Date: Friday, October 21, 2011

Location: Craneway Pavilion, Richmond Waterfront

Audience: Bay Area elected officials, public health directors, city managers, planning directors, business leaders, non-profits, foundations, and more

Keynote: President Bill Clinton

We are very pleased to have secured President Clinton as the keynote speaker! We have also invited, but not yet confirmed, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius as well as White House Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley. We also plan to offer two workshops and a plenary on Constructing Healthy, Complete Communities.

We already have a number of sponsors for the event and will continue to secure additional sponsorship commitments.

Due to the tight planning schedule and the timing of acceptance by President Clinton, we needed to make some quick decisions and sign a contract to book President Clinton for this event. After speaking to Board Chair Bates about the tight timeline, Chair Bates authorized the APCO to enter into a contract with the Harry Walker Group to secure President Clinton for the October 21st date. Chair Bates gave this authorization with the caveat that speaker fees would be offset by sponsorship funds. The speaking fee is $150,000. We are confident we will be able to secure sponsorships to cover President Clinton’s speaking fee. Staff will provide an update on summit planning at the September 21 Board of Directors meeting.

Please mark your calendars for this exciting, invitation-only event when the Bay Area Air Quality Management District welcomes President Bill Clinton to the Bay Area to speak about a Blueprint for Healthy Communities. Invitations will be mailed soon.

Please feel free to contact me at 415-749-4646 with questions.

Jean Roggenkamp

On behalf of

Jack P. Broadbent

Executive Officer/APCO