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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.

Posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2012
Under: Bill Clinton | No Comments »

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.

Posted on Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
Under: 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Mitt Romney | 12 Comments »

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.”

Posted on Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
Under: 2012 presidential election, Bill Clinton, Mitt Romney, Obama presidency | 27 Comments »

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.

Posted on Thursday, April 12th, 2012
Under: Bill Clinton, Jerry Brown | No Comments »

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

Posted on Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
Under: Bill Clinton, Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics, Richmond | 3 Comments »

Bill Clinton to campaign for Garamendi in SF

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton will host a rally* with 10th Congressional District candidate and Lt. Gov. John Garamendi on Tuesday in South San Francisco.

The public event begins around 2:30 p.m. at the San Francisco Basque Cultural Center, 599 Railroad Ave., in South San Francisco.

Clinton has endorsed Garamendi in the congressional race, and the lieutenant governor says the president promised to make a personal appearance during the campaign if he could fit it into his schedule.

Unfortunately for Garamendi, Clinton doesn’t have enough time to travel to the 10th District, presumably the preferred location for a the chance to publicly stand next to the popular former president. Clinton is in the Bay Area to attend the PGA President’s Cup at Harding Golf Course in San Francisco and has to catch a flight later Tuesday.

Clinton is in Los Angeles, today, campaigning for gubernatorial hopeful and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Garamendi says he vividly remembers a two-hour conversation in 1991 with then-presidential candidate Clinton about health care reform in 1991, when then-Insurance Commissioner Garamendi was working on a California version of a single-payer health insurance system.

“We go way back on health care,” Garamendi said of Clinton. “And here we are today, talking about the same issue.”

Garamendi won the Sept. 1 special primary election and will face on Nov. 3 GOP nominee David Harmer of Dougherty Valley and three minor party candidates.

* Update: Subject of rally no longer limited to healthcare but will cover a range of issues. 11:43 a.m.

Posted on Monday, October 5th, 2009
Under: 2009 CD10 special election, Bill Clinton, Congressional District 10 | 2 Comments »

Wednesday’s DNC video highlights

U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., moves to halt the roll call and nominate Barack Obama by acclimation:

Former President Bill Clinton:

2004 Democratic presidential nominee U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.:

And I’ll update with Joe Biden‘s vice-presidential nomination acceptance speech — and his special unannounced guest — as soon as clean clips are available…

UPDATE @ 10:17 P.M.: Here we are:

Posted on Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
Under: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Democratic Party, Elections, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Kerry | No Comments »

Robert Reich endorses Obama

Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, now a professor at the University of California at Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, has blogged today that he endorses Barack Obama for president. This comes about a month after Bill Richardson, a fellow Clinton Administration cabinet member and longtime friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, also went against them. Will James Carville call him a Judas too?

“Although Hillary Clinton has offered solid and sensible policy proposals, Obama’s strike me as even more so,” Reich writes, later adding Obama “offers the best hope of transcending the boundaries of class, race, and nationality that have divided us” and “offers the best possibility of restoring America’s moral authority in the world.”

Reich’s endorsement comes on the heels of his passionate defense of Obama in the hubbub following the candidate’s “bitter” remark at a fundraiser April 6 in San Francisco.

It’s not as if Obama is sweeping the old Clinton cabinet, however — former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; former Secretary of Defense William Perry; and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo all have endorsed Hillary Clinton.

Posted on Friday, April 18th, 2008
Under: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Bill Richardson, Elections, Hillary Clinton | No Comments »

Can you say “running mate?”

ap-photo-alex-brandon.jpgNew Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson endorsed Barack Obama for president this morning at a joint appearance in Portland, Ore.

“Today I am endorsing Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States because I believe he is the kind of once-in-a-lifetime leader that can bring our nation together and restore America’s moral leadership in the world,” he said. “As a Presidential candidate, I know full well Senator Obama’s unique ability to inspire the American people to confront our urgent challenges at home and abroad in a spirit of bipartisanship and reconciliation.”

Richardson served seven terms in Congress before being appointed by President Clinton to serve as Ambassador to the United Nations and, later, Secretary of Energy; he was elected governor in 2002 and again in 2006. His track record includes negotiating with hostile regimes for the release of American prisoners, and he has been active both in seeking to secure loose nuclear materials and in seeking to end the genocide in Darfur.

Said Obama: “He knows that to secure American interests, we have to talk to our enemies, as well as our friends, which is why he stood up to North Korea and Saddam Hussein to secure the release of American hostages. And that’s the kind of tough, aggressive diplomacy we need to meet the new challenges of the 21st century.”

Richardson’s among the Democratic superdelegates who most likely will end up determining the nomination this year, and could help tip more superdelegates Obama’s way, but I think there could be something more significant going on here.

Ever since Richardson dropped his own White House campaign in January, I’ve been among those saying he’d make a potent running mate for either Obama or Hillary Clinton, but especially for Obama. The nation’s only Latino governor, he would help Obama make deeper inroads into that community, and his foreign-policy chops would help blunt criticisms of Obama’s relative inexperience; Clinton needs less help in both those areas. Richardson would help strengthen either Democratic ticket in John McCain’s southwestern regional home base. And Richardson left the race before he’d said anything too harsh about Obama or Clinton that the GOP could turn back against him later this year.

the-two-bills.jpgI’d been waiting to see whether Richardson’s longstanding ties and loyalty to the Clintons would win out — he and Bill Clinton watched the Super Bowl together last month — but now that he has cast his lot, I’d not be surprised if you see him taking a verrrrrrry active role in Obama’s campaign from here on out.

UPDATE @ 2:24 P.M. FRIDAY: Maybe Richardson waited until now because only now are people and pundits beginning to grapple with the true state of the race for the Democratic nomination: He didn’t want to betray the Clintons’ friendship while she still stood a realistic chance.

Posted on Friday, March 21st, 2008
Under: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Bill Richardson, Elections, Hillary Clinton, John McCain | No Comments »

Bill Clinton’s coming back

Hillary Clinton‘s campaign says former President Bill Clinton, after visiting Orange County and Sacramento, will stage “Solutions for America” rallies tomorrow, Monday, Feb. 4, in Stockton and San Francisco.

The Stockton event will be at 2 p.m. in the University of the Pacific‘s Alex G. Spanos Arena — I wonder if that makes Spanos, a big GOP benefactor, break out in hives? — at 3601 Pacific Ave. Details of the San Francisco visit haven’t been rolled out yet; stay tuned.

UPDATE @ 12:05 P.M. MONDAY: Former President Bill Clinton will attend a “Voices Across America” town hall hosted by Mayor Gavin Newsom at San Francisco’s Ferry Building, on the Embarcadero at Market Street; doors open at 4:30 p.m. At 6 p.m., Hillary Clinton will start a live national town hall, being broadcast from New York City on the Hallmark Channel; there also will be a real-time stream of the event on the campaign’s Web site.

Posted on Sunday, February 3rd, 2008
Under: Bill Clinton, Elections, Hillary Clinton | 5 Comments »