Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bill was frailer than I expected--thought someone who is larger than life would be more imposing physically. He began in a quiet voice not looking up at the audience much at all. I was in the fifth row back on the floor so had a really good look at him. There were two big screens as well which did a good job on close ups. He picked up as the time went on. He talked about the problems in poorer countries like Haiti where there are no systems in place to allow more people to create wealth or even a decent standard of living. He then talked about the US and possibly Canada where we can become too complacent about the systems we have and refuse to reform when necessary. I do think he saw this as a much greater problem in the US than in Canada. He is a very busy man working all over the world to reduce poverty and to raise the standard of living for the poorest which gives him a lot of credibility. He says we need to know what framework we have in mind for making these decisions. He seemed like someone that would be a great dinner guest when you want to talk about world issues!!
The first three rows in front of me were filled with NB politicians who are in the midst of trying to make reforms and changes based on dollars saved. I hope they took his message to heart and stopped to think about the long term impact of the decisions they are making for us today.
The place was packed and we had a slow moving line to get to our seats. They were only letting people in through one entrance and there were over a thousand of us. This meant the event did not begin until twenty minutes past the expected start time. We missed out on the full amount of time for the questions with Frank McKenna which was disappointing.
Saw a few Secret Service scanning the audience throughout the whole time Clinton was on stage. Found that a bit distracting--my mind wandered to movies I have seen with Secret Service. Only thing --the guy I was watching was too heavy and would not have been able to chase anyone but maybe he was there to take a bullet for the president. Funny they do not call him the former president-- I guess you have the title for life.
I found it very interesting and wished it could have lasted longer.

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