While not everyone agrees with former President Bill Clinton’s politics, most people recognize his gift for rhetoric. Clinton appeared at the Celebrity Forum Speakers Series Dec. 5, 6 and 7 at Flint Center in Cupertino, leaving sold-out crowds eagerly anticipating the question-and-answer periods that follow each presentation.
After a short video on the William J. Clinton Foundation that centered on helping to build a better world, Clinton took the stage and discussed numerous problems from poverty to climate change, offering practical solutions for each.
Americans should consider what they want in the 21st century, he said. The 42nd president referred to the Declaration of Independence and the majority rule to form a more perfect union, emphasizing that “we are not perfect, but we can do better.”
“We have too much economic inequality, too much economic and political instability and an unsustainable energy production and consumption,” Clinton said. “These are exciting times in our lives, but good things have gone too far. Education is unequal, and inequality goes too far and thinking does not. You have to reward the person with the first idea. Half the people in this world live on $2 a day. Our economy is below full potential with not enough jobs.”
Clinton acknowledged that California has had a tough time as it struggles to recover from the mortgage crisis. Banks are unwilling to make loans, resulting in unpredictability and instability.
The debate on climate control, Clinton said, prompted calls for sensible solutions to events like the recent East Coast destruction by Hurricane Sandy.
“Don’t be pessimistic about the future,” he said. “Young people provide influence, and we are younger than Europe and Japan. In a short time, we will be younger than China. We have somebody here from everywhere. Our melting pot is still working.”
In the question-and-answer session, the first question was “Will Hillary run in 2016?”
“I don’t know,” he answered. “It’s whatever she wants to do. ... I’m proud of what she has done and I’ll be most supportive.”
In answer to another question, Clinton summed up his thoughts on the “fiscal cliff.”
“I think it is more likely than less likely to make a deal,” he said. “They will make a deal.”
An audience member asked Clinton if he were on social media.
“Not as much as my daughter,” he said. “I’m on Facebook and I believe in social media. I only sent two emails when I was president.”