January 23, 2004

Is Bill Clinton Growing Up? II

More evidence of Bill Clinton growing into the traditional role of former president:

Often he talked in vacuities vacuities well suited to an international conference (and, indeed, almost its native language) but often he made direct sense. As he did last year, he praised the Peruvian wiz Hernando de Soto as the world's most important living economist that he thinks so highly of de Soto, whose cause in life is property rights, and what they can do for every human being, speaks well of him. (Clinton also quipped that "some think 'living economist' is an oxymoron.")

And you may be interested to know that any time he referred to the Bush administration, or alluded to it, it was in a complimentary way. He told this crowd again, a crowd that could use hearing it, especially from this source that much of what we're doing, successfully, in the War on Terror never makes the newspapers. For example, "cells are rolled up," which you never hear about. The administration has achieved "cooperation with other governments" that is not "inherently sensational" but "has saved a lot of people's lives." You never hear about this bomb found in this container on this cargo ship destined for this port and "I could give you 50 other examples."


But Clinton was very, very impressive that's a plain fact, Impromptus-ites and well worth listening to. As Dick Cheney, I believe, said, at the 2000 convention in Philadelphia: So much talent, so much wasted.

* One final word about Clinton, old slippery Bill: Just as you could never be sure whether he supported the '91 Gulf War, you can't be sure now whether he supported last year's Iraq war. You just can't which is a little weird, don't you think, given that we all have opinions, and this is an ex-president of the United States.

Only the Right can give this stamp of approval and in a highly polarized, at ideological dagger points, political meat grinder world, it wouldn't. The fact that Clinton gets credit where credit's due, even from among his harshest critics is a sign of hope that, no matter our differences, in the end we continue to recognize our shared values and that those are considerable and important.

The truth is that you're not supposed to be able to tell the political opinions of former President's of the United States on important matters of controversy. That Bill Clinton is keeping to that traditional script these days is a positive sign.

Posted by TMLutas at January 23, 2004 03:43 PM