Bill Clinton speaking in Albany September 27

bill clinton at world economic forum 2006 davosUpdate: Here's video of the speech.

Shh, don't tell anyone: Bill Clinton will be speaking in Albany next week (Tuesday, September 27).

The former president will be the keynote speaker at a conference at the Empire State Plaza for the regional economic councils set up by the Cuomo administration. The event is open to the public, but there's a ticket lottery. You must enter by the end of this Tuesday (September 20) and confirm your intent to attend within 24 hours of being notified.

Oddly, the Cuomo admin seems to be underplaying the event a bit. On the website for the economic councils, it's just billed as "Governor Andrew M. Cuomo/ REGIONAL COUNCIL STATEWIDE CONFERENCE/ September 27, 2011- Albany, NY." Stars are always so touchy about whose name goes above the title...

Bill Clinton was last here in March when he spoke at UAlbany.

[via Biz Review]

photo: Flickr user World Economic Forum


Former President Clinton represents such a mixed-bag for me: brilliant and charismatic, he knows how to say "no" without making enemies because of it, and, it would seem, that his heart "is in the right place." But once we dig deeper these qualities make him all the more tragic: a man who at one point appeared to be an idealist, broken on the rocks of life; a man who could take a hit as well as sidestep the slings and arrows of life; a man who, despite all his potential for greatness...was swallowed up by the great Leviathan known as politics.

Instead of playing to win, former President Clinton became expert at playing not to lose. The old liberal class was still around sufficiently when he was first elected that he could speak the language of FDR and have people actually understand him; yet he chose to go a different route, the route of splitting the difference, the route of least resistance. Instead of re-mobilizing the traditional organizations of the American Left, he knew he could shift to the right, riding the wave high and with no hands, awash as he was with copious amounts of corporate America's money.

But with that money came the interests of corporate America: de-regulation, free trade, de-unionization, and a notion of the "bottom line" that benefited the few at the expense of the many. America during President Clinton's tenure only seemed to be better; in reality it was Reagan-lite, in actuality the economy was based on illusions and the stage for the later dismantlement of America was set.

Nearly a dozen years since he left office have passed, and much of the American Left still yearns for the good old days of William Jefferson Clinton. You need not look too far: Obama is simply what Clinton would have looked like had he come later in the dismantling of America.

I won a ticket! Is anyone else going?

I'm going! I'm pretty damn excited.

I'm going too! But how to decide on breakout sessions??

@ Jessica R, Casey, and Stefanie:
I do not necessarily fault you for attending, but have any of you three considered what I wrote? Am I simply wrong, or are you just ignoring my interpretation of the Clinton legacy?

Have you any thoughts about President Clinton and his accomplishments and non-accomplishments? Any thoughts at all?

@ Cincinnatus- honestly, no. I didn't read what you wrote. I just glanced at it briefly for a second after your 2nd post and decided it needed a TL;DR.

@Cincinnatus - ditto Casey's comment. Blame Google for my shortened attention span if you must. It is probably also a mistake to hinge the decision to attend on the keynote speaker.

Truth: I don't know if I would have paid attention to the conference if not for the weight of his name. But, now that I have had a chance to look at the full agenda & research some of the panelists- I am looking forward to hearing what they have to say in the AM and afternoon sessions.

I strongly encourage you to examine former President Clinton's record and the interpretations of that record. I think the consequences--intended or not--of his Presidency do not bode well for most Americans in the long-run and that he deserves to be criticized.

Many tend toward fawning over him as a way to either engage in a) his "celebrity"--and that is exactly his appeal; or b) as a way to forget the President Bush years and the current Presidency. But both of these fail to really see what President Clinton set in motion and accelerated. If they did, they might not be so interested in his "celebrity."

We need less "celebrity" in our politics, in our culture, in our way of life, and more reality-based politicians and leaders. Though our means of selecting them are increasingly limited, we still have the ability--or so I think--to distinguish between the superficial and the substantive.

@Cincinnatus - I read it briefly, but didn't see a need to defend my excitment that I got a ticket.

If you are looking for a comment, I would say that your dissapointment in Clinton is a reflection of govenrment in general, and not on one person.

I understand your excitement; I would be excited too. But that begets the question: why are we excited?

I think this has a lot more to do with celebrity than with substance, and I think that we become absorbed by it and become blinded to the reality of the situation. The well-documented reality is that the man made many choices to get corporate sponsorship and the results greatly contributed to our current economic predicament.

His moral lapse had nothing to do with a cigar and everything to do with becoming a shill. The tragedy is that an individual with his intellect and talent (and possibly at one point, a genuine faith in American Government), didn't have to do that. It could have been otherwise. Now we have inherited the mess and will actually listen to him as an "authority?"

To treat him as somehow "authoritative" on our politics and economics after these kinds of decisions is a lapse on our part, I think, and demonstrates the power of celebrity.

I'm excited because he's a notoriously phenomenal speaker, an ex-president, and I missed him at SUNY Albany. Attributing anything else to it, in my mind, is overthinking it.

@Casey: so you are excited because of their celebrity, not because of their accomplishments? (which no one seems to be thinking about critically)

You know, your description could accurately characterize many people who have held power. Perhaps "Dancing With The Stars" or "The X Factor" is on that day...continue with celebrity worship, I'm sure your freedoms and social security will be there for you too.

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