Albany, NY – Former President Bill Clinton spoke at the University of Albany Wednesday night as part of the College's "World Within Reach" speaker series. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
Since Clinton left the Oval Office, the world has experienced wars, disasters and financial crisis. The 42nd President has embraced his post-presidential role of "globetrotting philanthropist:" he's been to 130 countries and heads the William J. Clinton foundation - which tackles a wide range of issues from child obesity to climate change - Clinton defended the federal government's bailout and stimulus packages, explaining that they were designed to act as "brakes' on a sliding economy. The Clinton presidency was a time of economic prosperity. Clinton said education and humanitarian aid can lift people - and nations - out of poverty; then urged students to make the most of their time spent in college.
When Clinton touched on some of the issues facing the Capital Region and beyond, he made it clear that his biggest concern is for our future. He urged people and governments to strive to build a world of shared opportunities and shared responsibilities. Albany County Executive Mike Breslin was among regional officials attending the Clinton speech, which he called "an amazingly optimistic approach to where we are in the world today." Bill Clinton's SEFCU arena appearance was his second in the area within a year: he was in Saratoga last fall stumping for Scott Murphy, who ended up losing his Congressional Seat to Kinderhook Republican Chris Gibson.