Bill Clinton looks well, at least as well as he has looked in recent years. He’s been the topic of speculation for weeks as every prominent Democrat in or out of office comes forward to endorse Joe Biden for president, now that Biden is the last candidate standing. He re-emerged from his bunker during this weekend’s virtual commencement activities.
The former president participated in CNN’s “Class of 2020: In This Together”, a special tribute to this year’s graduates. The video of Clinton lasts for 3 minutes, 52 seconds. The first minute and 50 seconds are rather dark, frankly, given the reason for the celebration.
The coronavirus has given you a graduation you will never forget and it’s released you into an uncertain future. I urge you to embrace the challenge. The world needs you. Your country needs you. Even before the outbreak, you knew you were entering a world of growing inequalities, and divisive tribalism, with people pulling away from those who are different from them. Seething resentments and a broken information system have empowered those who for profit and power for themselves, are willing to inflame our worst instincts. It’s put your future, our democracy, and our very planet at risk.
In ways large and small, people the world over have been urged to see life as a dog eat dog, zero-sum game. Someone else is winning, you’re losing. You can only win if someone else loses. It’s fun in sports but bad in an interdependent world.
Talk about a downer. Yikes. Fortunately, he reels it in and transitions to a more positive, uplifting message. The old Bubba comes through as he does what he does best, making the listener think he sincerely cares about them. He kind of goes into grandpa mode in the second half of the speech. Hang in there, kids. You can change the world. He ended on a positive note.
We have the resources we need to overcome all of these challenges but only if we choose to face them together. I have great faith in you and your future. You know more. You can learn faster. Most of our problems can be thought through and solved or managed much better.
I know you’ve been dealt a hard hand, but you can play it well. With a tough but open mind and a caring heart, you can help keep us together. Help find ways to serve others, not run away from them. Help to unite, not to divide. Help to build, not tear down. Help to support, not demean. If you do, you will find your own path to fulfillment and happiness and in so doing, your example will inspire the world. Good luck and God speed.”
It looks like Bill Clinton is ready to get back to campaigning. He’s been kept under wraps, though, ever since the #MeToo movement began and Democrat women realized how stupid they were when it came to supporting Bill Clinton. I never understood how women who called themselves feminists could support a hound dog like Clinton. It was all about keeping power. They always blamed the women Clinton abused rather than Clinton, usually at Hillary’s assistance. With the scandal of the Tara Reade accusations against Joe Biden, Bill Clinton isn’t exactly a go-to guy right now for Team Biden. So, there has been no formal endorsement of Joe Biden.
Some Democrats say that’s likely not unintentional, arguing that a high-profile endorsement of Biden by Bill Clinton would be off-key as the former vice president deals with a 1993 charge of sexual assault from a former staffer.
“Talk about a man who doesn’t fit the moment,” said one longtime Democratic fundraiser.
It is hard to believe that Bill Clinton is going to continue to keep a low profile much longer though as we move closer to the November election. Unlike Hillary, who is everywhere all the time, Bill just has to find the right time and place. Safely delivering some remarks to graduating students from the comfort of one of his homes is an easy way for him to re-emerge, test the water. Plus, let’s face it, Democrats prefer to see and hear from Hillary, not Bill. Bill Clinton can do some virtual campaigning for Joe and still play a part in Democrat politics, especially with black voters.
Democratic strategist Brad Bannon said the Biden campaign could use Bill Clinton to gin up turnout in urban areas, particularly with black voters “who adore the former president.”
“Otherwise you won’t see much interaction between the Biden campaign and Bill Clinton,” he predicted.
Clinton will also participate in “Class of 2020: Ready for Anything”, a commencement series sponsored by Verizon. Unlike other virtual commencement events, this series features successful business leaders and other leaders instead of celebrities.
The 42nd president of the United States will be a featured speaker in Verizon’s four-week “Class of 2020: Ready for Anything” series honoring this year’s graduating seniors. Clinton is scheduled to deliver a livestreamed address on Friday, June 12.
Verizon’s 2020 commencement series will feature 30-minute sessions over four consecutive Fridays with business execs and sports figures, capped with interactive Q&As in which viewers will be able to submit questions to the speakers.
Speakers in the series are: William P. Lauder, executive chairman, the Estée Lauder Cos., and Katie Sowers, San Francisco 49ers assistant coach (May 22); NBA star Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers (May 29); Hugh Evans, co-founder/CEO, Global Citizen, and Jen Rubio, co-founder of Away (June 5); and Bill Clinton and Verizon chairman/CEO Hans Vestberg (June 12). Start times for the sessions are TBA.
The speaker series will be streamed on Verizon’s LinkedIn page. The series will also be simulcast on the company’s Yahoo and Yahoo Life properties.
We’ll see how the re-appearance of Bill Clinton plays out. Most of us wish that both Clintons would just go away, but that’s not likely.