They do the scratchy high-in-the-throat drawl, the run-on pronouncements studded with arcane facts and statistics (“And with every ten per cent of cell-phone penetration G. At around two-thirty, though, pillows and blankets appeared and lights were dimmed. But, just as it did, a familiar voice beckoned from the doorway: “Hey! ”I saw some of Clinton’s aides slouched in their seats in the rear of the plane, their eyes shut, their mouths agape like murder victims in a Weegee photograph. Clinton sat down on the arm of the seat and eased his way into a near-soliloquy that lasted two hours.Clinton was carrying a marked-up copy of “The Party’s Over: Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Societies,” by Richard Heinberg, on how oil production led to economic modernity and how its depletion will shape the future.“Interesting book, Mr. First, he talked about light bulbs—their history, their physical properties, their contribution to greenhouse gases, the latest developments in bulb technology.Bush—here or just about anywhere else in the world—and it is this implicit comparison that accounts for the remarkable popularity of Bill Clinton.“I’m honored to be here, and thank you to Germany,” he said, lolling in the warm bath of cheers.
He recalled Gao Hong, the goalie for the Chinese women’s team, who, in the 1999 World Cup final, gave up the decisive penalty kick to Brandi Chastain, of the American team.
Gao had played brilliantly until that point, but, like Zidane, she had to return home and endure the consequences of her defeat. The Secret Service contingent and a few staffers were in front, press were in the middle, and Clinton and his aides in back.
For decades, including the White House years, Clinton’s game was hearts (or, when he lacked a posse, solitaire), but he dropped it when Steven Spielberg, a longtime Friend of Bill, taught him Oh Hell—a lesser cousin of contract bridge.
Nearly all Clinton’s younger aides refer to their boss as “the President,” but they also “do” him. goes up point six per cent ”), and the trademark exclamations (“Isn’t that fascinating? Newcomers pick it up pretty quickly, and so, as half a dozen of us fumbled through our middle-of-the-night Oh Hell lesson, we were also cracking wise in the voice of the forty-second President of the United States.
He talked about alternative fuels, ethanol research, the politics of ethanol, the value of tar sands, the near-inevitability of hundred-dollar-a-barrel oil.
He talked about the relative virtues of hybrid vehicles and electric cars and whether Detroit had conspired to kill their development.He pronounced oil depletion an opportunity: “But we need to make fixing climate change as politically sexy as putting a man on the moon.” And as the “conversation” veered into politics Clinton talked about one of his favorite recent books, a study, by Harold Holzer, of Lincoln’s speech in 1860 at Cooper Union, which launched his campaign for the Republican nomination.It was Lincoln’s “toughness” at Cooper Union that Clinton seemed to admire most, and which led him to a theme he kept returning to all week: the need for the Democratic Party to “lean into” Republican attacks. candidate, and he made sure to say how funny and decent he is, and how heroic he was in Vietnam, but soon he was pointing out Mc Cain’s “far-right” bona fides, his being “right there with Bush” on preëmptive war and “loads” of right-wing domestic policies. We’re going to have a The post-Presidency as an institution and as a source of public interest is mainly a modern phenomenon.“In 1994, Helmut Kohl and I stood on a stage here,” Clinton told me over the roar. Then he shook some more hands and posed for pictures with a row of cheerleaders holding glittery pom-poms.“That day, there were a hundred thousand people—but nothing like this. Jay Carson, a diligent young Georgian who works as Clinton’s communications director, started to interject the kind of polite “Ahem”s and “Thank you”s and nods that lesser politicians know to take as signals to wrap things up. We made it to the game with a few minutes to spare.While Clinton’s statesmanship has been strictly freelance for the past six years, he was not far from the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and he spent time during the game, and during the breaks, chatting with old friends—the schmoozer .He was in the midst of a long trip typical of his increasingly manic and global post-Presidency.As the bus pulled up to the stadium, a few people stopped to greet the ex-President and his daughter, but most hustled to the gates in orderly streams.Clinton, though he may be less schooled in “the beautiful game” than in the fortunes of the Arkansas Razorbacks, said, “I’m totally psyched for this.”The Clintons took their seats in the “statesmen’s section,” at midfield.The bus pulled up behind a stage that had been erected under the gate. A rock band performing onstage got the signal from the wings to wind up a song, and Clinton, white-haired, trim, and wearing the dark suit and radiant tie of high office, strode out to the microphone and began to wave. —but as people began to recognize him on the big screens, with the familiar smile and the ingratiating squint, they started to cheer, louder and louder.Clinton climbed down from the bus and took in the mass of people. It was impossible not to wonder what the reception would have been for George W.