My meeting with Bill Clinton: Wall Street vs Main Street
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If you had an hour to spend with Bill Clinton, what would you say?
That's the question I spent most of the weekend pondering, as I prepared to take part in a small meeting of bloggers in advance of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting here in New York that begins on Wednesday. Turns out that Bill is keen on bloggers, and I was thrilled to have made the cut to take part. Others in the room were Jack Aponte from Feministe, Kim Pearson from Professor Kim's News Notes, Josh Levy from Change.org, Nancy Scola from TechPresident, Dana Goldstein from The American Prospect, Emily Douglas from RH Reality Check, Josh Orton from MyDD, Matthew Cordell from the UN Foundation, Solana Larsen of Global Voices and about 4 or 5 other folks.
Going into a meeting with a President does carry an air of, how to put it, "I'm clearly in another world which I have never before seen." We assembled in the lobby of the hotel in Midtown, and were soon whisked up to the "holding room" while Clinton finished his meeting with the newly elected president of Paraguay. Just hearing, "The president will be with you right after he's finished with the president of Paraguay" reinforces the aforementioned air. Aides and Secret Service buzzing in the hallways, we waited about 15 minutes for our turn.
We were guided swiftly into the meeting room, which had chairs and couches arranged in a large circle, as if this was the Other World's version of a dorm hall group meeting. As we arranged ourselves, Bill came over and started greeting each one of us. When a former president of the US shakes your hand and looks you directly in the eye while you tell him your name, your transition through this portal is complete. Then it's all just shootin' the breeze from there on out.