October 17, 2006

Bill Clinton's Second Act

AOL seems to be having a couple of blogs / journals on Bill Clinton for their Citizen Journalism Daily Pulse Blog. The piece entitled, "Bill Clinton's Second Act" is trying in part to figure out his post-presidential impact and if it is changing peoples' minds. On the whole (so far) it seems that if you liked him before, you will like him now. And if you did not, you probably do not like him now. I think it might be a little while before we can know for sure.

On the whole, I think that Clinton was a good president. I think the positives out weigh the negatives overwhelmingly. Let's not throw out the baby with the bath water. Post-presidency he seems to have had better positive exposure than any president since Carter.  With some exceptions he seems to have been somewhat apolitical. Time will tell but after a relatively low profile he seems to be having some very positive impact. I think that he might be staying out of the political spotlight as to not overshadow any political ambitions that Hillary might have.

While he was a solid, progressive democrat he was also a consummate politician (and one hell of a campaigner). He would reach across the isle when needed. He wanted to build consensus and get things done. Now that he does not have a "personal" political agenda, it is much easier for him to partner with whomever makes the most sense. He still knows how to command the world stage. Recently, taking the stage with Laura Bush for "play pumps" in Africa (an initiative she is spearheading) at the kick-off for his Clinton Global Initiative roundtable. This is cause for which he is donating millions. He also partnered with President Bush, Sr. on post-Katrina clean up efforts. Let's not kid ourselves, he likes the spotlight. But he also seems to take that light and point towards areas of need.

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October 25, 2005

Colleges and "American" Values

Top 10 Colleges for American Values-
"Choosing the Right College: The Whole Truth About America's Top Schools," by ISI Books has been published since 1998. It seems a little unnerving that people would choose schools on something as nebulous as "American" values.  I guess what they are speaking to is the idea of tradition and the "ideal" family. As one might guess, most of the top 10 are from some religious background or influence.
I must say that I have not read the book, but I saw nothing in the discussion of it to suggest that there is a clear definition of values. It seems to be a synonym for tradition, conservatism and religion. I believe that anyone should be able to choose an educational direction for themselves or their kids. For me, it is just the seemingly presumptious way in which the books suggests.
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