January 29th, 2009
10:38 AM ET
11 months ago

Bill Clinton: It's a good time to be alive

DAVOS, Switzerland (CNN) - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton delivered an upbeat message Thursday amid the mood of economic gloom at the World Economic Forum, telling delegates, "This is still a good time to be alive."

Clinton admitted that the deepening impact of the financial meltdown, which is dominating the agenda at this year's meeting in Davos, had left many people frightened - but said the global scale of the crisis proved that the world's nations could no longer afford to turn their backs on one another.

"This financial crisis proves, as nothing else should or could, the fundamental fact that global interdependence is more important than anything else in the world today," Clinton said. "We cannot escape each other. Divorce is not an option."

Clinton, the husband of current U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urged the current generation of international statesmen to rise to the leadership challenges posed by the financial collapse and climate change.

"This is not a time for denial or delay. Do something. Give people confidence by showing confidence," said Clinton, who served in the White House from 1993 to 2001. "Don't give up. Don't bet against yourself. Don't bet against your country. This is still a good time to be alive."


In a year when the absence of celebrities has been notable here, the appearance of the still-charismatic Clinton offered some light relief as delegates also turned their attention to the situation in the Middle East and the war in Afghanistan.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Israeli President Shimon Peres, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner were among many leaders making keynote appearances at the
forum.

Earlier, Ban announced details of a $613 million humanitarian aid appeal for the people of Gaza following this month's Israeli military offensive.

Afghanistan's Defense Minister Mohammad Rahim Wardak called on U.S. President Barack Obama to deliver on his pledge to commit more troops to the fight against Taliban and al Qaeda militants, but said his country needed more investment to prosper as well.

But Kouchner told the same panel that his country, which currently commits 2,600 troops to the NATO-led operation, would not be increasing the size of its deployment.

"We have just increased the number of our soldiers," he said. "There is no prospect of (France) sending more troops for the time being, and it has not been asked."


Filed under: Bill Clinton
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Pete

    Gee Bill – I guess when you still have a lot of money coming in, it's a great time to be alive. Obviously your paycheck wasn't cut in half or taken away.

    January 29, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. horrendous

    Pete, maybe you should of saved some money so you would not be whinning about other peoples money...hows that for you being a sore looooooserrr!

    January 29, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. Pete

    Did he bring some interns with him on the trip?

    January 29, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. Osama bin Laden

    I agree with Bill Clinton.

    January 29, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. Matt

    I am sure it is good to be alive when you made 6 million last year giving speeches in foreign countries.

    January 29, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. today

    try living in some of our shoes and it won't seem so great, i believe Obama will get us out of the mess that bush and the republicans caused with their foolish ways, but it will take time, so i don't care to hear how wonderful you have it bill, we all already know it, please don't rub it in, it's like putting salt on an open wound.

    January 29, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  7. Dylan from MN

    He's right. I'm facing, along with millions of others, a future that is uncertain. But from what I have been seeing, especially in the past year, is that people know that we all, as a human community, need to work together to solve our problems...and that is a beautiful thing. If you're against this then sit on the sidelines, but there are millions willing, at the drop of the hat, to help and heal this world.

    January 29, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  8. David, New York, NY

    At least one of us feels that way.

    January 29, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. Dylan from MN

    He's right. I'm facing, along with millions of others, a future that is uncertain. But from what I have been seeing, especially in the past year, is that people know that we all, as a human community, need to work together to solve our problems…and that is a beautiful thing. If you're against this then sit on the sidelines, but there are millions willing, at the drop of the hat, to help and heal this world.

    ***Please post CNN***

    January 29, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Proud American

    I guess it's safe to say if I was worth close to 200 million dollars I could make that same statement.

    January 29, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. Maurice from Ontario

    While it is clear that financial worries abound everywhere across the globe, I can see why Clinton is urging world leaders and financial leaders to strive to look at other facets of the coin. Things could be worse...lots worse. We all have to consider how things could be worse. And after having done that, we might be able to see some of the good things that remain.

    Whether he has made tons of money with his speeches in all corners of the world and has really no financial worries, compared to most people in the world, Clinton brings a message we need to hear in order to remain objective and steadfast in our efforts ... individually and as nations.

    January 29, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. Greg

    We have been experiencing financial hardship nationwide and worldwide. It is time for people to be encouraged and inspired to work together to bring our country on her feet. There should be no place for some to be narrow-minded to launch personal attacks here.

    January 29, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. Jim

    This is one that should have been taken out of office and the limelight a long time ago.

    horrendous: It does not matter what you saved. We had substantial savings in 401K, Lost most of it almost overnight. Investments almost the same. As for Clinton, he should be banned.

    January 29, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. proud american

    Divorce is not an option?

    Hillary should divorce Bill and his wagging finger for blowing the election for her...

    That's probably what he would like, though...

    January 29, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Osama bin Laden

    Of course anytime is a good time to be alive...

    January 29, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  16. Vik

    Don't fault the guy, because he happens to be smart and made something of himself. Yeah, he's richer then 90% of us, but what does that have to do with his message. He's telling the rest of us to be hopeful and take this country to a higher level. There's nothing wrong with that. I don't care if he says it or the regular guy, it's the same message.

    January 29, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  17. w.l. jones

    The Human mind is jelling into one thereby world finanial intuition alway create a loll so they can access how they can procede in the future. Mr. Clinton is a smart man he know what he talk about.

    January 29, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  18. M Meadors

    Good time for him. Making millions on crappy speeches and his wife out of the country most of the time. He is in Heaven. What a disgusting slug......

    January 29, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. Jeff

    Well said Mr. Clinton. Spoken like a true statesman. Now more than ever we (the world) need good leadership and collectively something to believe in and work for. Together we can solve problems, (truly) divided we fail. There is enough for everyone if we share...call it socialism, call it whatever someone wants to...there cannot be rich elitist haves (1% of the world's population) and the have nots (99% of the world's population) – without at least the basics – work, food, shelter, clothing, health care. This must happen or I predict, with trepidation and fear, a global uprising will occur.

    January 29, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. Sandra Dee

    "Give people confidence by showing confidence." I do not think the Republicans have any interest in this very important mantra.

    January 29, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. jose chompre

    Remember folks, Bill Clinton gave G.W. a nice surplus of $127 billion when they switched jobs ...

    Plus he created 22 million jobs, in 8 years .....

    Plus, give him credit for peace in Ireland, how soon we forget.

    Plus refomed welfare to workfare, .... contrary to what the Republicans say ...

    Plus he worked with a Republican Congress .... hmm?

    So let's stop bashing Billy boy, and recognize the guy is brilliant, ..

    And Hillary well, .... like he said once, I married someone who's way smarter then I ....

    Let's stop these childish things OK? .... grow up!

    January 29, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |