September 26th, 2009
02:37 PM ET
13 years ago

Clintons share the stage - and a kiss - during initiative event

NEW YORK (CNN) - One of America's pre-eminent political power couples made a rare joint appearance Friday, when Bill and Hillary Clinton took the stage at the former president's Clinton Global Initiative conference.

"I want to begin by expressing my extreme indebtedness to the Clinton Global Initiative, to all of you who participated, for giving me the first chance I have had in a week to see Hillary," Bill Clinton told the audience of social activists and business leaders at the closing session of CGI, a week-long conference designed to find solutions to global problems through public and private partnerships.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was at the session to unveil a new State Department initiative on food security.

As he introduced her, the former president was effusive in his praise for his wife, saying that her approach to food security - helping farmers around the world grow their own food to earn income and alleviate poverty - was much smarter than the decades-long policy of simply giving humanitarian aid and food to countries.

"It was a wrong-headed policy. It persisted through Democratic and Republican policies alike, including mine. We were all wrong and she is determined to reverse it," Bill Clinton said, adding that while he was busy engaging in politics, Hillary had "become her own NGO."

"Most of what I know about what I do today, I learned from her and she has become the best public servant our family has produced," he added. "I am very proud of her and honored that she came here."

Secretary Clinton, who received a standing ovation, had equally kind words for her husband.

"It won't surprise you to hear that I am very proud of my husband and I think what he has invented and brought to life here is extraordinary," she said, adding that the new State Department food initiative, in part, was an idea she developed by seeing the kinds of partnerships the Clinton Global Initiative produced.

The Clintons posed for a photo-op with State Department officials and executives from General Mills and other organizations, who pledged at the conference to start a program to help farmers around the world.

And then, for fans of the former first couple, a rare treat. As she
walked off the stage, Hillary's proud husband drew some more cheers when he gave his wife a kiss.

Bill Clinton continued to read off the million-dollar commitments he received at the conference for additional social programs. And Hillary Clinton left to meet with 15 ministers from the Caribbean.

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soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. LacrosseMom(stuck in moderation)

    Bill & Hillary Clinton, are a good example of a marriage that has survived through "better & worse" so many marriages end because of affairs. Yet here they are still serving their country, still giving back.

    GOD BLESS YOU, Bill & Hillary! Thank you for all you do to make our Nation and the world a better place!

    September 26, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. valwayne

    Its good to see Bill providing Hillary support. She probably needs it. A Secretary of State is usually and architect or at least a key player in Administration foreign policy. Obama's foreign policy of naivete and appeasement appears to have no input from Hillary. She would have been a lot more effective in the Senate. You have to wonder how long she will stay?

    September 26, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. Pam

    Bill and Hillary have the cool couple factor. They are truly unique in their ability to overide and trump any issues that would have destroyed other marriages.

    September 26, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. robert d lang

    Heroes? The Clintons? What has EITHER of these to clowns done to be labeled heroes? What a joke...

    September 26, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  5. demo rat

    how disgusting , would rather kiss a slug.

    September 26, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. Rob

    I met the Clintons in Fayettville,Arkansas 2 years ago while I was working at the University of Arkansas.It is always a pleasure to meet and talk to both of the. They are both very intelligent and speak the truth.In a matter of moments I felt like I had known them for years.

    September 26, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. Danielle

    They are the best people in America. She will have be a great President.
    God bless the clinton

    September 26, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. Mike

    I agree with Bill Clinton. Although I did not support Hillery in her bid to be President. She is an excellent Seretary of State.

    September 26, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. Carol

    Wow, it really says something about their relationship when a small gesture of affection makes the CNN news! This is an everyday occurrence in most marriages that I know. Nothing newsworthy in my home.

    September 26, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  10. S Callahan

    is this an Aweeeeeeeee moment?

    I'm glad SOS Clinton is focusing on the food initiative (some of her Methodist roots coming through 🙂 though she might want to include the tree replanting program (ie example Reforestation Green Int or RGi) along with this program so they who recieve from this become independent and not dependent.
    It's a good start.....

    September 26, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  11. Case

    I guess Democrats have to help out foreign farmers so that we will be able to import food when they get finished choking the life out of the American agriculture industry.

    September 26, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. Art

    God Bless Bill & Hillary Clinton for their devotion to our Country and the World.

    September 26, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  13. IMG

    Go Away! I doubt Hillary knows what affection is. Or Bill for that matter.

    September 26, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. Diane in Ohio

    They are both great Americans and deserve our respect, as does President Obama.

    September 26, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
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