Friday, December 08, 2006
Clinton in Holland
Yesterday Bill Clinton gave a speech in de Soestdijk Palace in Holland, the former home of Prince Bernhard and Queen Juliana.
His William J. Clinton Foundation is working together with the Dutch Postcode Lottery to fight AIDS, poverty and promote environmental responsibilty.
I know I had said I would put a short hold on bashing Bush while waiting for his response to the midterm elections, the TSG and other input into the Iraq war and situation. But the contrast between the speaking skills of these two men is so enormous I can't let it pass by.
I listened to the speech via the website of the Postcode Lottery. A few remarks:
Clinton has the innate ability to get a crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. I realize you can say it is fake, a put-on, that he is a charlatan. I don't think so. I do public speaking for a living, and I know what it takes to get a crowd sitting on the edge of it's chair. You don't do that day in and day out if you are a fake.
He is extremely articulate, makes very few grammatical mistakes, and knows exactly what words to give to what he wants to say. And it has been known for a long time that his mastery of facts and figures is superb.
Specific facts and stories are placed in the context of larger themes and developments. The listener knows, at the end of a speech, how to think and how to act. It is a real learning experience to listen to him.
After the speech was over, Clinton received a light bulb that is being developed in the Netherlands. It produces a certain amount of light using 75% less energy.
Clinton's off the cuff remark was (and he had just come back from a long trip to Asia): "When I saw a Buddhist monk meditating in Asia, I thought to myself that I also could use a little bit of enlightenment. I didn't know I would be getting it this soon."