Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster

President Clinton Addresses Crowd at Owensboro Fundraising Event

clinton1OWENSBORO, Ky. (3/6/13) – The current approach to politics in Washington is a failing one, but something America can overcome if people work together to change it. That was the message of former President Bill Clinton at a fundraising speech tonight.

The event, held to raise money for the Wendell H. Ford Education Center, hosted President Clinton as the keynote speaker. Clinton, who was invited by Ford to speak, said what the country needs right now are more leaders who are willing to discuss their differences and work to find the middle ground. Throughout his speech, he hailed Ford as the sort of person who did that when he worked in Washington in the 90’s, the same time Clinton was president.

“I thought a lot about coming up here and making you laugh,” Clinton said before adding that he decided it would be better to talk about the positive impact Ford had during his years of service in the federal government.

“One of the things he did in the Congress that meant a lot to me was… Wendell Ford was the first member of Congress to vote to put federal records on line,” Clinton said. “We now take it for granted.

“There are parts of our government still kept secret which have nothing to do with national security,” he added.

Clinton continued by saying he believes “debates are healthy,” and encouraged the audience to “trust people enough to really tell them what’s going on.”

“One of the things that really bothers me about modern politics is polling,”he said as he explained the process. Essentially, a poll is designed to help a candidate know what the most important topics are for voters, so the candidate can focus on those specific issues.

“That’s the dumbest advice you’ll ever get,” he said of the process.

clinton2

Clinton said he also hopes to see the country return to a time when candidates found middle ground among their voters on important topics, rather than catering to a specific constituency. He said the change in the way media works over the last decade is partly to blame for the shift in political philosophy.

“The breakdown of stable, reliable advertising… has put people in the position of blurring the lines between news and politics,” he said, noting that sound bites from politicians have continually shrunk in length over the last 50 years. Where a comment from President John F. Kennedy was closer to 45 seconds in length, he said, a quote from President Barack Obama today runs about 10 seconds.

“Everything gets distilled in whatever the conflict is,” Clinton said. “Never mind the details.”

Clinton said the change in the way media operates isn’t the only factor.

“The American people have to own up to some of this,” Clinton said. “It’s not just a conspiracy.”

“We just have one bigotry left,” he said as he noted that many of the prejudices of the twentieth century have been left behind. “We don’t want to be around anyone who disagrees with us.”

clinton3

Clinton continued his speech by referencing the current budget deficit challenges that led to sequestration of federal funds for many government programs, include defense and education spending.

“If it was up to me, we’d be out of debt in three years,” Clinton said, pointing out the fact that interest rates are below inflation rates right now. “You have to walk and chew gum at the same time.”
Ultimately, he said, the issues in Washington will resolve themselves when people come together to solve the problems the country now faces.

“It’s a complicated time, but there’s nothing wrong with this country we can’t fix,” he said. “There are too many people who think it is preferable to hunker down. It is preferable to think like (President Abraham) Lincoln, to think like (Wendell) Ford. It’s alright if we don’t get 100 percent of what we want as long as we move ahead.”

Clinton spoke before a sizeable crowd at the River Park Center in Owensboro. Other speakers at the event included Ford and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear.

Dennis Beard
SurfKY News
Photos by Dennis Beard

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Parking Committee Meeting Location Change

OWENSBORO, Ky. (9/15/14) — The Parking Committee meeting scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. will be held… Read More

‘Independence Day in September’ Planned at Botanical Garden

OWENSBORO, Ky. (9/15/14) — Western Kentucky Botanical Garden has announced its plans to host 'Independence Day in… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

September 12, 2014 17647

Woman's Body Found in Theater Day After…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
September 15, 2014 3749

Man Accused of Stalking Woman During Her…

in Top Stories by GPD PIO Wes Miller
September 13, 2014 3698

MPD Responds to a Disturbance at Baptist…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 15, 2014 3615

Man Accused of Stealing Rural King…

in Top Stories by MCSO PIO Alex Piper
September 12, 2014 2149

Paradise Residents Plan First Reunion…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

September 13, 2014 3698

MPD Responds to a Disturbance at Baptist…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 12, 2014 1970

Madisonville Man Arrested for Disturbing…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 15, 2014 1948

Man Arrested for DUI, Carrying Concealed…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 15, 2014 1866

Man Arrested for Being Under Influence of…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 12, 2014 1688

Earlington Woman Jailed for Trying to…

in Top Stories by MPD Officer Matt Sanderson

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

September 12, 2014 1439

Ursuline Presentation 'Spirituality of…

in News by Jennifer Kaminski
September 13, 2014 1158

The Gift of Aging Oct. 16

in News by Jennifer Kaminski
September 13, 2014 1112

Audubon Bon Harbor Area Alliance to Host…

in News by Abby Shelton
September 12, 2014 1110

Owensboro Police Investigate Accidents

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
September 13, 2014 1095

Dogwood Azalea Neighborhood Alliance to…

in News by Abby Shelton

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

September 15, 2014 3749

Man Accused of Stalking Woman During Her…

in Top Stories by GPD PIO Wes Miller
September 15, 2014 3615

Man Accused of Stealing Rural King…

in Top Stories by MCSO PIO Alex Piper
September 12, 2014 2149

Paradise Residents Plan First Reunion…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 16, 2014 1786

Postal Worker Arrested for Terroristic…

in Top Stories by GPD PIO Wes Miller
September 12, 2014 1479

Chamber Program Speaker Re-enforces…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06