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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Little Rock Report #3

Dscf5478Heard Bill Clinton speak today at this AAN luncheon. He went on forever. I had forgotten about his wide-ranging, copiously sourced speeches. The guys at my table joked about creating a bibliography that would include the many books he mentioned, including Emotional Intelligence, The Empty Tank: Oil, gas, hot air and the coming global financial catastrophe, and James Howard Kunstler's peak oil treatise The Long Emergency.

He spent a lot of time talking about the energy crisis. And he seemed to want to convince us that if she runs, Hillary will be a good presidential candidate — probably time well-spent given that he was talking with a room full of lefty newspaper people who will no doubt address the race. He kept taking questions, even after his aide said it was time to wrap it up.

I took this picture after he spoke, during the hour or so he spent shaking hands, signing autographs and answering questions from the folks in the audience. He really loves the meatspace, this guy. Loves to talk and press the flesh. Er...

UPDATE: Here's a report on the speech from USA Today. Incidentally, that's Westword editor Patty Calhoun in the photo with Bill.
UPDATE II: Here's a more colorful summary from the AAN website.

June 17, 2006 at 07:01 PM in House Rules | Permalink


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Wow, one has to wonder if Bill has actually read The Long Emergency. While Kunstler does make a solid point, he gets there in such an opinionated and alarmist way it detracts from the credibility. If you are setting out to make a preemptive strike on Hillary's emerging competition, I would choose a source that is based more in fact, something like Matthew Simmons Twilight in the Desert or Amory Lovins' Winning the Oil Endgame. I mean if you are stepping into Al's backyard, you might want to have some big guns. Of course what do I know, I am just your average idiot driving to Mongolia.

Posted by: Nathaniel | Jun 17, 2006 9:42:34 PM

Actually, when Bill referenced Kunstler's book, he pretty much said it was alarmist. He cited the Empty Tank book as a better source for energy stuff. I think he cited Kunstler to let us know he'd read it or at least was familiar with it and with the concept of peak oil. His comments were in no way an endorsement.

Posted by: cresmer | Jun 18, 2006 1:05:00 AM

Well, there you go, my shot at political commentary thwarted by our former Pres. I honestly have not read the Empty Tank. I have been shying away from the whole Peak Oil deal to try to keep from sinking into endless depression.

Posted by: Nathaniel | Jun 18, 2006 8:15:54 AM

No kidding. It's one thing when lefty activists talk about climate change and peak oil. That's scary, but you get the sense that maybe they're overstating things a little.

It's really sobering to hear an ex-president who the lefties now see as a moderate warning us that we need to get in gear, because he's read the same stuff the activists have read, and decided for the most part they're right.

I got to see a preview copy of the Great Warming before I left. I just kept thinking, man, we are so screwed. Even more so because we're being governed by an administration with such close ties to the oil companies, and such a short-sighted approach to energy policy. Ugh.

Posted by: cresmer | Jun 19, 2006 6:36:56 AM

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