Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bill talks to Martha Stewart

I had no clue that Bill Clinton was on The Martha Stewart show on Monday! But I guess it makes total sense since it was President's Day and all. And lately Bill has been all over the place promoting the work of the Clinton Global Initiative. I'm so glad I came across a mention of this while randomly browsing the internets.

You can watch the entire episode on Martha's website.

Clinton on his dog Buddy:

MS: How important was it for you to have Buddy at the White House?

BC: Amazing. Hillary gave me Buddy when Chelsea was going off to Stamford, because she knew that I would be in the tank about it. I was a total wreck when my daughter went to college. I picked a lab because they’re one of the ten most intelligent dogs and they’re highly trainable and they’re kind. I named Buddy after my uncle. Harry Truman once said, ‘If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” So I had a dog.

Clinton on his wife’s new role as Secretary of State:

MS: Your beautiful wife has just been selected Secretary of State. We’re all very proud of her. What do you think her biggest challenges are?

BC: Well, first she has to restore our standing in the world as a trusted leader and partner for peace, security and prosperity, and she has to do it very adverse circumstances because the of the global economic crisis, the apparent paralysis of problems in the Middle East, all the troubles in Afghanistan and Iraq, and so the thing she’s got to do is try to operate on all these fronts but not lose the forest for the tree. And she has to do it in an environment in which normally the President would be more visible overseas, but he has to stay home more.

MS: He’s obligated to fix the economy.

BC: Absolutely. So her big challenge is to get and establish the sense of team work in the national security team under the President with all the other players, and then try to get all these things going at once. I think she’s off to a good start and I think he’s off to a good start.

Clinton on Clinton Global Initiative

MS: What do you hope to achieve this year with the CGI?

BC: Well, its going to be our fifth year when we meet, and what I hope we’ll do is survive the economic storm, and I hope that there will be an effort this time for those who can give to really support the non-government organizations that have been hurt by this downturn.

MS: Even in this hard time, we have to give. I think that’s a good message.

Clinton on the newly elected President, Barack Obama:

MS: What do you think are his biggest challenges?

BC: I think he’s got a great team.

MS: Many worked for you!

BC: They did work for me, and they did a good job for me and I think they’re making good decisions. I think…the stimulus bill is absolutely necessary. It’s important that the American people understand that the stimulus bill alone can’t bring the economy back, but it’s a bridge over troubled waters. It’s going to take awhile to fix the banking system. We have a private economy, we’ve got to get the banks lending again and all of that. But this bill will keep state and local governments from laying off hundreds of thousands of people or raising your taxes at a time when we shouldn’t do that. Either will hurt the economic recovery. This bill will help us to build new a energy future that is more independent and create millions of jobs while doing it. So it will help to rebuild America’s infrastructure , something that has been ignored for too long. And it will help us get through this. So I feel good about that. I think the next big challenge he faces is what is the most effective way to get the bad assets off the balance sheets now so banks feel free to loan and to rework as many of these home mortgages as possible, where the people who took the mortgage out and can’t pay it now are honest, hardworking people. What’s the best way to do that? If they can get that right…

MS: And without making them sleep in their cars.

BC: Yes, without making them sleep in their cars. If they can get that right, which will require everyone to take a little hit, including the people who issued the mortgages, you know, we all have to sacrifice a little bit here, then you will see, fairly soon, banks making solid loans again and then the economy will begin to come back. I noticed the other day the stock markets seemed to be saying that the Treasury Secretary didn’t give us enough details on the home mortgage thing, it didn’t give us enough details on the bailout.

MS: It plummeted.

BC: That’s true. But we all need to understand here that this is highly complicated and once you go down a road it is hard to reverse it. So its OK with me if they take a couple of more days to get this right. But the point is that their asking right questions, how can we save as many people and their homes as possible, how can we refinance these mortgages so people can pay them, what is a fair allocation of sacrifice in the losses that will occur as you redo the mortgages and then how can we make the banks secure enough to make loans. Most of you come from communities where your banks did not have any of these subprime mortgages, they didn’t make any of these funny loans, but they are scared to make a loan now. Why? Because first it was the housing crisis going down, now everything else is going down, so banks are afraid that they made loans that were great when they made them, but they are afraid they are going to be forced to write down the loans because the basis of the loan, the underlying collateral, is no longer what it was. They’ve got to fix that that. We’ve got to stop the decline in asset values, then the banks the will operate the way you are used to them operating.

MS: And yet, I have just noticed people are starting to buy houses.

BC: Absolutely.

MS: Smart, young couples are realizing that they can finally afford a house they really like. And they are starting to buy. I think that that’s an encouraging sign for all of us.

5 comments:

conanincharge said...

My brother woke me up to watch this! I had no idea either. It was great and he looked very sexy. :)

PYW said...

He always looks sexy, lol. I especially thought he looked great in those clips with John Roberts on CNN.

PYW said...

FYI, He's on Larry King tonight, too.

Sarah said...

i know, i love when he rocks the cowboy boots. totally hot.

man, the clintons are all over the place! ill be looking forward to larry king tonite. thanks for the heads up!

conanincharge said...

He's on Larry King? NICE! Thanks for letting us know.

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