Clinton slam-dunks Berkeley
By Bonnie Azab Powell
"Thats the nicest welcome ever given to a Stanford
parent, joked Bill Clinton about the standing ovation he
received after Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl presented him with
the Berkeley Medal on January 29.
|Former president Bill
Clinton shakes hands with Berkeley students in the overflow
room at Haas Pavilion. Peg Skorpinski photo
More than 2,000 people filled Zellerbach Hall to hear the former
president speak. In the Bay Area for a fund-raising event, Clinton
was invited to campus by the Graduate School of Journalism and
the Chancellors Office, for which he waived his usual $100,000
Also attending was Governor Gray Davis, who -- along with Clinton
-- congratulated Berkeley for its role in the Center
for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society
(CITRIS) and the Bioengineering, Biotechnology and Quantitative
Biomedical Research Institute (QB3), two new UC-based centers
for science and innovation.
Clinton spoke for a fact-filled 30 minutes about globalizations
positive and negative effects. Weve torn down the
walls and spread information and technology around the world,
he said, speaking without notes or a TelePromp- Ter. But
half the people on earth were left out of this expansion. One
billion go to bed hungry every night; 1.5 billion never get a
clean glass of water.
Such poverty is the root of current terrorist activity, according
to Clinton. In a passage that set off waves of applause, he said,
I do not believe that a law enforcement and military strategy
alone is enough to build a world that we want our children to
live in. I dont want the walls weve torn down to be
substituted with barbed wire. The solution, he continued,
is to spread the benefits and shrink the burdens around
Returning to his Stanford-parent joke, Clinton reminded the audience
that focusing on our racial, religious, tribal, and ethnic differences,
instead of our common humanity, would forever keep peace at bay.
After the speech Clinton sat down with journalism dean Orville
Schell for a question-and-answer session about his view of the
media and why the right wing detests him. He seemed relaxed and
When told that an overflow audience had watched a video simulcast
next door in the Haas Pavilion, Clinton headed over to shake hands
for another half-hour. Passed a basketball to sign, he went for
a 20-foot free throw, missing on the first try -- but sinking
the second, to the crowds delighted roar.
of Bill Clinton's speech and additional information about
the visit, including videos of speech can be found here.