CLINTONS IN CALIFORNIA – ON SCENE WITH BILL WILSON

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Sign above the escalators on the way to the event
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

BY BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson © 2010

While former President Bill Clinton went to UCLA to campaign for the Democratic ticket, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came to San Francisco to address the Commonwealth Club of California. “I’m out of politics as you know,” she said. “The secretary of state is not involved in any political activity.” Instead she addressed issues of importance and defended the policies of the administration.

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressing the Commonwealth Club
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

Asked to define success in Afghanistan, She said that success would be “a stable country able to defend itself while making progress towards institutionalizing democracy.” She explained that there was a two pronged approach to bring about peace that were part of an Afghan led process that “we are in agreement with” involving both reintegration and reconciliation. Reintegration involves the battlefield soldier who is ready to go home. They are mainly young men who were intimidated into joining the Taliban because it paid well, they must renounce al-Qaida, give up violence and abide by the Constitution. Reconciliation involves negotiating among leaders of groups an is a process just getting started.

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Secretary of State Clinton
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

Not surprisingly Secretary Clinton’s answer to a question about the Alberta Clipper pipeline project drew some boos. The claim was made that the project promoted the dirtiest source of energy and asked if the Secretary of State would consider not approving the pipe line which would run from Alberta to Wisconsin. While the review of the project is not completed, the Secretary of State said that she would not be inclined to reconsider approval. She mentioned that the administration supported renewable energy and was committed to making that happen but that there was still a need to consider energy security issues until those alternatives were more fully developed.

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Secretary of State Clinton leaves the stage
after her Commonwealth Club address
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

However, strong applause came from the audience when she said, “If we permit China with all her investments in renewable energy to become the leader in renewable technology then shame on us.” She pledged that our relationship with China will remain core to our values and but that there is no way the US can force internal change. That must be motivated,” she asserted, “by people inside.”

Pakistan and Mexico provided contrasting solutions to US aid. Asked about the floods in Pakistan, Secretary Clinton stated that the floods were a set back to development, but that if Pakistan wanted America to help them they wild first have to help themselves. Currently the wealthiest people in Pakistan pay very minimal taxes.

The part of the solution in Mexico is admitting that the United States shares some of the responsibility for the problems. It is our appetite for drugs that feeds the demand for drugs. So the United States comes to Mexico and says “We” have a problem and want to help you. “Not just with guns and helicopters but also to help with building an independent judicial system and so many other things we could do.”

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Secretary of State Clinton
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

The closest she did get to addressing the Tea Party mentality that has taken hold of the country was in the remark that she hoped “people are thinking and not just reacting, and not pretending that the problems are easy to solve.”

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Secretary Clinton and friends
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

The last question on the evening was posed by a ten year old who asked about the environment and what could be done. Prefacing her remarks with the caveat that she was speaking as a private citizen, she said, “I hope that people take some of that energy and focus it on the environment and climate change, because we really do have to have a longer-range view of what will make our country strong, and rich and smart.”

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GO GIANTS!!!
Photo By Bill Wilson © 2010

See Related: BILL CLINTON STUMPS LOS ANGELES FOR JERRY BROWN AND GAVIN NEWSOM

See Related: CAN JERRY BROWN SURVIVE BILL CLINTON THIS WEEKEND?

See Related: ON SCENE WITH BILL WILSON ARCHIVE

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BILL WILSON
Sentinel Photojournalist
Bill Wilson is a San Francisco-based veteran photojournalist. Bill embraced photojournalism at the age of eight. In recent years, his photos capture historic record of the San Francisco LGBT community in the Bay Area Reporter (BAR), The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Examiner, SFist, SFAppeal. Bill has contributed to the Sentinel for the past six years. Email Bill Wilson at wfwilson@sbcglobal.net.


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