Clinton event in Little Rock

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Maggie Hendrix

Audience members gather on November 18 to see Bill and Hillary Clinton in Little Rock.

Maggie Hendrix, Reporter

On November 18, Bill and Hillary Clinton were in Little Rock to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the presidential election of 1992. Friends and supporters gathered for the panel moderated by political commentator James Carville.

The discussion was part of the Clinton Presidential Center’s Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture Series with opening remarks by the Clinton Foundation’s Executive Director Stephanie S. Streett and closing remarks by James L. Rutherford, the dean of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.

Prior to the discussion, Secretary Clinton signed copies of her book, What Happened and met hundreds of attendees. The book describes her experience during the 2016 election.

A number of audience members were former Arkansas Travelers, a group of about 600 friends and allies who campaigned for President Clinton in 1992 and 1996. His campaign’s slogan, as well as the theme of the anniversary discussion, was “Putting People First.” During the campaign, President Clinton focused on economic reform, and he said of the campaign trail, “people talked to you about real problems… and they wanted real solutions.” During his time in office, President Clinton raised taxes on the wealthy and cut defense spending, and his eight years in office saw strong economic growth, job creation, and the only federal budget surplus years since the 1960s. During the discussion, Secretary Clinton said, “if we had continued the policies of the Clinton administration, by now, we would have eliminated the national debt.”

Although the discussion’s focus was on 1992, 2016 did not go unmentioned. Secretary Clinton described her response to the election, saying that she read a lot of mysteries “because the bad guy always got it in the end.” She said of her husband’s approach to conflict during his time in office, “he didn’t tweet about it, he got to work about it.” In another candid reference to her 2016 opponent, Clinton asked of President Trump, “between tweeting and golfing, how does he get anything done?”

Despite some brazen remarks about the current political scene, the event’s focus remained on the Clintons’ past and the country’s future. Secretary Clinton said of the years to come, “resilience is the key, and it’s not only the key for individuals. It’s the key for our country.”

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