Bill Clinton: We Can Have 40 Years of Progressive Politics

Ex-prez says stars now aligned for health care reform

Friday, Aug 14, 2009  |  Updated 7:38 AM EDT
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Bill Clinton is back in the spotlight.

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Former President Bill Clinton urged a gathering of liberal bloggers and activists to unite behind President Obama and Democrats on health care and climate change legislation if they want a new progressive era to last up to 40 years. 

Back in the spotlight after returning from a successful mission to North Korea that won release of two American journalists, Clinton delivered an hour-long keynote at the Netroots Nation convention Thursday in Pittsburgh, Pa. He told the group that as president he never had a Democratic filibuster-proof majority in Congress to push through health care reform, and pleaded for activists to seize the current moment. 

"We can’t be in the peanut gallery," Clinton said. "We have to be actors. Don’t lose your energy because things don’t work out the way you want."

While most of his speech reportedly went over well with the liberal audience, the ex-president received heckles for past positions on gay marriage and the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. “Nobody regrets how this was implemented any more than I do. I hated what happened,” Clinton said.

Get More: Politico, New York Times

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