Colbert Galactic Initiative - Bill Clinton Pt. 2

  • Aired:  04/08/13
  •  | Views: 59,782

President Bill Clinton discusses his time restraints as president and his "totally selfish" aid work, including agricultural projects in Rwanda and Malawi. (4:47)

>> Stephen: QUOAL BACK, EVERYBODY.

WE'RE AT THE CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE UNIVERSITY WITH THE NAMESAKE PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON.

SIR, THERE ARE THINGS YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH NOW THAT YOU WERE NOT ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH WHEN YOU WERE

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES?

DOES THE CGI GIVE YOU A FREEDOM YOU DIDN'T HAVE AS PRESIDENT?

>> WELL IN SOME WAYS.

THAT IS WHEN YOU ARE PRESIDENT YOU HAVE MORE POWER BUT ALSO SUBJECT TOLL DAILY EVENTS.

THAT IS SUFFICIENT TO RESPOND TO WHAT HAS HAPPENED.

>> Stephen: I KNOW WHAT DAILY EVENTS ARE.

>> WHEN YOU ARE OUT OF OFFICE, SINCE NOBODY IS GOING TO CALL YOU AT 3:00 IN THE MORNING TO

DEAL WITH AN EMERGENCY, YOU CAN JUST DEAL WITH SOMETHING YOU CHOOSE AND YOU CAN GET INTO REAL DEBT.

IF I GO, FOR EXAMPLE, I HAVE THESE AGRICULTURAL PROJECTS IN RWANDA AND MALAWI AND I CAN GO

OUT ON REMOTE COUNTRY ROADS AND SEE THEM, SEE HOW THEY ARE WORKING, TALK TO THE PEOPLE WHO

ARE EFFECTED BY THEM.

WHEN I WAS PRESIDENT, I MAYBE GOT TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT ONCE WHEN I VISITED UGANDA AND I

TALKED TO THE PRESIDENT OF UGANDA INTO GOING DOWN A LONG PATH WAY TO A SCHOOL AND VILLAGE

TO SEAT AID PROGRAMS.

YOU DON'T DO THAT AS PRESIDENT.

YOU HAVE MORE TIME TO DIG INTO THE DETAILS SO YOU CAN HAVE A BIGGER IMPACT IN A NARROWER

FIELD WHEN YOU LEAVE.

THAT'S IMPORTANT.

>> Stephen: NOW, THE WAY YOU DESCRIBE THE THINGS YOU DO AND THE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO AND

THE WAY YOU WANT TO IMPROVE THE WORLD, I SOUNDS HAVE GOOD BUT I LISTEN TO A LOT OF RIGHT WING

RADIO AND I KNOW THERE'S NOTHING THAT YOU AND MRS. CLINTON DO THAT DOESN'T HAVE AN ANGLE.

YOU ARE ALWAYS HUNGRY FOR POWER.

WHAT IS THE GRIST HERE IN HELPING PEOPLE?

WHAT IS THE OTHER THING, YOUR SECRET PLAN HERE?

BECAUSE EVERYONE WOULD DO IT IF IT WAS JUST A GOOD THING TO DO BUT THEY DON'T.

YOU ARE NOT GOING TO SEE ME MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE?

IS THERE SOMETHING OR JUST ITS OWN REWARD?

>> IT'S TOTALLY SELFISH.

>> Stephen: IS THAT SELFISH AND SELFLESS ARE THE SAME THING?

>> NO, I DO IT BECAUSE I'M GOOD AT IT.

I'M NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO PLAY GOLF ON THE SENIOR TOUR AND DO PLAY MY SAXOPHONE AS MUCH AS I USED

TO SO I DON'T LIKE TO DO IT IN PUBLIC AND I MAKES ME HAPPY.

I DO IT BECAUSE I THINK BACK TO THE LIFE I'VE BEEN GIVEN BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, I'D BE KIND OF

A SLUG IF I DIDN'T DO IT.

SHOULD DO IT.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

-- I MEAN, I SHOULD DO IT.

IF YOU'VE HAD THE LIFE I'VE HAD AND PEOPLE HAVE GIVEN YOU WHAT THEY'VE GIVEN ME, --

>> Stephen: I'M AGREEING WITH YOU AND THAT'S DANGEROUS.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> I'M ABOUT TO GET YOU.

YOU KNOW, I THINK I'M JUST DOING WHAT I SHOULD DO IT AND IT MAKES ME HAPPY.

>> Stephen: HOW WOULD YOU COMPARE SOMETHING LIKE THE CGI TO OTHER BIG GROUPS THAT GET

TOGETHER LIKE DAVOS TED TALKS OR BURNING MAN?

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS AND THOSE OTHER GATHERINGS?

>> THE SIMPLE ANSWER HERE IS THAT HERE SERVE EXPECTED TO MAKE A COMMITMENT.

AT THE CGI MEETING WHICH IS CHEAPER THAN DAVOS BUT LESS FUN.

YOU DON'T SKI BUMP UP OR SO MANY GLOBAL C.E.O.S OR FORTUNE 500.

>> Stephen: DOES BONO GO TO THAT ONE?

>> HE COMES SOMETIMES BUT HE IS A COMMITMENT MAKER AND DOER.

EVERYBODY HERE HAS TO MAKE A COMMITMENT AND KEEP IT.

WHEN I STARTED THE CGI I HAD NO EARTHLY IDEA IF IT WOULD SUCCEED OR FAIL.

YOU ARE ASKING PEOPLE TO PAY MONEY AT THE OPENING OF U.N. IN NEW YORK CITY WHEN THE TRAFFIC

IS TERRIBLE TO SIT AND TALK WITH OTHER ERNEST DO GOODERS TO USE CHELSEA'S PHRASE AND PROMISE TO

DO SOMETHING THAT WILL COST THEM MORE MONEY OR MORE TIME.

AND KNOWING IF THEY DON'T KEEP THEIR COMMITMENT THEY CAN'T COME BACK.

IT SEEMS LIKE A FOOL'S ERRAND.

I TURNED OUT A FAIR NUMBER WERE WILLING TO DO SOMETHING.

>> Stephen: HAVE YOU DONE TED TALKS?

>> I HAVE AND I LIKE THEM.

>> Stephen: HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF HAVING THE CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE AND TED TALKS

TEAM UP TO MAKE BILL AND TED'S CORRECT INITIATIVE?

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

THINK ABOUT IT.

>> THAT'S A WONDERFUL IDEA.

>> Stephen: WE WILL BE RIGHT BACK WITH BILL CLINTON.

STICK AROUND.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]