The sun shines for Bill Clinton.
Clinton, who had just flown to Toronto from the Boston funeral of Edward Kennedy, opened his remarks with words of remembrance of the late senator.
“I knew him for more than 30 years,” said Clinton. “We worked together, sometimes we fought… but throughout it all I cherished my relationship with him because he proved that public service was an honourable way to live, and he gave his entire life to trying to make our country and the world a better place.”
The half-hour speech, tailored to a Canadian audience and bookended by standing ovations, ranged in terms of subject matter from climate change to the health care debate south of the border. Addressing the latter, Clinton did his level-headed best to explain the fervour at town halls throughout the U.S.
“If you look at America, you must wonder what in the world are my friends to the south thinking? Why don’t they just pass some bill? How could it be worse?”
“A lot of you have American friends; you can help us with this,” he continued. “The money’s going somewhere, and the somewhere doesn’t want to give it up… You have to understand there’s a lot of economic incentive to keep things misunderstood and (people) full of fear.”
Clinton switched gears from austere to earnest and back again numerous times throughout the speech. At one point, he spent two minutes explaining his love for fairs, particularly given their place in the political circuit in Arkansas, the state he governed before becoming president.