That’s President of the United States to you and me. Well, president Clinton has come and gone (he has some private bilaterals, but he’s out of the Congress Centre). I’ll give you an honest assessment: his speech had good content, but was delivered rather flatly (when he came into the green room before the speech, he said he hadn’t really slept for three days). His answers to a few questions were far better.
Best of all, however, was the 20 minute walkabout the president did after the speech. His brief conversations with various presidents, prime ministers and CEOs were truly animated and interesting. He clearly really enjoys dialogue with small groups.
My mind was, for much of the president’s visit, far more taken up with the logistics of ensuring the order of the plenary hall and getting people seated in a reasonable fashion. We’ve gone through various scenarios of how we might have done it better, but the truth is we had nearly 2,000 people wanting to get into a hall that seats 800. There isn’t any way to do that. Sorry to anyone who was disappointed at not getting a seat.