Last Wednesday, former President Bill Clinton spoke in front of 1,700 people at the Lundholm Gymnasium here at UNH. He spoke about jobs and stressed the importance of students getting out and voting and painted an optimistic future for all in attendance. The most important thing, however, was the fact that yours truly, in an astounding moment of sheer brilliance, forgot to bring an umbrella or a raincoat. And, of course, I had to wait in line. Outside. In the rain.
In all seriousness, the event was inspirational and uplifting. It is incredibly important that people go and vote. President Clinton, who has always been a prolific public speaker, did a great job motivating the crowd. Or at least it seemed so… The crowd was raucous and responded to the former President’s call-for-action with clapping, rowdy cheers, and whistles. One girl was even bold enough to profess her undying love for Bill in passionate fashion, but sadly, was promptly ignored. Can you blame him? With a wife like Hillary and an important speech to give, I wouldn’t have time for girls shouting from the bleachers, either.
Regardless of political affiliation, it goes without saying that Clinton delivered some very important messages. He asked for trust, for hopefulness, and for ambition, which are things that Conservatives, Liberals, and people of other political persuasion can all agree on. It was a great event to attend, even from an objective point of view. And it was especially heartening to see such a diverse crowd; students, faculty, and even commuting adults from elsewhere in the state. People are being active. They’re getting involved. And that is a huge improvement over the typical apathy and indifference that we’ve gotten accustomed to.
On a closing note, the highlight of the speech was when Clinton, while stressing the effectiveness of “just getting involved,” said this: “Do you want to wallow in resentment and complain, complain, complain? Or do you want to get high (pause) on getting active and making a positive difference in your community?”