In Ohio, Bill Clinton stresses importance of public service

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Former President Bill Clinton on Thursday stressed the importance that public service will play in an increasingly interdependent world.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs, Clinton said the global population is condemned to share the future.

“The only question open for debate are the terms upon which we will share them,” Clinton said. “Those of you who are best at public service will have the most influence on what those terms are and what the world looks like for children and grandchildren.”

Clinton’s remarks in Columbus were focused on his work in public service. But he also told a side story about a response he once got from his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, after he suggested more than 40 years ago that she return to Illinois and run for office.

“And she said, ‘That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard of. No one would ever vote for me. I’m just another pushy woman. I will never be voted for for anything,'” he said to laughter.

Hillary Clinton is making her second bid for the White House. She won Ohio’s Democratic primary in 2008 over the party’s eventual nominee, Barack Obama.

After his remarks, Bill Clinton joined Glenn for a brief discussion about the Clinton Global Initiative. Glenn praised its work in combating diseases and said he thought it was “one of the best of the non-governmental organizations I have seen ever.”

Bill Clinton also spoke earlier Thursday in Dayton as part of a conference on the Dayton Peace Accords, an international agreement worked out 20 years ago this week in southwest Ohio.

The former president said the agreement represents a victory in “what has turned out to be an ongoing contest across the globe between violence and negotiation, cooperation and conflict, inclusion and winner-take-all politics.”

He told his University of Dayton audience that he cheered the news of French successes in striking back against those linked to the deadly Paris attacks.

“Winning over the long run depends upon not just stopping bad things from happening or even holding the people who do bad things accountable, we also have to make good things happen,” said Bill Clinton. He added that all people, beyond those in government or involved in national security, can have a role in “the battle for an inclusive future.”

He spoke as part of a conference on the 1995 agreement brokered during his first term by the late U.S. diplomat Richard C. Holbrooke at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Diplomats and officials from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia also took part in the conference.

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