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Posted by DEAN SKIP RUTHERFORD – Marie Tillman, the wife of Army Ranger and Arizona Cardinal Pat Tillman, spoke at the Clinton School last night. She was accompanied by her brother-in-law, Alex Garwood. Marie and Alex head up the Tillman Foundation which was established after Pat’s death from friendly fire while serving our country in Afghanistan. It was Marie’s first speech since Pat’s death, and we were highly honored that she came to the Clinton School for it. Her speech, as one might expect, has received national and international media attention.
The Tillman Foundation has established an undergraduate leadership program at Arizona State University, which was Pat’s alma mater. Participants become Tillman Scholars and we at the Clinton School hope to recruit Tillman Scholars to our graduate public service program. Yesterday, I hope, was the beginning of a good partnership.
Following her remarks, Marie spent time visiting with our students and having photographs made with them. Marie and Alex then joined some Clinton School staff and students for dinner and candid conversation at Doe’s Eat Place, which became well known during Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. As we gathered in Doe’s famous ‘back room,” I recalled occasions where we met there to watch University of Arkansas basketball games on television with President Clinton on his return trips home.
It was a privilege for us to host Marie and Alex. Marie is a gracious, thoughtful and courageous woman who is turning a terrible tragedy into encouraging young people to make a positive difference in the world. The work the Tillman Foundation is doing is worth supporting. Though I never met Pat Tillman, like millions of Americans I was inspired by his example and that of his brother, Kevin, who enlisted with him. And I am now inspired by Marie.
Yes, because I know people will ask, Marie liked the tamales at Doe’s.
Posted by DEAN SKIP RUTHERFORD – Noted Washington attorney Bob Barnett, one of the nation’s premiere author representatives, has five clients running (or soon to be) for President: Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Barak Obama, Bill Richardson and Fred Thompson. While he represents each of the five in certain legal matters, he is supporting Clinton for President and is advising on her presidential campaign. He is also representing former British Prime Minister Tony Blair with the publication of his new book.
Barnett spoke Monday night at the Clinton School and met with Clinton School students in a private session Tuesday morning.
Posted by DEAN SKIP RUTHERFORD – I hosted the 30 new Clinton School students to a reception last week at Copper Grill in the new 300 Third Building just down 3rd Street from the Clinton School. Click the picture above for a larger view.
As you can see, we continue to admit candidates with a variety of backgrounds, including five international students hailing from Vietnam, China, South Africa, Brazil and Jordan. Fifteen of the 30 students are men, 15 are women and the average class age is 28 years old. Fifteen of the students have Arkansas connections having been raised, attended college or worked in the state.
Posted by DEAN SKIP RUTHERFORD – We welcomed Ambassador Linda Jewell to the Clinton School today. Ambassador Jewell had lunch with our students and discussed a wide variety of topics ranging from Latin American policy to careers in the Foreign Service. Ambassador Jewell has been in her position since the summer of 2005.
She is a native of Little Rock and a graduate of Little Rock Hall High School, Yale University and Johns Hopkins School of Advance International Studies, where she received a master’s degree in International Public Policy. She joined the Foreign Service in 1976 and has worked in Indonesia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland and Washington D.C.
One of the great advantages of a Clinton School education is the opportunity to interact with distinguished visitors like Ambassador Jewell and others.
Posted by DEAN SKIP RUTHERFORD – Mike Deaver died Saturday at the age of 69. A close advisor to the late President Ronald Reagan and just as close to former first lady Nancy Reagan, Mike understood “looking presidential” better than anyone I have ever known. He took imagery, staging and advance work to a new level in politics. From the famous “Morning in America” theme, to recognizing citizens attending the State of the Union, to ensuring that President Reagan was “the great communicator” while being among the least accessible of modern Presidents had Mike’s touch. People from both sides of the aisle knew Mike was a master at his craft.
In th last few years, I got to know him and I loved his stories. One, in particular, stands out. Mike believed the “light” presidents were the most successful ones. By “light,” he meant those who enjoyed working in the oval office with its bountiful natural light. He said John Kennedy, Reagan and Bill Clinton were “light” presidents and that he admired them all, political differences not withstanding.
I knew what Mike meant by “light” presidents. When we were building the Clinton Library, President Clnton told me he wanted to create an exact replica of the Oval Office but that if we couldn’t do it without natural light, he didn’t want it done at all. So when you visit the Clinton Library’s Oval Office, check out the natural light. I shared with Mike what President Clinton had requested and with a big grin Mike replied, “Good for him.”
Any person who does presidential advance, communciations or event planning owes much to Mike Deaver. He was a great teacher; we at the Clinton School honor his memory and extend our sympathy to the members of his family and to his professional colleagues.
Posted by DEAN SKIP RUTHERFORD – The Clinton School is mentioned in the September 2007 issue of the Conde Nast Traveler which has a cover profile on President Clinton and his work throughout the world.
Clinton school Student Jose Guzzardi from Sao Paulo Brazil is quoted talking about the challenges of international travel since September 11, 2001.
“Even with requests from Senator Blanche Lincoln’s office (D-Ark.), the American consulate in Sao Paulo, Brazil, did not issue a tourist visa to any of my friends and family members to attend my graduation,” he said. Jose is a 2007 graduate of the University of Central Arkansas.
Also mentioned in the article was a recent Clinton School speech by Roger Dow, the president and CEO of the Travel Industry Association of America. Dow is one of many distinguished guests the Clinton school brings in on a regular basis as part of our public program series.
Posted by DEAN SKIP RUTHERFORD – There is much speculation about Karl Rove, who spoke at the Clinton School on March 8, and the announcement that he will be leaving the White House. Agree or disagree with him politically, Karl is one of the most brilliant political and public strategists of our time, and I, for one, can’t wait to read his book. The guru of book deals, (including Bill Clinton’s My Life) Washington attorney Bob Barnett, is speaking at the Clinton School on August 23. Hopefully Bob can provide some insight. If Karl and Bob haven’t already had a conversation, my guess is that they soon will.
Here’s my take: Karl bases out of Texas, writes a book backed by a hefty advance, hits the selected paid speaking and television commentary circuit and is in the thick of the planning of the Bush Library and think tank at SMU. More than likely, the library/think tank work may bring him back to Little Rock for a visit or two. I hope so.
Posted by DEAN SKIP RUTHERFORD – When you enter the main lobby of the Clinton School, notice a display of international flags. These flags represent the home countries of current Clinton School students: Brazil, China, Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, South Africa, the United States and Vietnam.
The Sir Lanka flag honors the birthplace of visiting professor Jehan Raheem, a Brandeis University professor, who will be teaching at the Clinton School this spring.
Posted by DEAN SKIP RUTHERFORD – Earlier this year the Clinton School hosted Christine O’Malley and Patrick Creadon, the producer and director respecitvely, of the highly successful documentary WordPlay , a film about the interesting world of crossword puzzles. In conjunction with their appearance and that of Will Shortz, crossword puzzle editor for the New York Times, Judge Ellen Brantley of Little Rock won Arkansas’s first crossword puzzle championship sponsored by the Clinton School.
Now, O’Malley and Creadon are back at the Clinton School, but this time they are filming students, faculty and staff for a potential documentary on public service. O’Malley and Creadon will be filming here for the next few days.