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Bill Clinton strengthens image with trip

August 6, 2009 3:03:39 PM PDT
Their relationship has always been complicated. Former President Bill Clinton, and the man who defeated his wife for the job. But Mr. Clinton and President Obama informally joining forces this week, to bring two imprisoned Americans back home from North Korea.

Clinton's work, freeing two American journalists from North Korea, puts him back as elder statesman, humanitarian, a far cry from the "enforcer" role he played in his wife's presidential campaign.

"As soon as the election was over, except for the 40 appearances I did for President Obama in the general election, I went back to work here. And i just as soon let my work speak for itself."

During last year's bitter primary Clinton became a flash-point for controversy, he was even accused of racism.

He compared Obama's win in South Carolina to Jesse Jackson. And even though he was talking about Obama's shifting position on the war, a lot of voters thought Clinton called the idea of a black man as president a fairy tale.

On 125th street, right outside the former president's office Thursday, all that bad stuff from last year seemed like old news.

"I love Bill Clinton," said one resident. "despite everything that happened in the

While in Harlem, Clinton announced a deal on lower prices for HIV and tuberculosis drugs in developing nations, but this news conference was packed because of Clinton's successful work in Korea. Still Clinton refused to say much, fearing that could upset ongoing negotiations.

"There can only be one president at a time. I was asked to do a job and I did it to the best of my ability and i was honored to do it."

Ironically, Clinton's work this week was what his wife, the Secretary of State talked about during the campaign.

That he'd be a diplomat at large, a roving ambassador.

That's exactly what he did this week for both his wife and President Obama.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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