Day 6 Highlights from the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival

July 8, 2007  • Institute Contributor

Highlights from the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival

(Aspen, Colorado, July 7, 2007) – The Aspen Institute and the Atlantic release the following highlights from Day Six of the 2007 Aspen Ideas Festival.  For inquiries, please contact Amy Thompson at 202-285-2997 or

*   *   *

President Bill Clinton today said if his wife wins the next presidential election, he would like to be called “First Laddie” instead of “First Gentleman” or “First Man.”  Before hundreds of people at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Clinton said he hopes Hillary wins and thinks she would be great for the country.  “I’m hoping that whatever I’m called to do, I still have the time to do what I’m doing now,” he added.

Regarding the Iraq war, Clinton said America has “no choice but to withdraw a substantial number of our military forces this year.”  Yet he said one of the military’s most successful efforts was bringing down the Taliban.  “You have to be prepared to use military force, but it’s a last choice,” Clinton said. 

Clinton said that the most dangerous countries in the world right now are Iraq, Iran and Pakistan.  Iraq because of the war; Iran because of nuclear weapons; and Pakistan because “if radical Islamics took over they woud be in charge of a nuclear arsenal.”  In 50 years, Clinton said the most dangerous countries will be those “putting too much greenhouse gases into the air.” 

Clinton said America must restore its leadership in the world.  “We’re in the cooperation business.  I don’t think the American people or the President get enough credit when he does something good.  I think he’s done something good in the way we now give away food aid, but not one foreign leader has said that’s a great thing,” Clinton pointed out.

He also praised former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, telling the audience he provided the following advice in regards to Blair’s new role as Middle East Envoy: “If you’re failing when you’re trying, fewer people die.  And when fewer people die, the possibility of peace is there.”

*   *   *

Please visit to watch the following two clips:

  • Ayann Hirsi Ali addresses the possibility of a moderate Islam.
  • Executives from Altria, Wal-Mart and others discuss public trust and the corporation.

*    *    *

The Atlantic’s James Bennet, Jim Fallows and Ross Douthat on President Bill Clinton’s afternoon conversation … join the discussion at

*    *    *

“My god a lot of people got killed in the last century.  It’ll take a lot to kill that many people.  The only difference is, we might be one of them.” – President Bill Clinton at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

“I was delighted the Republican Congress gave President Bush more money in foreign aid than they would ever give me because I knew it would save people.” – President Clinton at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

“One shouldn’t demonize companies for doing what they have to do to be competitive.” – Gene B. Sterling on American competitiveness.

“We want an educated workforce and we’re not getting it in America, which is why we are looking elsewhere.” – Tom Wilson on American competitiveness.

“Each year 25,000 kids walk out of foster care because they’re too old.  And we say ‘Aloha’ and “good luck.’” – William Bell and Cynthia McFadden discussing the core issues for American youth of all ages.

“The brain is in the ‘prediction business,’ a  Bayesian inference machine dealing with impoverished sensory information.” –  Dr. Marcus Raichle explain the brain and new tools for prying open the brain’s secrets.

*    *    *

Special guest Karl Rove will be interviewed by Aspen Institute President Walter Isaacson in the morning.  The Aspen Ideas Festival will conclude tomorrow afternoon.



View Comments