(WJBK) - There were over 600 "FOBs" in the MSU crowd the other night as former President Bill Clinton entertained the "Friends of Bill" with one tale after another as he weaved his message of public service "which is not just for politicians" he advised everyone.
Those who came, hoping to get a peek at the inside workings of the Hillary for President campaign, came away empty-handed. He did reflect that now, out of office, he doesn't much care what persons think about his prepared speeches "unless your wife decides to run for something. Then you can't mess-up," he joked as the audience laughed and hooted.
Speaking about hooting, just before the event an unexpected protest popped up as about 50 Michigan State University students blocked the entrance to the Big Ten room at the Kellogg Center. While they chanted about minority rights, the VIP FOBs waited in line, many with wine glasses, for somebody to do something about the road block.
For a nano-second it was shades of the '70s when college demonstrators took over buildings to make a point.
Instead of knocking some heads and arresting everyone to clear the way which was the more aggressive strategy way back when, a more peaceful approach was employed.The audience was quietly rerouted into the spring like night air and funneled through a door far away from the chanting.
And by the time the ex-president began his spiel, the protestors went home after meeting with the university president.
Mr. Clinton was all about bi-partisan cooperation as he retold the story of Nelson Mandela, the South African civil rights advocate who went from jail cell to leader.
Once he became president, the story goes, he wanted to include former government officials in the new administration. But members of his own party protested saying "those are the ones who denied us our rights and now you want them to join our government?"
Mr. Mandela observed, "We can't run the government on our own. We need them,"
He prevailed and Mr. Clinton agreed circling the discussion back to this country.
"The only thing that bothers me about American politics is everybody who thinks nobody will vote for them if they're not fighting with somebody...What works is creative cooperation. Constant conflict is a loser."
The FOBs loved it but unforfunately just saying it, doesn't make it so.