Number 42 ( as GWB #43 calls him ) rolled into Auckland last night after a brief flight on a private jet from Australia. President Clinton had a bout of the flu and was forced to cancel a press conference in Australia yesterday. It seems that he was visiting India and Pakistan before arriving in Australia and may well have picked up a form of Delhi Belly, possibly the shits. He managed to get himself sorted out and checked into Sky City just after 120am today.
President Clinton first came to NZ for APEC held from September 9-13th 1999. He seemed to befriend Jenny and Burton Shipley, and I will be interested to see or hear if they manage to catch up on this particular visit. Who cares what side of the fence you stand on politically, most people would like to have a chat with #42.
Business leaders have paid up to $2400 a ticket to hear President Clinton speak. He is a particularly charasmatic speaker, and I can see the validity of the cost to see him, especially if it is tax deductable. It also seems that for that fee, you get a bonus. Prime Minister Helen Clark will be on stage during his speech. Hopefully he wont get distracted with her there and ruin the speech.
Other speakers at the SkyCity event include former Disney chief executive Michael Eisner and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.
Police protection is being paid for by New Zealand taxpayers which is causing a bit of a stir. Having said that, every EX President is allocated a secret service detail that protects him for life..... If they were allowed to pack heat I am sure they would not need to much help from NZ's forces. But when in Rome....... NZ would not like to get publicity because an Ex President was hurt or killed because of a security breech, so I can justly understand why NZ Police and the NZ govt are protecting President Clinton.......