Rewind courtesy of The Golf Channel as President Bill Clinton joined Golf Channel’s Terry Gannon and Nick Faldo in the broadcast booth today during live tournament coverage of the Humana Challenge from La Quinta, Calif.
They discussed a variety of topics surrounding health and wellness – a major focus on the tournament and the events throughout this week surrounding the event.
President Clinton also sat down with Golf Channel’s Lisa Cornwell today for a special two-part interview that will air Saturday and Sunday on Golf Channel (Morning Drive and Golf Central).
Video: President Clinton Visits Golf Channel’s Broadcast Booth at Humana Challenge
Notable Quotes from President Clinton’s interview in Golf Channel’s broadcast booth
What are your thoughts on where you are right now with your involvement with this tournament?
Clinton: “When we started this, Commissioner Finchem asked me if I would work with him to try to help salvage what was the old Bob Hope golf tournament. Both for Bob’s memory, who I knew for the last 20 or so years of his life, and for the community that has done so much work and has raised so much money for charity with the help of the PGA TOUR and the players. So we started trying to get them oriented toward wellness and bringing in experts that would help kids fight childhood obesity all over the country. We decided to try and save this golf tournament, and at the same time make America healthier.”
For the average person sitting and watching, how do they get motivated? How did you help them with that?
Clinton: “Well, we have to stop looking at healthcare as just something you get whenever you’re sick. The first responsibility we all have is to keep ourselves well and to keep ourselves healthy. I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for the great healthcare doctors I had working on my heart and in the aftermath. Someone watching this should understand that you don’t have to be a professional athlete to be benefitted through basic health and exercise.”
You were telling us the story about Bob Hope, and how he used to walk every day.
Clinton: “He told me, he said ‘The only thing I ever did even after I gave up golf was that I walked an hour a day. And sometimes because I worked at night, it was at midnight. And sometimes because I was in London and it was raining – I took rubber boots.’ You’ve got to have something to do come rain or shine.”
Are we crazy for having walked out of the conference the other day feeling so energized and thinking that just about anything is possible?
Clinton: “I think we are going rapidly toward an enormous number of people living to be more than 100 years old. I think that we are moving toward a country where people can do that even without significant resources in their families – if we can create a country of wellness. I want people to be encouraged by all these scientific advances…But I’m under no illusion that the people who saved my life have a contingent responsibility to keep me from doing the stupid things that got my heart in trouble in the first place. That’s my responsibility.”
I know you’ve re-upped your commitment here at the tournament and it has really paid off.
Clinton: “We really work hard here. So does our sponsor, Humana, and I give them a lot of credit. They participate in our conference and this year we got another $11 million committed and we’ve got enough money committed in the United States to touch 50 million more people like with after school programs for kids who need help and support. We’re trying to build a culture of wellness in America and make it a part of what we do.”
How much of an inspiration is Nelson Mandela to what you’re accomplishing today with the Clinton Foundation?
Clinton: “When you’ve reached my age and you’ve lost an enormous number of people you’ve admired and loved and followed, whether you’re aware of it or not they’ve inspired just about everything you do. I loved him very much. My mother has been dead 20 years. I think about her every week when the time comes to go call home. One of the great blessings of life is the hole you feel when people you love are gone. And I say it’s a blessing because if it didn’t hurt it would have meant that the previous life didn’t amount to too much.”