Sunday, August 20, 2006

Bill Clinton at 60

Bill Clinton is a master of self-invention. His picture as a 16-year-old youth, worshipfully shaking the hand of president John F. Kennedy - symbolic of his teenage dream to live in the White House someday would have been seen by most Americans.

Today, six years after the end of his presidency, he has carved out a new role for himself- as a goodwill ambassador and humanitarian in the like of former president Jimmy Carter. His picture is everywhere - at the AIDS conference in Toronto with Bill Gates, in Southeast Asia with the elder president George Bush visiting the tsunami devastation, and soon, at a private concert with the rock idol of the 1960s - the Rolling Stones.

Bill Clinton turned 60 on Saturday, but the celebration will only reach its climax with the Rolling Stones' performance on October 29 in Manhattan's Beacon Theatre - three days after Senator Hillary Clinton's 59th birthday.

Between now and then, Clinton will roll out a series of events that will not only boost his fame and public image - but also make money for his good-deeds foundation that has brokered cheaper AIDS medications, clean air agreements and an anti-obesity programme in US schools.

Clinton was born at the start of the baby boomer generation, which began as birth rates started climbing along with economic prosperity after World War II and ended in 1964.

There are about 78 million baby boomers in the United States out of a population of about 298 million. The US Census Bureau estimated that about 8,000 Americans a day will turn 60 this year.

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