Clinton appears ‘free’ in GT

| 29/03/2011

(CNS): Hours before the former US leader was due to appear at a mysterious and expensive speaking engagement at the Ritz Carlton, Bill Clinton was spending some time on Monday soaking up the local atmosphere out in the open of downtown George Town. He had already been spotted on Seven Mile Beach and out and about in his car on Sunday, and despite efforts to keep the 42nd American president under wraps, Clinton appeared to be relaxed and happy meeting and greeting with locals and tourists along the Harbour front in George Town. Accompanied by officers from the RCIPS and his own unmistakable secret service detail, the former president stopped to chat and shake hands with a number of people in Cayman’s capital for free. (Photos Dave & Chris Wright)

Clinton was in the Cayman Islands on Sunday and Monday to appear as the guest speaker at special dinner on Monday evening organised by a company called Whisky Productions, which cost $1500 a ticket, well out the price range of most locals.

The details of which charitable organisation or indeed which profitable organisation was on the receiving end of the funds raised by Clinton’s after dinner presentation at the Ritz remained a mystery as a result of a media blackout of the event.

Clinton was believed to be speaking on the topic of humanity, as per his dinner presentation in Jamaica last October. The organisers were reluctant, however, to reveal the ‘hows and whys’ of the event, including the beneficiaries of the former president’s efforts or what he was paid for the speech at the $1500 per head event and how much will be raised and for whom.

With the local RCIPS also covering security for Clinton’s short stay on the island, the cost of the support from the local law enforcement to the public purse has not yet been revealed.

Clinton arrived in Cayman under the cover of darkness in the early hours of Sunday morning at Owen Roberts International. After the private jet which brought him and his entourage touched down in Cayman, the RCIPS Uniform Support Group accompanied the secret service in a motorcade to the Ritz Carlton, where Clinton was staying.

His presence stirred considerable attention during his short stay, with locals as well as visitors trying to catch a glimpse of Clinton before he departed on his private jet just after 9pm on Monday evening.

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Comments (32)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Chris Suanders company brought Mr. Clinton here for a private fundraiser. Not sure for the UDP or not though.

  2. Peter Simple says:

    Would someone explain to me why a former US president is in a British Colony expounding on whatever he had to expound about?

  3. Anonymous says:

    It was great to see a super duper pastpresident,wish I had the opportunity to get to meet him.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I hope that any of our politicians that attended the dinner paid for it out of their own pocket and didn’t find a way to stick the average duty paying person with the bill. Then again they could have chalked it up to an educational experience,which should have justified it.- Enjoy your stay Bill you are truly one of the most colorful politicians of the century. A true statesman.

  5. Anonymous says:

    He didn’t get robbed for 2 dolla and 50 cent ?

    • Anonymous says:

      No he didn’t because he had ‘Cayman’s finest’, the RCIPS uniform support group there to protect him. God what a joke. Can any of the USG even spell ‘Bill Clinton’? Spare me. The secret service had the usual threats plus local incompetence to deal with, poor guys.

  6. Anonymous says:

    According to Hillary’s public financial disclosures, Bill Clinton commands an honoraria of $125,000-325,000 per speaking engagement.  In 2006 his engagements famously generated >USD$10mln/year.  In 2008 it had fallen to approx USD$5.7mln, $4.6mln of which from foreign sources.  The Clintons came under fire during Hillary’s Presidential bid, again after the stock market/bank bailout of 2007-8 for presumed conflicts of interest from accepting payments from foreign stakeholders, and shamed Wall Street firms.  Much of the net earnings were found to have been applied to the Clinton Foundation.  This is a normal part of the post-Presidential life.    

  7. Anonymous says:

    Yeah boy, Bill PPM now!

    Bill for Premier 2013!


    • Locals says:

      It is good to see he felt safe to walk downtown and meet with the locals.

      • Anonymous says:

        with secret service in tow!

        • Anonymous says:

          Well there was nothing wrong with him having his guards. That’s only being sensible for a man in his position. He could have very well stayed in his hotel room with them at the door for the duration of time that he was on island! I am glad he felt comfortable enough to venture out and see a bit of our island before he left. Good for him! I am only sorry I didn’t make it downtown to see him myself. That would have been a dream come true from me. He’s an amazing man. I really wish I’d gotten the chance to shake his hand and say hello to him!

          • Subway Cookie says:

            Past Presidents do have a certain level of security detail. It won’t be as much as the current President but that is what happens for life – his daughter still has security as well. Past UK Prime Ministers do as well. Even after they leave office threats to their safety and the safety of their families will always be a concern. Also, they are famous and famous people do tend to get swarmed in public. Not so much in Cayman because celebrities don’t appear to be harrassed or troubled here but he wouldnt have known that. I don’t understand why people are so surprised he has security.

            • Anonymous says:

              Even the Premier and Deputy Premier of a 2×4 island has security along with AG, Chief Magistrate and Chief Justice!

              • Truthseeker says:

                Interesting that the former PPM ministers and the LGB seemed not to need this protection. I can see the world is changing, but Julie needs protection on the Brac?

                Seems to me that the wicked flee where no man pursueth….!

                As for the protection required for the AG, Chief Magistrate and CJ, well we the public that pay that hefty security bill are OWED at least some explaination as to why you need this. You are employees of the people, and we want to know what is going on. Obviously the bad guys know, (assuming they exist) so you are only holding the truth from those that pay for your protection.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. I cant stand it. Lord that one makes my belly hurt.

      • Anonymous says:

        President Clinton was extremely comfortable and relaxed last night; it was as if he was at home. He talked for more than an hour and took questions which he seemed to enjoy answering. I truly appreciated being in the presence of such a great man. It was money well spent. Everything went like clock work. Next I would like someone to bring in Colin Powell, I would spend $1,500 to see and hear him too. As for where the proceeds are going, truly, it’s none of my business. I paid to see the President, it was not conditional on where the proceeds for the event would end up. Somebody did some d$$$ good work in putting on the show. They deserve to get paid. Kudos to the organizers!!

    • Anonymous says:

      David and Christopher – I hope Mr Clinton was convinced to apply for one of the easy Caymanian Status.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I attended and it was  refreshing to hear an articulate, polished and thoughtful politician instead of the painful buffoonery that we get locally.

    I saw a couple of our MLAs there and hope they were taking notes!

    Clinton spoke for 1 1/2 hours without notes and not from a paper, on a variety of global themes including ‘private citizens doing public good’ through ngos, non profit and voluteer organisations to effect social and political change.

    Overall, a fantastic experience.

    • Anonymous says:

      I attended the event also and it was an awesome feeling to watch history being made in the Cayman Islands. kudos to the organizers for a great event. I was also very surprised to see that there were people from all walks of life which I was made to understand was due to the generosity of Ernst and Young and many other corporate donors. Well done. Today I am a very proud Caymanian.

      • Anonymous says:

        I attended and was pleasantly pleased that there were LOTS of Caymanians in attendance, including some young people, so the organisers/corporate sponsors must have donated a table for youth which is very commendable!
        Well done

    • Anonymous says:

      ‘….on a variety of global themes including ‘private citizens doing public good’ through ngos, non profit and voluteer organisations to effect social and political change.’

      This is nothing new. People, or some people, have been doing this for centuries.

  9. M says:

    I read Clinton’s pro-choice interpretation, defines a person’s life as beginning at birth, with the first intake of breath, a position his minister from the Bible showed him. He reportedly told a governor that htis did not mean that abortion was right, but he felt one could not say it was murder.

    Of course, I believe that the government should keep out of people’s private and personal lives. But I don’t believe that a person’s life starts after birth, but before that. It is scientifically proven that even in the womb, an unborn child is capable of making basic decisions,and that constitutes a human being.

    America and her presidents, reminds me in the Bible when in the days of Moses before the downfall of the great nation of Egypt, how they made the decree to kill all the firstborn, and once the nation went down that road, Egypt never again recovered from their superpower stance. When America ceases to be good, is when America will cease to be great.

    • Anonymous says:

      ?? Clinton (mercifully) did not discuss his abortion views.

    • Subway Cookie says:

      I have heard many theories about whether abortion is murder and how to determine if an unborn child is alive or is just a collection of cells.

      Could you give some examples of the decisions made by an unborn child you speak of?

      I have been of the opinion that the foetus is not alive until the point where it can sustain itself outside the womb – even if born prematurely. However, your explanation is interesting.

      I do agree that the Government cannot legislate or mandate either way on this topic but I think that when we face issues of teen pregnancy, welfare, drug and alcohol abuse during pregnancy and inadequate availability and quality of pre-natal care, horrible hospital conditions (speaking worldwide) people always say that they Government needs to do more. If we expect the Government to ‘fix’ these issues, undoubtedly it will feel it has every right to interfere in abortion and right to life issues as well since they are closely related.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please create a separate viewpoint on this. This has absolutely nothing to do with the topic on hand.

      CNS: Yes, I agree. I’m not going to publish any more comments on the subject of abortion on this thread but you are welcome to start a new forum topic. Click here to do that.

  10. lucy says:

    lol… watch Wight hungry for a snap shot with the former President. I can see the comments now – alot of jealous-for-no-reason folk clicking away on their keyboards. Calm down for heaven’s sake, he’s just a man.

    • Blame! says:

      I don’t blame them as I would have done the same and pushed my way up to get a photo of the President. It is not often you will get that close to either, a present or former President.
      Thats a picture for keeps sake and history.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Could’nt Bill have left the Secret Service at home, and we could have provided the Deputy Premier’s Bodyguard free of charge?

    • Anonymous says:

      President Clinton has real security

    • Anonymous says:

      The Deputy Premier’s bodyguard is now her “Executive Assistant” so that bodyguard stuff is so yesterday for him now.

      Chief Officer next for the former “bodyguard”…….watch it Kearney…….well you’re past retirement age now anyway.

      • Subway Cookie says:

        Sorry but you can’t compare a former US President with our Deputy Premier. I’m not speaking about the persons, I mean the titles and roles. I think there are far more people worldwide who would (even though no longer in office) threaten his life than there are who would threaten hers.