WASHINGTON – Former President Bill Clinton suggested that former first lady Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign slogan “Let’s Move” should be put on the White House and the Capitol building as America’s “national motto.”
“When Michelle Obama asked our foundation to help with what she was doing and I realized they were calling the campaign ‘Let’s Move’ – not ‘Move Away,’ ‘Let’s Move’ – I thought maybe we should make that the national motto and put it on the Capitol and the White House: do something. Do it,” Clinton said to laughter from the audience at the Partnership for a Healthier America summit on Thursday.
“Look, I could make 50 jokes out of this but I won’t. This is a big deal. Don’t ever devalue your potential to make a difference. Don’t ever assume someone will not help you and don’t ever forget we now know that inclusion, diversity and creative cooperation lead to better results – that would be you. Make sure they know,” he added.
Clinton shared one of the greatest “adages” that his wife, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, has “burnt” into his brain.
“Life is not a dress rehearsal and so we don’t have a day to waste. Don’t give somebody else a day on some unproductive thing when you can take this day. So you came to Washington, don’t leave without renewed energy,” he said.
Clinton applauded Michelle Obama’s work in fighting childhood obesity. Obama will address the summit on Friday.
Clinton said there were not many groups speaking out about childhood obesity when the Alliance for a Healthier Generation was established in 2005.
“I just want to thank her for what she’s done in that position and what she’s done in the White House,” Clinton said, referring to Obama’s position as honorary chair of the Partnership for a Healthier America.
“She got involved and she spoke to our generation, a younger generation of people – no gray-haired white guy in a suit, you know, fairly boring – and then she asked our group, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, to help with her ‘Let’s Move’ campaign. You could just see the whole landscape opening up… I’m glad that when she left the White House she didn’t leave the cause,” he added.
Clinton praised the soda agreement between the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and companies such as Coca-Cola that cut sugar from the drinks being served in schools.
“Surely there’s a way you can make money in a different way. We cut the price of AIDS drugs around the world. I never ask anybody to lose money, I say, because it’s not sustainable. I said, ‘Can you find a way to make money in a different way?’ And they did. They basically got all of the full-sugar drinks out of the schools and went to fruit-flavored waters and smaller portions of milk, smaller portions of juice,” Clinton said. “Two independent surveys have concluded in the last few years that this Alliance for a Healthier Generation-brokered agreement has reduced calories from drinks in schools by 90 percent – I mean, that’s a big-time number.”