Clinton said his book tour will focus on independent shops
Updated 4:11 pm, Friday, December 9, 2011
Former President Bill Clinton spoke briefly to the press before his book signing at Darien's Barrett Bookstore.
"One of the things I'm trying to do with this book tour is to visit independent bookstores because bookstores like this one really add a lot to the community," he said.
People were lined up outside the store since before 11 a.m., including First Selectman Jayme Stevenson.
"It is incredibly exciting for Darien and Barrett Bookstore to be selected," she said. "It's very exciting for a beloved local business."
Those waiting in line were excited for their chance to see the former president.
"I've been waiting 19 years to meet this man," said Susan Mason, who was waiting outside. "It's at the top of my bucket list. I think it's fantastic that I can meet this man."
Steve Wilkos was also in line waiting to meet Clinton.
"I heard the president was in town and that doesn't happen often," he said. "I shook [Former President] Carter's hand when I was 12, and that's the closet to a president I've been."
Clinton will be signing his new book "Back to Work: Why we Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy."
When he was first elected in 1993, the country's unemployment rate sat at 7.3 percent. In his eight years as president, that number declined to 4.2 percent, compared to today's 8.6 percent, according to Department of Labor statistics.
During his presidency, Clinton had the lowest rate of inflation in 30 years, the highest rate of home ownership and fewer people on welfare, according to his biography on www.whitehouse.gov. During his second term he failed to pass health-care reform but declared to the "era of big government is over."
According to the Labor Department statistics, during his two terms, more than 22 million jobs were created in the private and public sector.
Clinton's book details his ideas for restoring the economy and how the government plays an integral role in the creating economic growth, according to a synopsis posted on Random House's website.
"He explains how we got into the current economic crisis, and offers specific recommendations on how we can put people back to work, increase bank lending and corporate investment, double our exports, restore our manufacturing base, and create new businesses. He supports President Obama's emphasis on green technology, saying that changing the way we produce and consume energy is the strategy most likely to spark a fast-growing economy while enhancing our national security," the synopsis states.
The book, which went on sale Nov. 8, also discusses Clinton's thoughts on the dangers of blaming the government for people's problems and how the government can work with the private sector to create more jobs.
Clinton, who lives in nearby Chappaqua, N.Y., was in Fairfield County last fall, when he headlined a South Norwalk rally to benefit local and state Democrats.
Speaking before around 800 party supporters in a Halloween night rally at the South Norwalk Field House, Clinton heaped praise on U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-4) and on Dannel Malloy and Richard Blumenthal, who were in the final days of their respective successful campaigns for governor and U.S. senator.
The bookstore limited the book signing to 550 people, and Clinton is expected to be there for two hours.
Clinton will sign one book per person. He will not have time to add personal messages or sign copies of his previous books or other items.