3 Final Aspen Photos

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Bill Clinton made an appearance on the final Saturday evening session of the Aspen Ideas Festival, as he has done a number of times in the past. Ron Brownstein of National Journal was his interviewer this time. Others have included Walter Isaacson in 2005, me in 2006, Richard Stengel in 2007, and Jane Wales in 2008. All have shared the experience of sitting next to Clinton on stage while he talked about whatever was on his mind. This is the way he came across this evening on the Jumbotron, which if somewhat distorted from the real image is true to the temper of his comments.

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The next picture shows how he "really" looked -- although the picture above shows how thoroughly he was into his argument, mainly about the need to control health-care costs, and the insanity of a world in which legislators asked Grover Norquist's "permission" before voting on bills:

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It is too late tonight, but tomorrow I'll try to convey the gist of his comments, which (predictably) was a stronger version of the case for Democratic initiatives, and against know-nothing anti-governmentism, than we're used to hearing from the current Administration. I'll mention now only the fact that, in a brief review of the Republican field, he said that he disagreed with just about everything Michele Bachmann stood for but respected her because she had "a lot of juice."

After the jump, an Atlantic in-house picture: part of the team of ninjas that has made the whole event happen, near the end of their round-the-clock work this past week

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Over the years I have come really to respect the production teams that make events like this happen. This, near the very end of their labors, is part of the Atlantic's events crew -- minus Elizabeth Baker Keffer and China Ziegenbein, Lucy Byrd, Alisha Hathaway, Jessica Ni, Annie Hughes, Stacey Pavesi Debre, Steve Clemons, Natalie Raabe, and others; and with two ringers, the spouses of Atlantic writers. They all really are first-rate:

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From left, Lindsey Bahr, Lyndsay Polloway, Deb Fallows, Ashley Bolding, Megan McGuinn, Kenyatta Matthews Coates. Thanks and admiration to them all.
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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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