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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Bill Clinton on learning from defeat

When I was young, I often lost school elections, in part because I was in the band and not a star athlete. Then, when I didn't come out on top in music contests, losing was even more painful. My mother taught me not to feel sorry for myself. She said I had good health, a good mind, and good friends, so I should just count my blessings and do more with them.
When I was defeated for reelection as governor in 1980, there didn't seem to be much future for me in politics. I was probably the youngest ex-governor in American history. But if I hadn't been defeated, I probably would never have become president. It was a near-death experience, but it forced me to be more sensitive and to understand that if people think you've stopped listening, you're sunk.
--Bill Clinton, quoted in Wired magazine, January 2010

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