Bill Clinton Remembers His Friendship With Steve Jobs

Jobs_and_Clinton

A video has surfaced showing Bill Clinton speaking to Time magazine about Steve Jobs shortly after Jobs’ death.

The interview sees Clinton touch on various topics: his own interaction with Jobs over the years, the launch of the original iPhone, and Jobs’ fight against cancer.

The video can be seen here, but we’ve reproduced a transcription below:

“First I have to make full disclosure. When my daughter was at Stanford he got in touch with me and said, ‘It’s hard to travel to see your child when you’re President. I’ve got a place out in the country, and you and Hilary can stay there and bring Chelsea and her friends there any time you want to’. He gave me a priceless gift: the opportunity to see my child while I was still a very public figure. So I’m highly biased in his favor. Plus even I can work an iPad or an iPhone.

But I had breakfast with him four days before the first iPhones came on the market, and he gave me a couple. God, he was like a kid with a new toy.

The other thing is I watched him fight this illness. I don’t think that his leadership style would have worked for a political leader, because you have to be somewhat more inclusive, and you don’t have the same amount of authority without checks, but look at the pattern of his life. He was a very determined man who had about the most intense power of concentration I ever saw. You know, it’s ridiculous if you look at the normal odds that he lived as long as he did. I talked to him not long before he died. He said, ‘this cancer I have is very clever’ and he said, ‘ I have beaten it back repeatedly, but I have fired all my ammunition and it keeps coming up with new ways to attack me. I’m not sure I’ve got any more weapons left, but I’ve had a good time trying to beat it’.

I say that to you to say the most important thing that I’ve learned from watching him is he figured out what he was good at, where his gift was, and he nourished his gift.

The other thing is he had a sackful of guts. Once he decided what he was trying to do he was undeterred. And the way he handled his illness, and managed to create space for Apple and all those creative things he did at the end of his life, and space for his family — and did it all with courage and deliberation, with absolutely clear eyes, was a sight to behold.

So that’s my advice: nourish your gift, and don’t quit.”

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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