"Working together for the future." That was the message former President Bill Clinton passed on Wednesday.
Mr. Clinton spoke at the Dell World 2012 conference downtown and his speech was not written just for a bunch of computer experts.
When Michael Dell returned to lead the company he created he promised to move beyond the PC business model he dreamed up in a UT dorm room nearly 30 years ago. Wednesday he spoke about of new products and new services to keep the Round Rock based company moving forward.
"I'm very proud to announce today the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs, which creates a gateway to knowledge solutions and opportunities for growing business," said Michael Dell.
Dell's idea for his business is similar to what former President Bill Clinton brought to Austin and wants on a bigger global stage.
"And we have to imagine a new future in which we try to create shared prosperity and shared responsibilities," said Mr. Clinton.
As the featured speaker for Dell World 2012, Clinton brought up a campaign that reduced childhood obesity as a way to make change, not only in a board room but also in the halls of government.
"Reforming the system and what did it? Not a law. Not a tax. Not a regulation, and not the free market but a creative network of cooperation," said the former President.
Clinton warned those who try to cling to past achievements and not pursue the future eventually fail.
"We've got to learn to live with difference and still feel good about ourselves.
The former President also suggested the creative mindset that breaks through barriers in this high tech world could also be used in the bare knuckled arena of American politics.
Clinton wore an example of how something unexpected, like a pair of burnt orange and white cowboy boots, can create a connection.
"Ha-ha oh the boots, there we go. These boots were given to me by the UT President of the student body," Clinton explained.
Finding common ground and compromise is something Clinton believes will eventually resolve the current crisis in congress.
"The fiscal cliff legislation would not have passed unless the people who voted for it wanted a deal, that is they're both saying we'll have to do things our political base don't like so we've got to create something uglier. I did something ugly but stand on this cliff and look down."
Clinton says even if Congress goes over the cliff a new plan will emerge early in the New Year. The bigger battle, he believes, may be drafting a long term deficit reduction plan.
"As I said in my remarks the hardest thing to do is keep an old country in the future business."
The greater threat, according to Mr. Clinton, could be run-away inflation. As for the impending cliff, he said Democrats should compromise on spending and Republicans should give reforms like those in health care more time to prove they can lower costs.