washingtonpostcom >World >Central America and Caribbean Haiti holds a special place in the hearts of Bill and Hillary Clinton By Philip Rucker Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday January 16 2010 PHOTOS Next In the strange circle of life it all comes back to Haiti When Bill Clinton married Hillary Rodham in 1975 a friend gave them a trip to Haiti Since that oneymoon vacation the Caribbean island nation has held a life-long allure for the couple a place they found at once desperate and enchanting pulling at their emotions throughout his presidency and in her maiden year as secretary of state ANOTHER VISIT Last year Haitian President René Préval drove Clinton around Gonaives devastated by hurricane damage in 2008 Marco Dorminaunited Nations Via Associated Press With the world's attention now trained on the devastated Haitian capital rebuilding the country will be a central part of Bill and Hillary Clinton's lives going forward And for the 42nd president the catastrophe offers the opportunity to fulfill whatever unrealized ambitions he has for the long-suffering nation TOOLBOX AAResize Print E-mail Reprints This is a personal thing for us Bill Clinton said in a interview Thursday He said he and his wife have always felt a special responsibility for Haiti and its 9 million people She has the same memories I do She has the same concerns I do We love the place On that first trip in December 1975 Clinton said he and his wife watched as a wreath was placed at the national monument to celebrate Haitian Independence Day They toured the old hotel where the writer Ernest Hemingway once stayed and visited a voodoo high priest dressed in all white They sat in a lonely pew of the Port-au-Prince National Cathedral which lies in ruin following Tuesday's earthquake We just became fascinated with the country Bill Clinton said by telephone from his charitable foundation's office in New York We followed all its ups and downs The Clintons' enthrallment has lasted for more than 30 with Haitian art They flew back again and again Hillary Clinton once said that theirs was a Haiti-obsessed family At a dinner in Rwanda with African leaders in 2008 Bill Clinton talked more about Haiti than Rwanda s They decorated their homes When the Clintons learned that sites in Port-au-Prince they had visited as tourists were destroyed in the earthquake and locals they had come to know were injured or unaccounted for Bill Clinton said he was personally emotionally affected His wife he said became physically sick The Clintons are at the center of the global relief effort Bill Clinton is the UN special envoy to Haiti and together with former president George W Bush is leading America's humanitarian and long-term recovery efforts in Haiti Hillary Clinton is among the top Meme

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found ON 2019-02-11 22:30:13 BY esmemes.com