Hillary Clinton, J.B. Pritzker talk job creation and more at Economic Club
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks with J.B. Pritzker at a dinner hosted by the Economic Club of Chicago at the Fairmont Chicago. (Chris Sweda / Blue Sky / Oct. 8, 2014)
Hillary Clinton wove stories of her Chicago roots with discourse on foreign and domestic policy in a discussion hosted by the Economic Club of Chicago on Wednesday night that drew 950 guests to the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park.
J.B. Pritzker, the Chicago venture capitalist, tech booster and co-chairman of Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, posed questions to the former secretary of state, making for a friendly chat between two seemingly simpatico souls, with no major revelations.
Pritzker touched on topics from congressional politics to job creation to early childhood development, a cause both he and Clinton support. He said early stage development is not a mission to be written off as a "bleeding heart liberal, let's do it for the children" kind of cause, but one essential to economic development.
A driving force behind tech incubator 1871, Pritzker drew Clinton into a story about her childhood memories of when her father had a small business in Merchandise Mart.
Her most vivid recollection of that, she said, was her father warning her that there was a huge wolf in the river to discourage her from leaning out too far. Pritzker joked that there's a wolf there now, too, named Howard Tullman, prompting Clinton to greet the 1871 CEO from the stage.
Clinton connected the comfortable living provided by her father's business to issues of opportunity for upward mobility and the government's role there, while noting its contribution, too, in building infrastructure and supporting research and development in technologies that become commercial innovation.
Pritzker also asked whether Bill Clinton had changed a diaper since the birth of granddaughter Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky less than two weeks ago. Hillary responded with a laugh that while he hadn't, Chelsea Clinton's husband, Marc Mezvinsky, had, so "I think we're making generatonal progress."