Bill Clinton told President Obama that Ron Brown would be “very proud” of his intervention in Libya: “He would be very proud that Barack Obama became president of the United States, and very proud, Mr. President, of what you’re doing in Libya with the international community.”

President Obama and former President Clinton at the dedication of the Ronald H. Brown United States Mission to the United Nations Building in New York

Ronald Brown (August 1, 1941 – April 3, 1996) was the United States Secretary of Commerce, serving during the first term of President Bill Clinton. He was the first African American to hold this position. He was killed, along with 34 others, in a 1996 plane crash in Croatia.

President Obama presents a flag to the family of the late Ronald H. Brown. From left to right, son Michael Brown, daughter Tracy Brown, and widow Alma Brown.

20 Responses to “tribute”

  1. 1 Lovepolitics2008
    March 29, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Moving pictures.

    Mr. Brown was a real friend of Bill Clinton. It shows. I listened to the speeches of both Presidents on audio. Both were very good. Can’t wait to watch on video.

    Chipsticks, it always amazes me how quick you are with your updates !! Thank you SO much for what you do, day after day. You inspire so many. You are making a difference, I’m sure of it.

  2. 2 m
    March 29, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    I’m looking forward to a video tape too. I am wondering what Bill Clinton is thinking of PBO. I can only think that he is very proud and impressed and that he is must also think back on his days as president and wonder if things would have been different without the ML scandal/situation. He must look at PBO as a rookie, but a rookie who is surpassing his accomplishments. I would think Clinton sees the historic significance of this time, this moment with PBO as CIC.

    • 3 hopefruit2
      March 29, 2011 at 10:01 pm

      Yup and I think he’s also grateful for the way that PBO has treated his wife post-2008 DEM primaries.

  3. 4 africa
    March 29, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    I remember that time so well. I used to work at a Democratic Law Firm in Washington, D.C., where Ron Brown was a partner. Those were exciting times. It was about the time I became so involved in politics. I remember the day we got word that Brown’s plane had crashed. I worked in the Word Processing center at the time, his office was just around the corner.

    I dare say he was the only African American partner at the time, if I remember correctly. That was before Mr. opportunistic Harold Ford, who worked there right out of law school. In any case Ron Brown was a very nice person, never too important to speak to us little folks.

    His death hit many of us hard.

    I am glad to see this honor for him today.

  4. 5 Sue in Minnesota
    March 29, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Wow that picture (3rd) of PBO with our US Flag in the background is incredible.

    I’m getting a weird vibe from these pictures…..I don’t completely trust Bill Clinton, and believe he has impulses, at times to undermine President Obama. I’ld like to think more generously of Mr. Clinton…..will look for the video of this event, hopefully I am misreading these photos.

  5. 8 Shirley
    March 29, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Good Evening everyone, I am enjoying your comments. I too remember when Ron Brown’s plane crashed, ummm, I felt so bad to hear of It. I wasn’t glued to Politics like I am now, but being that Ron Brown was the first black Man to hold such a position In Commerce, well, my pride caused me to become a bit more Interested. But yes, I was quite sad, and thinking of his Family during their Grief.

    Chips, I want to thank you also, for working so hard, and as one of the above bloggers said, and so quickly. Those pictures are saying so much. It looks like perhaps, Former President Clinton was moved to tears, as President Obama and Clinton were embracing. I think It’s sooooooooo exceptionally nice, to see the Friendship that President Obama and the Clintons have developed. I like That, I really like that 🙂 That Is so big of them, being that during the Presidential Campaign, their Friendship wass a bit rocky, testy, and nasty at times. It just looks like they have moved on happily. And That’s a good thing 🙂 You know, my true feelings about Former President Clinton, Is that he was a good President. I liked his presidency. He did some good things for our Country. He’s definitely likeable, and People friendly. Yeah, I know that he had an embarrassing stain that was left, while he was In Office, and LORD knows, I was feeling for Hillary. But You know In this world, we must take the bitter with the sweet, no one Is absolutely perfect. I’m just going to focus on his good and positive works. He was a big enough Man, to talk about his actions on National Television. That was big of him to do that. I forgave him, because well, I would like to be forgiven for my wrongs too, plus It’s just the right thing to do, IMO. Okay, everyone, have a great night 🙂

    • March 29, 2011 at 8:33 pm

      Hi Shirley, first of all thank you so much for your kind words, you’re a dote 😉

      I understand completely why people don’t feel too warm towards Bill – and I don’t mean the Monica stuff! There was lots about his Presidency that was a big disappointment, but I think there was plenty, too, to be proud of. As someone with Irish blood his incredible commitment towards the peace process in Ireland will never be forgotten, his efforts literally helped save hundreds, maybe thousands, of lives. And the bulk of that commitment came in his second term when there was no political advantage in it for him.

      That doesn’t erase other failures, but – again, from a purely Irish point of view – it’s a proud legacy. So, that’s why he’ll always have a place in my heart.

  6. 10 Sonjia Duncan
    March 29, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    My daughter and I took my grandson to NY to tour the sights of my past. I worked out of NY for over 30 years while living in Maryland. I wanted by grandson to see the UN complex, the seaport, Harlem, the Village, and Statue of Liberty all the things we see in print or on tv but never see the true significants behinds them. I can share the dedication with him since we saw the construction and now we know what the building represents and who was Ron Brown.

  7. 12 Me4obama
    March 29, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    I have developed tremendous respect, trust and Love for Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice. They are becoming power players and Good advisers to the President.

  8. 14 Me4obama
    March 29, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    I love Bill Clinton. He has PBO’s back whenever he needs him and he is going to be important in 2012. Peace and Love to Mr. Clinton for the good work he still doe around the world like Haiti.

    • 15 Eleroy
      March 29, 2011 at 9:06 pm

      Sorry, but I disagree. I do not trust Bill Clinton!!!

      They have smiled to President Obama’s face but stabbed him in the back again and again!!! They sneakily use their P.R machine to attack and undermine President Obama and do this pretend to be helpful act in public!!!

      • March 29, 2011 at 9:11 pm

        Ah, I’d never say I trust him, Eleroy, and I’m not sure I could ever forgive him for the stuff he said during the primaries, but I’m just making the point that there is stuff in his record – like Ireland – that deserves respect.

        • 17 Eleroy
          March 29, 2011 at 9:16 pm

          CS, Clinton did some good things as president, but I wish he would just stop with the sneaky undermining of this President!!!

      • 18 LYNN
        March 29, 2011 at 9:55 pm


  9. 20 Sue in Minnesota
    March 29, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    I don’t dislike or disrespect Bill Clinton. My perception is simply that his ego drives him to compete for some of the attention that President Obama commands. Both gentlemen have to have large egos, they wouldn’t think they were capable of the Presidency with out them. I happen to feel that President Obama’s ego, at least my perception of it, is very healthy but balanced, and that he possesses a greater degree of humility than Mr. Clinton. I am not a fan of self-promotion at another persons expense.

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