Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Clinton Makes Tokyo Meeting a Jobs Summit

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Clinton Makes Tokyo Meeting a Jobs Summit

Article excerpt

By Marcia Stepanek

Hearst Newspapers

TOKYO _ The only subject, according to Bill Clinton, was jobs.

In the end, Clinton managed to get everyone else attending the seven-nation economic summit in Tokyo to talk about jobs, too.

As a result, the G-7 summit ended Friday on an upbeat rhetorical note in defiance of forecasts that the parley would turn into a lackluster "funeral summit."

When walking through city streets, Clinton talked to Japanese shopowners about their jobs. He used photo opportunities with world leaders to talk about his own first job in a grocery store. At times he sounded like he did during his 1992 presidential campaign, talking about jobs and the need for economic growth.

"Some have called this a jobs summit, and they are right because the creation of new jobs in the United States and in all the other countries here present was at the center of all our discussions," Clinton told a closing news conference.

In the end, the summit gave him a boost politically, at home and in Japan.

"This was Bill Clinton's summit," said a headline in Friday's edition of Tokyo's Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

Not surprisingly, David Gergen, the new White House overseer of spin, agreed with that theme.

"Bill Clinton may have been viewed as a weak leader inept at foreign policy last week, but this week, that image was dealt a real blow here in Tokyo," Gergen said.

All seven world leaders agreed to Clinton's proposal to hold a jobs minisummit in Washington this fall. All seven agreed to focus more on easing unemployment back home. The economic communique ending the summit was all about jobs. Even its title _ "A Strengthened Commitment to Jobs and Growth" _ bore Clinton's mark.

Clinton found a way to find jobs in the financial aid package for Russia.

"There's a lot of business to be done in Russia by Americans to create American jobs," he declared. …

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