Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Video: Watch 'Uncle' Bill Clinton Give Surprise Speech at Redondo Beach High School Graduation

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Former president Bill Clinton decided to pop over to the South Bay yesterday afternoon to impart a few words of wisdom to the graduating class at Redondo Union High School. His nephew Tyler Clinton is a member of the school's graduating class.

"Uncle" Bill decided to give a short (for him), 15-minute speech, and "Aunt" Hillary showed up in the audience, according to The Daily Breeze. In the evening, the Clintons attended a function for the Redondo Beach Education Foundation.

Clinton won the students' approval (if he didn't have it already) by praising their achievements in cross-country, academic decathlon, high school newspaper—and beating their longtime rival Mira Costa for the first time in lacrosse and football.

Support for LAist comes from

Clinton kept the speech mostly positive and nonpartisan. He said that even though many college graduates are unemployed, the unemployment rate is much lower than for those without a degree. That means that the high school's mostly college-bound class would be in a good position to pick the kind of work that they wanted to do with their lives, he said.

"Most of the people who have ever lived on Earth and about half of the people alive today on Earth had no choice about what they are going to do when they grow up," he said.

He encouraged the students to take chances and be bold:

"Most high schools have reunions about every five years. My high school does, and I've only missed one, in 48 years. The saddest among my classmates are not those who have failed. ... The saddest ones are those who had dreams and did not try to achieve them."

The sound system is a little echo-ey, but the video above captured the speech. Clinton starts his speech around the 2-minute mark.