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Bill Clinton to Wal-Mart CEO: Would you consider opening a store in Libya?

By Doug Powers  •  September 24, 2012 04:43 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Over the weekend the Clinton Global Initiative held the third seminar in its “Great Ideas for Spending Other People’s Money” series, and, because the U.S. is back to full employment and this economy is clicking along like a well oiled machine, the former president focused on job creation in the Middle East:

Former President Bill Clinton on Sunday challenged Wal-Mart to open a store in Libya and help create jobs in the world’s most troubled areas.

“If the new president of Libya asked you to open a store in Tripoli, would you consider it?” Clinton asked Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke at the opening session of the Clinton Global Initiative.

The annual forum brings together leaders in politics, business and philanthropy for three days of brainstorming about the most pressing global problems.

Duke was on a Clinton-mediated panel with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Queen Rania of Jordan and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

The Wal-Mart executive — jokingly calling the corporate giant a “small company from Arkansas,” Clinton’s home state — said the company already operates in high-risk areas including parts of sub-Saharan Africa. But Wal-Mart has no presence in Tripoli, the Libyan capital Clinton named as a possible location.

Duke should have replied “I’ll do that if you’ll agree to work there as a greeter for a month — deal?”

Also, on CNN yesterday, Clinton’s support for Obama didn’t seem to have that same level of excitement that it did at the convention:

Because of the poor economy, President Obama could have a hard time securing the youth vote that helped carry him to victory four years ago, former President Bill Clinton said yesterday.

In 2008, Obama “won an enormous victory among people under 30,” Clinton told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. “But they are disproportionately likely now to be unemployed or stuck in part-time jobs, to be frustrated.

“I think for all kinds of reasons, they’re unlikely to vote in large numbers for Governor [Mitt] Romney, but will they vote?”

Clinton, however, strongly defended Obama, saying that the tanked economy could not have been “fully healed” in one term. He also slammed Romney’s payment of 14.1 percent on his latest tax returns, in which indicated earning $13.7 million, as not helping the economic recovery.

Well that settles it. The only way to turn America’s economic ship around is for Romney to pay more taxes and open a department store in Libya.

(h/t Weasel Zippers)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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