Bill Clinton’s irrepressible love of balloons was on full display Thursday night when Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah surprised him with a convention-style balloon drop, prompting the former president to quip, “I really am in my second childhood.”
The gag, which wrapped up the wide-ranging interview, was a reference to the balloon drop at the end of 2016 Democratic National Convention that Clinton seemed to thoroughly enjoy.
“I did think about what gift I could give you for coming on the show,” Noah said. “I thought, you are the man who has everything from, from people to influence, and I did notice there is one thing that makes you smile — so I wanted to give you the gift of balloons.”
As balloons began falling from the ceiling, Clinton started laughing and said, “When I saw the film at the end of the convention, I realized that more than anybody else, I was there playing with balloons and they were going to hook me off the stage. I thought, you know, I really am in my second childhood!”
In the interview, the former president also addressed questions about potential conflicts of interests in a Hillary Clinton presidential administration created by the Clinton Foundation’s international donors — a major issue for the Democratic presidential nominee that has dogged her throughout her contest with Donald Trump. Speaking to those concerns, Bill Clinton said that “if Hillary becomes president, that has to be totally at arm’s length. I can’t be involved at all. It needs to be an independent entity, and it will be.”
He later added, “If she becomes president, I would just not take foreign money, not take corporate money, farm out all our international operations to others, and I’m in the process of doing that. Make those that should stay together independent of me, and remove all questions of conflict. I think we can do that.”
Clinton also took the opportunity to offer his analysis of the 2016 election, expressing concern over the accelerating trend toward political polarization.
“For most of my life, each political party had a 40% base, and then there were 20%, they were genuinely up for grabs. By the time the 2000 race came along between Al Gore and President George W. Bush, it was probably down to 10 (%). It may be down to less now. Because we’re getting siloed. We are siloed in the TV shows we watch and the websites we scan, everything,” he said.
“We have one remaining bigotry — we don’t want to be around anyone who disagrees with us,” Clinton said, prompting light laughter. “The crowd is laughing but they didn’t laugh too loud because they know I’m telling the truth.”