Passing out red ribbons

It's World AIDS Day today and the various organizations, individuals, etc., involved in finding some sort of solution to the global crisis are taking...

It's World AIDS Day today and the various organizations, individuals, etc., involved in finding some sort of solution to the global crisis are taking to the airwaves and talking to anyone who will listen.

But former President Bill Clinton was getting to the press a day early, announcing yesterday that his foundation had negotiated a deal to slash prices for AIDS drugs to treat children in 62 countries.

And while today will see the requisite "where we stand in the fight against AIDS " stories getting played high in the morning papers, they'll likely disappear from view for the next 364 days.

Clinton, meanwhile, has decided that this is the issue that will define his post-presidency legacy, partly because he didn't do enough to combat the disease while he was actually in the Oval Office (and he apparently was scolded for this by Chelsea after she wrote a paper on the subject at Georgetown). Anyway, whatever the reason for his newfound passion, there's no better person for the job.

Always the master communicator, AIDS needs Clinton. Already, he's brought the issue publicity simply through "What He's Doing Now "profiles, like this lengthy one in the New Yorker. He certainly can't do it all - this is, after all, a rather big problem.

But the disease needs a spokesperson in this country in the worst way, because it seems our leaders still don't understand the pressing nature of it all. So who better to push your cause than the future first gentleman? Well, probably not, but I just wanted to see how that sounded.

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