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Why Bill Clinton is the greatest ex-president

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Bill Clinton is the best ex-president of the United States. Whatever you thought of him as president, you have to accept he has become one of the greatest humanitarians on earth.

Some may say Jimmy Carter, who won the Nobel Prize, is the greatest ex-prez, but I think Clinton wins it. He is simply a more inspirational figure.

Yesterday, as UN special envoy, Clinton met with the injured in Haiti and promised massive support. The sight of him helping the earthquake victims was at once compelling and uplifting. Here was American soft power at its best, along with the troops President Obama has sent and the joint work that former presidents George Bush and Clinton will undertake together for Haiti.

Kudos to to Bush the younger, who has taken his father's role alongside Clinton as a world ambassador for peace.

If you follow Clinton's work on AIDS in Africa, his efforts to curb childhood obesity here in America and his continued role as a troubleshooter in international conflicts, you cannot but be impressed.

His Clinton Foundation has become one of the world's great philanthropic organizations, with a turnover of $300 million last year.

We Irish know all about his peacemaking skills. Without him, there would have been no peace in Northern Ireland. It is as simple as that.

He has brought that skill to the world now, unencumbered by the strains of high office. He is proving a remarkable ambassador for our country, one who perhaps was more loved abroad during his time in office than he ever was at home.

He has used that fame, not to enrich himself -- which he could have done so easily -- but to help the less fortunate, the forgotten, the frail.

His visit to Haiti yesterday was very much in keeping with that spirit. He does us all proud.

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