- The Washington Times - Friday, September 12, 2014

At a White House ceremony Friday marking the 20th anniversary of the AmeriCorps program, former President Bill Clinton sounded as if he was doing a little early 2016 campaigning for wife Hillary.

Mr. Clinton, who launched the first AmeriCorps class on Sept. 12, 1994, told the audience on the South Lawn that Mrs. Clinton has been a longtime supporter of national service.

“I shared that great day with a lot of people, including Hillary, who campaigned across America with me in 1992, promising that we would create a national service program,” Mr. Clinton said.

Then, with President Obama at his side, Mr. Clinton recited a bit of his wife’s resume for the mostly young audience.

“She had participated in all kinds of community service; her first job was with the Children’s Defense Fund,” Mr. Clinton said. “She started the Legal Aid program in Arkansas at our university. We have lived this for a long time.”

Mrs. Clinton hasn’t announced whether she’ll run for the White House in 2016 but is widely expected to become a candidate.

Mr. Clinton said it’s “one of the most important things I ever had a role in.”

Mr. Obama urged Congress to approve his budget request of $1.05 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service, a slight increase from fiscal 2014 enacted levels. The budget also calls for a restructuring of AmeriCorps.

The president remembered his days as a community organizer in Chicago and said he wouldn’t have become president without that experience.

“It gave me a sense of direction about how I wanted to live my life,” Mr. Obama said. “It made me whole. It gave me center. It gave me a compass.”

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