Pick your poison: Ex-presidents to speak at industry events

NEW YORK  — Republican and Democrat retail executives both have something to look forward to in 2012 as former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are scheduled to speak at major industry events.

Clinton is first up at the National Retail Federation annual convention in New York on Jan.16, while Bush will serve as the keynote speaker at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores annual meeting in Palm Beach, Fla. April 21 to 24. 

Regardless of one’s political leanings, anytime the former leader of the free world speaks it is worth paying attention, and that will be especially true in 2012 when an already intensely partisan political climate is set to escalate further thanks to election year politics taking place against the backdrop of a weak economy, an unfathomable amount of national debt and debate about who’s policies are to blame and what can be done to correct the situation.