Bill Clinton looked fit and healthy as he and his wife Hillary enjoyed trip to Northern Ireland, just 18 months after he battled sepsis.
Bill, 76, and Hillary, 75, were caught strolling the streets of Belfast in causal attire as the former president seemed at east during a trip to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement peace deal.
Bill wore a monochrome look with dark blue jeans with a nearly matching clue jacket as he carried his glasses in his hand. Underneath his jacket, he wore a button-down shirt under a dark-colored sweater.
His wife, on the other hand, opted for a change from her famous pantsuit for a pair of casual, black form-fitting jeans with a gray top with a black turtleneck underneath. She styled the look with a long black coat that a playful floral pattern on the inside lining and a black bag.
Bill’s easygoing appearance is drastically different from just 18 months ago when he suffered from sepsis and appeared rather frail.
The 42nd president had been admitted into the hospital in 2021 after a urological infection caused by E. coli developed into sepsis, a life-threating reaction to an infection.
Clinton’s doctors said that a urinary tract infection developed into urosepsis. An aide to the former president said Bill Clinton had a urological infection that spread to his bloodstream.
The political powerhouse couple traveled to Ireland for the Good Friday Agreement to mark its 25th Anniversary. Bill was heavily involved in the Agreement when it was signed in 1998.
As officials consider the sacrifices and good fortune that have allowed the achievement to hold, some are pointing to the pivotal role of U.S. diplomacy and to interventions by President Clinton during his tenure. As the agreement came together, Clinton brought the skills he honed in US politics – from glad-handing to cajoling and late night gamesmanship – to the task.
Prime Minister Tony Blair and Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern inked the deal on April 10, 1998, after negotiations that ran on for two years but ultimately helped end one of the globe’s most implacable armed conflicts. Voters approved the agreement weeks after it was signed, helping turn the page on a violent period known as ‘The Troubles.’
‘This would not have happened without Bill Clinton [and] the United States,’ said former New York Republican Representative Peter King. ‘Clinton was a driving force. He was the first president really ever to get involved. He took on his own State Department and the British government when he gave the visa to Gerry Adams,’ King said of the Sinn Fein leader who was allowed to come to the U.S. for a two-day visit.
‘Nobody understood all of the bizarre, unusual characteristics of these different Irish leaders. To Bill Clinton, to him, rather than being a mess, it all fit it into a mosaic.’
It is Clinton whose contributions are set to be lionized during a major conference at Queen’s University in Belfast, which come after the completion of Biden’s week-long trip to Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Clinton identified the issue as one he wanted to focus on before he took office, and when the time was right, he tapped former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell to help oversee negotiations.
‘He was a great diplomat, but he also would have been a great therapist, incredibly patient – listening to the same stories time after time after time’ said Gary Mason, a Methodist minister who was involved in the Northern Irish Peace Process.
‘And really, I think that was of immense benefit to move people in the right direction,’ he said.
Clinton in a new interview pegged to the anniversary called it ‘the most onerous part-time job in history.’