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Bill Clinton speaks at nephew's Redondo Beach high school graduation

June 16, 2012 | 11:29 am

Having a former president as an uncle has at least one benefit: When your high school's trying to nab a big-name speaker for graduation, you know just who to get.

That's why Bill Clinton spoke at Redondo Union High School's commencement on Friday, the Daily Breeze reported. The president's nephew, Tyler Clinton, was among the graduates of the Redondo Beach school. He is the son of the two-term president's half-brother, Roger Clinton.

In his 15-minute address from an end-zone perch on a football field, the newspaper reported that Clinton had the graduates hyped after he made reference to athletic victories over rival schools and to a slogan often used by the superintendent ("I have been told you will know what I mean if I say you are about to graduate from the finest high school in the South Bay," Clinton said).

Clinton also offered a typical commencement message: The students are fortunate to have the chance to pursue their dreams, and it would be a shame if they didn't do so.

"Most of the people who have ever lived on Earth and about half of the people alive today on Earth had no choice about what they are going to do when they grow up," he said.

He added: "Most high schools have reunions about every five years. My high school does, and I've only missed one in 48 years. The saddest among my classmates are not those who have failed. ... The saddest are those who had dreams and did not try to achieve them."


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Photo: Former President Clinton, shown at a conference in Beverly Hills last month, spoke Friday afternoon at the commencement for Redondo Union High School, where his nephew was among the graduates. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez/Los Angeles Times.