The New Republic celebrated 100 years of powerful, innovative and thought-provoking journalism on Wednesday night, with a guest list that can be described in equal terms. From keynote speaker, President Bill Clinton, to speeches from the publication’s Chris Hughes (owner, publisher and editor-in-chief), Frank Foer (editor), and Leon Wieseltier (literary editor), even a performance from Grammy-winning jazz musician, Wynton Marsalis, the evening was filled with a spirit of cultural and civic optimism.
Not to diminish from the rest of the evening, but the former president’s speech was certainly the highlight of the gala and was nothing short of captivating. Touching on everything from the early 20th Century and the World Wars, the human genome, income inequality, immigration, education, to “identity politics” (i.e. ethnic/religious bigotry) of ISIS, Russia, and Boko Haram; he was somehow able to tie it all together, as only he could.