Surprise! Bill Clinton appears at the Golden Globes

Surprise! Bill Clinton appears at the Golden Globes
Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 10:53pm

The 42nd U.S. president introduced the 16th president Sunday night at a star-studded awards ceremony -- well, kind of.

Former President Bill Clinton was on hand to present a clip for "Lincoln," the biographical film nominated for best motion picture -- drama at the 70th annual Golden Globes. Receiving a 30-second standing ovation, the president walked in to deliver brief remarks about the film.

"A tough fight to push a bill through a bitterly divided House of Representatives. Winning required the president to make a lot of unsavory deals that had nothing to do with the big issue. I wouldn't know anything about that," he said.

"President Lincoln's struggle to abolish slavery reminds us that enduring progress is forged in a cauldron of compromise and principle," he continued. "This brilliant film shows us how he did it and gives us hope that we can do it again. In Lincoln, we see a man more interesting than the legend. And a far better guide for future presidents."

Not only is "Lincoln" up for the big award, but the Steven Spielberg film that took seven years to make, star Daniel Day-Lewis said, was also chosen for six other Golden Globes.

"Every hard-fought effort to perfect our union has demanded the same, same combination of steely resolve and necessary compromises that Lincoln mastered to preserve the union and end slavery," he said. "We're all here tonight because he did."

Spielberg and Clinton have long been close friends. When Clinton lived in the White House, a Norman Rockwell painting hung in the Oval Office. It was a gift from Spielberg. The painting now hangs in at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Expressing her excitement, Golden Globes co-host Amy Poehler followed Clinton after his comments and said, "Wow what an exciting special guest. That was Hillary Clinton's husband."

This wasn't the first time Clinton gave remarks at the Golden Globes.

In 2005, the former president, along with former President George H.W. Bush, appeared in a video to thank the entertainment industry for donations and support after the devastating Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

Clinton also has ties to another film nominated for best picture Sunday night.

The movie, "Argo," is about the 1980 joint operation by the CIA and Canada to rescue six American diplomatic personnel who fled the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979. The cover rescue mission remained a secret until it was declassified under Clinton's presidency in 1997.

The former president could one day be the subject of an award-winning film himself. HBO announced last month it was partnering with Martin Scorsese to produce a documentary about Clinton. A title and release date for the piece has not yet been set.

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