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Clinton notes CUs in eulogy of ex-CUNA spokeswoman
WASHINGTON (6/3/09)--Former President Bill Clinton talked about credit unions and Brooke Shearer's passion for them during a memorial service Saturday for Shearer, a former spokesperson for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Shearer, 58, who was communications director for CUNA in Washington during the 1980s, died May 19 at her home of cancer. She had known Bill and Hillary Clinton for 38 years, Clinton said. Clinton told about calling Shearer a week before she passed away, according to Larry Blanchard, CUNA Mutual Group legislative consultant, who attended the celebration of life service. Clinton and Shearer discussed the importance of credit unions, he told about 1,000 people at the service. She began the conversation by asking how the economy was doing, Clinton said. Clinton assured her President Barack Obama's administration had made a good start and things were improving. Shearer interrupted him and told him that they needed "to help credit unions get through that mess. We've got to get that fixed." Shearer remained enthusiastic about credit unions and during her final months sent letters to Obama's transition team and other policymakers about the positive impact credit unions had in helping members weather the recession. Other speakers at the service included Hillary Clinton; Supreme Court of the U.S. Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer and his wife Joanna; Shearer's sons Devin and Adrian Talbott, and her daughter-in-law Lauren Talbott. Shearer served as Hillary Clinton's personal aide during Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. Shearer and her husband, Strobe Talbott, held positions in the Clinton administration. Talbott now heads the Brookings Institution research and policy center. Shearer was founding director of the Yale World Fellows program and was on the board of the International Center for Research on Women.


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