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The president will talk about the government's role in the economy as part of the new Granoff forum. Eight years ago, then-Gov. Bill Clinton came to Penn to tell students how he wanted his presidency to impact an increasingly global economy. Today, he's returning to campus to discuss exactly how much of an effect his administration has had. Kicking off the new Granoff Forum, designed to attract influential global business leaders to Penn, Clinton will spend 30 minutes this afternoon in Irvine Auditorium, outlining the current state of the global economy and his projections for the future to an audience of approximately 1,000. University President Judith Rodin will introduce the President, and Michael Granoff -- founder of the forum -- will briefly address the audience of students, local officials and Penn faculty before Clinton takes the podium. Doors open today at 1:30 p.m., and student invitees are encouraged to arrive before 2 p.m. For security reasons, bookbags and backpacks are strongly discouraged. White House spokesman Joseph Lockhart said in a press briefing yesterday that the president's speech will largely focus on how his administration has altered the global economy. Lockhart added that Clinton will probably touch upon "what the proper role for the government is in providing stewardship for the economy." Immediately after his speech, titled "The New Economy," Clinton will depart for several fundraisers in New York. Just over half of those listening to Clinton's insight on the economy will be students, said Assistant Dean for the School of Arts and Sciences Allison Rose, who helped organize the event. Admission is by invitation only, and the majority of students invited to attend were selected from the SAS International Relations Program, the Political Science Department and the Lauder Institute. Philadelphia Mayor John Street, former mayor and Democratic National Committee Chairman Ed Rendell and several other elected officials will join the hundreds of students attending today's address, Rose added. "There will be some representation from all levels of elected officials," she explained. Today marks the first time Clinton has visited Penn since a campaign stop shortly before the 1996 election. Though the details of today's safety measures could not be released for security reasons, Rose said security would be very tight in and around Irvine Auditorium. "It will be at the level you would expect for a visit from the president," she said last night, adding that campus security has been working closely with the U.S. Secret Service in preparation for the president's visit. Irvine itself had to be slightly altered to accommodate the president's security force and the approximately 100 members of the press anticipated to turn out for the event. Press risers were added in several rows, but Rose could not detail any of the other changes to the building. As part of the tightened security accompanying the visit, University officials have predicted that Clinton's arrival might tie up the area at 34th and Spruce streets, the location of the main entrance to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. An e-mail was sent to several HUP officials on Tuesday warning that no traffic will be permitted on 34th Street between Walnut and Spruce from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow, possibly disrupting the traffic in front of the hospital. The speech will be broadcast on ResNet at 7 p.m. in its entirety. It will also be broadcast live on the World Wide Web. A link to the Website will be on this afternoon.

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