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A week after causing a media frenzy by announcing a possible run for Florida governor, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno addressed several hundred lawyers and judges from Miami-Dade at the Miami Beach Bar Association luncheon at the Miami Beach Loews Hotel. There was nary a dissenter in the crowd. She got two standing ovations from the adoring audience. Reno delivered a wide-ranging speech that touched on her pride at having presided over the Justice Department, her concern over violence in schools, cybercrime and her recent appearance on “Saturday Night Live.” But she ignored the one topic over which she’d caused a stir — whether she would try to oust Jeb Bush from the governor’s mansion. After the speech she told the Daily Business Review she would make the decision “as soon as possible.” Dressed in a pink suit and looking more relaxed than during her A.G. days, and with her hand shaking occasionally from Parkinson’s disease, Reno drew hearty applause when she said, “There is something wrong with a country that pays its football players six- and seven-digit figures and pays its teachers nothing.” She told the crowd — especially the judges who she once interviewed for jobs when she was Miami-Dade state attorney — “I’m so proud of you of all.” She also reminisced about her years as the nation’s top lawyer. “People ask, ‘Were the last eight years worth it?’ ” she said. “ They say, ‘you’ve been cussed at and fussed at and beat around the ears figuratively. But it was worth it … to make America safer and freer.” The woman parodied by “Saturday Night Live” urged the audience to “laugh at ourselves every now and then. It is important for America to laugh together and talk to each other in civil tones. We can get so much done.” She ended her speech by declaring, “I have never been so proud to be a lawyer, I have never been so proud to be an American.” She then signed autographs from children who were present for a poster contest sponsored by the Miami Beach Bar. So, was it hard to persuade Reno to be the speaker? Not at all, said Richard Steinberg, a member of the Bar’s board. “We just asked her,” he said. “We all know her. She used to baby sit for me.”

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