remarks of the President at NY Senate 2000 dinner 8/10
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                           (New York, New York)
For Immediate Release               August 10, 2000

                         REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                      AT NEW YORK SENATE 2000 DINNER

                             Private Residence
                               New York, NY

10:07 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  First of all, I want to thank John and Margo and
Dennis and Mike and Peter and everybody else that made this dinner possible
tonight.  And I'd like to thank Attorney General Spitzer and Comptroller
McCall for coming, and all the rest of you.  I thank you for being here for
Hillary and for our country.

     I can be quite brief -- but I won't be.  (Laughter.)  I will be.  I
will be.  The only thing that I'm concerned about in this election is
whether people really know what it is about and believe it's important.  In
over 200 years the American people have almost always gotten it right when
they had the facts and the time to digest them, and that's why we're all
still around here, why it's still a great country.  It's why we've done
what we've done as a people, and taken in wave after wave after wave of
immigrants, and met crisis after crisis, challenge after challenge.
Democracy actually works.

     And we have to trust the people, if they know what it's about.  And
the only thing -- as I said, what's concerned me is I have repeatedly seen
stories to the effect that many people didn't think this was such a big
election.  I mean, after all, things are going so well and you couldn't
mess up the economy if you tried, so is it really a big deal?  And then the
second thing that's bothered me is I've seen lots of stories which indicate
that people don't have any idea what the real differences are between the
parties, the candidates for president, the candidates for the New York
Senate race and other things.

     A big story in USA Today about three weeks ago -- what's the
difference in the Vice President and Governor Bush's economic policy?  A
story just 10 days ago interviewing suburban women who favored greater gun
safety legislation -- our candidate had a six point lead.  And then when
this polling outfit just read the positions of the two candidates -- and,
by the way, they had nothing to do with either party, this was an
independent polling outfit -- they just said, okay, here's their positions
-- they went from 45 to 39, to 57 to 29.

     So what I want to say to you -- you came here tonight, you've helped
Hillary.  I am profoundly grateful, and I want to say a few words about
that.  But everyone of you has friends who are less political than you are.
Everyone of you has friends who may not even be active Democrats.  You have
networks of people you contact.  And what I want to ask you to do is to
remind people that this is a big election, and how many times in your
lifetime have you a chance to vote in an election solely on the basis of
how we can use this astonishing prosperity and social progress and national
self-confidence to build the future of our dreams for our kids.  It may
never happen again in your lifetime.  So to pretend that this is like a
no-consequence election because we don't feel like we're on the edge of a
cliff about to be pushed off, I think is a grave error.

     The second thing I want to say is there are huge differences.  And we
mustn't be shy in pointing out to the best of our ability what we think
those honest differences are.  We don't have to say bad things about our
adversaries, but we do have to say what the differences are.

     It tickles me -- a lot of these folks that spent years kind of
attacking their opponents now act like the Democrats are being negative if
they just point out what the voting record was.  (Laughter.)  It's like,
how dare you do something so mean; I have a right to keep from the people
what my positions are.  (Laughter.)

     So we have to create a climate here where we have a good old-fashioned
election -- no personal destruction; no personal attacks; an honest effort
to identify what the major issues are, what the stakes are, and what the
differences are; and just trust the people.

     And I can just tell you that there are massive differences on economic
policy, on crime policy, on education policy, on the environment, on health
care policy, on a woman's right to choose and the appointment of judges and
the ratification of judges, the approval in the Senate.  And the American
people need to know what they're doing here.  And we just need to trust
them.  But you need to help us with clarity of choice.

     The second thing I'd like to say in asking Hillary to come up here is
that I'm actually very proud of her for doing this.  After all we've been
through the last eight years -- and most of it's been quite wonderful --
but all our friends who leave the White House and go back to private life
tell us that they don't even get out of physical pain for about six months
-- (laughter) -- that they had no idea how tired they were until they left.
And we were looking forward to spending the last year making all these
trips together, having people come in to the White House.  And it's
wonderful to have our daughter home, and she can come campaign with Hillary
and make a few trips with me.  But we wanted to have this last year just to
celebrate the millennial year and have more of these lectures that Hillary
organized, and celebrate the preservation of our natural heritage.

     And instead, she decided, for the first time in 30 years, to actually
get in and run for herself instead of help somebody else do it.  And she
did it after a half a dozen or so New York House members came and asked her
to consider doing it, and then traveling all over the state, and concluding
that the work that she'd done all of her adult life is basically the kind
of thing that New York needs and wants now.

     And I just want to remind you of a few things.  First of all, when I
met her in 1971 in the springtime, she was already completely obsessed with
the issues of children and families, and she took an extra year in law
school to work at the Yale Child Study Center, and the children's ward of
the Yale University Hospital, so that when she got a law degree she would
actually have detailed knowledge about health, psychological and other
issues relating to children and their parents.

     Secondly, the first job she ever had was for a group that became the
Children's Defense Fund.  Thirdly, when she came home to Arkansas to be
with me, she -- and we helped Jimmy Carter get elected President -- she
became the youngest chair ever of the Legal Services Corporation to try to
provide legal aid to poor people.

     Then when I became governor, she helped to establish a neo-natal
nursery at the Children's Hospital in our home state, what my predecessor
affectionately, or not so affectionately, referred to as a small southern
state.  By the time we left -- Hillary ran all the fundraising every year
for the Children's Hospital, did all that.  By the time we left office, the
Arkansas Children's Hospital was the seventh biggest children's hospital in
the United States of America.

     And after she became First Lady, she has worked on dramatically
improving the adoption laws; making it easier for people to do cross-racial
adoptions; getting a $5,000 tax credit for people who adopt children with
disabilities; doing more for children who age out of foster care -- a
really big issue in New York State, a huge issue -- doing more to give
health insurance for children; doing more to promote child care and to deal
with the challenges of early childhood.

     There's really -- I doubt very seriously that any person has ever been
First Lady who's had the range of detailed involvement and interests she
has.  And along the way, she wrote a best-selling book and gave 100 percent
of the profits away to children's charity.

     And in 30 years, all she ever did was try to help other people.  Every
year I was governor, she gave away lots of income to help other people.
This is the first time she's ever, ever done anything where she was asking
people to help her.  And all I can tell you is, in the over 30 years, now,
I've been involved in politics in one way or another, I have worked with
hundreds of people that I liked and admired, that I thought were gifted,
patriotic and devoted.  There is no question, even though you can say,
well, I'm biased, and I'll get a better might's sleep if I say this --
(laughter) -- but I'm just telling you, I love my country enough to say
that even though I'm kind of missing this last year that we had looked
forward to, I'm glad she's doing it.  Because of all the people I've ever
known, I have never known anybody that had the same combination of mind and
heart and knowledge and organizational ability and constancy -- constancy
-- I'm talking about 30 years of constancy -- that she has.

     So if you will get her elected, she will be a magnificent senator.
And all these people who wonder whether they should be for her now because
-- why is she doing this now, and why is she doing it in New York -- after
she's been there about 60 days, they will never have another question.
They will never have another question.

     So what you've got to do is get out here and stir around and tell
people that.  Tell people what the differences are between her and her
opponent, and what the two parties' differences are, and personally
validate what you see and know.  And if you do, she's going to win.  And it
won't be long until everybody else will think they voted for her, too.

     Thank you very much.  Please come up, Hillary.  (Applause.)

                        END      10:20 P.M. EDT

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