8/18/00 Remarks By The President To The Franklin, Essex, Clinton County Democratic Picnic
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                          (Lake Placid, New York)
For Immediate Release                                   August 18, 2000

                         REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT

                         Saranac Lake Civic Center
                          Saranac Lake, New York

8:17 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Well, let me thank all of you for coming
out tonight.  I thank the Mayor and all of our Chairs.  And Phil LaLonde
and Anne Tubby, thank you for being with us tonight.

     I think Hillary just about said it all, don't you?  I thought that was
great.  (Applause.)

     I want to say a few things and then ask you something from a little
different perspective.  First of all, I want to thank all the people of New
York state for voting twice in 1992 and 1996 for Bill Clinton and Al Gore
and I'm very grateful to you.  (Applause.)

     And I want to say a special word of thanks to you for 1996, when we
carried 52 of the states, counties -- including Franklin, Essex and Clinton
Counties -- by big margins and I thank you.  (Applause.)  Now that we know
you can do it, I hope you'll do the same thing for Hillary and Al Gore and
Joe Lieberman this year.  (Applause.)

     I was thinking, when Chelsea and I were sitting there listening to
Hillary talk, two things.  First of all, I thought she was giving a great
talk.  (Laughter and applause.)  And I thought she gave a great speech at
the convention Monday night.  (Applause.)  And I want to echo what she said
about the Vice President's speech last night.  It was an extraordinary
speech and a great road map for the country's future and I'm grateful for
that.  (Applause.)

     But I want to talk to you from a unique perspective, because my family
has a new candidate and my party, as of last night, has a new leader.  And
so in this election, though I will be President and I have a lot I'm going
to try to get done for you in the next five months, I am moving back to
where I spent the first 20 years of my active life in politics, from the
time I was eight years old and my uncle was running for the state
legislature at home and I was passing out cards for him at the polling

     That is, I'm coming back to where you are.  I'm going to be a citizen
activist and I'm going to try to be a good one.  But I've had a unique
opportunity to see what makes a country change and grow.  And also to
understand clearly the consequences of elections and the decisions made by
the people whom we elect.

     So I can't begin to add anything to what I said last Monday about what
happened the last eight years, what Hillary and Al Gore said about what
ought to happen in the next four years.  But I can tell you this:  what the
election rides on is whether the people of this country, the people of this
state and the people of this part of New York believe it's a big election,
not a little election; and understand that there are differences and know
what the differences are.

     So as somebody who's sort of coming back your way, to citizen
activism, I thank you for coming here tonight, I thank you for your support
for all your local candidates.  And Mr. Mayor, thank you for being here and
all the other local officials.  I thank you for your support for Hillary,
it means so much to me and it will be good for New York.

     But I want to ask you to leave here remembering what I said.  I tried
to make the argument last Monday night that for all the progress we have
made in the last eight years, the best stuff is still out there.  Because
that's what I believe.  That's what I believe.  (Applause.)

     If you just think about it -- we had to work so hard to turn the
economy around and get rid of the deficit, now we can bring prosperity to
the people and places left behind.  We had to work so hard to get the crime
rate going down, instead of going up.  Now we can focus on making America
the safest big country in the world.  We had to work so hard in getting in
place the things that work in education.  Now we can focus on making sure
every child in this country can get a world-class education, from
kindergarten through college.

     We are in a position to take advantage of all these scientific
discoveries and all these technological developments in a way that has
never been possible in this country; and, as Hillary said, could bring
great economic opportunity to upstate New York.  But the people have to
choose wisely.

     And I can just tell you, as somebody who spent the first 20 years of
my life working to try to persuade other people to vote for folks I thought
ought to be elected; and then who spent 22 of the last 24 years as a public
official trying to convince people I ought to be elected and reelected and
what I was doing made sense; as someone who's looking forward to an
election where I can support a man I believe in for President, a man I
believe in for Vice President and a woman I think would be one of the great
United States Senators of our time for the Senate -- (applause)
-- I can tell you, not everybody thinks about this as much as you do.

     Isn't that right?  Whether they're democrats, independents or
republicans, not everybody sits around and thinks about this as much as you
do.  This is a massive crowd tonight.  But there are more people from this
area who aren't here than people who are, right?  By definition.  That's
not a criticism -- this is a huge crowd, it blew me away when I walked in

     But the point I'm trying to make is that between now and election day,
each one of you will have a chance every day to say, look, this is a big
deal here, you've got to take this seriously.  The people you work with,
the people you're in civic clubs with, the people you worship with, the
people you run into on the street or drink coffee with, you can say, look,
this is a big election; you remember where this country was eight years

     And those of you who are over 30 can make this point to younger
people.  You know, you get a time like this in a country's life maybe once
in a lifetime where you get the chance to build a future of your dreams for
your kids.  So once you convince people it's a big election and they have
to take it seriously, you're halfway home in terms of persuading them to
vote for our people.

     And then the second thing you have to convince them of is that there
are significant differences that will affect their lives, their children's
lives and the future of New York and the United States.

     So as someone who is profoundly grateful to all of you -- there's
hardly a place in America that's been more generous to me more consistently
than New York has -- I want you to know that the best thing I can give back
to you is to do my dead-level best to get everything I can do done for
America in the five months I've got left to be President, and to persuade
the American people that a chance like this comes along once in a lifetime.

     I've worked hard to turn the country around, but all the best stuff is
still out there.  But the American people have to believe it's a big
election and there are big consequences because there are big differences.
If you can take some time every day between now and November to talk to
your friends, without regard to their parties, in a calm and open way --
(laughter) -- making those two points -- making those two points, say, hey,
we're not mad at these other guys, we don't have anything bad to say about
them.  But, look, it's a big election and there are big differences and
here's what the differences are and they'll have consequences for your
lives and your children and your future.

     If you will take some time to do that, then we'll have a great night
on November 7th, because Al Gore and Joe Lieberman and Hillary will be
elected, and America will be better off.

     Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

     END  8:26 P.M. EDT

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