RESEND(Change in location) 8/9 Remarks By The President At New York Senate 2000 Dinner
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                   August 9, 2000

                         REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                            AT NEW YORK SENATE 2000 DINNER

                             Private Residence
                                       McLean, Virginia

8:45 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, Claire.  Thank you for your
wonderful words, and I thank you and Al once again for being so generous.
And I want to say to all of you what I said to them at dinner -- I
apologize that we had to reschedule this, but it worked out very well.  I
was involved in the Camp David peace talks at the time we were going to
have this dinner before.  I think that -- believe it or not, we still might
get there, and at least we headed off a disaster and got them talking about
the fundamental issues, really for the first time in an official setting.
So it was very good.

     Claire asked me if I'd be willing to answer a couple of questions, and
I have to go into another event tonight because we had to double up since
we rescheduled, but what I think I'll do is abbreviate my remarks and then
maybe answer some questions.

     I would just like to say a couple of things.  In 1992, the country was
in trouble, and I heard it in the stories of individuals all over the
country.  A lot of people have forgotten it now.  And I ran for President
because I thought that there was no plan for getting us out of the trouble
we were in and maximizing the opportunities that were before the country.
So I put together a plan.

     And some of you who are political junkies may even remember that when
I went to New Hampshire, only Paul Tsongas and I put out little detailed
books of exactly where we stood on the issues, and people actually, a lot
of them, made fun of us.  Nobody is so wonky they're going to read this 30
or 40 page book.  But it turned out we got the biggest crowds at the town
meetings because people knew America was in trouble and they wanted to know
exactly what we were going to do.

     And when I got elected with Vice President Gore on the commitment to
put people first and restore the principles of opportunity, responsibility
and community to our national life, we actually implemented an economic
plan and a crime plan and a welfare reform plan and an education plan and
an environmental plan, and a plan to down-size the government in a way that
would enable us to be more active, but less oppressive in the way the
federal government operated, and health care initiatives -- right across
the board.

     And the country has benefitted.  Whenever a democracy does well, most
of the credit goes to the people who live there, not the politicians who
serve.  But it is clearly true that what we did was to establish the
conditions and give the people the tools with which they have made
astonishing progress in the last eight years.

     So the question before the American people is, now what?  My strong
conviction is that the American people should not be lulled into a sense of
complacency because of our prosperity and our social progress, but instead
should realize that this might be the most important chance in our entire
lifetime that we ever get as a people -- any of us in this room    -- to
really build the future of our dreams for our kids; that change is the only
constant in the global information society, nothing stays the same forever;
and we need to be focused on what the big challenges, the big opportunities
are.  We ought to vote for people we believe will help to make the most of
this magic moment.

     And, essentially, that's why Hillary decided to run for the Senate --
that and the fact that half a dozen or more New York House members came and
asked her to run.  And then she went up to New York and spent some time and
we talked about it -- we were, frankly, reluctant to give up our last year
in the White House and all the fun and enjoyment, the relaxation, the
savoring of successes.  But she knew that the things that can be done now
are the things that she's worked on and dreamed about for 30 years, ever
since I first met her.

     When we met in law school she took another year -- she took a fourth
year in law school so she could work at the Yale Hospital in the child
study center on legal and health issues affecting children.  When we went
home to Arkansas, she led the move to build our first neo-natal nursery at
the Children's Hospital, and then organized a group called the Arkansas
Advocates for Families and Children.  By the time I was elected President
-- and our little state was what my predecessor used to affectionately call
a small, southern state of which I was governor -- (laughter) -- had the
seventh biggest children's hospital in America.

     And since she has been First Lady, she has taken an unprecedented role
in issues affecting children and families, from lobbying for the Family and
Medical Leave law in 1993 to having the first White House Conference on
Early Childhood and Brain Development, dealing with issues of violence --
working on the Children's Health Insurance Program, and a lot of the
education initiatives we've done, to her, literally, nationally recognized
work to make it easier for people to adopt children, to adopt across racial
lines, to provide incentives to adopt children with disabilities, and to do
better by the kids who are in foster care and especially children who age
out of foster care.  She has really done an amazing job, I think.

     And then, for the last two years she has been running our millennial
program, giving a wonderful series of lectures at the White House on the
big issues of the future.  We've brought in people from all over the world
to talk about -- and launching this Save America's Treasures program -- the
head of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Dick Moe, told me a
couple of weeks ago when we were saving Abraham Lincoln's summer cottage at
the Old Soldiers Home in Washington -- he said that Hillary's millennial
treasures program has now provided the impetus for over $100 million for
investment in historic preservation.  That's 60 percent public money, 40
percent private money.  It is the largest, single historic preservation
effort in the history of the United States.

     So what she recognized was that I've done everything I could to turn
this country around, leave it in good shape, get us into the 21st century
going in the right direction.  But all the great stuff is out there still.
And we need people to carry on the work.  That's why she took what I
thought was a personally brave decision, after 30 years of helping other
people in every election, to try to run herself.  I'm very proud of her.
And the latest -- college poll had her up 3 points today -- it came out
today.  And I think she's going to do well.

     But it's a very expensive election and, as you know, it has been
heavily targeted not only by the Republican Party, but by their affiliate
groups that didn't think much of anything we did.  (Laughter.)

     So we like -- we love our time in New York.  We've got a wonderful
house in Chappaqua.  It's a 111-year-old farmhouse. And I'm looking forward
to the years ahead.  I think she's going to win this race, but it's going
to be quite expensive and quite controversial and quite difficult.  But
she's in good shape and she has done an astonishing amount of work over the
last year and a half to make sure that she is the Senate candidate that has
actually been to all the counties in New York; that actually knows a lot
about the upstate economy, the rural economy, the farm economy, the things
most people who think of New York know nothing about.  And I'm very, very
proud of her.

     I feel the same way basically -- I want to make the same argument
about Al Gore and Joe Lieberman, who has been my friend for 30 years, since
I supported him when he ran for the state Senate in 1970, when I was a
first-year law student at Yale and he was a 28-year-old graduate there.
And we worked together for 15 years in the Democratic Leadership Council.

     The issue is whether we're going to keep the change going in the
direction of the last eight year, or take a u-turn.  That's basically what
the issue is.  And I think that what we ought to do, those of us who agree
with that, ought to take it as our mission from here to November to do two
things.  One is to make people understand this election is a very big deal.

     Look -- we had a huge voter turnout in '92, huge.  Because everybody
knew it was a big deal.  I mean, our backs were against the wall.  We had
high unemployment, we had exploding welfare rolls, we had high crime rates,
we had all the sort of social division and acrimony and riots in LA, and we
had a sense of political paralysis here.  And there was a lot of wedge
politics, pitting one group against the other.  And you didn't have to be a
genius to figure out it was pretty important.

     Someone gave me that great saying in 1992 that insanity is doing the
same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result.
So the people gave us a chance to serve.  Now, however, I think you can
make a compelling case that  how you use your prosperity is just as stern a
test of your judgment, your values, and your character as a nation as how
you deal with adversity.

     In my lifetime we never had a chance like this -- so much economic
prosperity, social progress, the absence of domestic crisis or foreign
threat.  We get to decide what kind of future we want for our children.
Huge, huge thing.  So you have to go around and convince people of that,
because all these surveys show that most people think, ah, things are going
so well, who could mess it up, it's not this big election.

     The second thing that we have to say is you have to bring clarity of
choice to this election, because people have to understand there are real
consequences and profound differences.  I enjoyed the Republican Convention
and I was flattered by all the rhetorical devices which recalled,
apparently, exact phrases of things I said over the last eight years,
according to a news story I saw.  And I don't think we should minimize it.
It's a good thing for them to stop being harsh and mean-spirited in their
rhetoric.  That's a good thing.  But there was a difference between
changing the rhetoric and changing the policies of the party.

     We actually came out with policies that were new in 1992, different --
on the economy, on crime, on welfare, on education, on the environment --
right across the board -- foreign policy.  So we have to bring clarity,
because there wasn't much clarity.  If you saw at the end of the -- all the
news stories of interviewing undecided voters at the end of their
convention, said, well, we liked what we saw and it sure felt good, but we
don't know what they're going to do, we don't have a sense of that.

     Now, there are profound differences on economic policy.  Principally,
they want to spend all the surplus on tax cuts, leaving nothing to lengthen
the life of Social Security and Medicare, leaving nothing to pay for their
Social Security privatization programs or Star Wars or anything they
promised to pay for.  We want to spend much less than half -- just a little
over a quarter of what they do, but 80 percent of the people would get more
money out of it, because we want to pay this country out of debt and keep
investing in education, and technology and health care.

     We were just talking before we came up here about long-term care
needs.  The average person in America who lives to be 65 today has a life
expectancy of 83.  People over 80 are the fastest growing people in America
percentage-wise.  We have to reimagine old age in America.  It's going to
be totally different than it ever has been.  And as I never tire of saying,
the other reason that they're wrong on their economic policy is, besides
the fact that they don't leave any money for their own spending promises,
the second thing is if you spend all this, then you won't pay us out of
debt and that will keep interest rates higher, and that will cost most
Americans more money in higher interest rates than they'll get in a tax

     I'll just tell you what the numbers are.  One percent for a decade on
interest rates -- one percent equals $250 billion in home mortgage
payments, $30 billion in car payments, $15 billion in college loan payments
-- never mind the impact on business loans, which affects business growth,
employment and income.

     The other thing, as I've said over and over again, is this is
projected surplus, it's not there yet.  And if I ask you what your
projected income is for the next decade, and you thought about it, and I
said, now, be real sure, be conservative, be pretty sure -- this is an
optimistic projection, but you be conservative, and I said, okay, right now
I want you to contract, binding contract to spend it all right now -- if
you would do that, you should actually seriously consider supporting them
in this election.  (Laughter.)  But if you wouldn't, you probably ought to
stick with us.

     Now, there are same differences on crime and gun safety, on health
care policy, on education policy -- I could go through them all -- on
choice and the question of who gets appointed to the Supreme Court, which
is not just about choice, it's about civil rights, civil rights

     So this is a huge election.  And Al Gore understands what's happened
the last eight years and has been an integral part of every good thing
that's happened.  He has a keen understanding of the future.  He
understands the implications of the Human Genome Project, not only the
potential for it, but the privacy issues that were raised.  He understands
climate change, and now nobody is making fun of him anymore, like they did
in 1992 and 1988.  It turns out he was right all along.

     But still they took a dig at him at the Republican Convention on the
Internet because, like a lot of things people said about me -- he did not
say he invented the Internet.  There is an article in the Washington
Monthly or one of those, which was -- he said, yes, he said he was
instrumental in creating -- he sponsored legislation that helped to create
it.  The actual fact is the Internet was for a long time a defense research
project that was the private province of research.  There was a bill
introduced and passed which essentially helped to make the Internet
technology available to businesses and individuals, from which -- going out
of that, it became world-wide, the fastest growing communications network
in all of human history by a good long ways.

     Do you know how many sites there were on the World-Wide Web when I
became President?  Fifty, 5-0 -- 50.  You know how many there are today?
About 15 million.  Seven years.
     So we've got two people running for President, and the Vice President
understands all this stuff.  They've got the right economic policy.  And
the most important thing to me is, they want us all to go along for the
ride.  They want the people that worked here and made this dinner possible
tonight to have the same chance we do to send their kids to college.  They
want employment and nondiscrimination and hate crimes legislation, and they
don't think gay people ought to be discriminated against, as long as they
show up for work every day and obey the law like everybody else.  They
believe in the minimum wage and patients' bill of rights.  They
passionately share these things that I have worked so hard to advance.

     So if you want to keep the prosperity going and keep America more
justified and keep ahead of the future, I think it's an easy choice -- for
Al, for Joe and for Hillary.

     Thank you for your money, but remember, when you leave here, every one
of you have great networks of friends and family.  You need to make sure
people understand.  It is a big issue -- election.  There are big
differences.  And clarity of our choice is our friend.  If the choice is
clear, our side wins.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

     END  9:15 P.M. EDT

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