remarks of the President at reception for Carol Williams and Mark O'Keefe
                                THE WHITE HOUSE

                         Office of the Press Secretary
                 For Immediate Release    October 2, 2000

                            REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT

                              Sewell-Belmont House
                                Washington. D.C.

                               7:20 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Well, first of all, thank you
for your warm welcome and thank you for being here for Carol and for Mark
O'Keefe.  Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for making the trip from Montana.  Thank
you, Senator Baucus, for your friendship and support and wise counsel to me
over these last eight years.  Thank you, Pat Williams, for casting that
deciding vote, putting your own neck on the line and giving America a life
line.   (Applause.)  I want to thank the other members of Congress and
former members who are here, including Bob Matsui and his wife, Doris.  And
thank you, Bruce Morrison, for being here.  I know your wife runs this
joint -- (laughter)    -- Nancy, thank you very much.

     Carol, thank you for running.  And I want to say a little more about
this wonderful house in a moment.  Thank you, Maggie O'Keefe, for coming
out here from Montana and for being a teenager involved in public life.  I
think that's a good thing.  And I want to thank Carol and Pat for something
else.  I want to thank you for your wonderful daughter, Whitney, who's been
so great to Hillary and me these last several years, who is here.

     You know, I love Montana.  I think that the vacation that Hillary and
Chelsea and I had in Montana when Ted Schwinden -- -- was governor and took
us around, and up in a little helicopter at dawn over the Missouri River,
in 1985, was one of the best family vacations we ever had.  I still have a
vivid memory of every part of it.  Chelsea had the opportunity to work
there last summer -- the summer before last, now -- for a few weeks on a
ranch, for which I am very grateful.

     And I had the opportunity to campaign there and to meet, among other
things, with a large number of tribal leaders.  I never will forget the
experience I had there in 1992, which was one of the seminal events for me
in steeling my determination to try to do something to get the relationship
between the United States government and our tribal governments right, and
to try to do more to empower the Native American population to be part of
our prosperity and part of our national life.  And I think that's one of
the important parts of our administration's legacy.  I've worked very hard
on it.  And I thank the Indian leaders who are here.  (Applause.)

     I think it's quite appropriate that Carol came here tonight to
represent the ticket and to let me know that Pat and I are going to be part
of an imminent spouses' club here in the next few months.  (Laughter.)
Actually, I kind of like it.  The only thing I do not like about it is that
-- Hillary used to tell me how nervous she was when I would go into a
debate, and how she actually hated to sit in the audience because she would
claw at the side of chairs.  And at least if she watched it on television
she could scream and yell and beat the table, you know?

     So I watched her debate on television the other night.  And I was
absolutely a nervous wreck.  (Laughter.)  And my mother-in-law was so upset
she actually went in another room to watch it on another television.  I
said, you can misbehave in front of me, I'm going to -- she said, no, I
want to do this all by myself when I'm pounding the table.  (Laughter.)  So
I finally know now what she and you, Carol, have been through all these
years.  But except for those moments, I kind of like being a spouse.

     It's appropriate that we're meeting here at this beautiful place.  The
Sewell-Belmont House, I believe, is the oldest house in Washington, D.C.
outside Georgetown.  And someone told me tonight that I might be the first
President to come here since Thomas Jefferson.  When you go back through,
just imagine that Thomas Jefferson was here.  This does have one of the
largest collections of suffragist memorabilia in the United States, and it
was one of the first places designated as one of America's treasures by my
wife and her millennium commission, when they were going around the country
trying to identify the places that were profoundly important to our past.

     I say all that because I think it is obvious to anybody who even goes
to the Jefferson Memorial and reads what Mr. Jefferson had to say about
slavery, that when he wrote the Declaration of Independence, and the
founders wrote the Constitution, they knew good and well that they were
setting out perfect ideals that we were nowhere near realizing.  After all,
when we got started, only white male property owners could vote.  And it
took us a long time.  And we still haven't completely integrated our ideals
with the reality of life in America.

     But to be here in honor of a great woman from Montana and her running
mate, Mark O'Keefe, who had the vision to want to be her running mate, in a
place where so much of the history of American women is memorialized, at a
time when -- we just left a century where women didn't get to vote until
the second decade of the 20th century -- and now we're celebrating a great
frontier state that not only gave us Jeanette Rankin, but now has given us
a woman nominee for Lt. Governor, and a wonderful woman, a longtime friend
of mine, nominee for the House of Representatives.  This is a great night,

     The only thing I need to say to all of you about all this is that you
know what I feel about the national elections and you know how important I
think it is to build on the changes and the prosperity of the last eight
years, and why I think it's important for Al Gore and Joe Lieberman to be
elected, and why I think it's important that we win the Senate and the
House.  Yes, I want Hillary to be the senator from New York, I think it
will be good for New York and good for America.  But I think it would be a
great thing if the policies and the ideas we have embraced could be
ratified by the American people in a vote -- in which we are going to be
out-spent nationwide, way over $100 million in these national elections,
but where the American people know that we have been right on the issues
and we're right on the issues facing our future.

     But what's that got to do with a governor's race, a lieutenant
governor's race in Montana?  A great deal.  For two reasons.  Number one
is, we have to keep the American economy going in order for Carol and Mark
to be able to successfully implement their economic plans for Montana, to
make sure every person in that state is a part of our future; and in order
for them to have the economy that would generate the tax revenues to
implement their education plans for Montana.

     But, second, and more important, it runs the other way.  Most of the
important social progress we have made in the last eight years -- whether
it is cutting the welfare rolls in half, or seeing a steep decline in
crime, or any of the other things that have happened here to improve the
fabric of our nation, including an increased high school graduation rate, a
record college-going rate, increased test scores in math and science, a
two-thirds increase in the number of our kids taking advance placement
courses, all these things -- the federal government can do certain things
here, but who runs the politics of a state and who drives the vision of a
state is pivotal to the success of anything that the next President and the
next Congress can do to shape the future of Americans at home.

     I was just looking the other day, for example -- one of the things
that I'm proudest of is that the Democrats insisted on including in the
Balanced Budget Act of 1997 a Children's Health Insurance Program, the
biggest expansion of health care for our kids since Medicaid was
established when Lyndon Johnson was President.  And in two years and a
couple of days, we have enrolled 2.5 million people in that program.

     But there are at least 6 million children eligible for that program.
There is a dramatic difference -- dramatic -- in the enrollment levels from
state to state.  And what is the determining event?  The leadership at the
state level, starting with the governor and someone else who is
passionately committed, who is assigned to do this.  That's just one

     So I know that most of the people in Washington, a lot of you may be
here because Pat and Carol are old friends of yours.  Maybe you're here
because you have ties to Montana.  But what you need to understand is, if
you believe in what we have been doing the last eight years, and you want
more positive changes to occur in this direction, it is profoundly
important not just to help in the congressional races and to make sure we
prevail in the presidential race, but to make sure that we win every single
solitary governor's race and lieutenant governor's race we can.

     That's why this is important, quite apart from the way I feel about
Carol and Pat and Whitney, and my feelings for Montana and the gratitude I
feel because we won there in 1992. This is a big deal.  If you really
believe that we changed America, we turned it around, we're going in the
right direction, and you want it to amount to something, then you've got to
help them.

     And I'm very grateful to all of you.  I just saw Congressman Pomeroy
back there, from neighboring North Dakota -- thank you for being here.  So
remember what Carol said.  Thanks for being here.  And if you can send her
a little more money between now and election day, you ought to do that,

     Thank you very much.  ( .)

     END  7:31 P.M. EDT

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