Elly, Rog, and all of the wonderful people on the staff, those paid and those volunteers:
Let me first thank all of you for this wonderful opportunity to come over here.
Elly, that's an unbelievable number--240,924. I am sure glad they are on my side and not against me. [Laughter] But I do want to express my appreciation to them through you. When we first talked, Elly, we discussed, as you indicated, if we could get 50,000 women actively involved on behalf of President Ford and Betty, we would be doing very well. This is a magnificent effort on your part and a tremendous expression of the power of women in a political campaign. I am sure it has had a tremendous impact on the preconvention. I am absolutely certain it will be a significant contributor to our victory in November, and I thank you and I thank them.
But in addition, I would like to express Betty's and my deep appreciation for all of the people who have worked here in whatever capacity. I know it has meant a great deal of sacrifice in your own time, and your families have likewise been called upon to sacrifice during your absence. So, we not only express our appreciation to those here but to those who have kept the home fires burning while you were working on our behalf.
Secondly, I know a good many of you are going out to Kansas City. I know many of you will be staying here and helping the office, to keep it going, so we will be ready on Thursday morning to go out and get the campaign going so we can win on November 2.
I don't intend to make a speech. I will save that for next Thursday night. I might add, it's coming along very, very well. [Laughter] We have lots of good things to say about the Republican Party, and we have a few comments we would Dike to make about the Democratic Party. But most of all we are going to talk about the hopes and aspirations of the American people, which I think have been ignited since the Bicentennial, our 200th birthday, on July 4.
There is a new spirit in this country. It's a new spirit that we can get going and keep going for the next 4 years, so that the next 96 years will be even better for those generations to follow.
Let me express again Betty's appreciation, my gratitude. I can assure you that we will be out there working, because we feel that what we have done will give us an opportunity to do an even better job for the American people.
But all of you have contributed very significantly to this great win in Kansas City, and even a greater victory in November.
Thank you very, very much.