Bill Clinton photo

Exchange With Reporters in Jackson Hole

August 14, 1996

"Between Hope and History: Meeting America's Challenges for the 21st Century"

[The President's remarks are joined in progress.]

The President. ——basically my philosophy about where I think America is and where I think we ought to go.

Q. Would you describe it as a manifesto for the next administration if you get reelected?

The President. Well, it's not an exclusive list of all the things I intend to do, but it makes the argument about why I think the direction we're going is right, why we're better off than we were, and what I hope we'll do. And it's just something I've been wanting to say. I finished it the first 2 days we got here, and I hope the people who read it will find it helpful. I was glad to do it.

It's beautiful, isn't it?

Q. Have you been getting enough relaxation? Are you feeling rested, sir?

The President. More rested now. The first 2 days I worked real hard trying to finish the book, and, you know, a lot of things happened the last 2 months which kind of got me behind deadlines. So I worked pretty hard on that. But yesterday I got to play a little golf, and of course, we had that wonderful hike the day before.

Q. When did you decide to write the book, sir?

The President. About a year ago.

Q. Guys, move to the right, move a step to the right.

The President. Yes, I don't want anybody to get hurt here.

Q. Is Senator Dole in the book, sir?

The President. It's basically a book about the country.

Republican Convention

Q. Do you care to comment at all about the choice of Jack Kemp for the Republican Vice Presidential nomination?

The President. No, I'm going to leave them alone, let them have their convention. I like Al Gore; that's my comment. [Laughter] The best Vice President in history.

Democratic Convention

Q. What can you say about the train ride you're going to take to the convention, sir?

The President. I'm excited about it. We're trying to—I think they probably finalized all the routes now, and I love trains, so I'm excited about it. I didn't know—the main thing I was concerned about is if we did it I just didn't want to inconvenience people because of the security and everything. And I think we've got it—I've got a route now where, apparently, there will be a minimum of dislocation.

President's Vacation

Q. You love trains, but do you love horses?

The President. I love horses.

Q. What's the horse's name?

The President. Wink. This is Wink, and that's Patches.

Q. You look like you've lost some weight. Have you dropped a few pounds?

The President. A little bit, I think. I'm almost—I dropped 15 or 20 pounds, I guess, since—in the last year or so. Got to be in shape, you know. This is a rigorous endeavor.

Q. I found that out the other day. [Laughter]

The President. Well, that was tough. I was very sore yesterday. I don't know if you were, but I was pretty sore.

Q. I still am, sir.

The President. I found out when I was on that golf course that my rhythm wasn't quite there anymore. [Laughter] Whew, it was bad after a while. [Laughter]

Q. Have fun.

The President. Thank you. I'm glad to see— how are you feeling?

Q. I'm good, Mr. President. Little sore. Hope you're having a good time.

The President. Well, I really didn't—when I took you all off on that wild goose chase I didn't know it was going to be quite as demanding as it was. But I'm glad we did it.

Q. Well, I'm just not in shape. It's my fault.

The President. Well, now, it takes a few days to get adjusted to the atmosphere, you know, once you're—the higher altitude.

Q. Well, we carry a little bit of stuff.

The President. Yes, and I see—we weren't carrying all that. I don't know how you all did that. Somebody made it all through with a huge camera.

Q. Hank Brown, ABC.

The President. We ought to give him some kind of medal. He's in great shape. [Laughter]

Marlene, how are you doing?

Ms. Marlene MacDonald. I'm good. How are you? You look great.

The President. I'm doing great.

Q. That's a great hat.

The President. Yes, I've had this old hat a long time. And my old boots.

Q. Is it a Stetson?

The President. I got these boots about, oh, 8 years ago—7, 8 years ago, in Salem, Arkansas, Fulton County. I went out to help them—it was a little town of 1,000 people, and they got one of our economic development airport grants. And they gave me these boots.

Q. What are they made of, sir?

The President. Snakeskin.

Q. Are you relaxed?

The President. Yes, I love it here. I love it here. I love it. I'm glad we got out for a ride.

Q. I'm glad we got a picture. [Laughter]

The President. Well, yes. I was sort of derelict today. I decided I'd sleep in and kind of laze around. So we've just been fooling around at home.

Good to see you.

NOTE: The President spoke at approximately 5 p.m. at the Bar B Bar Ranch. Marlene A. MacDonald was Office Manager, Lower Press Office, the White House. The press release issued by the Office of the Press Secretary did not include the complete opening remarks of the President. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters in Jackson Hole Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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