Jimmy Carter photo

Indianapolis, Indiana Remarks at a Reception Prior to the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner.

June 02, 1979

THE PRESIDENT. Birch Bayh, come on up.

SENATOR BAYH. You know how proud we are to have the President of the United States right here in Indiana.

THE PRESIDENT. That's the shortest speech I've ever heard Birch Bayh make. And I'm going to make one almost as short, because you're the key people who have helped to hold the Democratic Party and its principles strong in Indiana.

Hearing about this event tonight has been a very thrilling thing for me. It's the biggest event you've ever had. I think it's a good, accurate indication of where the Democratic Party stands today, and it's a good preview of a tremendous victory for Democrats in 1980, right? [Applause]

I've got a personal note, also. I understand that I'm the first incumbent President ever to speak to the Jefferson-Jackson Day banquet in Indiana. And I would not be an incumbent President had it not been for many of you, and I want to thank you for that personal help.

Also, outside the Old South, with Birch Bayh's help, and many others, Indiana gave me the largest primary victory of any State in the Nation, and I thank you for that as well.

I rode in from the airport with Don Michael and Patty Evans. I think you know how lucky you are to have them heading up the party now. Democrats in Indiana have always had a majority in registration. The principles of the Democratic Party are accurately compatible with and represent the feeling of the people of Indiana. If we can maintain the spirit and the commitment and the partnership and the cooperation and the courage and the willingness to work that has been demonstrated here tonight, there's no doubt that the future for the Democratic Party will be even brighter than it has been in the past.

Birch Bayh is the kind of leader who sets the tone for our Nation's Government. He's kind of representing the spirit of the United States Senate. He's idealistic, he's a knowledgeable, competent, hard-working, and dedicated and effective United States Senator. And he's constantly exploring for ways in government to let our Nation accurately mirror the highest possible ideals which were dreamed about 200 years ago. He is the one who explores the cutting edge of new concepts involving our United States Constitution.

I'm going to say just a word in the other larger meeting about Marvella, but I know that everyone here shares my sorrow but also my appreciation and my pride in what Marvella Bayh meant not only to Indiana but to our entire country. She's an admirable example of true courage.

The last thing is, I need your help with the ratification of SALT, the SALT treaty with the Soviet Union; maintaining peace on Earth; dealing successfully with our energy problem; controlling inflation; restoring the confidence of the American people in our own Government; having strong, able farm families; keeping our people at work—these kinds of goals, which have exemplified the Democratic spirit ever since our Nation was formed, are still ever-present on my mind.

We've got the greatest nation on Earth. With your help, we can make it even greater in the future. That's what I'm determined to do. You help me.

Thank you very much. I'll see you inside.

Note: The President spoke at 6:25 p.m. to dinner guests in Convention Hall C at the Indianapolis Convention Center. In his remarks, he referred to Don Michael, chairman, and Patty Evans, vice chairman, Indiana Democratic Party.

Jimmy Carter, Indianapolis, Indiana Remarks at a Reception Prior to the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/249829

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