Bill Clinton photo

Remarks at a Cabinet Meeting

January 22, 1993

I'd like to open our first meeting with a brief prayer.

Our Heavenly Father, we thank you for the unique opportunity which has been given to us to serve our country to thy ends. Please be with us and guide us. Keep us humble and eager. And help us to proceed with wisdom. Amen.

Well, good morning. I want to say again how very proud I am of all of you and how pleased I am to be off to what I think is quite a good start. And I think we have an enormous reservoir of good will out in the country and a fair amount of elbow room to face the issues that are before us. In the next several days we will have to make a lot of tough economic decisions that some of you have been more involved in than others—that everybody will be involved in.

This should be a fairly good meeting today. I just wanted to make a few remarks and then introduce Mack McLarty and let him talk a little bit. First of all, we're going to have this Cabinet retreat, as you know, in a few days. And some of the issues that we might ordinarily hash out here over an hour or two I think would be better put off until that retreat. If I might begin with sort of a major substantive decision. I basically very much believe in teamwork. And I think that over time you make better decisions if you get good input from a reasonable number of people who have different perspectives. Therefore, for example, when I was Governor, I didn't have a lot of Cabinet meetings, but I had a fair number in which people had the opportunity to comment on matters of public interest that were sometimes outside the narrow confines of what they were doing.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:08 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

William J. Clinton, Remarks at a Cabinet Meeting Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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