George W. Bush photo

Remarks at a Dinner for the National Governors Association Conference

February 27, 2005

It's always a pleasure to host the Nation's Governors here in Washington. Laura and I are proud to have you here for our first state dinner of my second term.

It's a joyous occasion, even made more so by the fact that I learned that the Blancos, Governor Blanco and her husband, are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary tonight.

Ever since a former Governor of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, lived in this house, many of our Presidents have first served as Governors. And there's a reason why. The experience of running a State government, of pulling together a capable team, of setting an agenda and working with an elected legislative body, is critical to the success of any administration.

My 6 years as Governor of Texas have been invaluable to me as I carry out my duties as the Presidency. And because I know firsthand how—the valuable experience Governors get, I've asked a lot to serve in my Cabinet. I had six Governors in my first Cabinet. I am pleased that Mike Johanns—Johanns—[laughter]—and Mike Leavitt—[laughter]—have agreed to serve in my second term. I'm proud you guys are here.

When our Founders devised our Federal system two centuries ago, they recognized, in Jefferson's words, that "our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government." The President and the Governors are partners in our great enterprise, and that means we share great responsibilities. Together, we'll work to secure our homeland, to protect our environment, to strengthen our economy. Together, we will work to ensure that every child gets a good education and good health care. And together, we'll work to make sure that we care for those in our society who hurt and who need help. I'm proud of our work together during the last 4 years. I look forward to working with you for the next 4 years.

I want to ask you to join me in a toast to our partners, the Governors and the administration, in building a more perfect Union. To the Governors of the United States.

NOTE: The President spoke at 8:06 p.m. in the State Dining Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco of Louisiana and her husband, Raymond Blanco; Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and his wife, Stephanie Johanns; and Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt and his wife, Jacalyn S. Leavitt. The transcript of these remarks was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on February 28.

George W. Bush, Remarks at a Dinner for the National Governors Association Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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