Bill Clinton photo

Remarks Following Entertainment at a State Dinner for the Nation's Governors

January 31, 1993

The President. Ladies and gentlemen, first I think we ought to acknowledge the musicians: Peter Howard, John Beal, Martin Erskine, John Redsecker, and Wally Harper. Let's give them a hand. [Applause] I'd also like to thank the people who put this wonderful program together: Marty Bell, Beverly Camhe, Phyllis Newman, and my good friend Bobbie Handman, who's here with her husband, Len, tonight and whose daughter and son-in-law have been so instrumental in our political life, Harold Ickes and Laura Handman. Let's give all of them a hand. [Applause] I want to thank Ms. Handman and Ms. Newman, in particular, for writing this; and for Peter Howard for his musical direction tonight.

And now let me say that I hope that we can take good care of this house and that this house will always be a house of America's family. I can't help but note, I don't want to embarrass Phyllis, but Phyllis and her husband, Adolph Green, who sang a little tonight—stand up, Adolph— [applause] —they're celebrating their 33d wedding anniversary. As you can see, he had to get not only her parents' permission but the law's as well to marry her at that young age. [Laughter]

Phyllis Newman. That's the nicest thing you've said. [Laughter]

The President. I understand that this is Governor Dean's wedding anniversary tonight, too, and I want to acknowledge that. This is Governor Mickelson's birthday.

This is also a very important birthday: Tonight is Carol Channing's birthday. I want all of us to sing "Happy Birthday" to her in just a moment, but I want to tell you that she performed here with George Burns for President and Mrs. Kennedy. She performed here when President Johnson was here. She made President Nixon's hate list, so she didn't perform then. [Laughter] We all knew about her in "Hello Dolly" and "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," where she immortalized that song that you heard about being a little girl from Little Rock. I wish she had been.

I'd like to ask us all now to stand and sing "Happy Birthday" to her. George, you come up here to lead the singing.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:45 p.m. in the State Dining Room at the White House.

William J. Clinton, Remarks Following Entertainment at a State Dinner for the Nation's Governors Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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