Bill Clinton photo

Remarks at a Reception for Hillary Clinton in Cazenovia, New York

September 02, 2000

Thank you very much. Thank you for coming. I want to thank Christine and Patty and Les and Sandy and Sarah and everyone else who had anything to do with this event. But especially, I thank our hosts for welcoming us to this beautiful, beautiful home, and we should give them a big hand, I think. [Applause]

Thank you, Kelly. And the madrigals were great. Let's give them another hand. [Applause] And thank you, Kelly. You were great.

Well, we have had a great day. We just came from the State Fair, and there were tens of thousands of people. And after the other candidate for the Senate refused to eat a sausage sandwich there, this one did not. Let's get right down to the basic issues in this election. [Laughter]

Let me say, I want to be very brief because I want Hillary to make the speech tonight, but I want to just make a couple of points. First of all, we are very grateful to the people of New York State for being so good to us and to Al and Tipper Gore these last 8 years. New York has always been there for us. And I hope that you feel that America is better than it was 8 years ago and that it's worked out pretty well for us.

The second point I would like to make is an abbreviated version of what I said in Los Angeles at the Democratic Convention. This country is in very good shape. But how a country uses its prosperity is just as stern a test of its judgment, its values, and its vision as how you deal with adversity. And I'm old enough to know now that we may never have another time like this in our lifetime. And in my lifetime, we have never had a time like this before, when we have at once so much prosperity and so little internal stress and external threat.

So we really have a chance to do some things we've never done before, including bring economic opportunity to places in upstate New York that aren't part of our prosperity yet, including giving all of our children a world-class education, including dealing with our long-term challenges from the aging of America, the longterm environmental challenges of the country.

I want Hillary to talk about all of this, but I tell you, how elections come out—I've been involved with them since I was—the first election I ever worked in, I was 8 years old, passing out cards at the polling place for my uncle who was running for State legislature. They had 2year terms, and his wife made him quit after one term because she didn't like politics very much. [Laughter] But the lesson did not spread to our branch of the family. [Laughter]

But I'll tell you what I've learned in all that long time: The winner is often determined by what the people believe the election is about. And I can tell you that for 30 years, from the first time I ever met Hillary, the first thing she ever talked about to me—the welfare of children, and how families cope with work and having kids and succeeded in both ways. I've watched her for 30 years work on foster care, on adoptions, on health care for kids.

And during the period when I was Governor, because of the adversity we faced in our home then in Arkansas, she went on a bunch of big corporation boards; she went out working on how to find—get jobs into places that had been left behind. And when I ran for President, as Governor, the whole thing had turned around, in no small measure because of a lot of the work she had done in the rural areas and the small towns, in the left-behind areas of our State.

So I'll tell you two things. If you want somebody that understands how to try to create economic opportunity in places that have been left behind and if you want somebody that has spent a whole lifetime always sticking up for kids, for families, and for the proposition that every child matters, she's the best person in America New York could send to the U.S. Senate.

Thank you very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 5:30 p.m. at a private residence. In his remarks, he referred to dinner hosts Leslie and Patty Woodcock and their daughter, Christine Woodcock Dettor, who introduced the President; dinner cochairs Sandy Souder and Sarah Nichols; and Kelly McDonald, who sang a song for the President.

William J. Clinton, Remarks at a Reception for Hillary Clinton in Cazenovia, New York Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under




New York

Simple Search of Our Archives