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Remarks at a State Dinner for the Nation's Governors

January 31, 1993

You ever had the feeling you've been here before? [Laughter]

Governor and Mrs. Romer and distinguished Governors and spouses and our very special guests from around the Nation, Hillary and I are delighted to welcome all of you here to our first state dinner. This is something that I have looked forward to for some time, and as I'm sure you know, I am delighted that this is the first official dinner we're having in the White House. I couldn't be more pleased to see you here.

Many of you were kind enough to come to the luncheon that I hosted, along with Hillary and Vice President Gore and Tipper, for all the Governors and former Governors with whom I had the honor to serve. And I would just like to say tonight on this occasion that I'm looking forward to getting to work with you tomorrow.

This country needs your involvement and your support to deal with the health care crisis, which is threatening to bankrupt many of you; to deal with the budget crisis, which is undermining the economic stability of every State in America; and to seize the opportunities that are out there.

The time I spent as a Governor and the time I spent working with you and those who preceded you was some of the best time I ever spent in my life. I look back on it with great pride and gratitude. And to all of you I say that I honor the work that you must do, and I look forward to being a real partner.

I'm delighted that you're here, and I hope you have a great time tonight as we move from the dinner into the entertainment. I want to say that I expect to have a special treat tonight for you in the entertainment. I think you'll all enjoy it very much.

But please know here that this house is your house, that I am well aware of the fact that I am just a temporary tenant, and that while here I intend to do my very best to be faithful to the lessons that I learned as a Governor that most of what you do ought to be done by you and not by us. And I will try to be a good partner, and I hope you will be mine, as we get this country to face its problems and seize its promise.

I now propose a toast to the Governors and their spouses, friends, and family members.

NOTE: The President spoke at 9:13 p.m. in the State Dining Room at the White House.

William J. Clinton, Remarks 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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