Ronald Reagan picture

Remarks at the National Headquarters of the Reagan-Bush Campaign

October 31, 1984

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Well, as you can see, when I came in here I wasn't really on our side. And then, you can see that I've got buttons, and— [laughter] —you've all talked me into it. [Laughter]

But I welcome this chance, first of all, to say thank you to all of you. I know that some of you here, I have found out, were up all night and working. I know the long hours that many of you have put in. And I can only tell you that if I could manage it, I would schedule a Cabinet meeting so that we could all go over and take a nap together. [Laughter]

I know that all I should be doing is saying, over and over again, thank you, to all of you. I do know what you have been doing, and you young people, particularly. From someone who was a Governor back in the Vietnam days— [laughter] —I can't quite get used to this. [Laughter] But I am deeply moved by it.

And at the same time that I'm saying thank you, though, I have to tell you about one side of my nature; and that is I go to bed at night, and my last thought is what if everybody is reading the polls and isn't going to bother to vote? So, the last big chore is get out the vote. And don't get so busy that you don't vote yourselves. [Laughter]

But that's the one. I think of all those statistics of some past elections, like elections that were lost by less than a half a vote per precinct in the country, that that could have changed the balance and all. And I know I can't convince Wirthlin that we should hide the polls— [laughter] —but just don't take them seriously until Tuesday, and then be running around—if it works out all right—you can say, "I told you so." [Laughter]

But it's been a wonderful experience for me and an opportunity I welcome, to thank you all. I know how many of you are volunteers. And it's just a few more days, and I'm as nervous as you are tired. [Laughter] So, we'll sweat it out together.

But God bless you all, and thank you. [Applause] I may do an encore. [Laughter]

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. All right, I'm game. I know this is my last campaign, so I'm going to—I know I'm accused, also, of telling anecdotes. But if you wonder why I should be nervous or anything in the face of all this, I'll tell you one little experience back from my sports announcing days.

I think a fellow out at Ohio State named "Show 'Em No Mercy" Schmidt was the coach. [Laughter] And he had a team that was said to be not only the greatest team in the country but one of the greatest teams of all time. And I was the only sportscaster in the country, I think, that predicted that on that Saturday afternoon Notre Dame would beat Ohio State.

And we were broadcasting another—a Big Ten game at the time. I happened to know that Notre Dame had lost their captain early in the season. And I mean lost him; he died of an injury. And they had dedicated the Ohio State game to him. And I believed enough in the Gipper that I went for Notre Dame, even though I hadn't played the Gipper yet. [Laughter]

But sitting in the press box, and the scores would come into us of other games, and they kept coming in. And it was Ohio State—13, Notre Dame—nothing, with 2 minutes to play. And, of course, the accompanying staff with me were having a lot of fun at my expense—silently, because the mikes were on and we were broadcasting the game.

Two minutes to play, and then the final came in: Notre Dame—18, Ohio State—13. [Laughter] Three touchdowns in 2 minutes. [Laughter]

So, I want to be on that Notre Dame side in this election. [Laughter] All right. Thanks again very much.

Note: The President spoke at 11:07 a.m. to volunteers and staff at the headquarters in Washington, DC.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks at the National Headquarters of the Reagan-Bush Campaign Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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