Bill Clinton photo

Remarks to the Saxophone Club in Miami, Florida

March 13, 1997

Thank you. Thank you, Buddy MacKay. Thank you, Elaine Bloom. I want to thank all the people here from the Saxophone Club, and Merry Morris and Mr. Berger, the co-chairs of tonight's event. I want to thank Ed Kia and his trio who played earlier, and Albita and John Secada and these wonderful musicians. They were fabulous at the Inaugural, and they were great here tonight. I only wish they had sung about 10 more minutes. I love that song.

Let me say, first and foremost, this is my first trip back to Florida since the election. It has been 60 years since a Democrat was reelected President and 20 years since a Democrat carried the State of Florida in any election. And I came to say, more than anything else, thank you, thank you, thank you.

And it is true what Buddy MacKay said, my whole odyssey, the whole struggle that I have waged these long years, not just to be President but to change the direction of our country, got its first big boost in the State of Florida in December of 1991, in the straw poll. And Buddy was there, Elaine Bloom was there, and a number of others were, and we won it. And it was the beginning of a terrific personal adventure for Hillary and for me, but more importantly for a different direction for our country.

And I want all of you to be proud who are here at this Saxophone Club event. You know, the Saxophone Clubs really started with the campaign of '92 with some young people who wanted to find a way for people who couldn't give a lot of money but wanted to give some money and work and to be a part of the political process and to be valued and to have their voices heard to do that. And that gave birth to these Saxophone Clubs. And they've spread all across the country now. And I always say, wherever I go, I don't want to do any kind of event unless we also have something for the Saxophone Club because I especially want to see the young people who come out to these events. And I want them to know that we're working every day for them and their future in Washington to make this country better in the years ahead. And I thank you for that.

I want all of you who have helped us these last few years to be proud of the fact that we have the lowest combined rates of unemployment and inflation in over 30 years, that we just had an economy that produced more jobs in one Presidential term than any before in history, that we've had 4 years of declining crime rates and the biggest reduction in welfare rolls in history, that our country is leading the world toward reducing the nuclear threat, dealing with the new threats of biological and chemical weapons, working for peace from the Middle East to Northern Ireland, working—I'm going to meet with President Yeltsin next week in Helsinki to try to work on making sure that Europe will be free and democratic and it will have a positive relationship with Russia and that we can get rid of the nuclear problems that are still out there overhanging us from the cold war. We are moving ahead.

And as Buddy MacKay said, I'm also going around the country on what has become a personal crusade for me and for Hillary and for the Vice President. Today I spoke in the North Carolina Legislature; Al Gore spoke in California. In a couple of weeks, Hillary and I are going to sponsor a conference in Washington on early childhood learning. And all of this is designed to make sure that for the next 4 years, we commit ourselves to making sure that in the 21st century every person in this country, without regard of their racial or ethnic background, will have access to world-class education and a chance to live out their dreams by developing their goals.

Make no mistake about it, that's what all this is about. You are part of a movement to build this country and move it into a new century with the American dream alive for everyone, where we reject the divisions that so many try to impose on us at political times for political reasons and come together as one country, and where we continue to lead the world for peace and freedom and prosperity. That is the world I'm determined to leave to you in 4 years when I go out of office and a new century and a new millennium come into our lives. And together that's exactly what we're going to do.

Thank you, and God bless you all.

NOTE: The President spoke at 10:15 p.m. at the Sheraton Bal Harbour Hotel.

William J. Clinton, Remarks to the Saxophone Club in Miami, Florida Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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