2000-10/24 President of the United States remarks at reception for Donald Dunn
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

Immediate Release                          October 24, 2000

                         REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                         AT DONALD DUNN RECEPTION

                             Private Residence
                             Washington, D.C.

9:42 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, let me first of all say I'm delighted to see all
of you here, and I'm delighted to be here, myself, for several reasons.
I'd like to begin by thanking Ron and Beth Dozoretz for doing this, for
their incredible generosity and their support.  (Applause.)

     I'm here because I owe this guy.  (Laughter.)  You know, he started
out with me as an intern; then he went to work in the White House; then he
went out of the cocoon of the White House, into the administration.  And
then he actually -- he could have stayed here in a cushy job until I left,
and then sort of written it all up on his resume and gone out and made a
lot of money in Washington or New York or some place.  And, instead, he
made the decision that I made half my lifetime ago, when I turned down all
the clerkships and all the things I was offered and I went home to

     And when I ran for Congress in 1974 in Arkansas, I ran in a district
where the previous Democratic candidate for President in the previous
election had received 24 percent of the vote.  So I know what he is going
through.  (Laughter.)  And half the people thought I was a communist,
because I was a Democrat.  (Laughter.)  And it was in 1970, so it was
acceptable to have longer hair.  (Laughter.)

     But I identify with this.  And it was a real rural district and I just
-- I admire you so much for doing this.  And nothing ever changes until
someone like you steps out and takes a chance.  (Applause.)       I also
want to say that sometimes things do change.

     And I always tell people -- this is the first election since 1974 that
I haven't been on the ballot.  And I think the really great campaigns of my
life were the 1992 presidential campaign; the 1982 campaign for governor,
where I got reelected after I had been defeated, and that had never
happened before; and that first campaign I ran for Congress.  I learned how
to listen; I learned how other people viewed government; I learned the
richness and texture of the story that every person has -- it made me
believe completely in democracy.  And I also learned that you can turn a
lot of people around if you take the trouble to do it, and you believe in
them and you give them respect to do it.

     And I'm also glad to be here because I really care a lot about Utah
and I honor the heritage of Democrats in Utah.  When I became governor in
1978, the governor of Utah was a man named Scott Mathison, who is now
deceased, but he was a great -- (applause) -- he was a great friend of
mine, and I loved him.  I appointed his son United States Attorney, and now
he's running for Congress, also in Utah.  And his wife, Norma, was and
remains a friend of mine.

     And I've always wanted to see the Democrats come back in the
inter-mountain west.  And it can be done.  Fifty years ago, when everyone
thought Harry Truman was defeated in his race for President in 1948, one of
the reasons he won is that he swept the inter-mountain west, the most
Republican area of America today.  And the reason he won then is the same
reason we lose today -- so much of the inter-mountain west belongs to the
federal government.  And in the beginning, when all that was happening, it
was just a boom to the people who lived there; nothing but a source of
income and grazable land and mines to be mined.

     Then, after the whole ownership of the federal government had matured
and the resources had to be managed -- and sometimes they had to say yes,
as well as no, and sometimes the federal government was good at it and
sometimes they weren't very good at it -- so sort of a culture of having to
hate the federal government that owned all the land built up, so that now
it's sort of culturally unacceptable to be a Democrat, because they all
think we're, by definition, nuts.  (Laughter.)
     That's sort of what's happened.  And the only way you can break that
psychology in a state like Utah or Idaho or the other smaller states,
Montana, is if one person, like him, will go home and say, listen, this is
my place, too, I love it, here's where I stand, here's why I want to be in
public office, here's why I want to serve you.  (Applause.)

     So I just want to tell you, I think you've got a chance to win, too.
And you have changed your life, you have changed the lives of the people
that have worked with you.  And you have changed the district in which you
have worked forever, whatever happens.  But I hope all the rest of you will
take a little solace at what he's done.

     And let me just say one other thing.  This election is unfolding
against the backdrop of the national elections.  I have always felt, I will
say again -- I've been saying this for two years, I will say it one more
time -- when the votes are counted on November 7th, Al Gore will be the
next President of the United States.  That's what I believe.  (Applause.)

     Because in the end, people will have to decide whether we want to
continue the economic prosperity and expand it, or adopt a whole different
economic theory that has already been tried once and didn't work as well as
ours.  They'll have to decide whether they want to continue to build on the
social progress of the last eight years.  Compared to eight years ago, the
crime rate is down, the welfare rolls are cut in half, the environment is
cleaner; for the first time in a dozen years, fewer people are uninsured;
the schools are getting better, we have a record number of people going on
to college.  You have to decide if you want to build on that or take down a
lot of those policies.

     And, finally, the thing that makes those of us who are Democrats,
Democrats, do we want to go forward together as one America?  Do we really
believe that everybody counts, everybody should have a chance, we all do
better when we help each other?  We ought to have hate crimes legislation
because hate crimes are bad for a society like ours, that has to accept
everybody that obeys the law and plays by the rules.  We ought to have
equal pay enforcement because it's bad in a society like ours, where women
and men both have to work, if the women don't get paid for what they do.
We ought to grow together.

     So I believe that the next two weeks will be a fertile period for him
to go back to Utah and put his message out there.  Because I think the
American people will begin to focus on the big things.  What has happened
big in America in the last eight years?  He was a part of it, he was there.
We changed the economic policy, the environmental policy, the education
policy, the health care policy, the crime policy and the welfare policy of
the country.  And compared to eight years ago, everything is better.

     The question now is not whether we will change, but how.  This country
is changing so fast, the young women in this audience today that haven't
had their children yet, within a decade they'll be bringing home babies
from the hospital with a little gene card that tells them all the good
things and all the bad things and what to do about the bad things.  And
within a decade, maybe -- certainly not much longer -- women will have
little babies that will have a life expectancy of 90 years.

     The world is going to change dramatically.  And it's very, very
important that we keep changing, but in the right direction.

     I was looking at Tom making his talk and I was trying to remember what
I might have been like 27 years ago -- half my lifetime ago, when I was
your age.  I'm quite sure I wasn't nearly as well-dressed.  (Laughter.)  Of
course, we were all sort of cosmetically challenged in the early '70s, if
you've ever -- (laughter) -- most men wore clothes that looked like they
came off the seat covers of old, 1950s automobiles.

     I doubt if I made as much sense as you did, but I'm quite sure I was
as optimistic and idealistic as you are.  And what I want to say to all of
you today is that I think that you'll always be proud you gave this young
man a hand up when he needed it.  And I hope you'll look forward for other
opportunities to do the same for other young people.  This is a great
country, but we have to keep bringing young people into the system.  We
have to empower them, we have to give them a chance to serve.  And we've
got to keep changing in the right direction.

     I think he's got a career ahead of him.  I think he's done a brave
thing.  And I won't be terribly surprised if lightening strikes and he
wins, because he's always had a clear idea of what he was doing and he's
always had a message that he could take out there that people who share his
roots could hear.  And I just want you to know I'm really proud of you.
And I'm really grateful to all of you for helping him.

     And you remember what I told you about this election.  We've got two
weeks.  You get out there and tell people -- whether it's the race for the
House in Utah or the race for the Senate in New York or the race for the
White House, there are three big questions:  do you want to keep this
prosperity going and extend it to people to who haven't felt it, or abandon
it for a theory that won't work, and it won't pay down the debt?  Do you
want to keep building on the social progress of the last eight years, or
reverse policies that are proving to work?  And do you think we ought to go
forward together as one America?

     Those are the three great questions we have to ask and answer.  If
people understand that those are the questions, I know what the answers
will be, and we'll all be celebrating two weeks from tonight.

     Thank you and God bless you.  (Applause.)

                             END                 9:53 P.M. EDT

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