THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESS BRIEFING BY MARK GEARAN, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR AND HOWARD PASTER, ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS
The Briefing Room
3:24 P.M. EST
MR. GEARAN: Let me tell you -- let me just go through a few things and then we'll bring up Howard Paster, who will be available to you on the record, on camera, on radio, in print, in sound, on the satellite, inter-galactically.
Q This is what we have to do to get an on the record briefing, have him leave?
MR. GEARAN: A few things: This evening the President and Mrs. Clinton will host the official dinner with President Kim.
Q Is there a reason why it's not a state dinner?
MR. GEARAN: Yes, I will give you that. The guest list will be prepared and distributed around 5:00 p.m. this evening. Likewise --
Q You're getting the invitations now, are you? (Laughter.)
MR. GEARAN: Let me be clear, none of you are invited. (Laughter.)
Q Boy, that's a relief.
MR. GEARAN: Likewise, a menu will be presented at the same time. And let me be clear, none of you will be eating this evening. (Laughter.)
President and Mrs. Clinton and the Gore's will host 140 guests. The dinner will be in the State Dining Room. The entertainment will feature soprano Jesse Norman, whose offerings will include American originals by Rogers and Hart, Leonard Bernstein, and Ira Gershwin.
Q Can we get the CD?
MR. GEARAN: The CD, yes.
Let me give you a little quick piece on the schedule for the balance of the next few days. Tomorrow, in the morning, the President will have the annual presentation of the national Thanksgiving turkey, which is of course, as you all know, to continue a tradition that began in 1947, and to make brief remarks at that time.
Q Will the President speak, too? (Laughter.)
Q Will they eat that turkey?
MR. GEARAN: Excuse me?
Q Do they have the turkey -- do they kill this turkey?
MR. GEARAN: The turkey will not be eaten. It will sent to Kidwell Farms. The farm is from New Oxford, Pennsylvania and you can all visit with the turkey who will be available for a backgrounder tomorrow afternoon.
Q Kidwell, Kidwell?
MR. GEARAN: Yes, Farms.
Also, tomorrow the President will go to a church, New Covenant Baptist Church in Southeast where he will help to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for some of the families there. That will be in the afternoon. He will depart for Camp David in the later part of the afternoon, where he will remain there, we suspect, for most of the weekend.
Q Will he not leave Camp David while he's up there?
MR. GEARAN: My understanding is he's going to remain at Camp David.
Q If he were to leave, would a pool be arranged?
MR. GEARAN: If he were to leave, we would do our best to organize arrangements as we --
Q You can't get a pool out to the driveway in time. (Laughter.)
MR. GEARAN: Let me continue, on Monday he will have breakfast --
Q What time does he go to church?
MR. GEARAN: The church is in the morning -- no 12:45 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., I believe.
Q Who else will be at Camp David?
MR. GEARAN: We'll have all the Camp -- we'll have all the Thanksgiving menu and guest list. And let me be clear, none of you are invited to that either --
Q Is it your understanding based on conversations with the President that he intends to stay at Camp David?
MR. GEARAN: That's what I just said.
Q You're pretty sure of that?
MR. GEARAN: Well, I mean, we will do our very best to get the most complete information we can to you. At this point that's the guidance I can give you. Next week --
Q Can you please explain how he's going to help prepare? I mean, does he cook? What will he actually do?
MR. GEARAN: Tomorrow or on Thanksgiving?
MR. GEARAN: Tomorrow. I'll have to get you the information. I don't --
Q You did say he'd help prepare, didn't you?
MR. GEARAN: I did say that.
Q Do you know if that's travel pool only or --
MR. GEARAN: I don't know that.
Q Mark, when the President's at Camp David, if he decides he wants to leave and then go back to Camp David, who will be the official who will be in charge of getting a pool together and notifying people?
MR. GEARAN: Well, Arthur Jones is the press officer over the weekend.
Q Will he be at the Camp David or is he --
MR. GEARAN: There are no plans for him to be at Camp David.
Q He will make an attempt to convene a pool?
MR. GEARAN: That's what I just said. Any other questions I can't answer?
Q You said it so lightly, I couldn't hear.
Q You know, we're telling you that we want a pool if he goes to Gettysburg or goes anywhere.
MR. GEARAN: I get that sense, yeah. (Laughter.)
Q President Bush left to buy a pair of socks at Sears. We were all beeped well ahead of time. So we wouldn't want to miss --
MR. GEARAN: Next week the President will have breakfast on Monday with religious leaders from around the country who are involved in AIDS ministry work.
On Tuesday he will meet with four Central American presidents. Wednesday -- this is all just for your planning purposes.
Q What presidents?
MR. GEARAN: Central American presidents.
Q Anybody we know?
Q Who exactly?
MR. GEARAN: We can provide you with that later. This is just -- just to give you -- he's in Washington through the week. Wednesday is World's AIDS Day; he will participate in an event associated with that. On Friday he will be addressing the Democratic Leadership Conference here in Washington and then travelling to New Mexico for events there. And on Saturday he will be at events in Los Angeles returning to Washington on Sunday.
Q What about Thursday?
MR. GEARAN: Thursday he's here in Washington.
Okay, that's just the deal on the schedule. Let me just do this quickly so we can get Howard up here. The President this morning met for an hour with the bipartisan leadership of the Congress. He thanked them for what has been an extraordinary year in the legislative session; noted that the many agreements they had on a bipartisan basis in times when there were disagreements that they were honest and open and straightforward in their disagreements. And he expressed his desire to work with the leadership next year on health care.
He also reported to them about the APEC that was concluded in Seattle over the weekend; the importance of the meeting itself -- the group had never convened before and the chemistry that developed over the course of the weekend; and discussed with them the bilateral discussions he had with the leaders of the nations of Canada, Japan and China.
They also discussed the upcoming GATT efforts and the importance of monitoring that. Congressman Gephardt expressed a willingness to have a monitoring group from the Congress as it approaches the deadline before the 15th of December. The leadership expressed their thanks to the President and expressed their affection for Howard Paster who the President announced his resignation to the bipartisan leadership today and their support for his work and his team that he built in the Legislative Affairs operations here, as well as their congratulations to the President on the Seattle meeting that was concluded.
Let me just, in introducing Howard, also note that during the course of this we'll be distributing -- any questions from the back of the room?
Q Yes, why is he leaving?
MR. GEARAN: Howard can speak to that better than anyone, but I think for those of us who know the kind of hours and demands on his job and some of the personal reasons that he can speak to better than anyone for his family. And he discussed this with the President and the Chief of Staff earlier. So we will be distributing to you a wrap-up of the congressional legislative efforts that does not include some of the executive orders and other administration year-end summaries, but does provide a summary of the congressional activity vis-a-vis the administration that during the course of this briefing by Howard will be distributed for you.
Howard Paster, Assistant to the President for Congressional Relations.
MR. PASTER: Precisely a year ago, that is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, off by a day, I went to Little Rock and met with the then President-Elect and discussed the possibility of taking the job I subsequently held and which I will leave on the 15th of December. At that time, he talked about his view of congressional relations and how he felt he would want to work with Congress. We obviously saw eye to eye on that. He talked about what he hoped to accomplish in his first year. I have to say, my breath was taken away by his list; he has delivered on that list. He has done an extraordinary job. I think those of us that have been in the city and on Capitol Hill for any period of time recognize that this is far and away the most successful legislative session in modern memory.
I'd be happy to discuss the specifics of it, but I'll just make one additional comment. The President adopted during the transition -- I joined the transition December 1st last year, worked on the Cabinet confirmation -- adopted a view he would work with the Congress constructively to achieve the kinds of change that he had promised during the campaign. And I think that his relations with the Hill were marked by the confirmation of the Cabinet; the swearing-in ceremony was in the East Room less than 48 hours after the Inaugural. He had the greatest success in Cabinet confirmation. And he set the tone, I think, for what was the rest of the year in legislative success.
I have many lists and many factoids about the Congress and the President, but why don't I try to answer your questions.
Helen, what's your question?
Q Why are you leaving?
MR. PASTER: I'm leaving for very simple reasons, very uncomplicated reasons. I've had calls from several of you today trying to ascribe one or a different motive to why I'm leaving. I'm leaving because it is difficult in our system where we have to deal with the Senate schedule and the House schedule -- and they seem to have alternative late nights all through the year, and of course, the White House administration schedule. To do well this job and also to do well and to meet well one's responsibilities at home. And I told the President yesterday that I was very sad about leaving and I am. I also told him that I was grateful to him for having given me the chance to be here, but that I made a difficult and very simple choice, that I would prefer not to spend another year absent from my family. It is no more complicated than that. Any attempt to ascribe any other motive or find any other reason is, frankly, wasted energy.
Q How do you respond to critics who say that on the big legislation, the President's actual initiatives, that the lobbying was slow off the mark and did not serve him well, particularly in the first months of the administration when the stimulus package went down and when he had so much trouble getting his budget package reconciliation through the House?
MR. PASTER: Well, certainly as to the stimulus package you're right, we lost it. But it was the only thing that was lost all year.
I'm not sure I agree with the rest of the question. We're better in November and we were better in October than we were in January and February. And if that weren't the case, then that would be an interesting question. So I think it's evident that we are.
The fact of the matter is that the President's budget resolution actually passed earlier than any budget resolution since the budget act was passed in 1974. It wasn't slow off the mark. It was the all-time earliest passage. Our reconciliation conference took a while and it was tough, and he only got about 85 percent of what he sought in his economic stimulus package, which is a phenomenal record by any reasonable standard. And the fact that he did it without a single Republican vote either the first time through the House, the first time through the Senate, the conference vote both times is an extraordinary tribute to him and to his ability to work on the Hill. And so I would say that the economic package having been passed, the data on job creation is very simple: There are 1.2 million more private sector jobs now than there were when Bill Clinton became President -- fact. And he had an economic plan in place, he promised it and he delivered it.
Q Did you or the President make a mistake in freezing out Republicans early in the budget process?
MR. PASTER: We did not freeze out Republicans early on in the budget process. The President made a decision early on in the budget process that he would send forth the largest deficit reduction package in history, that that deficit reduction package in order to be credible would have to deal with revenues. And the Republicans took advantage of the opportunity to oppose him unanimously. We would have been delighted to have Republican votes. But a judgement was made -- not our judgement, their judgement -- not to participate.
Q Two things I'd like to ask you, Mr. Paster. One, just kind of a short one, is what you're going to be doing after you leave.
MR. PASTER: I don't know, but I can assure you I will not be a lobbyist.
MR. PASTER: Well, because I've done that before.
Q The reports that you're going back to Hill & Knowlton is that wrong?
MR. PASTER: It can't be right because I've made no decision.
Q Well, is that potentially right?
MR. PASTER: Oh, I think lots of things are potential. But I haven't made any decisions.
Q The other thing that I wanted to ask was --
MR. PASTER: I had a lot of calls, too.
Q Aren't you worried about a conflict by not being lobbyist?
MR. PASTER: No, I think that I don't want anybody in this room or anybody on Capitol Hill in the Gallery six months from now to write a story that says that Paster's lobbying on this issue on which he worked in the administration. That story will not get written.
Q You said that you all have improved your performance -- from January-February -- in October-November. Where have you improved and what were the problems that you had to improve in --
MR. PASTER: I think that one of the things that had to happen was the administration had to get to know each other better. And all the people who worked on this, including the President and everybody from the President down had to establish where our strengths were, where we should use certain people and deploy them to different objectives on the Hill. One of the things that made us successful yesterday in defeating Penny-Kasich made us successful last week in passing NAFTA and going back through all the successes from family medical leave up to present had to do with knowing which resources to use in which places. We've learned a lot about that.
I think the other thing is that we had to get through the budget on a partisan basis -- not by our choice, but because that was the choice of the Republican Party. Once having done that, the kind of bipartisan cooperation which was always the President's intention, which was manifest beginning last year in the Cabinet confirmation process, which continued on a range of bills, was able to come to the floor. And I think it's useful to know that we had significant Republican support against Penny-Kasich again last night. And I think that we have shown that Bill Clinton can meet his objectives and bring about the kind of change he wants and do it without going on a straight party line.
Q A lot of people have been saying for a couple months now that the way this place is set up, a number of things that you're trying to do was going inevitably to lead to a lot of early burnout -- too many 11:00 p.m. at night meetings, seven days a week. You're leaving, Roy Neel's leaving. Are we starting to see the sort of burnout that people were predicting and is there, from your experience, something that has to be done differently around here to keep this White House from suffering an unacceptably high level of attrition?
MR. PASTER: I can't speak for Roy. I think that probably the lesson in my case is that the President shouldn't have hired a chief lobbyist older than he is.
Q Is there someone qualified for the job who's younger than he is?
Q There was a lot of back-biting and recrimination from organized labor after the NAFTA vote, some speculation that perhaps the President's entrance into the airline strike had something to do with mending fences. Organized labor would like very much the President's help to end the filibuster on strike replacement in the Senate. Is that something you think the President should be doing, or have you written that issue off? And are there other ways in which you can make amends to labor after the NAFTA fight?
MR. PASTER: Well, during the campaign in 1992 and on several occasions since then, the President has stated his support for the legislation which just passed the House which does face a Senate filibuster. There's been no diminution of his support for it. And I think when and if the bill is taken before the Senate, he'll be in the fray.
Q Yes, but of the three -- by the last count you were three votes short, two of those votes for breaking the filibuster with the two senators from Arkansas. And labor says that if the President was more active in the fight, he'd be more help and they're not happy with the level of cooperation.
MR. PASTER: I think that the presumption that the President can always count on getting the votes from the Senators Pryor and Bumpers is unfair to both Senator Pryor and Senator Bumpers.
Q What's your prediction on how health care reform is going to play out? And how does the President keep health care reform from getting tangled up in next year's election politics?
MR. PASTER: There is a body of opinion that suggests that election politics will help pass health care reform, that the American people are so much anxious to have this job done that in fact the greater likelihood is that as we get closer to election, the Congress will understand the imperative of finishing the task. So I don't think it's a question of getting entangled so much as providing a prod.
If one takes into account the way the Congress works, we're going to talk about House well into the spring, Senate into the summer and a conference that's going to take you close to the end of the session. That's an inevitable pattern of how the Congress does its business. I think the President would like to see a faster schedule, and I think he'll be out there encouraging it to go as quick as possible. But I think that's a fairly fair reflection on how the Congress does its business.
Q And when all is said and done, how much is it going to look like what he introduced?
MR. PASTER: I think the principles that were outlined in some detail in the September 22nd speech I think will be met. I think if one looks at the alternatives that are out there now, there is clearly the possibility of developing majorities around those principles. And I suspect the President will have a significant success.
Q Just to go back to David's question -- despite the fact that you've racked up a lot of successes, the process have been very chaotic and sometimes the kind of perils-of-Pauline aspects of how you've eked out these wins, or won them a little bigger, have detracted from the result. In other words, people still don't see Clinton as a strong leader. You don't seem to develop political capital from fight to fight that you can use down the road. In terms of advice that you might give to your successor, how would you say the White House can avoid that in the future? What do they go about --
MR. PASTER: I'm not sure that it can be significantly avoided. It's a result not just of the fact that the President has an ambitious agenda, and that's fine to have an ambitious agenda. But it's also a result of how the institutions work on the Hill. The schedules they keep which are not consistent. There's no reason why the House should follow the Senate schedule or vice versa. Nobody can reasonably ask them to. And I think that the nature of the process is that when you are trying to get the kind of change in economic policy and trying to achieve the kinds of breakthroughs that you have in the areas like national service and crime, that inevitably you're going to face some difficult votes. Likely that as the President does this more and more, there might be some smoothing out. But I think it's unrealistic to expect. And I suggest if you go back to the early Reagan years, we didn't write any major legislation on the back of used envelopes; that's what David Stockman did.
Q Have you not established a precedent in which even the most junior members have incentives to hold out as long as possible to determine their votes, wait and see what they can get out of this White House?
MR. PASTER: I don't think that it is illogical for members of Congress to try to defend their constituency. I don't think it matters whether they're junior or senior when they try and do that. The fact of the matter is that the President has, according to analyses that were done outside the White House, the highest supports from his party of any president in modern history. We've seen the analysis that was done by Congressional Quarterly, I read about an analysis which I haven't read that was done by two professors at Fordham that show him with the highest success rates of any president in one case since Eisenhower and the other case since Roosevelt.
We have a president who is ending the year without a veto. It will be the second time in 60 years that a year ended without a presidential veto. And so the fact that we have close votes and think 218 is a big number or 50 plus Al Gore is a big number, it doesn't diminish from the success the President's had.
Q Howard, you mentioned health care. What are the other major proposals that you realistically think you can get through Congress next year?
MR. PASTER: The crime bill is in conference, the campaign finance bill is in conference, and they will clearly be high on the agenda and be priorities for early in the new year. In addition, the President has spoken repeatedly about the dislocated workers' bill that Secretary Reich is developing at the Labor Department which is designed to replace the unemployment system with what the Secretary describes as reemployment. It will revamp job training programs and unemployment compensation programs. It is something that will be at the centerpiece of 1994. There will be a welfare initiative in 1994; the President has spoken of that.
The agenda of the Clinton administration is not going to diminish. The President came to office having very clearly promised major change. He's done that in the case of administration of government, to reinventing government, he's done it in democratization of government motor voter and the Hatch Act changes. The first bill he's signed in the Rose Garden ceremony on a warm day in February with family medical leave, and he's going to continue having an ambitious agenda.
Q Howard, when did you first decide you were going to leave? When did you first tell the President? Did he try to talk you out of it, and --
MR. PASTER: But I told you no to that -- it would be horrible. (Laughter.)
Q When did you first decide to leave?
MR. PASTER: I made my final decision over last weekend. Q You decided -- you never mentioned it to him before
MR. PASTER: I didn't say that. I said I made my final decision over the weekend. I'm not going to be specific about my conversations with the President. I did discuss it with him prior to yesterday, and I made a final decision over the weekend and told him yesterday.
Q And are you saying that the job was more hours than you thought it was going to be?
MR. PASTER: It isn't a question of hours. I knew that the job was long hours. The job doesn't end when one leaves the building. There are no recesses or weekends. The beeper and the phone do not respect any private time, and maybe I should have, after being an old man in the city, appreciated all of that, but I have a feeling that we have set a new standards of intensity for which, by the way, I think is, in certain respects, an asset. I think the President is trying very hard to deliver on his promises, and it keeps the pace and the intensity going.
I think the Congress also, bear in mind, had an enormous, pent-up demand. The majority in the Congress coming after 12 years of Republican administrations, was anxious to work with a Democratic President, and that increased the intensity.
I've been here too long in this city and around and know too many people who have had my job to claim that I was naive. But I think it was, in this year, even more than one might have guessed.
Q You said that once the budget was out of the way, the President will return to the pattern that he had always hoped to establish, which is more cooperation with Republicans. On the NAFTA vote, there was an unusual degree of cooperation, particularly with the leadership, like Gingrich, who you had been at odds with on many issues. What do you expect to happen to some of these other issues coming down the line? Do you foresee more like the NAFTA vote, or more like the budget vote?
MR. PASTER: Yes, before there was a budget vote, there was a vote on foreign aid in the House. Majority Leader Gephardt went to Russia in April at the same time the President was meeting with Yeltsin in Vancouver, and Mr. Michel and Mr. Gingrich went with him. And while people were watching this partisan budget vote, there were more than 300 bipartisan House votes for the foreign aid bill, before there was a budget vote, that the President had achieved, and didn't kind of get noticed a lot, and people didn't make much about it, but I remember many years ago -- and those of you that covered the Hill for many years -- will remember that the foreign aid fights in the House were often the most miserable, contentious, partisan divisions.
They were the ones that often went until 2:00 a.m. or 3:00 a.m. in the morning like we did last night, and that was a bipartisan success that, frankly, got little noticed earlier in the year. And I think that NAFTA was in that pattern. It was the budget vote in August, August 5th and 6th in the House and the Senate respectively that was more of an aberration.
Q Howard, you were saying that some of these fights, that they can't be any other way because he's trying to do tough things. But do you think this White House has to operate in the way that you've described? I mean, you know, the incredible late nights, the meetings that go on without end. I mean, are all of those things contributing in some substantial way to a better product?
MR. PASTER: The success of the administration up to what, today, November 23rd, is evident. And fortunately, it's a success that we don't have to ballyhoo because it's being reported widely now, and the academicians are reporting their own studies. It's kind of difficult for me to know if we did this or that differently would we have that same success. I don't know. I just think that it is a system that seems to be working and Bill Clinton seems to be comfortable with it, and I know that some would say order it and run it more rigidly. I think that tampering with success has risks attached to it.
Q On the upcoming health care debate, do you foresee universal coverage as possibly being a negotiable item?
MR. PASTER: It's one of the principles the President asserted in September 26th. It's not a negotiable item.
Q Could it possibly be notched down to universal access where it would be up to the individual to obtain the health insurance --
MR. PASTER: That is not the President's suggestion.
Q Although you all defeated the Penny-Kasich effort, there are some members who supported that who think that that outspoken opposition was a tactical mistake and that the President will pay for that next year in other initiatives like health care reform or the '95 budget in which you have a tough time getting under the caps. Do you see that you'll have some trouble down the road, the administration will have some trouble because of that?
MR. PASTER: No. On the contrary, I think that working with Speaker Foley, with Mr. Gephardt and Mr. Bonior and the chief deputy whips in the entire structure are up there. In defeating Penny-Kasich yesterday, just as the President has worked with the Democratic leaders in the House and the Senate consistently through the year and had enormous support from them, probably helped affirm some of the relationships. Of the fact that we had the margin of victory from a public -- in defeating Penny-Kasich is also a very, very good augur for health care reform. And, so, no, I think that there is a lot in that vote that provides some comfort.
One of the reasons Penny-Kasich was defeated was that there were a number of people who care about defense spending who realize that that bill would hurt seriously Pentagon budget. Those people are potential allies as we do health care.
No, I think that these kinds of successes do breed on themselves, and I think the President's success on the Hill, sustained success -- and I stress no losses in the House, one loss in the Senate back in the spring -- really help each other. I think that going forward to health care after defeating Penny-Kasich and protecting that revenue which was attacked there for health care and going back to last week in NAFTA sets the President up right where he wants to be for health care.
Q It's been suggested that you ambitious agenda creates a situation in which the President can only lobby to a certain strength because he's going to need whoever he's lobbying for something later on, whether it's health care or whatever is coming up next year, and that therefore he can't put as much pressure on members of Congress to do what he wants him to do. Is that accurate does it really not apply?
MR. PASTER: I think that success doing personal lobbying on Penny-Kasich yesterday belies that notion. It's evident that the coalitions are changing on different issues. There were a number of people who supported us on NAFTA, who were very much on the other side of Penny-Kasich, vise versa. And so his personal lobbying efforts, which are very, very successful -- he has a very high percentage rate -- I think can continue as needed on important issues because I think he's not necessarily going to the same people each time. He's building a different coalition around different issues. I don't think that's a problem.
He's worked closely with Speaker Foley and the two majority leaders, Mr. Gephardt and Mr. Mitchell. And very often when he has to get involved and personally in these campaigns, he relies of them to decide where he or the Vice President should be deployed. There's a tremendous amount of respect that he has with them. And we tend to take their judgment.
There have been times, and this is the reason I raise that question -- there have been times when they've said, we don't need the President, and they've delivered every time they've said that. Their record is superb. So we rely on them to help us make those judgments.
Q Have there been any times when ever said, we don't want the President?
MR. PASTER: No.
Q Well, there have been times when the President has been accused of not really going to the mat on a certain issue -- has not given it his all. He did finally go all out for NAFTA and so forth. Do you think that was valid?
MR. PASTER: No, I don't think it's valid. Beginning really in February, we had to get cloture votes in February. And he was talking to Republican senators about family and medical leave in February. And he hasn't stopped talking to them yet. He's been to the Hill 15 times. He's done all these bill signing ceremonies down here. No, I don't -- I've heard and read the criticism and I guess that's the nature of the system. But my experience has been that he actually enjoys engaging the Hill.
Q Done everything about right?
MR. PASTER: I think he's done an phenomenal job. I'm going to miss him.
MR. GEARAN: Let me --
Q Let us know where you're going.
MR. GEARAN: Let me just tell you a couple of things here. Kathy is going to be distributing this legislative wrap-up. And as you can see, it summarizes, as I mentioned earlier, an awful lot of what's gone on -- certainly what Howard's been a part of is to work with the President and Vice President in breaking some of the gridlock here. The economic package, national service, family and medical leave, NAFTA, campaign finance passing through both Houses, the crime bill, the Brady bill passing through Houses, and the introduction of health care reform. It's an impressive scorecard by any measure.
I'm reminded of the story of Ted Williams from the Boston Red Sox, who on his last time at bat, he hit a home run, and he never came out of the dugout again to bat again. And after this record, I think we would all agree that Howard can leave the White House certainly with the respect of his colleagues here.
END3:55 P.M. EST