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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 12, 1995

Statement by the President

Later this month, at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) meeting in Washington, I will formally ask DNC Members to support the appointment of two capable and committed party advocates for General Chairman and National Chairman. I have asked Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Don Fowler to accept these assignments, and I am enormously grateful that they will be my partners in strengthening the Democratic National Committee.

With their help, we will return to the important business of electing Democrats at all levels of government, and assuring that the voices of the people who work hard and play by the rules -- our constituents -- are heard and heeded at the seats of government throughout our land.

Senator Chris Dodd is one of Congress's most eloquent and effective advocates for children and working families. He wrote both the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Child Care and Development Block Grant, 1990's landmark child care legislation. He has also been a leader in the Senate on foreign policy and business issues. As General Chairman, Senator Dodd will complement his Senate duties by serving as our Spokesman and as a leading strategist for the Party.

A little more than thirty years ago another gentleman from Connecticut named John Bailey helped direct our Party to victory in landmark elections, and I am convinced that my friend Chris Dodd will repeat that precedent in the elections of 1995 and beyond.

Don Fowler of South Carolina, a DNC Member since 1971, will serve as National Chairman, doing the hard but important work of running a political party. In the past, Don has served as Chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, President of the Association of State Democratic Chairs, and CEO of our convention in Atlanta in 1988. No one knows more about our party's operations and strategy, and no one is more serious or qualified than Don to guide and direct Democrats to win elections. He will also be a leading strategist and will be the operational head of the DNC.

While many organizations and entities contribute resources and ideas that make our party stronger, it is the Democratic National Committee that works to elect the local, state and federal elected officials who serve the working people of our country.

As we move toward the next century, and as we face the challenges of expanding middle class participation in the recovery, reforming government, restoring values and decency in our society, and holding fast to the principles of justice and fairness, retaking the Congress and electing Democrats to office is the work of our Party Committee, and its work must be successful. I thank Chris and Don for taking on this challenge.

I know they join me in thanking Debra DeLee for her service as Democratic Party Chair since November. She was remarkable in giving her energy, her commitment and her strength to sustaining the Party at a challenging time in its history. We have asked her to take on another assignment as CEO of the Party's Nomination Convention in Chicago in 1996, and I am thrilled that she will be serving in that capacity.