THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT IN TELEPHONE CONVERSATION TO ASTRONAUT SHANNON LUCID The Oval Office
THE PRESIDENT: Hello.
MS. LUCID: Hello.
THE PRESIDENT: Welcome home.
MS. LUCID: Why, thank you so much. It's so kind of you to call.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we're all so proud of you. We've been watching you, and I couldn't believe you walked off the shuttle.
MS. LUCID: Well, I'm just really proud to be an American, and I'm just really proud to be part of this cooperative program that we have going with the Russians. It was just a great mission. And I just had a great time.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, it was wonderful. And as I said, the whole country followed you, but I appreciate what you said about the cooperation with Russia, too. It really sets the stage for the work on the international space station. And it's very, very important. And I believe the way you captured the public imagination will also help us to build long-term support for the space program.
MS. LUCID: Well, I think so. Of course, I don't know from a political standpoint or from the big boss standpoint, but I just know from the people that are actually working, you know, like the cosmonauts and the astronauts working together, that this works out just great. They were just wonderful people to work with.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, they are good people, and we're making real progress in working with them, I think.
MS. LUCID: I think so. And it couldn't have been a better experience. And I just thoroughly enjoyed working with the cosmonauts.
THE PRESIDENT: The other thing that I wanted to say was that on behalf of my wife and daughter, is that you have been a terrific inspiration for young women around the country and all around the world. And I know as you get out and around and people get to congratulate you, you'll see that. But it's a wonderful thing for these young girls that may have nontraditional aspirations to see someone like you up there doing that.
MS. LUCID: Well, thank you, sir. Yes, I just didn't really give a thought to that. It was just something that I'd always wanted to do. And I was just very glad that it worked out.
THE PRESIDENT: Did you have a good reunion with your kids?
MS. LUCID: I sure did. (Laughter.) And they're here nagging me already.
THE PRESIDENT: Did you get your M&M's I sent you?
MS. LUCID: Oh, I sure did. I wanted to thank you first thing. That was so nice. They're already into them.
THE PRESIDENT: That's good.
MS. LUCID: That was so nice and so thoughtful of you. I really, really appreciate that.
THE PRESIDENT: Thanks. I'm going down to Texas tomorrow and I just got a note that said you might be there at the time I land in Houston. If so, I hope I get to see you.
MS. LUCID: Oh, well, that would be very nice. I hope that works out. That would just be great.
THE PRESIDENT: Me, too. Well, congratulations. I know you want to go back to your family, but I just wanted to say hello. You've given us all a great deal to be proud of and a lot of thrills and we're glad you're home safe and sound.
MS. LUCID: Thank you very much, Mr. President. And it was very nice of you to call. I really appreciate that. Thank you so much.
THE PRESIDENT: Bye-bye.
MS. LUCID: Bye-bye.