THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Palo Alto, California) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release September 19, 1997
PRESS BRIEFING BY JOE LOCKHART AND MARSHA BERRY
Stanford University Palo Alto, California
12:00 P.M. PDT
MR. LOCKHART: Good afternoon, everyone. Obviously you're not all here to listen to me. Marsha Berry, the First Lady's Communications Director, is going to give you a brief rundown of what's gone on this morning, what we expect to happen this afternoon. Then she'll be able to take some questions. When she's done, I'll come back up if there are any other issues that are of interest to you.
MS. BERRY: Thank you. Again, I'm Marsha Berry, with Mrs. Clinton's Press Office. Just want to let you know a little bit about what they've been doing today.
They got to Chelsea's dorm about 9:00 a.m. this morning and very sweetly moved her boxes and luggage in, and have spent the majority of the last couple hours unpacking and getting her situated, like all the rest of the parents in the dorms have been doing.
They're now at lunch with the other parents. It's a lunch hosted by the Provost. And Chelsea is having lunch with members of the dorm. After lunch the parents will go to Dinkelspiel to do a parents panel where they'll talk a little bit about college life and what goes on here at Stanford. Then they'll hook up again with Chelsea to do -- there is a series of open houses this afternoon -- the Clintons are going to go to a computer demonstration, and then from there will do a short meeting with the president just before the convocation. And then the convocation is at 3:30 p.m.; that will last about an hour.
And from there, they go back to the dorm and have a chance to go to a reception with just the parents and students from the dorm. And that is where they will say their good-byes to Chelsea. From there, Chelsea goes off. There's a dinner hosted by the president of the university and then a parents dessert after that. And that's the end of the day.
I don't have much else to really tell you, but if you've got any questions I'd be happy to take them.
Q Marsha, what can you tell us about the dorm room?
Q I thought everything was already moved in yesterday --
MS. BERRY: No. Some things were moved in -- I think they've really been -- people have been concerned about being disruptive to other students getting moved in, so some things were moved in. But suitcases and boxes were moved in today.
Q Could you tell us something about when the President and the First Lady met Chelsea's roommate's parents and if they have met each other before, or did they meet for the first time this morning?
MS. BERRY: I'm not sure when they first met. I know at least her roommate's mother was there today.
Q Had she met the President before? Have they had a chance to talk about all this or did they --
MS. BERRY: I think before today they had met.
Q The parents?
MS. BERRY: Yes.
Q And did Chelsea and the roommate know each other?
Q Can you tell us who the roommate is?
MS. BERRY: No, I can't.
Q What town, what city, what state?
MS. BERRY: I really can't, sorry.
Q What about the dorm room itself, Marsha?
MS. BERRY: It's pretty basic. It's better than the dorm room I had when I was in school, but it's pretty sparse, just your basic square room with -- the furniture is modular so it can be moved around.
Q Can you give us some sense of how they feel today? What's their sense of --
MS. BERRY: I think they're excited for their daughter, but anxious at the same time. It's kind of a combination of emotions. But I think they're carrying on very well.
Q Marsha, does she have a computer? They're supposed to communicate by e-mail -- did they hook up a computer in her room?
MS. BERRY: I don't know if it's actually been hooked up. I know that she will eventually have a computer, but whether it's actually hooked up yet, I don't know.
Q Marsha, are the Clintons paying full tuition for their daughter here?
MS. BERRY: I don't know the answer to that.
Q Last question about tuition -- can you check that?
MS. BERRY: I don't know -- I'll see what I can find out.
Q What's the name of the dorm that she's in?
MS. BERRY: I'm not going to say what it is.
Q Marsha, can you tell us what the atmosphere is like in the dorm where she's staying? Are people running up to get their pictures taken with the President? Is no one noticing them at all?
MS. BERRY: No, it's really -- it's very low-key. It's just been a steady stream of parents -- parents very busy moving their own kids in, so I think everyone is really kind of self-absorbed with their own situations.
Q -- taking advantage to talk to the President?
MS. BERRY: I have not seen any of that. I mean, I really haven't.
Q You said that the parents had met each other, the roommate's and the Clintons?
MS. BERRY: At some point -- I'm not sure -- there's been a conversation before this day.
Q Had they known each other in the past?
MS. BERRY: No.
Q And did Chelsea know the roommate or met the roommate before this morning?
MS. BERRY: I don't know the answer to that.
Q Can you tell us anything about the chemistry between the two new roommates? Are they of similar backgrounds?
MS. BERRY: I really can't.
Q Any special security?
MS. BERRY: I'm sure that will be one of the subjects.
Q Marsha, what special security measures taken in the dorm -- any special fittings in the room, or anything to guard --
MS. BERRY: I can't speak to that. I don't talk about her security.
Q Did you say that the roommate's mother met the President and the First Lady?
MS. BERRY: I'm saying she was there this morning moving her daughter in.
Q So she did meet the First Family --
MS. BERRY: She's at the dorm today.
Q So she did meet the President --
MS. BERRY: Their paths did cross.
Q The roommate -- did she go through like the normal, sort of roommate selection process or was there a special, sort of heightened review because of --
MS. BERRY: The Stanford tradition is to have -- to be -- they control that and I'm assuming that's what happened here as well.
Q The normal Stanford process was adhered to --
MS. BERRY: As far as I know.
Q -- what the President and First Lady's mood was today. What about Chelsea?
MS. BERRY: She's real excited. Very excited.
Q -- much sleep last night? Do you know?
MS. BERRY: Yes, I think they slept fine.
Q Did she say anything to you about what it feels like to go to college for the first time?
MS. BERRY: No, she didn't.
Q Can you give more detail on the timeline of activities this morning? Were they early when they got here? Did they bring a whole lot of stuff? Was there any -- I mean -- some more detail --
MS. BERRY: Well, they were a little bit earlier than planned to come here. So they got here about 9 a.m. and the back of the car was loaded with her things and they moved them in.
Q Was it a limousine
MS. BERRY: No.
Q What did they travel in from the hotel? Can you tell us --
MS. BERRY: A Suburban, I think.
Q His Suburban was filled with stuff?
Q And what sort of things -- was there a footlocker? Was there a refrigerator?
MS. BERRY: Suitcases and boxes.
Q Was there a bike?
MS. BERRY: Didn't see a bike.
Thanks very much.
MR. LOCKHART: Just one other thing on this subject -- I will be in touch with Marsha later today and will endeavor to try to give a readout later today at least to the pool on anything that's gone on this afternoon. But I think this is the bulk of the information we're going to get on this subject.
Any other subjects?
Q Back on this subject -- where will the photo op be?
MR. LOCKHART: It's someplace on campus and they have made arrangements to take a pool over there. I don't know the exact location, but if you're in the pool you'll be escorted there within the next half-hour.
Q Can you give us some more details on tomorrow's radio address and the President's speech on education?
MR. LOCKHART: I can point you to the transcript of his radio address; that's out and embargoed. There will some material -- obviously, he'll be talking about charter schools and the importance of charter schools and their role within his entire educational reform plan. I don't want to go a whole lot further and break our own embargo here, but you'll have lots of embargoed information shortly after this briefing.
Q Since his own daughter's education is so much a part of his activities today, do you expect any of his sentiment about Chelsea going to school to creep into his comments?
MR. LOCKHART: I would imagine, in an educational setting, given what today is all about, he might express in a brief moment how he's feeling. I'm certain that many of the participants in the program, the students themselves, will be interested, when they get a chance to chat with him about what today was about and about the excitement of moving on to college.
Q Joe, can you tell us what they're going to be doing during the photo op? Are they going to be walking halls or --
MR. LOCKHART: They will be in an outdoor setting walking.
Q Joe, do you know if the President can take advantage of any of his financial programs that he's --
MR. LOCKHART: You know, I'd have to look at them. I mean, I know -- I guess the direct student lending -- it could. Now, on some of them, I think there would be an income cut-off. And I think on the -- at least on the -- I'll have to look into it. I mean, I know that there is a --
Q Something about the President financing his daughter's education because that's not just a First Lady thing, it's as much the President's issue.
MR. LOCKHART: I understand that. I'll take a look at it. I'm not sure what I'm going to be able to discuss today about that.
Q We'll ask him if you don't.
MR. LOCKHART: Okay.
Anything else? Thank you.
END 12:12 P.M. PDT