THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AT DNC DINNER HONORING TERRY MCAULIFFE Private Residence Washington, D.C.
10:05 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. I want to thank Ron and Beth for having us here; and Chairman Andrew, Mayor Archer, the other officials of the Democratic Party who are here. I want to thank all those who have spoken before; but I have to say a word about the two women.
Ann Richards is my former colleague and my long-time friend who tells me jokes that make me laugh, but which she knows good and well I can never repeat. (Laughter.) So tonight she referred to me as her lovely husband, Bill. And then Hillary said my being a member of the Senate Spouse's Club was a good reason to run. (Laughter.) No offense, Senator Daschle, but until you change the numbers up there, if I were given the choice, I'd rather be in the Spouse's Club. (Laughter.) I'm looking forward to it.
However, I've also made it clear that I'm available for any and all other services. I would be happy to run the New York City Casework Operation -- there will never be a difficult reelection if they let me do that; it'll be over. (Laughter.)
Let me say, I want you to all ask yourselves something. What is it that you like about Terry McAuliffe? I like the fact that he lies to me about his golf handicap and I can't get mad at him. I like the fact that for a rich guy, his politics go a little left and his golf ball goes a little right. I like the fact that he did wrestle an alligator and if you offered to give the Democratic Party enough money he'd lay down on the bottom of that swimming pool for three or four minutes, until you finally came across. (Laughter.)
I like the fact that he is always seeing the bright side of things. After we were totally wiped out in '94 -- I mean, it was awful, there was nothing good about the '94 election -- I called McAuliffe. He said, hey, look at it this way, it's a great opportunity for next time, we could have lost 60 seats. (Laughter.) And he went back to work. It never occurred to him to do anything else.
I like the fact that the more successful he's become, financially and otherwise, the more intense his devotion to our party and to people who are less fortunate than he is has become. I like the fact that he loves his family, he wants it to get bigger; he is unabashedly proud of them all, from his parents to his wife and children to his brother and others. I like the fact that he is proud of what he has done as a citizen to help make our party successful.
Terry and I have never been of the school that believed that we ought to act embarrassed because we ask people in the system we have to contribute so that we could get our message across. Because of what he has done and because of what we have done, all of you together, there are 18 million more jobs in this country, 12.5 million people have taken advantage of the family leave law, millions and millions of more people are in their own homes, we have a 25 year low in the crime rate, half as many people on welfare. I think it's worth an investment in America, so does he -- we're proud of you and I like that about Terry McAuliffe. (Applause.)
I like the fact that Terry gets up every day, like we all should -- anybody who can be in this room tonight -- and knows that whatever the problems are out there, whatever difficulties he's had -- and he and Dorothy, even though they live totally charmed, their life has not been totally free of bumps in the road -- he gets up every day and thinks, I am a lucky man, I am alive, I've got a wonderful family, I'm making more money than I ever dreamed and I get to go out and help people I believe in make this a better country and a better world.
And if we all had more of his energy, his positive attitude, his belief in himself and in the fundamental goodness of people, that you bring it out and unleash that energy, this would even be a greater country and we would have even fewer problems than we have and we'd be making even more progress than we are.
I love this guy. I want you to understand, I had all these funny jokes and I threw them away before I got in here because I want to tell you this, I want you to remember this. We've been through a lot of things together: we've walked over coals, we've had coals dumped on our heads, we've dodged a lot of bullets, we've taken a few. And every day he just gets up and thanks God he's alive, looks on the bright side of things, doesn't quit believing in what he believes in and always believes there's somebody else to help, somebody else to bring in, someone else to involve.
And, again, I say to you, I think that's why we're all here. We like him. There are even some people here who don't share his politics, or mine, who are here because they like him. And so when you go home tonight and you get up tomorrow, just think -- you can have a little more of his energy, a little more of his positive outlook, a little more of his basic faith that we can bring out the goodness in people, we can even do more for the party and the country we love.
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. McAuliffe. Thank you very much. (Applause.)
END 10:12 P.M. EDT