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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 7, 2000
                 TO THE NEW YORK SENATE 2000 RECEPTION

                           Private Residence
                         Indianapolis, Indiana

9:30 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: I'm just sorry I'm not there. I've looked forward to coming to visit you in Indiana for a long time. I want to begin just by thanking you and Mel for being such good friends to Hillary and me. I've been with you in Colorado and Florida, and I really wanted to come up there and see you.

And I want to thank Cindy and Paul for hosting this tonight. And I want to thank all the people who are there to help Hillary. I really -- as I said, I looked forward to being there. But as I told Brent a few hours ago, I've been up almost without sleep for two days trying to deal with the situation in the Middle East. It's quite violent and it presents a real threat to the peace process that everybody there has worked for, for seven and a half years now. I just couldn't leave the telephone and my responsibilities here. I hope you'll forgive me for not being there with you.

HOSTESS: Well, we certainly understand. We do want you to know that Senator Evan Bayh and Susan are with us tonight, and they send their best regards to you.

THE PRESIDENT: I'm just trying to get another vote for Evan up there in the Senate. (Laughter.) He doesn't need a lot of help, but he could use all the help he can get. I want to say to all of you there, Evan and Susan have been friends of Hillary's and mine for a long time, since Evan knocked me out as being the youngest governor in America. We like them, we respect them, we care for them and I'm just thrilled that they've done as well as they have for Indiana and for the United States in Washington. Evan has really, really had an impact on the Senate and you should be very proud of him.

The only other thing I want to say is that I know how difficult it is to raise funds for a candidate from another state a long way away, even somebody who is the First Lady. But this is really a worthy cause. The other side has raised, I think, between the two candidates that have run against Hillary, a total of $50 million. So we've had to work real hard and get support from our friends around the country.

She has done so well. She's got a big debate tomorrow morning, and keep your fingers crossed for her. I must say, I'm absolutely convinced, based on over 30 years of working in politics and seeing people in public life that she will be one of the great United States senators of the last several years, if we can just get through these next four or five months. And I think all of you will be very proud that you came there and helped her win. I just can't tell you how grateful I am.

HOSTESS: Well, we agree with you, as far as Hillary's campaign is concerned, and we're all here to support her. And I wanted you to know also that George Hamilton flew in from L.A., especially to be with us tonight, so he's a little disappointed, too.

THE PRESIDENT: I'm sorry I didn't get to see George. (Laughter.) I kind of resent it, you know -- when I came here, I was like George, I looked younger than I am, and now I look like I'm about half-dead. (Laughter.) I still feel pretty good for a guy with a lot of miles on him. (Laughter.) Thank you for coming, George.

HOSTESS: Mr. President, is it possible for Ian, our grandson, to say hello to you?

THE PRESIDENT: Absolutely.

IAN: Hello, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Hell, Ian, how are you?

IAN: Good.

THE PRESIDENT: How old are you?

IAN: Six.

THE PRESIDENT: I think you're on your way to being a good public speaker. (Laughter and applause.)

HOSTESS: They've very, very disappointed you couldn't be here, but they're excited to say hello to you.


THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Samantha.

SAMANTHA: Hello, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: How are you?


THE PRESIDENT: And how old are you?


THE PRESIDENT: That's great. Well, I'm sorry I didn't get to meet you.

HOSTESS: Eric and Samantha are twins, so Eric is going to say hello to you now.

ERIC: Hello.


ERIC: Hi. Hello, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Good job. I think you ought to bring them to see me in the White House before I go.

HOSTESS: You know, we were excited to find out that we'll probably come in and see a movie or something in the near future with the children, if that's okay.

THE PRESIDENT: Absolutely, we'll set it up.

HOSTESS: Okay, great.

THE PRESIDENT: I'm so grateful to all of you who are there. And let me say just one little serious word. I'm also very grateful for the chance I've had to serve, and I'm glad our country is in such good shape. But this is a really important election, because the decisions we make will determine whether we stick with an economic policy that's working, build on a health care policy, stick with an education policy that's working and continue to change in the right direction -- or do something entirely different that I think won't work nearly as well.

This is an election that's going to have real consequences for the American people, and sometimes I'm concerned that because times are good, people think it doesn't much matter. It matters a lot. I guess you know that, or you wouldn't be there tonight -- even for Mel and Brent and Cindy and Paul. But I'm very grateful to you and I thank you very, very much.

HOSTESS: Thank you very much. Thank you for calling.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all and goodnight. (Applause.)

HOSTESS: Good luck with everything.

THE PRESIDENT: Thanks. Keep your fingers crossed. Thanks, Evan. (Applause.)

END 9:35 P.M. EDT