Transcript From Portrait Unveiling Ceremony
As you might know, my father and I have decided to call each other by numbers.
BUSH:He's 41, I'm 43.It's a great pleasure to honor number 42.
We're glad you're here, 42.
The years have done a lot to clarify the strengths of this man. As a candidate for any office, whether it be the state attorney general or the president, Bill Clinton showed incredible energy and great personal appeal.As chief executive, he showed a deep and far- ranging knowledge of public policy, a great compassion for people in need, and the forward-looking spirit that Americans like in a president.
Bill Clinton could always see a better day ahead and Americans knew he was working hard to bring that day closer.
Over eight years it was clear that Bill Clinton loved the job of the presidency.He filled this house with energy and joy.He's a man of enthusiasm and warmth, who could make a compelling case and effectively advance the causes that drew him to public service.
People saw those gifts very early in Bill Clinton.He's remembered in Hope, Arkansas, and other places along the way as an eager, good-hearted boy who seemed destined for big things.
I was particularly struck by the story of a nun at St. John's School in Hot Springs who decided that Billy Clinton should get a C in deportment.That was a rare grade for the future Rhodes Scholar and president, so Bill's mother gave the nun a call to see what was wrong. The sister replied, "Oh, nothing much.But let me tell you, this boy knows the answer to every question and he just leaps to his feet before anyone else can."
BUSH:She went on, "You know, I know he'll not tolerate this C, but it'll be good for him.And I promise you if he wants to be, he will be president some day."
People in Bill Clinton's life have always expected him to succeed.And more than that, they wanted him to succeed.
And meeting those expectations took more than charm and intellect.It took hard work and drive and determination and optimism.I mean, after all, you've got to be optimistic to give six months of your life running the McGovern campaign in Texas.
He won his first statewide office at age 30, sworn in as governor at 32.He's five-time governor of Arkansas; the first man from that state to become the president.He's also the first man in his party since Franklin Roosevelt to win a second term in the White House.
I mean, I can tell you more of the story, but it's coming out in fine bookstores all over America.
At every stage in the extraordinary rise of Bill Clinton, from the little ranch house on Scully Street to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, he and Roger had a wonderful, loving mother.And I am certain that Virginia Kelly would be filled with incredible pride this morning.
BUSH:And so would Hugh Rodham Sr.Mr. Rodham did have the joy of seeing his only daughter become America's first lady.And I know he would not be surprised to see her as she is today, an elected United States senator, and a woman greatly admired in our country.
From the earliest days of her youth in Park Ridge, Illinois, Hillary Rodham impressed her family and friends as a person of great ability and serious purpose.At Main (ph) Township High School South, at Wellesley College and at Yale Law School, classmates saw her just not as an achiever, but as a role model and as a leader.
She inspires respect and loyalty from those who know her, and it was a good day in both their lives when they met at the library at Yale Law School.
© 2004 FDCH E-Media