Transcript From Portrait Unveiling Ceremony
Hillary's commitment to public service continued when she left this house.
Listen, New York politics is serious business.
It's rough business.It takes an extraordinary person to campaign and win the United States Senate.She has proven herself more equal to the challenge.
And she takes an interesting spot in American history today, for she is the only sitting senator whose portrait hangs in the White House.
BUSH:The paintings of the Clintons are the work of a fine American artist, Simmie Knox.Mr. Knox has rendered portraits of a Supreme Court justice, a Cabinet minister, a mayor and members of Congress, and today we thank him for putting his skilled hand to the portraits that are about to be unveiled.
More than 40 years have passed since a boy of 16 came here to the White House with a group from the American Legion Boys Nation.On that day in the summer of 1963, Bill Clinton of Arkansas looked into the face of John F. Kennedy and left the Rose Garden feeling very proud that he had shaken the hand of a president.
Today, he can be even prouder of decades of service and effort and perseverance that brought him back to this place as the 42nd president of the United States.
My congratulations to you both.And now will you join me on the stage for the presentation?
W. CLINTON:President Bush, Mrs. Bush, Mr. Dudley (ph), Mr. Horsman (ph), ladies and gentlemen, it's a great honor for Hillary and Chelsea and my family and our friends to be back here today in this wonderful place we called home for eight years.
W. CLINTON:I'd like to thank all the people who were part of our administrations for joining us today.
And, Mr. President, if you'll permit me a indulgence about Texas, I want to especially thank your former senator, Lloyd Benson and Mrs. Benson for being here.
Thank you very much.
Mr. President, I had mixed feelings coming here today, and they were only confirmed by all those kind and generous things you said. Made me feel like I was a pickle stepping into history.
I used to walk through this house day in and day out looking at those pictures.I loved to go in the Blue Room and look at the wonderful portrait of Thomas Jefferson in there and his successors, and John Adams.And it reminded me of something that happened along toward my second term; maybe this will happen to you.
I was in Cleveland in a grade school looking at a reading program, and this 6-year-old kid came up to me, he said, "Are you really president?" And I said, "Yes, I am."He said, "But you're not dead yet."
And I realized that he thought the president was people commemorated in this house, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln.He'd seen their pictures.He knew that presidents were people that used to be.
And we were joking on the way in, I got three letters in 1992 from plastic surgeons offering to do free work on my face so I would look better.
© 2004 FDCH E-Media