[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1997, Book II)]
[October 27, 1997]
[Page 1439]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks at a Birthday Party for the First Lady in Chicago, Illinois
October 27, 1997

    The President. Thank you very much. You can hear I'm a little hoarse 
tonight, but I'll do my best to be heard over the din. Let me say to all 
of you, first of all, thank you, Mr. Mayor; thank you, Mrs. Daley; thank 
you, Lois Weisberg. I thank all the committee, everybody who had 
anything to do with this day today. You have made Hillary and, I might 
say, her mother and her brothers who came with her today--you've made 
their whole family very happy. This has been an unforgettable day in her 
life, and I am profoundly grateful to all of you, and I thank you very 
    You know, before I met Hillary, you could put what I knew about 
Chicago in a thimble and have space left over. [Laughter] About a week 
after I met Hillary, I thought there was no other city on the face of 
the Earth. [Laughter] I'll never forget the first time I came here to 
visit Hillary. I remember only two things: her father would not come 
outside to say hello to me--[laughter]--which I thought showed good 
judgment on his part--[laughter]--and she took me to Chicago and showed 
me the city. And I fell in love with it then--that was a long time ago 
now--and I have been ever since.
    This is a magnificent place. You have done unbelievable things. 
You're in the process of doing other unbelievable things. They may well 
make a larger chapter in the history of this city, but you will never 
have a kinder, better, warmer gesture than the one you've given Hillary 
today, and I will never forget it as long as I live. Thank you very, 
very much.
    Audience member. Four more years!
    The President. It's not constitutional. [Laughter]
    I want to ask Hillary to come up now. You have to remember--this 
birthday--she wore it lightly for a long time, but her staff started 
celebrating it 50 days before the event. They wanted her to recognize 
precisely how old she was by giving her one present a day for 50 days up 
to the blessed event--[laughter]--which occurred yesterday. Now she's 
still celebrating it as if she's going to hold on for dear life. 
[Laughter] Whatever she wants to do, I'm for.
    Ladies and gentlemen, our First Lady.

Note: The President spoke at 9:25 p.m. in Gar Hall at the Chicago 
Cultural Center. In his remarks, he referred to Mayor Richard M. Daley 
of Chicago and his wife, Margaret; Chicago Commissioner of Culture 
Affairs Lois Weisberg; and the First Lady's mother, Dorothy Rodham, and 
brothers Tony Rodham and Hugh Rodham, Jr.