Remarks at a "Roast" In Honor of Press Secretary Brady

March 21, 1981

The President. Well, I just have to tell you that, Jim, we've been looking all over for you. [Laughter] Headline news breaking all around us--I've declared martial law, dismissed the Congress--[laughter]--and here I find you fraternizing. [Laughter]

I understand that this is something in the nature of, well, shall we say "a roast," and I don't know whether Jim is prepared for that yet or not. Here you are. And therefore, I would like to ask all of you--you know--there's still a long way to go on our honeymoon, and Nancy says he's "Y and H." [Laughter] So, even though it's a roast.

Audience Member. You have to explain what that means.

The President. That means young and handsome. [Laughter] So, please be gentle. [Laughter] And, Jim, you're not to take seriously anything they say.

Mr. Brady. I never do.

The President. As a matter of fact, don't take anything seriously that I've said so far. [Laughter] But I will be serious for a minute. I think that this is borne out of a respect and affection that is widespread among these people and which you have earned. And let's cancel the lottery. [Laughter] Or were you going to promise that later? [Laughter]

Mr. Brady. I didn't want to make any unilateral concessions, and now you've given it away. [Laughter]

The President. Well, that's one of the major decisions we've made. We've got some minor things going on like El Salvador--[laughter]--Afghanistan, and so forth. But you can see that when it comes to the big decisions, we make them fast and hard. [Laughter]

Well, anyway, I'm glad that we could drop by here, and I'm glad that you're all doing this, and I'm very glad that Jim is where he is, and I mean that seriously, in our administration. [Cheers]

Enjoy it. We're on our way to Ford's Theatre. [Laughter]
Mr. Brady. Thank you, Mr. President.


Note: The President spoke at 7:28 p.m. at the Georgetown Club.
In his remarks, the President referred to a lottery that determined which reporters asked questions at the March 6 news conference.