Remarks at a Luncheon
for Members of Vote
I'm delighted that all of you could be here today. And as Joe Rogers knows, I'm an enthusiastic admirer of the work that you're doing.
know, one of the things I've continually talked about during the past few years
was how impressive this young generation of Americans really is. And everywhere
I've gone in this country, I've been moved to see their interest in our nation
and in the issues before us. In fact, I'd like to tell a story about when one
of our Ambassadors visited an American armored cavalry regiment stationed on
the NATO line in
He returned to his helicopter, and as he did so, he was followed by a young, 19-year-old soldier. The soldier asked him if he could get a message to the President, and the Ambassador said, well, sometimes getting messages to the President was part of his job. And the soldier then said, ``Well, will you tell him we're proud to be here, and we ain't scared of nothin.'''
a while ago, the Ambassador was in
that's why all of you are here today and giving so generously of your time. You
want all young Americans to know what the young soldier knew: that the system
does work. But you also want them to know something else that soldier knew, and
that is that democracy takes time and personal effort. And that's why we're
dedicated to the goals of Vote
generation is a generation that's bright with hope, filled with energy, and
ready to make a difference. They're talented and optimistic. But for all of
that, they also have the lowest percentage of voters. So, it's up to us to
remind young Americans that the first step in democratic involvement is voting.
all I can say is keep up the great work. And believe me, I hope this project is put on the front burner. The
future of our young leaders represents the future of
know, I have opportunities every once in a while now to go to a school or
college and appear on the campus and speak there. And having been Governor for
4 years at a time when if I went to a campus I would have started a riot and
been hung in effigy -- [laughter] -- it's quite a change. And believe me, to
stand there and say something that normally might be responded to by an
ordinary audience with applause, and then the many times I've heard instead
them chanting, ``U.S.A.!
Well, speaking of getting out of the room, I'm going to see each of you in the Blue Room down the line here for a handshake, which I wasn't able to do at the beginning of our lunch here. So, I'm going to thank you here, and God bless you. And I'm going around, and I'll meet you there in the Blue Room. Thank you all.
Note: The President spoke at in the State Dining Room at the White House.