Remarks at the White House News Photographers Association Annual Dinner
thank you, Ken, and thank all of you. And my congratulations
again to the award winners. I'm delighted to be at this 1988 White House
News Photographers Dinner, the last one that
I've always considered photographers, the cameramen, and the crew, my favorites among the press. [Laughter] So, I knew that, being friends, you wouldn't mind if I got a few things off my chest tonight. [Laughter] There's been a lot in the papers in recent weeks about insiders' views of the White House. Well, I've had it with all that. So, tonight I'm going to give you the view from the ultimate insider -- me. [Laughter] I'm going to tell the real story of this administration. It's been a wonderful two terms, with lots of accomplishments. And I've even brought the slides to prove it. So, Marlin, hit the lights. [Laughter]
one of the most interesting episodes was General Secretary Gorbachev's visit to
[Showing a slide of Mrs. Reagan and Don Regan] -- -- Oops! Oops! [Laughter]
now, during my Presidency I've always emphasized diplomacy. But sometimes it
comes to the point you have to use force in foreign affairs. [Laughter] And
here I am, arm wrestling General Noriega for
really enjoyed our trip to
On another trip, the Government of Indonesia gave us these gifts -- and they're our friends. [Laughter] Actually, I love this shirt. I finally found something louder than Sam Donaldson. [Laughter]
And speaking of the press, remember during the contra aid vote when the networks wouldn't let me on the air? I bet you wondered how I finally got my message out. [Laughter] It's no secret that the press and I sometimes don't get along. In addition to my standard ploy of using helicopter noise to avoid reporters' questions, I've now added a new method to avoid questions -- tear gas. [Laughter]
I've loved almost every minute I've been in office, although there were a couple of trips to the hospital. In case you're wondering what happened here, I had just said: ``So, Don, you say you're going to write a book.'' [Laughter] But while I was recuperating the congressional leadership came to see me. And here I am asking for a colon donor. [Laughter]
of my greatest enjoyments is talking to the young men and women who defend us
from attack. Here I am on top of the White House -- [laughter] -- and the
soldier is explaining where he thinks the next book will come from. [Laughter]
It's fortunate that not everything has been spilled in these books, however.
[Laughter] I mean, I hope the environmentalists never find out about this one.
[Laughter] We used to fly Air Force One over
But I'll tell you someone I trust totally -- George Bush. He's been a wonderful Vice President, and he'll make an excellent President. And that's why I endorsed him and why I'll work hard for him this fall. Here we are listening to one of his speeches. [Laughter]
You do get to meet lots of wonderful people as President, and they're always bringing me things to try on. [Laughter] What struck me about this photo is that this hat fit Don Regan fine. [Laughter]
Now, this is an interesting photo. This young man down front there in the picture later told me he had a vision of Michael Dukakis in the Oval Office. [Laughter]
And I like this one of Lucky sitting on my lap. Unfortunately, my raincoat was on the seat just behind me. [Laughter]
this is a sight I've seen many times. And you do sometimes get in the way, and
you do sometimes cause a commotion. But your work has produced a permanent
historical record of my two terms as President. You've been there with me.
You've captured me in moments of hope and excitement during the campaign;
moments of disappointment, like when General Secretary Gorbachev and I parted
And you know, there's one picture you've taken time and time again: that of me saluting the troops. I do that out of respect. You here tonight do good, hard, creative work; and I respect that, too. So, as we say our farewells here tonight, this salute's for you. And now, tonight, good night, and God bless you.
Note: The President spoke at in the main ballroom at the Sheraton Washington Hotel. He was introduced by Kenneth L. Blaylock, president of the White House News Photographers Association. Marlin Fitzwater was Assistant to the President for Press Relations.