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U.S. Department of State
96/11/07 Resignation Remarks
Office of the Spokesman

                          THE WHITE HOUSE

                    Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                         November 7, 1996

                      REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                      AND SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER

                  The Cross Halls of the Residence

2:50 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  We are truly about to make a new beginning.  Yesterday 
at the wonderful welcome home that Hillary and Al and Tipper and I had 
at the White House I saw a remarkable sight -- Warren Christopher was 
wearing a t-shirt.  (Laughter.)  He did have it on underneath his 
Saville Row suit.  Nonetheless, it was there.  This is the same Warren 
Christopher, I would remind you all, who made People Magazine's "best 
dressed" list; the only man ever to eat presidential M&Ms with a knife 
and fork.  (Laughter.)

Yesterday Secretary Christopher gave new meaning to my conviction that 
we are entering an age of new and remarkable possibility.  Today it is 
with great regret at his departure, but deep gratitude for his service 
to our administration and to our country, that I have accepted Warren 
Christopher's decision to step down as Secretary of State.

He has left the mark of his hand on history -- not in some theoretical, 
intangible fashion, but in concrete ways that have made a real 
difference in the lives of the American people and people around the 
world.  He has served three previous Democratic administration, as a 
trade negotiator, a deputy attorney general, a deputy Secretary of State 
when he brought home our hostages from Iran.  These past four years I 
have been proud and privileged to have him by my side as Secretary of 

Today, if the children of the Middle East can imagine a future of 
cooperation, not conflict; if Bosnia's killing fields are once again 
playing fields; if the people of Haiti now live in democracy instead of 
under dictators, in no small measure, it is because of Warren 
Christopher.  The cause of peace and freedom and decency have never had 
a more tireless or tenacious advocate.

Those of us who have worked with Chris know that his quiet dignity masks 
a steely determination.  Let me cite just one example.

History will record that Bosnia's peace was secured at Dayton.  It will 
also recall that, literally, until the last minute the outcome was in 
doubt.  Our negotiators had their bags packed and were ready to head 
home without an agreement.  But Chris refused to give up.  And the force 
of his will finally convinced the Balkan leaders to give into the logic 
of peace.

For all Secretary Christopher's skill at diffusing crises, I believe his 
lasting legacy was built behind the headlines, laying the foundations 
for our future.  Under his leadership we've taken on new threats like 
terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction and environment 
degradation.  We're seizing the opportunities to make the 21st century 
more secure and prosperous for every American -- working toward a Europe 
that is undivided, democratic, and at peace; building a new partnership 
with a strong and open Russia; meeting the challenges of change in Asia 
with strength and steadiness; opening more markets abroad and helping 
American businesses to take advantage of these new opportunities.

Perhaps most important, Warren Christopher's life provides powerful 
proof that America has a unique responsibility and a unique privilege to 
lead.  He has helped the American people to understand that we cannot 
lead on the cheap; it takes time, energy and resources.  And as we go 
forward, I pledge to protect and preserve the resources for our 
diplomacy that Warren Christopher has put to such good use.

Finally, let me say, as all of you know, I owe Warren Christopher a debt 
that extends far beyond the broad range of his responsibilities.  Few 
individuals did more to shape my first administration.  He chaired our 
vice presidential search committee, and I'd say he came up with a pretty 
good recommendation.  (Laughter.)   The American people have him to 
thank for my selection of Al Gore and the subsequent development of the 
most unique partnership in the history of the presidency and the vice 
presidency.  And I think it is clear that the Vice President has been 
the most influential and constructive force ever to occupy the vice 
presidency's office.

Warren Christopher directed the 1992 transition, in particular, in 
building a Cabinet team that helped to put America on track as we enter 
the 21st century; one which a scholar of the presidency wrote me and 
said was the most loyal Cabinet since Thomas Jefferson's first 

These past four years, time and again I have reached out to my friend 
for his counsel, his judgment, and his support.  It is no exaggeration 
to say that Warren Christopher has literally been America's elder 
statesman.  It's also no exaggeration today that retains the energy, the 
vigor and the capacity of a person half his age.

I thank Secretary Christopher for agreeing to stay on until we select a 
successor.  I will consult closely with him in that process.  In the 
weeks ahead I may have a hard time finding him, however.  The Secretary 
is continuing to do the vital business of our nation, participating next 
week in the Cairo Conference, traveling to China and throughout Asia, 
moving on to Europe to work on Bosnia and adapting NATO to the future.

Secretary Christopher already has set a four-year record as America's 
most traveled diplomat in chief.  If you could earn frequent flyer miles 
for government travel, we would owe him at least a round trip on the 
space shuttle.  (Laughter.)  And the Vice President says that with the 
travel he's already logged in, he could go to the Moon and back, and 
back to the Moon again.  I want him to travel a few more miles, so he 
will finish on the right planet.


Through dignity, determination, hard work and skill; through an 
unbelievable, powerful collection and combination of his intellect, his 
integrity, and his good heart, Warren Christopher has earned our 
nation's admiration and a debt that can never be fully repaid.  From the 
bottom of my heart, I thank him for his service to the nation and his 
unique friendship to the President.

Mr. Secretary.  (Applause.)

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Mr. President, it would just be absolutely 
impossible for me to express fully my gratitude to you for entrusting 
this post to me at this extraordinary moment in history.  I'm grateful 
for the unfailing and unstinting support that you've given me in moments 
of high success and at the difficult times as well.  I also want to 
thank you and Hillary for the many kindnesses that you've extended to 
Marie and to me and our family.

I also want to express appreciation to you, Mr. Vice President, for 
being here today, as you've always been for me, and  want to pay tribute 
to the remarkable role, as the President said, that you've played in 
shaping and carrying out our nation's foreign policy.

Being Secretary of State is to take part in history's relay race.  It's 
been a great privilege for me to have an opportunity to run this 
challenging leg over the last four years.  I've done so with the sure 
sense that we've begun to shape American foreign policy for the 21st 

Mr. President, the world looks to the United States for leadership and 
you have responded magnificently.  Thanks to your leadership, America is 
more secure, more prosperous and our values are most ascendant than they 
were when we took office four years ago.

No Secretary of State could ever have had stronger support than I've had 
from the President and the Vice President, or from my colleagues in the 
National Security Agency, many of whom I'm proud and pleased are here 
today.  I've also been tremendously honored by the opportunity to work 
with so many talented members of the State Department, many of whom I 
see down here today, including the dedicated men and women of the 
Foreign Service and the civil service as well.

On a personal note, of course, I am especially grateful to my wife, 
Marie, who has supported me with love and fresh orange juice every 
morning -- (laughter) -- through four adventures in Washington and 
through, next month, 40 years of happy marriage.

I'm, of course, also very grateful to the American people.  It is their 
values and their aspirations that I've sought to uphold as I've traveled 
around the world these last four years.  I'm convinced that especially 
as this time of change in the world -- this time of challenge and change 
-- the American people expect our nation to maintain a strong and 
principled global leadership.  They can be assured that I will be doing 
that, maintaining our active engagement, as I travel to the Middle East, 
Europe and Asia over the next several weeks before the time of 
transition actually takes place.

I've been very generously blessed by Providence and I will leave office 
with a deep sense of gratitude and humility.  I also leave with great 
confidence, Mr. President, that you are laying the foundation for the 
next American century.

Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

QUESTION:  Mr. President, how will you go about choosing a successor?  
What's your plan for doing that?

THE PRESIDENT:  Don't sit down now.  It won't take long for me to answer 
this question.  (Laughter.)

Let me say to all of you here in the press, I intend to have a press 
conference tomorrow afternoon and I'll be more than happy to answer all 
of your questions in greater detail.

But I will go about selecting a successor, first of all, by soliciting 
the Secretary of State's advice and the advice of others on our National 
Security team and others beyond that with whom I have worked and whom I 
trust.  And I'm sure I'll get some unsolicited advice as we go along, 
and that's a good thing.  I believe that the Secretary will be difficult 
to replace, but I think there will be worthy Americans who can 
contribute, who are willing to serve.  And with all these places where 
we have vacancies, I want to cast a wide net.

And I think the American people sent us another message on Tuesday.  
They want us to work together.  They like it when we try to have 
principled compromise.  And they want us to create a vital center -- 
that is, not one that just splits the difference, but one that moves the 
country forward in an aggressive way, Republicans and Democrats and 
independents alike.  And I will be looking, in all these personnel 
decisions that I have to make, across a broad span of American people to 
try to get the best people to create that vital center and take this 
country into the 21st century.

And I'll see you all tomorrow and look forward to answering your 
questions.  Thank you.  Thank you.  (Applause.

END                          3:02 P.M. EST
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