The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 28, 2005

Remarks by the President in a Toast at State Dinner for National Governors Association

8:06 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: It's always a pleasure to host the nation's governors here in Washington. Laura and I are proud to have you here for our first state dinner of my second term. (Applause.)

It's a joyous occasion, even made more so by the -- by the fact that I learned that the Blancos -- Governor Blanco and her husband are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary tonight. (Applause.)

Ever since a former governor of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, lived in this house, many of our Presidents have first served as governors. And there's a reason why. The experience of running a state government, of pulling together a capable team, of setting an agenda and working with an elected legislative body, is critical to the success of any administration.

My six years as governor of Texas have been invaluable to me as I carry out my duties as the presidency [sic]. And because I know firsthand how -- the valuable experience governors get, I've asked a lot to serve in my Cabinet. I had six governors in my first Cabinet. I am pleased that Mike Johans -- Johans -- (laughter) -- and Mike Leavitt -- (laughter) -- have agreed to serve in my second term. I'm proud you guys are here. (Applause.)

When our founders devised our federal system two centuries ago, they recognized, in Jefferson's words, that "our country is too large to have all its affairs directed by a single government." The President and the governors are partners in our great enterprise, and that means we share great responsibilities. Together, we'll work to secure our homeland, protect our environment, to strengthen our economy. Together, we will work to ensure that every child gets a good education and good health care. And together, we'll work to make sure that we care for those in our society who hurt and who need help. I'm proud of our work together during the last four years. I look forward to working with you for the next four years.

I want to ask you to join me in a toast to our partners -- the governors and the administration -- in building a more perfect union. To the governors of the United States.

(A toast is given.)

END 8:09 P.M. EST

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