President William Jefferson Clinton
Few communities are fortunate enough to experience the drama, excitement, and notoriety generated by a presidential visit. Monroe has experienced the honor during visits by four presidents through its history.
Monroe’s third presidential visit also came on a summer day, 80-years after President Taft’s visit when the 42nd president of the United States stood and delivered a speech within 30′ of where President Taft stood and spoke. On August 15, 2000 under a blazing sun that saw the heat index reach 101-degrees, at least 17,000 people jammed Loranger Square in downtown Monroe to listen to President William Jefferson Clinton (1993-2001). In a rare joint appearance, Vice President Al Gore joined the president. Vice President Gore was campaigning for the presidency and the presidential visit was designed to symbolically pass the political mace of leadership from the president to the vice president. Besides the rareness of a joint presidential/vice presidential visit, the two executive branch officials were joined by their wives: First Lady Hillary Clinton (along with daughter Chelsea) and Tipper Gore. The event was well documented, with more than 200-news representatives were credentialed for the visit, including Japanese t-v network NHK.
The tightly packed crowd stood shoulder to shoulder north up Washington Street to Front Street, and west to Monroe Street. President Clinton told the crowd that the views he saw driving into Monroe reminded him of the scenes they saw and the people they met during the bus tour he, his wife Hillary and then Senator Gore and his wife Tipper took as they campaigned for the presidency in 1992. While in a mood to reminisce, President Clinton stood on the dais on the front lawn of the Monroe County Courthouse and summarized his nearly two-terms in office “Miraculously for us the people of Michigan and the people of Ohio twice gave us the chance to serve. Al Gore and I have worked for nearly eight-years now to put you first, never to forget about you. To get the economy going again and to get our society moving in the right direction. To make us a more united nation, a stronger, a better nation.”
Presidential Visits Photo Credits
President William Jefferson Clinton:
Ryan Solomon, City of Monroe.