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Good Morning. I hope you've all recovered from last night. Judging by all the Starbucks cups I see around the room, though, I'd guess not. (Muted laughter)
We've got a lot to get through today. Again, I want to thank you all for attending last night's Villagers United Gala -- we are back! (Round of applause)
I have always been a great admirer of this President, and I am honored to be serving in this administration. Everyone here at the White House is looking forward to the next eight (cough), I mean, four years. Unless of course there is a constitutional amendment in the near future... (Laughter)
The President has a very busy schedule today. And though this is only Day One, we want to set the tone immediately. The President had a quiet breakfast this morning in the private residence and reviewed the transition briefings left by the Bush administration...
David Gregory: Does that mean this administration is considering keeping in place some of the Bush policies, and if so, which ones?
Press Secretary: If you will let me finish... (Silence) You know, I do have a script here. (Laughter)
The President reviewed the transition briefing documents over breakfast in the private residence, and has given Chief of Staff Webb Hubbell a directive to reverse the tax cuts for the rich, scrap the "No Child Left Behind" program, and recommend legislation to ensure health-care coverage is available for every American, no matter their age, race, or sexual orientation and sexual history. (Round of applause)
The President then spent the morning in the Oval, reviewing remarks for the "meet" and "greet" and "thank you" schedule this afternoon. The schedule includes a brief statement to members of The Former Imprisoned Voters Association. The President will then attend NOW's Inaugural luncheon, giving the keynote address, "Free at Last." There's going to be a fabulous menu -- a baby lettuces salad drizzled with mandarin orange dressing, braised lamb served with baby carrots, and for dessert, gluten-free apple pie. And finally, this evening the President is the guest of honor at the "Hamas Candlelight Dinner for a New World Order -- A Celebration of Shared Values."
Now, your questions. (Yelling, shouting, punching, yelping, more punching)
Press Secretary: Mr. Gregory, as you seem so anxious to get started, you first -- officially this time. (Laughter) By the way, how many years have you been in the White House Press Corps now? You might just be the next HT!
Gregory: (Smiling) Merci, Madam. Presque dix ans.
(Not smiling) Will President Clinton have input in this administration? As the new Secretary General of the United Nations, he has been described by Le Monde, the BBC, and Al-Jareeza as "Savior of the World." He has focused all his energy and attention on global issues such as poverty, climate mutations, and most recently the legalization of drugs.
Press Secretary: Well, when President Clinton and President Rodham announced in early December that they had divorced, both parties made it clear that they had parted on amicable terms. However, as President Rodham stated in her Inaugural Address yesterday, the decisions of her presidency will be made by her, and her alone. I would like to add that she also reiterated that she is looking forward to this new chapter in her...
Gregory: So he will not have any input?
Press Secretary: As with any Secretary General of the United Nations, of course President Rodham values his opinion on global issues. But she is now the President of the United States of America.
Next question. Soley...
Soledad O'Brien: Susan, Fox News released a statement earlier today saying that while they are finding your replacement, which they mention in the release shouldn't be hard -- and I quote, "Fox News seeks another screaming banshee" -- they are considering legal action against you for using Fox as a platform to get this job. Your response to that allegation?
Press Secretary Estrich: Well, as you all know, Fox used strong-arm tactics -- as was demonstrated by the way I was treated repeatedly in front of national audiences -- the eight long years of the Bush administration to squash dissent from any member of the Democratic Party. All I will say is that I know that won't happen anymore.
All right, let's wrap this up. Tomorrow, I will have Cabinet nominations. Yes, Mr. Gregory?
Gregory: Last night at the Gala, President Rodham said to a group of us that she has always preferred the title, "Her Majesty." That was a joke, right?
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