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Clinton Cites Commonalities With Mexico’s Zedillo, Including Marriage

October 11, 1995

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Clinton says he has much in common with Ernesto Zedillo, the president of Mexico. And it isn’t simply the North American Trade Agreement.

``His mother was a nurse and so was mine,″ Clinton told a state dinner Tuesday in honor of the visiting Mexican president and his wife.

``We both had the chance to do graduate work in England, and both of us continued our studies at Yale _ on scholarships.

``We both married up.″

The roomful of guests laughed.

``Like her husband, Mrs. Zedillo is a trained economist, and a good one,″ Clinton added. ``And I thought I was a pretty good lawyer until I met Hillary.″

And, added the American president, ``most important of all, we both went to Acapulco on our honeymoon. And we both went on our honeymoon not only with our wives, but with our in-laws.″

In turn, Zedillo took note of the fact that the 20th anniversary of the Clintons’ wedding day is today.

``Let me congratulate you in advance,″ the Mexican president said. ``You have built a united family; a family of intense work and of great dedication, that today shares its fruits with the American people.″

In a more serious vein, Clinton said because of cooperation between the two bordering nations, ``our strides are longer and our burdens lighter.″

He recalled that three weeks after Zedillo took office last year, Mexico plunged into a financial crisis. While other people were wringing their hands, Clinton said, ``You and I were ringing each other on the telephone.″

Zedillo said the two countries share an extensive border ``where we are determined legality and a dignified treatment will prevail.″

Both countries share a vision of a world of free trade and free of illegal drugs, he said. ``We share the certainty that the strength of our people lies in the values of freedom, democracy, justice, and also in deeply-felt family values.″

The 160 guests at the black-tie affair dined on poached spot prawns and herb cured Pacific salmon, spiced partridge breast and a salad of fall field greens, accompanied by three California wines. For dessert: sweet corn and tequila ice cream, lime sauce and Mexican wedding cookies.

Afterward, the guests went to the South Lawn where a huge tent had been set up for a performance by the Limon Dance Co., a modern repertory company celebrating its 50th anniversary season. Its founder, Jose Limon, was born in Culiacan, Mexico.

Among the guests were Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, who has spearheaded the congressional Whitewater investigation, and Dick Morris, a political consultant credited with urging the president toward a centrist policy since the 1994 midterm elections.

Also among the guests were Geraldine Ferraro, the 1984 Democratic vice presidential candidate, Mexican entertainer Emilio Navaira, pro golfer Lee Trevino and Texas Rep. Kika de la Garza, the senior Democrat and former chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

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