Clinton Spends Quiet St. Valentine’s Day
WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Clinton promoted ″American Heart Month″ with a Sunday morning jog, accompanied his wife to church and took her out for a fancy evening dinner to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day.
Clinton refused to reveal what he gave his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, for St. Valentine’s Day. ″It’s a secret,″ he told reporters at the beginning of a relaxing day.
Questions about the president’s scheduled speech to the nation Monday and the unveiling of his economic plan Wednesday also went unanswered.
In the evening, the Clintons dined at the Red Sage, a trendy Washington restaurant several blocks from the White House that features Southwestern fare and has a long waiting list for reservations.
As the Clintons arrived, a crowd of 20 people waiting outside the restaurant cheered and waved. Other patrons in the main dining room stood up and applauded as the Clintons made their way room to table in the rear.
Flashbulbs went off as several diners took pictures of the president and the first lady.
Clinton began his day with a two-mile run on windswept Hains Point along the Potomac River sponsored by the American Heart Association. He signed a proclamation designating February as ″American Heart Month,″ then urged the field of about 50 fellow runners to stay in shape.
″One of the reasons we have one of the most expensive health care systems in the world is we create a lot of the problems ourselves,″ said Clinton, a regular jogger.
Breathing heavily and his face red from the wind, the president appeared bothered by the bitter-cold weather. Vice President Al Gore appeared to have less trouble with the run. His wife, Tipper, lagged well behind the front of the pack.
Mrs. Clinton did not attend the event.
Still wearing his sweat suit, Clinton ducked into the Oval Office for a few minutes after the run.
The Clintons later attended First Baptist Church of the City of Washington D.C.
The Rev. Everett Goodwin asked God to ″grant us your vision and courage to the president and Mrs. Clinton, that in these days of urgent need they might lead us on.″
Halfway into the service, Clinton gently wrapped his arm around his wife.
After church, the Clintons walked across the street hand-in-hand to greet well-wishers. One man pleaded with Mrs. Clinton to improve the nation’s health care system. ″I’ll do the best I can,″ said Mrs. Clinton, who heads Clinton’s health care task force.
She wore bright red coat and carried a single red rose.