This Mandatory Declassification Review contains material related to France from the White House Office of Records Management. Materials include Department of State memoranda regarding requests for meetings with French officials and a briefing paper regarding a meeting between First Lady Hillary Clinton and Danielle Mitterrand, wife of French President Francois Mitterrand.
This document highlights an exchange of brief notes between President Clinton and Garfunkel. The two apparently met at the White House sometime in 1997. Accompanying Garfunkel were his wife Kim Cermank and seven-year-old son James. Clinton expresses his pleasure at seeing all of them. He encourages Garfunkel to “drop by” if he ever gets back to Washington. The reply of the rock star is remarkable for its forthright language and genuine admiration of Clinton. He says, “You must know that you make people feel very good about themselves when you shine on them your extraordinary likeability.”
An exchange of letters between Ray Charles and President Clinton that starts out with the singer expressing his appreciation for the President’s commendation that was read out publicly during the presentation of the prestigious Polar Music Prize in Stockholm. Charles, 68 at the time, says when you get to be that old, one becomes more thankful for what might appear, at first glance, inconsequential things. He goes on to refer to a song by Johnny Cash (recorded by him) entitled “I am Just A Crazy Old Soldier Fighting A War Of My Own.” According to Charles, “In one verse there is a lyric that says, ‘You think I’d give up as many times as I’ve been hit, but like a crazy old soldier I just don’t know when to quit.’” Clinton responds with, “I loved your letter. I am like your crazy old soldier, not about to quit.”
Page 13 of remarks delivered at the National Medal of Arts ceremony on October 7, 1993. The ceremony took place on the South Lawn of the White House and featured remarks by both the President and First Lady. Clinton saved some of his best lines for Charles, declaring him to be one of “America’s favorite singers.”
Marsha Scott, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Correspondence and Presidential Messages, responded to Mr. Mallard by asserting Clinton’s wish for “the greatest success” in the endeavors of Mallard; however, he had legal constraints that prevented him from lending “his name to your cause.”