Federal File: Change of schedule; Family values redux

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Change Of Schedule

President Clinton swore in hundreds of Americorps volunteers last week, but the original plans for the ceremony had to be reshuffled after a small plane crashed into the White House.

The plane eluded detection by security officers and crashed into the south face of the White House--the planned site of the Americorps ceremony--in the early morning of Sept. 12.

At the ceremony later that day, the President was scheduled to personally swear in hundreds of volunteers and appear by satellite before thousands more. The ceremony was delayed several hours, and Mr. Clinton did appear by satellite, but from the Oval Office.

About 20,000 young people began their Americorps service last week. They will be working on more than 1,100 service projects.

Family Values Redux

In a series of recent speeches, Mr. Clinton returned to familiar themes of family, community, and values.

At a Sept. 11 church service in Aberdeen, Md., that included many Americorps volunteers, he cited them as an example of "doing what is right."

Americorps service, he said, embodies "opportunity, responsibility, and community--your country has given you the opportunity to serve. You have assumed the responsibility. And our American family is much stronger and better and richer as a result."

Two days before the service, Mr. Clinton addressed a convention of black Baptists in New Orleans, reiterating his call for all Americans to do their part in promoting a sense of community and values.

The same week, former Vice President Dan Quayle also returned to the family-values theme.

In a speech delivered two days before Mr. Clinton's, Mr. Quayle, a potential 1996 Presidential candidate, said the "dissolution of the family" is the greatest threat "to our future."

"When I talked about that situation two years ago, I asserted that the ideal situation for our children is to be born and raised in an intact family," he said. "Today I unapologetically assert that again."

In what is remembered as his "Murphy Brown" speech in 1992, Mr. Quayle assailed Hollywood's portrayal of single motherhood as "just another lifestyle choice," prompting a backlash from the entertainment industry, women's groups, and political opponents.

--Mark Pitsch

Vol. 14, Issue 03

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