Anyone remember when Bill Clinton visited Green Lake and ran the loop?
From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 20, 1993. p. A5
CLINTON AND FRIENDS RUN GREEN LAKE BICYCLISTS AND JOGGERS USE PATH AT SAME TIME
Bill Clinton, wearing running gear that included an APEC forum sweat shirt and white gloves against the early morning chill, invited four chums to join him for a jog yesterday.
The president was accompanied on the nearly three-mile run around Green Lake by Judge Bob Alsdorf, a Yale Law School classmate, and his wife, Sarah Alsdorf; Kate Pflaumer, Clinton’s nominee as U.S. attorney for the western district of Washington; and Bob Randolph, Clinton’s Rhodes scholar classmate at Oxford.
But it was another runner who apparently added a political dimension to the run. Clinton invited John Shattuck, assistant secretary of state for human rights, to join the run as the administration braced for criticism over its decision to sell an $8 million supercomputer to China.
Shattuck has vowed that the United States will continue pressing China to respect the rights of political dissidents even as the administration allows the U.S. commercial relationship with China to expand.
Clinton often uses his selection of running partners to send political signals. During the heated controversy over his plan to permit gays to serve openly in the armed forces, for example, Clinton invited Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., to join him in a widely photographed run through the nation’s capital. Kerrey, a former Navy SEAL, won the Medal of Honor and lost part of his leg in fighting in Vietnam.
The group also included Coast Guard Rear Adm. John Lockwood, commander of the 13th Coast Guard District, and Coast Guard Capt. Terry Sinclair, chief of operations for the district. White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers and White House trip director Wendy Smith also ran with Clinton.
Alsdorf said he joined the president for the run in order to “say hi to an old friend.”
Randolph, who worked in Clinton’s political campaign, said the president was “10 feet tall in Washington” because of his congressional victory for NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“He’s extremely popular,” Randolph said. Randolph has sought consideration for several posts within the administration.
Clinton later took note of his run with his friends in his speech to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation host committee at the Four Seasons Olympic Hotel.
“This morning, I ran with some of my friends from Seattle and we were talking about the irony that some of us felt being so excited about this meeting and all of its promise and prosperity,” Clinton said.
“And one of my friends who is a judge here was going to court to deal with candidates for parole and talking to me about all the young children who are in trouble even in this, one of our most vibrant cities. In times like this, it is easy to just turn away.”
After his run, a passerby, addressing Clinton as “President Bill,” asked Clinton his time around Green Lake. “22:40,” Clinton said without hesitation.
The Secret Service, which had agents running with the president, appeared anxious at several points along the unguarded route. Other joggers and bicyclists used the path without interruption as the president ran. Agents firmly ordered a number of curious onlookers to back away from the president as he walked to cool down.
“Hand out of your pocket,” one agent told a startled onlooker.
Clinton concluded his jog by stretching against a telephone pole and then shaking hands and signing autographs for a group of two dozen residents who gathered near his armored limousine.
“We chatted about old times,” Randolph said.