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Kids at Egg Roll Find 'Prethident' Not Hard-Boiled

April 13, 1993|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Thousands of children and their anxious parents waited for hours Monday to crowd onto the White House South Lawn for the annual Easter egg roll and hunt, a tradition that dates to 1809. By midmorning, despite the threat of rain, the line stretched almost completely around the White House grounds.

Across the street on the Ellipse, the Marine Band, Thomas the Tank Engine and folk group Peter, Paul and Mary, among others, entertained.

On the White House grounds, President Clinton started the first egg roll by blowing a whistle.

But the highlight was the hour Clinton and his wife, Hillary, spent shaking hundreds of hands campaign-style along barricades at the White House.

"It's great fun," Clinton said.

Gillian Saunders, 2, of Reston, Va., lunged from her father's shoulders over the bobbing heads in front of her. "Mr. Quinton! Mr. Quinton!"

Clinton grabbed her tiny fingers with one hand. Gillian squealed.

Who was that man?

"The prethident," she answered.

"Hillary just called me sweetie ," wide-eyed Ariella Menegon, 8, stammered. "I held her hand, and she said, 'Goodby, sweetie.' "

Who's Hillary?

"The wife's President," said the girl from Dayton, Ohio. "I mean the President's wife."

"My birthday is today!" 10-year-old Arthur Gerald shouted.

"Hey, happy birthday!" the President said, grabbing Arthur's hand.

All smiles, Arthur breathlessly told his mother about the handshake. "Look," he said, sniffing his fingers. "His hand smells."

Like what?

"Kids."

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