Bill Clinton and Al Gore picked up opposite ends of a long rod and walked down a long high school corridor, unreeling ribbons of blue, white and pink cable to be used to wire classrooms to the Internet.
The casually dressed president and vice president had the highest profile of the 20,000 volunteers who spent the day connecting classrooms in 3,000 schools across the state.
Clinton first told students gathered in an outdoor courtyard at Ygnacio Valley High School here that computers and access to the information superhighway are their keys to a successful future in the 21st century.
Then he and Gore put their words into action. The president stood on a ladder feeding cable into a ceiling crawl space hand over hand.
Clinton’s goal is to connect every American school to the Internet by 2000, mostly with private sector help and government encouragement.
But he said his own involvement with high technology came late.
“I had to get elected president and have a daughter and a (technically inclined) vice president before I could master it,” he said.
Later, 10th-grader Grant Merrill pulled Clinton’s weekly radio address off the Internet, but cut it off after only a few words.
“What? You didn’t like the speech?” Gore said, grinning at Clinton.