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Gizmotude Quotation Archives


White House Words

Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower

Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. ~~ Thomas Jefferson

Be fit for more than the thing you are now doing. Let everyone know that you have a reserve in yourself; that you have more than you are now using. If you are not too large for the place you occupy, you are too small for it. ~~ James Abram Garfield


Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new after all. ~~ Abraham Lincoln

Five dollars invested in population control is worth one hundred dollars invested in economic growth. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


I sit here all day trying to persuade people to do the things they ought to have sense enough to do without my persuading them. That's all the powers of the President amount to. ~~ Harry S Truman (see Said Who?)


I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered … deeply … finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people. ~~ George Washington


I know not how better to describe our form of government in a single phrase than by calling it a government by the chairmen of the Standing Committees of Congress. ~~ Woodrow Wilson


I have been told I was on the road to hell, but I had no idea it was just a mile down the road with a Dome on it. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams. ~~ James Earl Carter


Remember always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from migrants and revolutionists. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: "And this, too, shall pass away." ~~ Abraham Lincoln

If you fear making anyone mad, then you ultimately probe for the lowest common denominator of human achievement. ~~ James Earl Carter


I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality. ~~ George Washington


Whenever you are to do a thing, thought it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you, and act accordingly. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


I'd rather give my life than be afraid to give it. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


If there ever could be a proper time for mere catch arguments, that time surely is not now. In times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and in eternity. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


To state the facts frankly is not to despair the future nor indict the past. The prudent heir takes careful inventory of his legacies and gives a faithful accounting to those whom he owes an obligation of trust. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


The current tax code is a daily mugging. ~~ Ronald Wilson Reagan


Any man who has had the job I've had and didn't have a sense of humor wouldn't still be here. ~~ Harry S Truman


Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence … too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


As mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. ~~ George Washington


If I am to speak for ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now. ~~ Woodrow Wilson


No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency. ~~ Theodore Roosevelt


I've often wondered how some people in positions of this kind … manage without having had any acting experience. ~~ Ronald Wilson Reagan


When a great many people are unable to find work, unemployment results. ~~ Calvin Coolidge


A good many things go around in the dark besides Santa Claus. ~~ Herbert Clark Hoover


A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad. ~~ Theodore Roosevelt


Most of the problems a President has to face have their roots in the past. ~~ Harry S Truman


Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


Do not needlessly endanger your lives until I give you the signal. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


I look forward to an America which will not be afraid of grace and beauty. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other. ~~ Ronald Wilson Reagan


Only a peace between equals can last. ~~ Woodrow Wilson


He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I ever met. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


Promote then as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened. ~~ George Washington


If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


Candor is not a more conspicuous trait in the character of governments than it is in individuals. ~~ George Washington


These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


I have no ambition to govern men. It is a painful and thankless office. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


Any President that lies to the American people should resign. ~~ William Jefferson Clinton


We cannot negotiate with those who say, "What's mine is mine, what's yours is negotiable." ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside me. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


[On building the Great Pyramid in twenty years:] I'm surprised that a government organization could do it that quickly. ~~ James Earl Carter


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours. ~~ Harry S Truman


The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


Morale is the greatest single factor in successful wars. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


If you cannot convince them, confuse them. ~~ Harry S Truman


I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States, and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli! ~~ George Herbert Walker Bush


[On his aging body:] I have lived in this old and frail tenement a great many years; it is very much dilapidated; and, from all that I can learn, my landlord doesn't intend to repair it. ~~ John Adams


When I decided to go into politics I weighed the cost: I would get criticism. But I went ahead. So when the virulent criticism came I wasn't surprised. I was better able to handle it. ~~ Herbert Clark Hoover


The greatest gift a parent can give a child is unconditional love. As a child wanders and strays, finding his bearings, he needs a sense of absolute love from a parent. There's nothing wrong with tough love, as long as the love is unconditional. ~~ George Herbert Walker Bush


Avoid popularity if you would have peace. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


If you want total security, go to prison. There you are fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking … is freedom. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


You can fool some of the people all the time and all the people some of the time; but you can't fool all the people all the time. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


We're enjoying sluggish times -- and not enjoying them very much. ~~ George Herbert Walker Bush


I am not bound to win, but
I am bound to be true.
I am not bound to succeed, but
I am bound to live up to what light I have. ~~ Abraham Lincoln

Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshipped. ~~ Calvin Coolidge


I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


If we've learned anything in the past quarter century, it is that we cannot federalize virtue. ~~ George Herbert Walker Bush


There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time. ~~ Calvin Coolidge


I have endured a great deal of ridicule without much malice, and have received a great deal of kindness, not quite free from ridicule. I am used to it. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


It does no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


The supreme reality of our time is … the vulnerability of this planet. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


[On General Douglas MacArthur:] I didn't fire him because he was a dumb son-of-a-bitch, although he was, but that's not against he law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail. ~~ Harry S Truman


For seven and a half years I've worked alongside President Reagan. We've had triumphs. Made some mistakes. We've had some sex … uh … setbacks. ~~ George Herbert Walker Bush


If you don't say anything you won't be called on to repeat it. ~~ Calvin Coolidge


Politics isn't such a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards. If you disgrace yourself, you can write a book. ~~ Ronald Wilson Reagan


When you appeal to force, there's one thing you must never do -- lose. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


Liberty, according to my metaphysics, is an intellectual quality; an attribute that belongs not to fate nor chance. ~~ John Adams


Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


Everything changes but change itself. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


I'm not going to discuss what I'm going to bring up … Even if I don't discuss it, I'm not going to discuss it. ~~ George Herbert Walker Bush


In politics I am growing indifferent -- I would like it, if I could now return to my planting and books at home. ~~ Ulysses Simpson Grant


[To his overly cautious major general:] My dear McClellan: If you don't want to use the Army I should like to borrow it for a while. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


You do not reform a world by ignoring it. ~~ George Herbert Walker Bush


An honest heart being the first blessing, a knowing head is the second. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


I am a man of limited talents from a small town. I don't seem to grasp that I am President. ~~ Warren Gamaliel Harding


It is a great advantage to a President, and a major source of safety to the country, for him to know that he is not a great man. ~~ Calvin Coolidge


Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


Let me emphasize in my last message the idea that the Constitution should be so amended as to lengthen the term of the President to six years, and so as to render him ineligible for a second term. ~~ Ulysses Simpson Grant


If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


I have news for the forces of greed and the defenders of the status quo: your time has come -- and gone. It's time for change in America. ~~ William Jefferson Clinton


There is a price which it is too great to pay for peace, and that price can be put into one word. One cannot pay the price of self-respect. ~~ Woodrow Wilson


Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


I would suggest the taxation of all property equally whether church or corporation. ~~ Ulysses Simpson Grant


When we got into office, the thing that surprised me the most was that things were as bad as we'd been saying they were. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


I think the American public wants a solemn ass as president. And I think I'll go along with them. ~~ Calvin Coolidge


If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one? ~~ Abraham Lincoln


As you get older, you get tired of doing the same things over and over again, so you think Christmas has changed. It hasn't. It's you who have changed. ~~ Harry S Truman


The thought of being President frightens me and I do not think I want the job. ~~ Ronald Wilson Reagan


The melancholy thing in our public life is the insane desire to get higher. ~~ Ulysses Simpson Grant


All free governments are managed by the combined wisdom and folly of the people. ~~ James Abram Garfield


The Constitution of the United States is not a mere lawyers' document; it is a vehicle of life, and its spirit is always the spirit of the age. ~~ Woodrow Wilson


I would not like to be a political leader in Russia. They never know when they're being taped. ~~ Richard Milhous Nixon


The hole and the patch should be commensurate. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


I can think of nothing more boring for the American people than to have to sit in their living rooms for a whole half hour looking at my face on their television screens. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


The fiery trials through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the last generation. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and unbeatable determination to do the job at hand. ~~ Harry S Truman


[The President is:] the last person in the world to know what the people really want and think. ~~ James Abram Garfield


Things have never been more like the way they are today in history. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


Social equality is not a subject to be legislated upon. ~~ Ulysses Simpson Grant


Most men are not scolded out of their opinion. ~~ Martin Van Buren


While all other sciences advanced, that of government is at a standstill -- little better understood, little better practiced now than three or four thousand years ago. ~~ John Adams


We are under-exercised as a nation. We look instead of play. We ride instead of walk. Our existence deprives us of the minimum of physical activity essential for healthy living. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


To furnish the means of acquiring knowledge is … the greatest benefit that can be conferred upon mankind. It prolongs life itself and enlarges the sphere of existence. ~~ John Quincy Adams


While you're saving your face you're losing your ass. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


The Constitution was not make to fit us like a straitjacket. In its elasticity lies its chief greatness. ~~ Woodrow Wilson


We must never despair; our situation has been compromising before, and it has changed for the better; so I trust it will again. If difficulties arise, we must put forth new exertion and proportion our efforts to the exigencies of the times. ~~ George Washington


What is the use of being elected or reelected, unless you stand for something? ~~ Grover Cleveland


If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we must live through all time, or die by suicide. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


You know that being an American is more than a matter of where your parents came from. It is a belief that all men are created free and equal and that everyone deserves an even break. ~~ Harry S Truman


The manner in which women are treated is a good criterion to judge the true state of society. ~~ Benjamin Harrison


If it is [God's] will that I must die at the hand of an assassin, I must be resigned. I must do my duty as I see it, and leave the rest with God. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


History, in general, only informs us what bad government is. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


I sincerely wish war was a pleasanter and easier business than it is, but it does not admit of holidays. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


Those who trust to chance must abide by the results of chance. ~~ Calvin Coolidge


I would rather have a lucky general than a smart general … They win battles, and they make me lucky. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


All the extraordinary men I have ever known were chiefly extraordinary in their own estimation. ~~ Woodrow Wilson


Important principles may and must be inflexible. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


A reactionary is a somnambulist walking backward. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


There is nothing more corrupting, nothing more destructive of the noblest and finest feelings of our nature, than the exercise of unlimited power. ~~ William Henry Harrison


There is more selfishness and less principle among members of Congress … than I had any conception of, before I became President. ~~ James Knox Polk


Conservatism is the policy of "make no change and consult your grandmother when in doubt." ~~ Woodrow Wilson


From Caesar to Cromwell, and from Cromwell to Napolean … history presents the same solemn warning -- beware of elevating to the highest civil trust the commander of our victorious armies. ~~ James Buchanan


"Worry" is a word that I don't allow myself to use. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you. ~~ Calvin Coolidge


Have you not learned that not stocks or bonds or stately homes or products of mill or field are our country? It is the splendid thought that is in our minds. ~~ Benjamin Harrison


No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


Presidents quickly realize that while a single act might destroy the world they live in, no one single decision can make life suddenly better or can turn history around for good. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


To please everybody is impossible; were I to undertake it, I should probably please nobody. ~~ George Washington


If you want to make enemies, try to change something. ~~ Woodrow Wilson


There are three things which are real: God, human folly, and laughter. The first two are beyond our comprehension. So we must do what we can with the third. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


There is in the clergy of all the Christian denominations a time-serving, cringing, subservient morality, as wide from the spirit of the Gospel as it is from the intrepid assertion and vindication of truth. ~~ John Quincy Adams


I do the very best I know how -- the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


It is better to bear the ills we have than to fly to others we know not of. ~~ James Buchanan


America is a great, unwieldy body. Its progress must be slow. It is like a large fleet sailing under convoy. The fleetest sailors must wait for the dullest and slowest. ~~ John Adams


No man will ever bring out of the Presidency the reputation which carries him into it. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me seemed insufficient for the day. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


The bulk of mankind are schoolboys through life. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


Once upon a time my political opponents honored me as possessing the fabulous intellectual and economic power by which I created a worldwide depression all by myself. ~~ Herbert Clark Hoover


Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel in order to be tough. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


Every man who takes office in Washington either grows or swells, and when I give a man an office, I watch him carefully to see whether he is swelling or growing. ~~ Woodrow Wilson


Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt. ~~ Herbert Clark Hoover


I know when things don't go well they like to blame the Presidents, and that is one of the things which Presidents are paid for … ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


We Americans have no commission from God to police the world. ~~ Benjamin Harrison


We need Hawaii just as much and a good deal more than we did California. It is Manifest Destiny. ~~ William McKinley


There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. ~~ Theodore Roosevelt


Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


Preparation for war is a constant stimulus to suspicion and ill will. ~~ James Madison


But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American War? The revolution was effected before the war commenced. The revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people. ~~ John Adams


Guard against the postures of pretended patriotism. ~~ George Washington


Whatever you are, be a good one. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


Never buy what you do not want, because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


The possibility that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


Ambition is the subtlest beast of the intellectual and moral field. It is wonderfully adroit in concealing itself from its owner. ~~ John Adams


Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. ~~ Theodore Roosevelt


Restraint, restraint … the Federal Government is nothing but a system of restraints from beginning to end. ~~ James Buchanan


Don't join the book burners. Don't think you're going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don't be afraid to go in your library and read every book. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just. ~~Thomas Jefferson


Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


I wish that all Americans would realize that American politics is world politics. ~~ Theodore Roosevelt


When you have got an elephant by the hind leg and he is trying to run away, it's best to let him run. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


Is uniformity obtainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an inch toward uniformity. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


All power in human hands is liable to be abused. ~~ James Madison


I'll be damned if I am not getting tired of this. It seems to be the profession of a President simply to hear other people talk. ~~ William Howard Taft


Once lead this people into war and they will forget there ever was such a thing as tolerance. ~~ Woodrow Wilson


I never give them [the public] hell. I just tell the truth, and they think it is hell. ~~ Harry S Truman


When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


There are the foolish fanatics always to be found in such a movement and always discrediting it -- the men who form the lunatic fringe in all reform movements. ~~ Theodore Roosevelt


When the hour comes for dealing with slavery, I trust I will be willing to do my duty though it cost my life. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. ~~ Ronald Wilson Reagan


If the government is big enough to give you everything you want, it is big enough to take away everything you have. ~~ Gerald Rudolph Ford


ew men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder. ~~ George Washington


Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called Conscience. ~~ George Washington


Never trouble another for what you can do for yourself. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


When we assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen. ~~ George Washington


Most [tax revisions] didn't improve the system, they made it more like Washington itself: complicated, unfair, cluttered with gobbledy-gook and loopholes designed for those with the power and influence to hire high-priced legal and tax advisors. ~~ Ronald Wilson Reagan


No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor. ~~ Theodore Roosevelt


When asked how he would choose to die:] You never know what's hit you. A gunshot is the perfect way. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


A muttonhead, after an education at West Point -- or Harvard -- is a muttonhead still. ~~ Theodore Roosevelt


Politics when I am in it, makes me sick. ~~ William Howard Taft


What is right and what is practicable are two different things. ~~ James Buchanan


Being president is like being a jackass in a hailstorm. There's nothing to do but stand there and take it. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


[Reply to Santa Anna's demand for surrender:] Tell him to go to hell. ~~ Zachary Taylor


Men moving only in an official circle are apt to become merely official -- not to say arbitrary -- in their ideas, and are apter and apter with each passing day to forget that they only hold power in a representative capacity. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


We live in a stage of politics, where legislators seem to regard passage of laws as much more important than the results of their enforcement. ~~ William Howard Taft


The great problem of legislation is, so to organize the civil government of a community … that in the operation of human institutions upon social action, self-love and social may be made the same. ~~ John Quincy Adams


The Lord prefers common-looking people. That is the reason he made so many of them. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


Every time an artist dies, part of the vision of mankind passes with him. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


One man with courage is a majority. ~~ Thomas Jefferson

We must especially be aware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American eagle in order to feather their own nests. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt

If the second and third generations could profit by the experience of the first generation, we would not be having some of the troubles we have today. ~~ Harry S Truman


Progress of the nation is the sum of progress of its individuals. ~~ Herbert Clark Hoover


A government can be no better than the public opinion that sustains it. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


This is America … a brilliant diversity spread like stars. Like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky. ~~ George Herbert Walker Bush


We are a nation that has a government -- not the other way around. And that makes us special among the nations of the earth. ~~ Ronald Wilson Reagan


[On the Reverend Jerry Falwell:] In a very Christian way, as far as I'm concerned, he can go to hell. ~~ James Earl Carter


It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


A president's hardest task is not to do what is right but to know what is right. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


Each generation of Americans must define what it means to be an American. ~~ William Jefferson Clinton


The taxpayer -- that's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take a civil service exam. ~~ Ronald Wilson Reagan


[On Richard Nixon:] I personally think that he did violate the law, that he committed impeachable offenses. But I don't think that he thinks he did. ~~ James Earl Carter


[On speechmaking:] Be sincere; be brief; be seated. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


I guess it just proves that in America anyone can be President. ~~ Gerald Rudolph Ford


Men often mistake notoriety for fame, and would rather be remarked for their vices and follies than not be noticed at all. ~~ Harry S Truman


You do not lead by hitting people over the head. That's assault, not leadership. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


It is time to break the bad habit of expecting something for nothing, from our government or from each other. Let us all take more responsibility, not only for ourselves and our families but for our communities and our country. ~~ William Jefferson Clinton


The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. ~~ Thomas Jefferson (see Said Who?)

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


I just knew in my heart that it was not right for Dick Nixon to ever be President of this country. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement. ~~ Calvin Coolidge


Excellence does not begin in Washington. ~~ Ronald Wilson Reagan


I am often troubled as I try hard here to create a new sense of common purpose ... that sometimes we forget that we are all in this because we are seeking a good that helps all Americans. ~~ William Jefferson Clinton


Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionaries and rebels -- men and women who dared to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


One thing is sure. We have to do something. We have to do the best we know how at the moment. If it doesn't turn out right, we can modify it as we go along. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


True liberalism is found not in striving to spread bureaucracy but in striving to set bounds to it. ~~ Herbert Clark Hoover


I didn't run to have a pleasant time. I ran to have the chance to change the country, and if the bad days come with it -- that's a part of life, and it's humbling and educational. It keeps you in your place. ~~ William Jefferson Clinton


Sharp lawyers are running wild. Doctors are afraid to practice medicine. And some moms and pops won't even coach Little League any more. We must sue each other less -- and care for each other more. ~~ George Herbert Walker Bush


[Prompted by laryngitis:] My doctor ordered me to shut up, which will make every American happy. ~~ William Jefferson Clinton


A nation which has forgotten the quality of courage which in the past has been brought to public life is not as likely to insist upon or regard that quality in its chosen leaders today--and in fact we have forgotten. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


The man who fears no truths has nothing to fear from lies. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


The women of America represent a reservoir of talent that is still underused. It is too often underpaid, and almost always under-promoted. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


Trees cause more pollution than automobiles. ~~ Ronald Wilson Reagan


One of the enduring traits of the nation's capital is that bureaucrats SURVIVE. ~~ Gerald Rudolph Ford


[On Dan Quayle's intention to be a "pit bull" in helping the Republicans retain the White House:] That's got every fire hydrant in America worried. ~~ William Jefferson Clinton


Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in. ~~ Andrew Jackson


We ought not to look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from our past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dear bought experience. ~~ George Washington


I don't suppose there's any public figure that's ever been subject to any more violent personal attacks than I have. ~~ William Jefferson Clinton


The selfishness of the members of Congress is incredible … They are just about driving me nuts. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life. ~~ Theodore Roosevelt


My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy! ~~ Thomas Jefferson


Whatever starts in California unfortunately has an inclination to spread. ~~ James Earl Carter


To write off the United Nations' achievements in keeping the peace because of its inability to be effective in Czechoslovakia or Vietnam would be like writing off medical science because it has not yet found a cure for cancer. ~~ George Herbert Walker Bush


I have no expectation of making a hit every time I come to bat. What I seek is the highest possible batting average. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


The worst evil of disregard for some law is that it destroys respect for all law. ~~ Herbert Clark Hoover


I don't know who my grandfather was. I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens can not cure. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


My fellow citizens of the world: Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


[To the press:] Of course, I may go into a strange bedroom every now and then that I don't want you to write about, but otherwise you can write everything. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of continuing to be a nation at all would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities. ~~ Theodore Roosevelt


Were it not for my little jokes, I could not bear the burdens of this office. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


I suppose if you had to choose just one quality to have that would be it: vitality. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


The notion of political correctness … declares certain topics … certain expressions … even certain gestures off-limits. What began as a crusade for civility has soured into a cause of conflict and even censorship. ~~ George Herbert Walker Bush


This was not a vote about the right of the president to choose a surgeon general. This was really a vote about every American woman's right to choose [whether or not to terminate her pregnancy]. ~~ William Jefferson Clinton


Weakness cannot cooperate with anything. Only strength can cooperate. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


I have opinions of my own -- strong opinions -- but I don't always agree with them. ~~ George Herbert Walker Bush


When you get to be President, there are all those things, the honors, the 21-gun salutes, all those things. You have to remember it isn't for you. It's for the Presidency. ~~ Harry S Truman


There can be no fifty-fifty Americanism in this country. There is room here for only hundred-percent Americanism. ~~ Theodore Roosevelt


It is a curious fact that when we get sick we want an uncommon doctor... When we get into a war, we dreadfully want an uncommon admiral and an uncommon general. Only when we get into politics are we content with the common man. ~~ Herbert Hoover


Associate with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company. ~~ George Washington


Are you laboring under the impression that I read these memoranda of yours? I can't even lift them. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


Any time we deny any citizen the full exercise of his Constitutional rights, we are weakening our own claim to them. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


When there is a lack of honor in government, the morals of the whole people are poisoned. ~~ Herbert Clark Hoover


Those who want the Government to regulate matters of the mind and spirit are like men who are so afraid of being murdered that they commit suicide to avoid assassination. ~~ Harry S Truman


Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it. ~~ Woodrow Wilson


The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


We must reject the idea that every time a law is broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions. ~~ Ronald Wilson Reagan


I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. ~~ James Madison


Certainly in the next 50 years we shall see a woman president, perhaps sooner than you think. A woman can and should be able to do any political job that a man can do. ~~ Richard Milhous Nixon


With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle. We as a people have such a purpose today. It is to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world. ~~ George Herbert Walker Bush


There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty. ~~ John Adams


Only Americans can hurt America. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


A hypocrite is like the man who murdered both his parents and then pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


[On civil disobedience:] Evil acts of the past are never rectified by evil acts of the present. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man, … No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


If you think too much about being reelected, it is very difficult to be worth reelecting. ~~ Woodrow Wilson


The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


A compassionate government keeps faith with the trust of the people and cherishes the future of their children. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


Many years ago I concluded that a few hair shirts were part of the mental wardrobe of every man. The President differs only from other men in that he has a more extensive wardrobe. ~~ Herbert Clark Hoover


A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not yet become an American. ~~ Woodrow Wilson


If somebody throws a brick at me, I can catch it and throw it back. But when somebody awards a decoration to me, I am out of words. ~~ Harry S Truman


When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal. ~~ Richard Milhous Nixon


Human action can be modified to some extent, but human nature cannot be changed. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


There is no American right to loot stores, or to burn buildings, or to fire rifles from the rooftops. That is crime -- and crime must be dealt with forcefully and swiftly, and certainly -- under the law. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


I have always stated that the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on the earth is a government program. ~~ Ronald Wilson Reagan


You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should not grow old. ~~ James Abram Garfield


We are of course a nation of differences. Those differences don't make us weak. They're the source of our strength … The question is not when we came here … but why our families came here. And what we did after we arrived. ~~ James Earl Carter


We do not need to burn down the house to kill the rats. ~~ Herbert Clark Hoover


Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


Now the trumpet summons us again -- not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are; but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation," a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


What in the name of conscience will it take to pass a truly effective gun-control law? Now is this new hour of tragedy, let us spell out our grief in constructive action. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


I don't think the intelligence reports are all that hot. Some days I get more out of The New York Times. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


While the people retain their virtue and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government in the short space of four years. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


There is but one way for a president to deal with the Congress, and that is continuously, incessantly, and without interruption. If it's really going to work, the relationship between the president and the Congress has got to be almost incestuous. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


We must throw open the doors of opportunity. But we must also equip our people to walk through those doors. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away. ~~ Ronald Wilson Reagan


My experience in government is that when things are non-controversial, beautifully coordinated, and all the rest, it must be that there is not much going on. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


Nothing is easier than the expenditure of public money. It doesn't appear to belong to anyone. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody. ~~ Calvin Coolidge


It is a paradox that every dictator has climbed to power on the ladder of free speech. Immediately on attaining power each dictator has suppressed all free speech except his own. ~~ Herbert Clark Hoover


Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and, under a just God, cannot long retain it. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy. A man does what he must -- in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures -- and that is the basis of all morality. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


Voters quickly forget what a man says. ~~ Richard Milhous Nixon


When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


The Great Society is a place … where men are more concerned with the quality of their goals than the quantity of their goods. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


He has a right to criticize who has a heart to help. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


Never worry about anything that is past. Charge it up to experience and forget the trouble. There are always plenty of troubles ahead, so don't turn and look back on any behind you. ~~ Herbert Clark Hoover


We live in the midst of alarms; anxiety beclouds the future; we expect some new disaster with each newspaper we read. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


It isn't important who is ahead at one time or another in either an election or a horse race. It's the horse that comes in first at the finish that counts. ~~ Harry S Truman


[On Congress:] What can you expect from that zoo? ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


Few politicians die, and none resign. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one. ~~ George Washington


The truths which are not translated into lives are dead truths, and not living truths. ~~ Woodrow Wilson


We … would rather die on our feet than live on our knees. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


But the great danger of communism does not lie in its false promises. It lies in the fact that it is an instrument of an armed imperialism which seeks to extend its influence by force. ~~ Harry S Truman


[On his hesitation to discuss America's military progress in Vietnam:] If you have a mother-in-law with only one eye and she has it in the center of her forehead, you don't keep her in the living room. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


Exitus acta probat. [The result justifies the deed.] ~~ Motto of George Washington


Most men are not scolded out of their opinion. ~~ Martin Van Buren


While all other sciences advanced, that of government is at a standstill -- little better understood, little better practiced now than three or four thousand years ago. ~~ John Adams


A man who will defraud another who confides in him is surely a greater villain than one who robs boldly at the risk of his life. ~~ George Washington


Show me a man who makes no mistakes and I will show you a man who doesn't do things. ~~ Theodore Roosevelt


Today, if you build a better mousetrap, the government comes along with a better mouse. ~~ Ronald Wilson Reagan


If you tell Congress everything about the world situation, they get hysterical. If you tell them nothing, they go fishing. ~~ Harry S Truman


Concentration of wealth and power has been built upon other people's money, other people's business, other people's labor. Under this concentration, independent business … has been a menace to … American society. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


The game of life is to come up a winner, to be a success, or to achieve what we set out to do. Yet there is always the danger of failing as a human being. ~~ Richard Milhous Nixon


Money, we know, will fetch anything and command the service of any man. ~~ George Washington


Don't make the perfect the enemy of the good. ~~ William Jefferson Clinton


To conclude that women are unfitted to the task of our historic society seems to me the equivalent of closing male eyes to female facts. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


Three things ruin a man: power, money, and women. I never wanted power. I never had any money, and the only woman in my life is up at the house right now. ~~ Harry S Truman


Private enterprise is ceasing to be free enterprise. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


Governments tend not to solve problems, only rearrange them. ~~ Ronald Wilson Reagan


In the whole animal kingdom I recollect no family but man, steadily and systematically employed in the destruction of itself. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


Differences in political opinion are as unavoidable as, to a certain point, they may perhaps be necessary. ~~ George Washington


I consider it a public duty to answer falsifications with facts. I will not pretend that I find this an unpleasant duty. I am an old campaigner, and I love a good fight. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


Being too good is apt to be uninteresting. ~~ Harry S Truman


It is the common failing of totalitarian regimes that they cannot really understand the nature of our democracy. They mistake dissent for disloyalty … They mistake a few committees for a country. They misjudge individual speeches for public policy. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


Success is not a harbor but a voyage with its own perils to the spirit … The lesson that most of us on this voyage never learn, but can never quite forget, is that to win is sometimes to lose. ~~ Richard Milhous Nixon


It is hot and humid and lonely. Why in hell does anybody want to be a head of state? Damned if I know. ~~ Harry S Truman


These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks upon me, or on my wife, or on my sons -- no, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Unlike the members of my family, he resents this. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


I just don't understand those young people. Don't they realize I'm really one of them? I always hated cops when I was a kid, and just like them I dropped out of school and took off for California. I'm not some conformist middle-class personality. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


Going through the necessary soul searching of deciding whether to fight a battle, or to run away from it, is far more difficult than the battle itself. ~~ Richard Milhous Nixon


When even one American -- who has done nothing wrong -- is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth -- then all Americans are in peril. ~~ Harry S Truman


The ablest man I ever met is the man you think you are. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


Always remember others may hate you but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself. ~~ Richard Milhous Nixon


If there is one basic element in our Constitution, it is civilian control of the military. ~~ Harry S Truman


Slanders, lies, character assassination -- these things are a threat to every single citizen in this country. ~~ Harry S Truman


No man can tame a tiger by stroking it. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


The Marine Corps … today have a propaganda machine that is almost equal to Stalin's. ~~ Harry S Truman


It is time for the great silent majority of Americans to stand up and be counted. ~~ Richard Milhous Nixon


Our nation's long neglect of minorities whose skin is dark is perhaps only a little worse than our neglect of another minority whose hair is white. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


Men and nature must work hand in hand. The throwing out of balance of the resources of nature throws out of balance also the lives of men. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


… a strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, or self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


If we are strong, our character will speak for itself. If we are weak, words will be of no help. ~~ John F. Kennedy [Undelivered address, Dallas, November 22, 1963]


Democracy is a constant tension between truth and half-truth and, in the arsenal of truth, there is no greater weapon than fact. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


Wisdom consists not so much in knowing what to do in the ultimate as in knowing what to do next. ~~ Herbert Clark Hoover


The world has narrowed to a neighborhood before it has broadened to a brotherhood. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


Everybody is headed for the same place, and they are headed on the same train, and under the same engineer. ~~ Harry S Truman


Ronald Reagan doesn't dye his hair, he's just prematurely orange. ~~ Gerald Rudolph Ford


Irrational barriers and ancient prejudices fall quickly when the question of survival itself is at stake. ~~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


Study men, not historians. ~~ Harry S Truman


It's a piece of cake until you get to the top. You find you can't stop playing the game the way you have always played it. ~~ Richard Milhous Nixon


Our government sprang from and was made for the people -- not the people for the government. To them it owes an allegiance; from them it must derive its courage, strength, and wisdom. ~~ Andrew Johnson


No nation ever had an army large enough to guarantee it against attack in time of peace or ensure it victory in time of war. ~~ Calvin Coolidge


Nixon is a shifty-eyed goddamn liar, and people know it. He's one of the few in the history of this country to run for high office talking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time and lying out of both sides. ~~ Harry S Truman

Your mind must always go, even while you're shaking hands and going through all the maneuvers. I developed the ability long ago to do one thing while thinking about another. ~~ Richard Milhous Nixon


Inside the polling booth every American and woman stands as the equal of every other American man and woman. There they have no superiors. There they have no masters save their own minds and consciences. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


When the hour comes for dealing with slavery, I trust I will be willing to do my duty though it cost my life. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. ~~ Ronald Wilson Reagan


The experience of democracy is like the experience of life itself -- always changing, infinite in its variety, sometimes turbulent and all the more valuable for having been tested by adversity. ~~ James Earl Carter


They say, "Gee, you look great." That means they thought you looked like hell before. ~~ Richard Milhous Nixon


If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. ~~ Harry S Truman


Wise and prudent men -- intelligent conservatives -- have long known that in a changing world worthy institutions can be conserved only by adjusting them to the changing times. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


In this age when there can be no losers in peace and no victors in war, we must recognize the obligation to match national strength with national restraint. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


Peace, like charity, begins at home. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


People want peace so badly that governments ought to get out of their way and let them have it. ~~ Dwight David Eisenhower


War is always the same. It is young men dying in the fullness of their promise. It is trying to kill a man that you do not even know well enough to hate. Therefore, to know war is to know that there is still madness in the world. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


People ask the difference between a leader and a boss … The leader works in the open and the boss in covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives. ~~ Theodore Roosevelt


I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird, and not enough the bad luck of the early worm. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


I served with General Washington in the Legislature of Virginia … and … with Doctor Franklin in Congress. I never heard either of them speak 10 minutes at a time, nor to any but the main point. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


No member of our generation who wasn't a Communist or a dropout in the thirties is worth a damn. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


Once you're in the stream of history you can't get out. ~~ Richard Milhous Nixon


I am only an average man but, by George, I work harder at it than the average man. ~~ Theodore Roosevelt


Watergate was worse than a crime -- it was a blunder. ~~ Richard Milhous Nixon


If you can't convince them, confuse them. ~~ Harry S Truman


The army is a dangerous instrument to play with. ~~ George Washington


When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


I would have made a good pope. ~~ Richard Milhous Nixon


Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


There is an epitaph in Boot Hill Cemetery in Arizona which reads: "Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damnedest!" What more can a person do? Well, that's all I could do. I did my damnedest, and that's all there is to it. ~~ Harry S Truman


Eternal vigilance is the price, not only of liberty, but of a great many other things. It is the price of everything good. It is the price of one's own soul. ~~ Woodrow Wilson