Quotations about   presidency

Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.



I have accustomed myself to receive with respect the opinions of others, but always take the responsibility of deciding for myself.

Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) American politician, general, US President (1829-1837)
(Attributed)

Quoted by John F. Kennedy in the foreword to T. Sorensen, Decision-Making in the White House: The Olive Branch or the Arrows (1963)
Added on 13-Nov-18 | Last updated 13-Nov-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Jackson, Andrew

As democracy is perfected, the office [of the President] represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
“Bayard vs. Lionheart,” The Baltimore Evening Sun (26 Jul 1920)

Variant: "As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron."

Verification and discussion of this quotation here, here, and here.
Added on 3-May-17 | Last updated 3-May-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Mencken, H.L.

It is part of the price of leadership of this great and free nation to be the target of clever satirists. You have given the gift of laughter to our people. May we never grow so somber or self-important that we fail to appreciate the humor in our lives.

Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) American poltician, educator, US President (1963-69)
Letter to the Smothers Brothers (Nov 1968)

Replying to a letter from them apologizing for making him the target of so much of their humor. More info here and here.
Added on 22-Feb-17 | Last updated 22-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Johnson, Lyndon

You have heard the story, haven’t you, about the man who was tarred and feathered and carried out of town on a rail? A man in the crowd asked him how he liked it. His reply was that if it was not for the honor of the thing, he would much rather walk.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) American lawyer, politician, US President (1861-65)
(Attributed)

When asked how he liked being president (c. 1861). Quoted in Emanuel Hertz, Lincoln Talks: A Biography in Anecdote (1939).
Added on 19-Sep-16 | Last updated 19-Sep-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Lincoln, Abraham

The second office of this government is honorable & easy, the first is but a splendid misery.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to Elbridge Gerry (13 May 1797)
Added on 15-Aug-16 | Last updated 15-Aug-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Jefferson, Thomas

All presidents start out to run a crusade, but after a couple of years they find they are running something less heroic and much more intractable: namely, the presidency.

Cooke - presidents start out to run a crusade - wist_info quote

Alistair Cooke (1908-2004) Anglo-American essayist and journalist
Talk About America, ch. 6 (1981)
Added on 1-Aug-16 | Last updated 1-Aug-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Cooke, Alistair

He serves his party best who serves the country best.

Hayes - serves his party best - wist_info quote

Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893) American attorney, soldier, politician, US President (1877-81)
Inaugural address (5 Mar 1877)
Added on 5-Jul-16 | Last updated 5-Jul-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Hayes, Rutherford

The Presidency is not merely an administrative office. That’s the least of it. It is more than an engineering job, efficient or inefficient. It is pre-eminently a place of moral leadership. All our great Presidents were leaders of thought at times when certain historic ideas in the life of the nation had to be clarified.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) US President (1933-1945)
In The New York Times Magazine (11 Sep 1932)
Added on 20-Jun-16 | Last updated 20-Jun-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Roosevelt, Franklin Delano

You can’t divorce religious belief and public service. I’ve never detected any conflict between God’s will and my political duty. If you violate one, you violate the other.

Jimmy Carter (b. 1924) American politician, US President (1977-1981), Nobel laureate [James Earl Carter, Jr.]
Speech, Southern Baptist Brotherhood Commission (16 Jun 1978)
Added on 14-Jun-16 | Last updated 14-Jun-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Carter, Jimmy

You convey too great a compliment when you say that I have earned the right to the presidential nomination. No man can establish such an obligation upon any part of the American people. My country owes me no debt. It gave me, as it gives every boy and girl, a chance. It gave me schooling, independence of action, opportunity for service and honor. In no other land could a boy from a country village, without inheritance or influential friends, look forward with unbounded hope. My whole life has taught me what America means. I am indebted to my country beyond any human power to repay.

Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) American engineer, bureaucrat, President of the US (1928-32)
Letter to George Moses (14 Jun 1928)

When learning of his nomination for President; Moses was the chairman of the Republican National Convention.
Added on 9-Jun-16 | Last updated 9-Jun-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Hoover, Herbert

When you get to be President, there are all those things, the honors, the twenty-one gun salutes, all those things. You have to remember it isn’t for you. It’s for the Presidency.

Harry S Truman (1884-1972) US President (1945-1953)
In Merle Miller, Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman, ch. 15 (1973)
Added on 31-May-16 | Last updated 31-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Truman, Harry S

Yes, Haven, most of us enjoy preaching, and I’ve got such a bully pulpit!

Roosevelt - bully pulpit - wist_info quote

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) US President (1901-1909)
(Attributed)

In George Haven Putnam, The Works of Theodore Roosevelt, Vol. 9, Introduction (1926). Roosevelt's reply when, during his first presidential term, Putnam accused him of tending to preach to people.
Added on 24-May-16 | Last updated 24-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Roosevelt, Theodore

For a candidate to spend millions of dollars during the primaries to win a job that pays only $100,000 a year, doesn’t bode well for the citizens’ hopes of electing a man to this high office whose knowledge of economics will balance our national budget.

Goodman Ace (1899-1982) American humorist [b. Goodman Aiskowitz]
(Attributed)
Added on 11-Mar-16 | Last updated 11-Mar-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Ace, Goodman

The intoxication of power rapidly sobers off in the knowledge of its restrictions and under the prompt reminder of an ever-present and not always considerate press, as well as the kindly suggestions that not infrequently come from Congress.

William Howard Taft (1857-1930) US President (1909-13) and Chief Justice (1921-1930)
Speech, Lotus Club (16 Nov 1912)
Added on 20-Jul-15 | Last updated 20-Jul-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Taft, William

No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) US President (1961-63)
Speech, American Newspaper Publishers Association (27 Apr 1961)
    (Source)
Added on 25-Aug-14 | Last updated 25-Aug-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Kennedy, John F.

That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it represents the kind of Presidency in which I believe — a great office that must neither be humbled by making it the instrument of any one religious group nor tarnished by arbitrarily withholding its occupancy from the members of any one religious group. I believe in a President whose religious views are his own private affair, neither imposed by him upon the nation or imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) US President (1961-63)
Speech, Greater Houston Ministerial Association (12 Sep 1960)
    (Source)
Added on 21-Jul-14 | Last updated 21-Jul-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Kennedy, John F.

I can imagine no greater disservice to the country than to establish a system of censorship that would deny to the people of a free republic like our own their indisputable right to criticize their own public officials. While exercising the great powers of the office I hold, I would regret in a crisis like the one through which we are now passing to lose the benefit of patriotic and intelligent criticism.

Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) US President (1913-20), educator, political scientist
Letter to Arthur Brisbane (25 Apr 1917)

Three weeks after the US entered WW I.

Added on 28-Jan-09 | Last updated 5-Jul-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Wilson, Woodrow

The President must be greater than anyone else, but not better than anyone else. We subject him and his family to close and constant scrutiny and denounce them for things that we ourselves do every day. A Presidential slip of the tongue, a slight error in judgment — social, political, or ethical — can raise a storm of protest. We give the President more work than a man can do, more responsibility than a man should take, more pressure than a man can bear. We abuse him often and rarely praise him. We wear him out, use him up, eat him up. And with all this, Americans have a love for the President that goes beyond loyalty or party nationality; he is ours, and we exercise the right to destroy him.

John Steinbeck (1902-1968) American writer
“America and Americans” (1966)
Added on 4-Dec-08 | Last updated 6-Jun-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Steinbeck, John

Whatever issue may come before me as President — on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject — I will make my decision in accordance with these views, in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressures or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise. But if the time should ever come — and I do not concede any conflict to be even remotely possible — when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office; and I hope any conscientious public servant would do the same.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) US President (1961-63)
Speech, Greater Houston Ministerial Association (12 Sep 1960)
    (Source)
Added on 14-Jan-08 | Last updated 21-Jul-14
Link to this post | 1 comment
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Kennedy, John F.