Quotations about   president

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Our loyalty is due entirely to the United States. It is due to the President only and exactly to the degree in which he efficiently serves the United States. It is our duty to support him when he serves the United States well. It is our duty to oppose him when he serves it badly. This is true about Mr. Wilson now and it has been true about all our Presidents in the past. It is our duty at all times to tell the truth about the President and about every one else, save in the cases where to tell the truth at the moment would benefit the public enemy.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) US President (1901-1909)
Kansas City Star (7 May 1918)

Reprinted in "Lincoln and Free Speech," The Great Adventure (1926).
Added on 22-Aug-16 | Last updated 22-Aug-16
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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
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In our brief national history, we have shot four of our presidents, worried five of them to death, impeached one and hounded another out of office. And when all else fails, we hold an election and assassinate their characters.

P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947) American humorist, editor
Parliament of Whores, “The President” (1991)
Added on 8-Aug-16 | Last updated 8-Aug-16
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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
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The United States brags about its political system, but the President says one thing during the election, something else when he takes office, something else at midterm and something else when he leaves.

Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997) Chinese revolutionary, politician, statesman [Teng Hsiao-p'ing]
Comment (1983)
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When asked by a group of American professors about China's political stability. Quoted in Philip West and Frans A. M. Alting von Geusau, The Pacific Rim and the Western World: Strategic, Economic, and Cultural Perspectives (1987).
Added on 18-Jul-16 | Last updated 18-Jul-16
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My view was that every executive officer, and above all every executive officer in high position, was a steward of the people bound actively and affirmatively to do all he could for the people, and not to content himself with the negative merit of keeping his talents undamaged in a napkin. I declined to adopt the view that what was imperatively necessary for the Nation could not be done by the President unless he could find some specific authorization to do it. My belief was that it was not only his right but his duty to do anything that the needs of the Nation demanded unless such action was forbidden by the Constitution or by the laws. Under this interpretation of executive power I did and caused to be done many things not previously done by the President and the heads of the departments. I did not usurp power, but I did greatly broaden the use of executive power. In other words, I acted for the public welfare, I acted for the common well-being of all our people, whenever and in whatever manner was necessary, unless prevented by direct constitutional or legislative prohibition.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) US President (1901-1909)
Theodore Roosevelt, An Autobiography, ch. 10 (1926)
Added on 13-Jun-16 | Last updated 13-Jun-16
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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
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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
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PRESIDENT, n. The leading figure in a small group of men of whom — and of whom only — it is positively known that immense numbers of their countrymen did not want any of them for President.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?) American writer and journalist
The Cynic’s Word Book (1906)
Added on 16-May-16 | Last updated 16-May-16
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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
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A President is best judged by the enemies he makes when he has really hit his stride.

Maxwell "Max" Lerner (1902-1992) American journalist, columnist, educator
Column, New York Star (9 Jan 1949)

Reprinted in "The Education of Harry Truman," pt. 4, The Unfinished Country (1959).
Added on 3-Mar-15 | Last updated 3-Mar-15
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Oh, if there is a man out of hell that suffers more than I do, I pity him.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) American lawyer, politician, US President (1861-65)
(Attributed) (1862)

In Emmanuel Hertz, ed., Lincoln Talks: A Biography in Anecdote, "Father Abraham" (1939); a remark following the Army of the Potomac's defeat at Fredericksburg.
Added on 2-Dec-14 | Last updated 2-Dec-14
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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)
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Added on 21-Jul-14 | Last updated 21-Jul-14
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When I ran for Presidency of the United States, I knew that this country faced serious challenges, but I could not realize — nor could any man realize who does not bear the burdens of this office — how heavy and constant would be those burdens.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) US President (1961-63)
“Radio and TV Report to the American People on the Berlin Crisis” (25 Jul 1961)
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Added on 19-Mar-12 | Last updated 2-Jan-14
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The legislative job of the President is especially important to the people who have no special representatives to plead their cause before Congress — and that includes the great majority. The President is the only lobbyist that 150 million Americans have. The other 20 million are able to employ people to represent them — and that’s all right, it’s the exercise of the right of petition — but someone has to look after the interests of the 150 million that are left.

Harry S Truman (1884-1972) US President (1945-1953)
Speech, Press and Union Club, San Francisco (25 Oct 1956)
Added on 11-Jul-11 | Last updated 20-Jun-16
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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
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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)
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Added on 14-Jan-08 | Last updated 21-Jul-14
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The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) US President (1901-1909)
Kansas City Star (7 May 1918)

Reprinted in "Lincoln and Free Speech," The Great Adventure (1926).
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 22-Aug-16
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