An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





Power is poison. It's effect on Presidents had always been tragic.


Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918, American historian)


Under a Presidential government, a nation has, except at the electing moment, no influence; it has not the ballot-box before it; its virtue is gone, and it must wait till its instant of despotism again returns.


Walter Bagehot (1826-1977, British economist, critic)


You don't need to know who's playing on the White House tennis court to be a good president. A president has many roles.


James Baker (1930, American Secretary of State)


Wilson adventured for the whole of the human race. Not as a servant, but as a champion. So pure was this motive, so unfrocked with anything that his worst enemies could find, except the mildest and most excusable, a personal vanity, practically the minimum to be human, that in a sense his adventure is that of humanity itself. In Wilson, the whole of mankind breaks camp, sets out from home and wrestles with the universe and its gods.


William Bolitho (1890-1930, British author)


If presidents don't do it to their wives, they do it to the country.


Mel Brooks (1926-, American actor, director)


Meeting Franklin Roosevelt was like opening your first bottle of champagne; knowing him was like drinking it.


Winston Churchill (1874-1965, British statesman, Prime Minister)


I'd rather be right than President.


Henry Clay (1777-1852, American statesman, orator)


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. The people are well cured by then of election fever, during which they think they are choosing Moses. In the third year, they look on the man as a sinner and a bumble and begin to poke around for rumors of another Messiah.


Alistair Cooke (1908-2004, British broadcaster, journalist)


When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I'm beginning to believe it.


Clarence Darrow (1857-1938, American lawyer)


When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I'm beginning to believe it.


Clarence Darrow (1857-1938, American lawyer)


But even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked.


Bob Dylan (1941-, American musician, singer, songwriter)


I feel very proud, even though they didn't elect me, to be President of the Argentines.


General Leopoldo Galtieri


I don't have any problem with a reporter or a news person who says the President is uninformed on this issue or that issue. I don't think any of us would challenge that. I do have a problem with the singular focus on this, as if that's the only standard by which we ought to judge a president. What we learned in the last administration was how little having an encyclopedic grasp of all the facts has to do with governing.


David R. Gergen


If you want to see your plays performed the way you wrote them, become President.


Vaclav Havel (1936-, Czech playwright, president)


The President is the people's lobbyist.


Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-1978, American Vice President)


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


Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826, American President (3rd))


I'm the only president you've got.


Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973, American President (36th))


Jerry Ford is so dumb he can't fart and chew gum at the same time.


Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973, American President (36th))


Frankly, I don't mind not being president. I just mind that someone else is.


Edward Kennedy


We want a president who is as much like an American tourist as possible. Someone with the same goofy grin, the same innocent intentions, the same naive trust; a president with no conception of foreign policy and no discernible connection to the U.S. government, whose Nice Guyism will narrow the gap between the U.S. and us until nobody can tell the difference.


Florence E. King (1936-, American author, critic)


A President is best judged by the enemies he makes when he has really hit his stride.


Max Lerner (1902-1992, American author, columnist)


The power confided in me will be used to hold, occupy and possess the property and places belonging to the government, and to collect the duties and imposts.


Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865, American President (16th))


When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.


Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994, American President (37th))


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 character.


P. J. O'Rourke (1947-, American journalist)


A president, however, must stand somewhat apart, as all great presidents have known instinctively. Then the language which has the power to survive its own utterance is the most likely to move those to whom it is immediately spoken.


J. R. Pole


We're an ideal political family, as accessible as Disneyland.


Maureen Reagan


But there are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret.


Ronald Reagan (1911-2004, American President (40th))


Being a President is like riding a tiger. A man has to keep on riding or he is swallowed.


Harry S. Truman (1884-1972, American President (33rd))


All Coolidge had to do in 1924 was to keep his mean trap shut, to be elected. All Harding had to do in 1920 was repeat "Avoid foreign entanglements." All Hoover had to do in 1928 was to endorse Coolidge. All Roosevelt had to do in 1932 was to point to Hoover.


Robert E. Sherwood


In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take.


Adlai E. Stevenson (1900-1965, American lawyer, politician)


From now on, I think it is safe to predict, neither the Democratic nor the Republican Party will ever nominate for President a candidate without good looks, stage presence, theatrical delivery, and a sense of timing.


James Thurber (1894-1961, American humorist, illustrator)


Some of the Presidents were great and some of them weren't. I can say that, because I wasn't one of the great Presidents, but I had a good time trying to be one, I can tell you that.


Harry S. Truman (1884-1972, American President (33rd))


The president is the representative of the whole nation and he's the only lobbyist that all the one hundred and sixty million people in the country have.


Harry S. Truman (1884-1972, American President (33rd))


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, American President (33rd))


To be President of the United States, sir, is to act as advocate for a blind, venomous, and ungrateful client; still, one must make the best of the case, for the purposes of Providence.


John Updike (1932-, American novelist, critic)


In America, the President reigns for four years, and journalism governs for ever and ever.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


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