Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE ( (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2013. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 24 March 2019

The Presidency 

  1. My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.
    of the vice-presidency
    John Adams 1735–1826 American Federalist statesman, 2nd President 1797–1801: letter to Abigail Adams, 19 December 1793
  2. The Constitution has never greatly bothered any wartime President.
    Francis Biddle 1886–1968 American lawyer and judge: In Brief Authority (1962)
  3. The US presidency is a Tudor monarchy plus telephones.
    Anthony Burgess 1917–93 English novelist and critic: George Plimpton (ed.) Writers at Work 4th Series (1977)
  4. Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow in my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the President's spouse. I wish him well!
    Barbara Bush 1925–  American First Lady: remarks at Wellesley College Commencement, 1 June 1990
  5. I had rather be right than be President.
    to Senator Preston of South Carolina, 1839
    Henry Clay 1777–1852 American politician: attributed; S. W. McCall Life of Thomas Brackett Reed (1914) ch. 14
  6. Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it has about 18 million cracks in it.
    Hillary Rodham Clinton 1947–  American lawyer and Democratic politician: speech to her supporters, conceding the Democratic party presidential nomination to Barack Obama, 7 June 2008
  7. When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. I'm beginning to believe it.
    Clarence Darrow 1857–1938 American lawyer: Irving Stone Clarence Darrow for the Defence (1941)
  8. No easy problems ever come to the President of the United States. If they are easy to solve, somebody else has solved them.
    Dwight D. Eisenhower 1890–1969 American Republican statesman, 34th President 1953–61: in Parade Magazine 8 April 1962
  9. The vice-presidency isn't worth a pitcher of warm piss.
    John Nance Garner 1868–1967 American Democratic politician: O. C. Fisher Cactus Jack (1978) ch. 11
  10. I have learned to expect that it will rarely fall to the lot of imperfect man to retire from this station with the reputation and the favour which bring him into it.
    Thomas Jefferson 1743–1826 American Democratic Republican statesman, 3rd President 1801–9: first inaugural address, 4 March 1801
  11. As democracy is perfected, the office [of 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 adorned by a downright moron.
    H. L. Mencken 1880–1956 American journalist and literary critic: in Baltimore Evening Sun 26 July 1920
  12. There can be no whitewash at the White House.
    on Watergate
    Richard Milhous Nixon 1913–94 American Republican statesman, 37th President 1969–74: television speech, 30 April 1973
  13. When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.
    Richard Milhous Nixon 1913–94 American Republican statesman, 37th President 1969–74: David Frost I Gave Them a Sword (1978) ch. 8
  14. The one thing I do not want to be called is First Lady. It sounds like a saddle horse.
    Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis 1929–94 American wife of John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Peter Colier and David Horowitz The Kennedys (1984)
  15. If the President has a bully pulpit, then the First Lady has a white glove pulpit…more refined, restricted, ceremonial, but it's a pulpit all the same.
    Nancy Reagan 1921–2016 American actress: in New York Times 10 March 1988; see Roosevelt
  16. I have got such a bully pulpit!
    his personal view of the presidency
    Theodore Roosevelt 1858–1919 American Republican statesman, 26th President 1901–9: in Outlook (New York) 27 February 1909
  17. 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.
    Theodore Roosevelt 1858–1919 American Republican statesman, 26th President 1901–9: in Kansas City Star 7 May 1918
  18. Log-cabin to White House.
    William Roscoe Thayer 1859–1923 American biographer and historian: title of biography (1910) of James A. Garfield (1831–81)
  19. He'll sit right here and he'll say do this, do that! And nothing will happen. Poor Ike—it won't be a bit like the Army.
    Harry S. Truman 1884–1972 American Democratic statesman, 33rd President 1945–53: Margaret Truman Harry S. Truman (1973)
  20. This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.
    on his first 100 days in the White House
    Donald Trump 1946–  American businessman and Republican statesman, 45th President from 2017: interview with Reuters, 27 April 2017