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“if It Wasn’t For The Honor Of The Thing…”

February 2024
1min read

Presidents on the Presidency

John Adams: “Had I been chosen President again, I am certain I could not have lived another year.”

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

John Q. Adams: “The four most miserable years of my life…”

Buchanan (to Abraham Lincoln): “If you are as happy, my dear sir, on entering this house as I am in leaving it and returning home, you are the happiest man in this country.”

Lincoln: “I feel like the man who was tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail. To the man who asked him how he liked it, he said: ‘If it wasn’t for the honor of the thing, I’d rather walk.’”

Garfield: “My God! What is there in this place that a man should ever want to get in it?”

Cleveland (to F.D.R. as a boy): “Franklin, I hope you never become President.”

Taft: “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.”

Wilson: “The office of President requires the constitution of an athlete, the patience of a mother, the endurance of an early Christian.”

Harding: “Oftentimes … I don’t seem to grasp that I am President.”

Coolidge: “If you don’t say anything, you won’t be called on to repeat it.”

Hoover: “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.”

F. D. Roosevelt: “Presidential plans for future engagements are, I find to my sorrow, more susceptible to change than the plans of any private citizen.”

Truman: “Within the first few months I discovered that being a President is like riding a tiger. A man has to keep on riding or be swallowed.”

Eisenhower (making a speech): “I probably long ago used up my time; but you know, there is one thing about being the President, it is hard to tell him to sit down.”

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