As part of its ongoing promotion of the movie industry, last summer The American Film Institute released its list of the hundred best movie quotes. Not to be outdone, The American Political Institute came up with its own record of the hundred best American political quotes from the last 75 years.
Not surprisingly, number one on the list was Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s famous wartime admonition: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Also high on the list at number three was John F. Kennedy’s exhortation: "Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country."
American political observers will recognize many other famous quotes from The American Political Institute’s list like number thirteen, Richard Nixon’s "I am not a crook" and Harry Truman’s "The buck stops here" which came in at number twenty.
But there are a number of entries on the list that may not immediately ring a bell for most Americans:
"Iran, Iraq — it doesn’t matter to me, Dick. So long as we bomb somebody." George W. Bush - November, 2001
"That steno pool’s some bay of bigs, hey Bobby?" John Kennedy - March, 1961
"Listen Eleanor, it depends what the definition of ‘is’ is." Franklin Roosevelt - September, 1935
"Cambodia, Vietnam — it doesn’t matter to me, Henry. So long as we bomb somebody." - Richard Nixon - October, 1969
"There I go again." Ronald Reagan - May, 1986
"Six thousand and six thousand, carry the one — Hey! What happened? We lost Florida." Al Gore - December, 2000
"I should have picked that damn dog Checkers as my running mate." Dwight Eisenhower - September, 1952
"Sixty billion and sixty billion, carry the one — Hey! What happened? We’re a trillion dollars in debt." George W. Bush - June, 2001
"Listen Rose Mary, I’m not asking you to lie. Just hold your finger on the delete button for fifteen minutes or so." Richard Nixon - November, 1973
"zzzzzzzzzzz" Gerald Ford - 1974-77
"Don’t wait up for me, Hillary. Something’s come up here again in the Oval Office." Bill Clinton - March, 1996