Wit and Wisdom Over the Years
Will Rogers Social Commentary Humorist of the early 1900s
Ran for President 1928
- -The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.
- -I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
- -There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.
- -I bet after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him ‘father’.
- -All I can say for the United States Senate is that it opens with a prayer and closes with an investigation.
- -Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate. Now what’s going to happen to us with both a House and a Senate?
- -There ought to be one day – just one – when there is open season on senators.
- -Last year we said, “Things can’t go on like this”, and they didn’t, they got worse.
- -This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.
- -We don’t seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business?
- -Never miss a good chance to shut up.
- -There is nothing so stupid as the educated man if you get him off the thing he was educated in.
- -Let advertisers spend the same amount of money improving their product that they do on advertising and they wouldn’t have to advertise it.
Presidential Wit and Wisdom
- -If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?
- -What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself.
- -Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time.
- -He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met.
- -To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.
- -Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
- -He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help.
- -I am rather inclined to silence, and whether that be wise or not, it is at least more unusual nowadays to find a man who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot.
- -I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.
- -In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress. John Adams
- -No man ever listened himself out of a job. Calvin Coolidge
- -I only know two tunes, one of them is ‘Yankee Doodle’ – the other isn’t. Ulysses Grant
- -Nothing was ever done so systematically as nothing is being done now. Woodrow Wilson
- -Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be president, but they don’t want them to become politicians in the process. John F. Kennedy
- -If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: President can’t swim. Lyndon Johnson
- -These stories about my intellectual capacity are really getting under my skin. For a while I even thought my staff believed it. There on my schedule, first thing every morning, it said Intelligence Briefing. George W. Bush
- -Washington, D.C., is twelve square miles bordered by reality. Andrew Johnson
- -Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession, and I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. Ronald Reagan
- -If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month. Theodore Roosevelt
- -Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt. Herbert Hoover
- -There are a number of things wrong with Washington. One of them is that everyone is too far from home. Dwight Eisenhower
- -My esteem in this country has gone up substantially. It is very nice now that when people wave at me, they use all their fingers. Jimmy Carter on Perks of an Ex-Presidency
- -I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency—even if I’m in a Cabinet meeting. Ronald Reagan
- -Being President is like running a cemetery: you’ve got a lot of people under you and nobody’s listening. Bill Clinton
- -Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan both claimed to have seen UFOs.
- -When asked why he chose not to run for a second term, Calvin Coolidge replied, “Because there’s no chance for advancement.”
- -As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it. Martin Van Buren
Something from Moonville Mae’s Favorite, President Theodore Roosevelt
- -When they call the roll in the Senate, the senators do not know whether to answer ‘present’ or ‘not guilty’. Theodore Roosevelt
- -Teddy Roosevelt was a studious, weak, and sickly birdwatcher as a child who grew to be a daredevil as an adult. He lost the sight in one eye to hemorrhaging and a detached retina from boxing which he continued during his presidency.
- -Serving in several wars and as governor of New York brought him to the forefront in national politics. His adversaries relegated him to be William McKinley’s vice president thinking that position would lead to his political demise. But to their surprise McKinley was assassinated just a few months into his term. Roosevelt was on a hunting trip when it all happened and was surprised at his return to find himself suddenly in power.
- -He is well known as the first conservation/preservation president for establishing many National Parks. Numerous pets roamed the White House during his tenure including a small black bear named Johnathan Edwards.
- -After his term and later an election loss, he spent years away participating in sojourns through rugged terrain in South America and Africa on which he carried innumerable pairs of eyeglasses. He always needed a challenge.■