One day, I publicly declared that this is a depression and the President [Carter], before the day was out, went to the press to say, ‘That shows how little he know. This is a recession.’
If the President wants a definition, I’ll give him one. Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery will be when Jimmy Carter loses his!
Ronald Reagan, at a Washington Press Club dinner in honor of his 70th birthday, February 6, 1981
Today is the 64th anniversary of that 39th birthday that Reagan liked to be stuck on.
(But, to really put things in perspective, it’s also the 33rd anniversary of Reagan’s 70th birthday!)
It was the most colossal misfortune of the century that in this great crisis…our President should be an absolutely selfish, cold-blooded and unpatriotic rhetorician.
Wilson has a great deal of ability of the most sinister type…above all in appealing to whatever is evil or foolish in the average man…
Theodore Roosevelt, on Woodrow Wilson’s leadership during World War I, letter to Arthur Lee, August 17, 1917
I have no hesitation in saying that Calhoun is one of the most base hypocritical and unprincipled villains in the United States…(his) vote in the case of Mr. Van Buren, has displayed a want of every sense of honor, justice or magnanimity.”
Andrew Jackson, on his own Vice President, John C. Calhoun, after Calhoun cast a tie-breaking vote against Jackson’s nomination of Martin Van Buren as Minister to Great Britain
The idea that I should become President seems to me too visionary to require a serious answer. It has never entered my head, nor is it likely to enter the head of any other person.
Zachary Taylor, letter to Thurlow Weed, April 24, 1847.
Taylor was elected President the following year.
I have never been so tired of anything before as I have been with the political speeches of Mr. Johnson…I look upon them as a national disgrace.
Ulysses S. Grant, during a speaking tour through several states with President Andrew Johnson, 1866
I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell this to my children, they just about throw up.
Barbara Bush, on her relationship with George H.W. Bush.
The Bushes have been married for 69 years — longer than any other Presidential marriage.
Diplomacy in the [George W.] Bush Administration is, ‘Alright, you fuckers, do what we say.’”
Richard Armitage, George W. Bush’s Deputy Secretary of State
I misjudged you badly. Since that time, you, more than any other man, have saved Western Civilization.
Winston Churchill, to Harry Truman, who Churchill admittedly underestimated and doubted when Truman succeeded to the Presidency upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt
I will not suffer my retirement to be clouded by the slanders of a man whose history, from the moment at which history can stoop to notice him, is a tissue of machinations against the liberty of the country which has not only received and given him bread, but heaped its honors upon his head.
Thomas Jefferson, on Alexander Hamilton, in a letter to George Washington, September 9, 1792
Our enemies have always made the same mistake. In my lifetime — in depression and in war — they have awaited our defeat. Each time, from the secret places of the American heart, came forth the faith they could not see or that they could not even imagine. It brought us victory. And it will again. For this is what America is all about. It is the uncrossed desert and the unclimbed ridge. It is the star that is not reached and the harvest sleeping in the unplowed ground. Is our world gone? We say “Farewell.” Is a new world coming? We welcome it — and we will bend it to the hopes of man.
Lyndon B. Johnson, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1965