Quotes / Our Presidents Are Different

"My idea of a perfect government is one guy who sits in a small room at a desk, and the only thing he’s allowed to decide is who to nuke. The man is chosen based on some kind of IQ test, and maybe also a physical tournament, like a decathlon. And women are brought to him, maybe... when he desires them."
Ron Swanson, Parks and Recreation

"Yes, General, I am masturbating into the American Flag. It relaxes me. Do you have a problem with that? Would you rather that I used you?"
President Callahan, Transmetropolitan

"You can twist my words, but I can twist that knee until it pops!"
President Ackerman, Red Alert: 3

"Of course the first four years are easy. You don't do anything except try to get re-elected... The next four years you wonder why the hell you wanted to be re-elected. And after that you go into the insurance business and you're all set."
President Wintergreen, Of Thee I Sing

Cat: I thought you guys said Kennedy was a great Prez!
Kryten: He was.
Rimmer: He was also an inveterate womanizer. His affairs were legendary. They only came out after his death.
Kryten: Every man has his weak spot, his Achilles' Heel.
Rimmer: Kennedy's was just... higher up.
Red Dwarf, "Tikka to Ride"

Winifred: (snatches a TV and smashes it) FUCK YOU!
Conrad: Leave it alone! What did television ever do to you?
Winifred: It destroyed the electoral process!

"You can lie, you can cheat, you can start a war, you can bankrupt the country, but you can't fuck the interns. They get you for that."
Stephen Meyers, The Ides of March

"I'm one of those generic presidents TV shows use to avoid becoming dated."
The President, Earthworm Jim

George Washington couldn't tell a lie. Richard Nixon couldn't tell the truth. George W. Bush couldn't tell the difference.
— Common political joke from 2003 onwards.

"“Say as little as possible, hope some of the undecideds like your teeth better than the other guy’s—that’s usually the way this business works.”
Matt Taibbi', Griftopia

Presidential elections are a bit like the Grammy Awards, where an industry of real interest to very few people honors itself fulsomely on prime-time television.

"Lee Mercer Jr. was a 2008 candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the US. To understand his platform one might first need to understand some facts about his background, and we’ll give it in his own words since his unconventional grammar makes a little hard to determine exactly what those main points are... In short, what he seems to be up to is thinking that he is really a robot and needs to take over the government as part of his program. In fact, everyone is controlled by the mind control program that created him. That’s why you should vote for him. Also, it is supposed to be payback time, it seems.

He has already announced that he will be running again in 2016."

"When you get to Senator, it begins to become pretty symbolic, anyway. At the level of President, half the time I don't even bother—I think those are usually very subtle judgements. I mean, it's a difficult judgement to try to figure out whether Nixon or Humphrey is going to end the Vietnam War sooner; I actually didn't vote on that one, because I figured Nixon probably would. I did vote against Reagan, because I thought the guys around Reagan were extremely dangerous—Reagan himself was irrelevant, but the people in his administration were real killers and torturers, and they were just making people suffer too much, so I thought that might make a difference. But these are usually not very easy judgements to make, in my opinion."
Noam Chomsky, Understanding Power

A rapid glance at the history of the USA also suggests scepticism about the impact of individual leaders. That great country has, by general consent, probably elected to its Presidency — the post of chief executive and (as we have been reminded recently) commander-in-chief — a greater number of ignorant dumbos than any other republic. It has indeed evolved a political system that makes it almost impossible to elect to the Presidency persons of visible ability and distinction, except by accident and, just possibly, at moments of national crisis. More than this, in the USA Presidents have quite frequently had to be replaced at short notice, whether because of assassination or malfeasance or for other reasons, by Vice-Presidents, who have usually been chosen for every reason other than their leadership potential. And yet the great US ship of state has sailed on as though it made very little difference that the man on the bridge was Andrew Johnson and not Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and not McKinley, Mrs Wilson and not Woodrow Wilson, Truman and not Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and not Kennedy, Ford and not Nixon, or even that there was nobody in the White House at all — as under Reagan.
Eric Hobsbawm

"Do you think I should be the 'ecology president' or the 'education president'?"