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Friday Fun Facts: Dumb Political Quotes

John Kerry Campaigns In Ohio
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Entertainment icon Art Linkletter used to have a segment on his television show called, “Kid’s Say The Darndest Things.” That may be true and kids do often say things that make us blush, tear up, and some times make us wish we were somewhere else.

If Art were alive to day he might want to rethink his award winning segment and change the name to “Politicians Say The Darndest Things.” Because it’s really interesting to enter the confusing minds of those we have chosen to lead us. If we had heard some of the following before entering the voting booth we might have rethought our decisions.

Presidential Thoughts

  • “You know, I’ve always wondered about the taping equipment. But I’m damn glad we have it.” — President Richard Nixon to White House Chief of Staff H.R. Halderman
  • “They misunderestimated me.” — President George W. Bush, Nov. 6, 2000
  • ”Things are more like they are now than they have ever been.” President Gerald Ford
  • ”I’ve now been in 57 states — I think one left to go.”Barack Obama, at a campaign event in Beaverton, Oregon
  • ”If I were a single man, I might ask that mummy out. That’s a good-looking mummy.”Bill Clinton, on ”Juanita,” a newly discovered Incan mummy on display at the National Geographic museum
  • ”I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.” President Ronald Reagan

Vice Presidents?

  • ”I love California, I practically grew up in Phoenix.”Dan Quayle
  • ”When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.”—Joe Biden, apparently unaware that FDR wasn’t president when the stock market crashed in 1929 and that only experimental TV sets were in use at that time, interview with Katie Couric, Sept. 22, 2008

They Coulda Been a Contender

Many are called but few are chosen. Here are a few that ran but came up short in the end. Maybe next time.

  • “Can I explain to you what happened? First of all it happened during a period after she was in remission from cancer.” — former Sen. John Edwards, on cheating on his wife, ABC News interview, Aug 8, 2008
  • “Be excited. This is Joementum here in New Hampshire.” — Sen. Joseph Lieberman to Wolf Blitzer, on his momentum leading up to the New Hampshire Primary, where he characterized his fifth place finish as a “three-way split decision for third place.”
  • ”If you don’t mind smelling like peanut butter for two or three days, peanut butter is darn good shaving cream.” Barry Goldwater
  • ”Syria is Iran’s only ally in the Arab world. It’s their route to the sea.” —Mitt Romney during the third presidential debate. In fact, Iran and Syria do not share a border and Iran has direct access to international waters through its large coastline on the Gulf. (Oct. 22, 2012)

Some Final Thoughts

Any time we open our mouths there is more than enough room to easily insert our foot. So I guess politicians get a free pass because their stock and trade is running off at the mouth. And the more you do it the more damage control is needed.

But I think the most honest speaking politician of all time said it best, ”I am a man of limited talents from a small town. I don’t seem to grasp that I am the President.” President Warren G. Harding.

As Dirty Harry said in the movie, “Magnum Force,” “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

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