The American President

The American President quotes

41 total quotes (ID: 35)

A. J. MacInerney
Lewis Rothschild
President Andrew Shepherd
Sidney Ellen Wade


Lewis Rothschild: People want leadership. And in the absence of genuine leadership, they will listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership, Mr. President. They're so thirsty for it, they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand.
President Andrew Shepherd: Lewis, we've had Presidents who were beloved who couldn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don't drink the sand 'cause they're thirsty. They drink the sand 'cause they don't know the difference.


President Andrew Shepherd: Is the view pretty good from the cheap seats, A.J.?
A. J. MacInerney: I beg your pardon?
President Andrew Shepherd: Because it occurs to me that in twenty five years I've never seen your name on a ballot. Why is that, A.J.? Why are you always one step behind me?
A. J. MacInerney: Because if I wasn't, you'd be the most popular history professor at the University of Wisconsin.
President Andrew Shepherd: **** you!

America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You've gotta want it bad, cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say 'You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, and who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.' You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free.

You fight the fights you can win? You fight the fights that need fighting!

We've got serious problems, and we need serious people. And if you want to talk about character, Bob, you'd better come at me with more than a burning flag and a membership card. If you want to talk about character and American Values, fine. Tell me where and when, and I'll show up. This a time for serious people, Bob, and your fifteen minutes are up. My name is Andrew Shepherd, and I am the president.

Sen. Bob Rumson: [on TV] Last night, the cost of those liberal programs was raised to include the blood of 22 American soldiers. Now, Mr. Shepherd's read a lot of books, but you don't need a Harvard degree to see this one coming a mile down the road.
President Andrew Shepherd: I went to STANFORD, you blowhole!!!
President Andrew Shepherd: What I did tonight was not about political gain.
Leon Kodak: Yes sir. But it can be, sir. What you did tonight was very presidential.
President Andrew Shepherd: Leon, somewhere in Libya right now, a janitor's working the night shift at Libyan Intelligence headquarters. He's going about doing his job... because he has no idea that in about an hour he's going to die in a massive explosion. He's just going about his job, because he has no idea that about an hour ago I gave an order to have him killed. You've just seen me do the least presidential thing I do.

Lewis Rothschild: Mood swings? Nineteen post-graduate degrees in mathematics, and your best explanation for going from a 63 to a 46 percent approval rating in five weeks is that the country is having mood swings?
Leon Kodak: Well, I could explain it better, but then I'd need charts, and graphs, and an easel.
Robin McCall: Guys, we haven't slept for three years. Can't we take this night off and enjoy each other as friends? It's Christmas.
Lewis Rothschild: It's Christmas?
Leon Kodak: You didn't get the memo?

Lewis Rothschild: Yeah, just vote your conscience, you chicken-shit lame-ass! [hangs up] We lost Jarrett.
Leon Kodak: Well, I hope so, because, you know, if that was an "undecided", then we need to work on our people skills.

The White House is the single greatest home court advantage in the modern world.

[about Sydney] We had a nice couple of minutes together. She threatened me, I patronized her. We didn't have anything to eat, but I thought there was a connection.

Okay. You're attracted to me, but the idea of physical intimacy is uncomfortable because you only know me as the President. It's not always gonna be that way, and the reason I know that is because there was a moment last night when you were with me and not the President, and I know what a big step that was for you. So, Sydney, I'm in no rush. Here's my plan: We're gonna slow down. And when you're comfortable, that's when it's gonna happen.
[Sydney comes back into the room. She's wearing one of Shepherd's dress shirts and nothing else. She walks toward him, he continues:] Perhaps I didn't properly explain the fundamentals of the "Slow Down" plan.

[Discussing a "Sydney-story" with Lewis and Robin] Let me see if I got this. The third story on the news tonight was that someone I didn't know thirteen years ago when I wasn't president participated in a demonstration where no laws were being broken in protest of something that so many people were against, it doesn't exist anymore. Just out of curiosity, what was the fourth story?

For the last couple of months, Senator Rumson has suggested that being president of this country was to a certain extent about character. And although I'm not willing to engage in his attacks on me, I've been here three years and three days, and I can tell you without hesitation, being president of this country is entirely about character.

We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things, and two things only : Making you afraid of it, and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. You gather a group of middle age, middle class, middle income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family and American values and character and you wave an old photo of the president's girlfriend and you scream about patriotism. You tell them she's to blame for their lot in life. And you go on television and you call her a whore.

People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty. They drink the sand because they don't know the difference.