The American President

The American President quotes

41 total quotes (ID: 35)

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


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.


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.

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.

Lewis Rothschild: I tell any girl I'm going out with to assume that all plans are soft until she receives confirmation from me thirty minutes beforehand.
Robin McCall: And they find this romantic?
Lewis Rothschild: Well, I say it with a great deal of charm.

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!

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?

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.

A. J. MacInerney: Good night, Mr. President.
President Andrew Shepherd: A.J.?
A. J. MacInerney: Yes, sir?
President Andrew Shepherd: When we're out of the office, and alone, you can call me Andy.
A. J. MacInerney: I beg your pardon, sir?
President Andrew Shepherd: You were the best man at my wedding, for crying out loud. Call me Andy.
A. J. MacInerney: Whatever you say, Mr. President.

Lewis Rothschild: Can I just state very clearly I can't be party to anything illegal.
A. J. MacInerney: Good for you, Lewis.
Lewis Rothschild: You can say what you want. It's always the guy in my job that ends up doing 18 months in Danbury minimum security prison.

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.

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.

David (aide at GDC): We should do some prep work. You wanna order in?
Sydney Ellen Wade: Uh, I can't. I'm having dinner at the White House. So let's start early tomorrow morning, say 7:30?
David: Okay. I'm having lunch at the Kremlin, so we'll have to, you know, start even earlier than that.

Lewis Rothschild: Who're we calling, sir?
President Andrew Shepherd: I'm calling the organization of the United Brotherhood of It's None of Your Damn Business, Lewis. I'll be with you in a minute.

[Discussing a reprisal for an attack on US troops]
A. J. MacInerney: Sir, it's immediate, it's decisive, it's low-risk, and it's a proportional response.
President Andrew Shepherd: Someday someone's going to have to explain to me the virtue of a proportional response.

President Andrew Shepherd: Are you nervous?
Sydney Ellen Wade: No.
President Andrew Shepherd: Good. My nervousness exists on several levels. Number one, and this is in no particular order, I haven't done this in a pretty long time. Number two, uh, any expectations that you might have, given the fact that I'm... you know...
Sydney Ellen Wade: [approaching seductively] The most powerful man in the world?
President Andrew Shepherd: Exactly, thank you. I think it's important you remember that's a political distinction that comes with the office. I mean, if, uh, Eisenhower were here instead of me, he'd be dead by now.