79 Political Quotes of Robert Dallek

” What I find so interesting is, Herbert Hoover in August 1928 said no country in the world was closer to abolishing poverty than the United States. And then, of course, we had the Great Depression. “
” For those of us who cry out for gun control, our fears cannot be eliminated as long as the country remains an armed camp in which the most troubled among us can find ways to appropriate one of the easily available weapons in all our communities. “
” Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage is hardly as consequential as Johnson’s legislative success on civil rights. “
” In 1800, in the first interparty contest, the Federalists warned that presidential candidate Thomas Jefferson, because of his sympathy expressed at the outset of the French Revolution, was ‘the son of a half-breed Indian squaw’ who would put opponents under the guillotine. “
” John F. Kennedy went to bed at 3:30 in the morning on November 9, 1960, uncertain whether he had defeated Richard Nixon for the presidency. He thought he had won, but six states hung in the balance, and after months of exhaustive campaigning, he was too tired to stay awake any longer. “
” When President Obama first unveiled his gun control proposals recommending a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and better background checks, there seemed to be momentum behind the effort. But then the proposals ran into a wall. “
” Don’t be intimidated by people who seem to be experts. Hear their points of view and get their judgements. But at the end of day, you’ve got to make a judgement because it’s not their life that’s going to be affected so much as your future. “
” There is a line between scurrilous nonsense and serious discussion that laps over, especially in this day and age when you’ve got all this electronic media and these blogs and this kind of fanatical impulse to bring down the opposing candidate. “
” The so-called second New Deal of 1935 – including the Works Progress Administration, Social Security and the Wagner Act legalizing union labor – represented an effort to meet the rising voices demanding a more aggressive government approach to the collapse of national prosperity. “
” Truman is now seen as a near-great president because he put in place the containment doctrine boosted by the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan and NATO, which historians now see as having been at the center of American success in the cold war. “
” Truman is now seen as a near-great president because he put in place the containment doctrine boosted by the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan and NATO, which historians now see as having been at the center of American success in the cold war. “
” Late 19th-century populists saw bankers and industrialists manipulating markets to enrich themselves at the expense of small farmers and labourers and favoured political candidates promising economic relief through free and unlimited coinage of silver. “
” A president cannot sit on his hands and be seen as passive in the face of ruthless action by a foreign dictator. “
” Few American presidents are held in higher esteem than Thomas Jefferson. Though historians have scrutinized every phase of his long public career and found him wanting in a number of respects, he holds an unshakable place in the pantheon of American heroes. “
” There are limits on what a president can achieve or do, but the expectations are so great. “
” What makes war interesting for Americans is that we don’t fight war on our soil, we don’t have direct experience of it, so there’s an openness about the meanings we give to it. “
” Once the public loses confidence in a president’s leadership at a time of war, once they don’t trust him anymore, once his credibility is sharply diminished, how does he get it back? “
” John Kennedy had so many different medical problems that began when he was a boy. He started out with intestinal problems… spastic colitis. “
” The Atlantic conference in the North Atlantic off Newfoundland is a dramatic moment in World War II history because for the first time, Roosevelt and Churchill are meeting face to face in this war. “
” I think the most important thing that comes out of the meeting between Churchill and Roosevelt in early 1942 is a commitment on Roosevelt’s part to fight Europe first. To struggle first against Germany and put Japan and the Pacific as a secondary theatre in the conflict. And this is what Churchill was after. “
” Clinton’s egregious act of self-indulgence was outdone by an impeachment based not on constitutionally required high crimes and misdemeanors but on a vindictive determination to bring down a president who had offended self-righteous moralists eager to put a different political agenda in place. “
” Compared with other recent presidents whose stumbles and failures have assaulted the national self-esteem, memories of Kennedy continue to give the country faith that its better days are ahead. That’s been reason enough to discount his limitations and remain enamored of his presidential performance. “
” Presidential aspirants reach for the highest office to satisfy some yearning for greatness or even immortality. “
” One doesn’t simply write about Lyndon Johnson. You get the Johnson treatment from beyond the grave – arm around you, nose to nose. I should admit that he also reminds me of my father, quite an overbearing and narcissistic character. And in some ways, he reminds me of myself. Another workaholic. “
” Political vitriol is a familiar enough characteristic of American history. “
” George Washington sets the nation on its democratic path. Abraham Lincoln preserves it. Franklin Roosevelt sees the nation through depression and war. “
” My feeling is that it’s a misreading of history to say that, as the Reagan supporters do, that Reagan won the Cold War. “
” Compared with other recent presidents whose stumbles and failures have assaulted the national self-esteem, memories of Kennedy continue to give the country faith that its better days are ahead. That’s been reason enough to discount his limitations and remain enamored of his presidential performance. “
” George Washington sets the nation on its democratic path. Abraham Lincoln preserves it. Franklin Roosevelt sees the nation through depression and war. “
” My feeling is that it’s a misreading of history to say that, as the Reagan supporters do, that Reagan won the Cold War. “
” Kennedy is remembered as a success mainly because of what came after: Johnson and Vietnam. Nixon and Watergate. “
” I think experience is a terribly overrated idea when it comes to thinking about who should become president. “
” Experience helped Richard Nixon, but it didn’t save him, and it certainly wasn’t a blanket endorsement. He blundered terribly in dealing with Vietnam. “
” Historians partial to Kennedy see matters differently from those partial to L.B.J. Vietnam has become a point of contention in defending and criticizing J.F.K. “
” Congress becomes the public voice of opposition. “
” Governing is one thing, campaigning is another – and the latter becomes far more pronounced in an election-year State of the Union. “
” If nobody trusts you as president, then you can’t get anything done. “
” American politics is theatre. There is a frightening emotionalism at national conventions. “
” A presidential candidate’s great desire is to be seen as pragmatic, and they hope their maneuvering and shifting will be seen in pursuit of some higher purpose. It doesn’t mean they are utterly insincere. “
” With television, you can make anyone look larger than life. “
” Eisenhower was quite supportive of Kennedy and Johnson in terms of foreign policy. “
” There are examples of ex-presidents speaking out. Jimmy Carter has not held back on a variety of issues. Harry Truman didn’t. “
” At the end of their first years, there are few people who would have predicted that Truman would be elected in 1948 or that Reagan would get a second term. It’s always premature to make some kind of categorical judgment after the first year in office. “
” The 1890s was an intensely patriotic decade for Americans. It was a time of neo-imperialism, when the European powers and the United States were establishing their flags around the globe. “
” How many State of the Union addresses do people remember? They don’t resonate that way. “
” The institution of the presidency was profoundly affected by Watergate. “
” Unity is Obama’s theme. “
” I think the public can t accept the idea that someone as inconsequential as Oswald could have killed someone as consequential as Kennedy. They don t want to believe the world is that chaotic. It is. “
” Racial segregation in the South not only separated the races, but it separated the South from the rest of the country. “
” At the start of first terms, presidents invariably have a measure of goodwill. “
” Obama is cutting back on the idea that we’re going to have Jeffersonian democracy in Pakistan or anywhere else. “
” Television has an awful lot to do with the Kennedy mystique and the fact that he’s frozen in people’s minds at the age of 46, and he was handsome and personable and witty and charming. “
” For style and for creating a mood of optimism and hope – Kennedy on that count is as effective as any president the country has had in its history. “
” There’s a certain clubbiness to the idea that you’re an ex-president. You’re no longer a politician. You’re a statesman. “
” Harry Truman wrote scathing letters, but he almost never sent them. “
” It’s always valuable for someone running for president… to have as much bipartisan support as possible. “
” At the end of the day, Americans are not so keen on ideologues, people who have such fixed positions that they can’t see any virtue in the other side’s point of view. “
” Richard Nixon had a kind of Walter Mitty fantasy life. He was a man with a grandiose thoughts: dreams of not simply being president but maybe becoming one of the truly great presidents of American history. “
” President Obama can talk about having no grand schemes and making no big gains, but the reality is he can’t get anything of significance through Congress. “
” After one party loses two elections in a row, there’s sort of blood in the water. “
” Presidents need to be critically studied and analyzed. “
” To be sure, Kennedy did not discount the importance of words in rallying the nation to meet its foreign and domestic challenges. Winston Churchill’s powerful exhortations during World War II set a standard he had long admired. Kennedy was hardly unmindful of how important a great inaugural address could be. “
” Theodore Roosevelt had drawn public attention to his attractive family in order to create a bond with ordinary Americans. Eleanor Roosevelt had successfully broached the idea that a First Lady could be nearly as much a public figure as her husband. “
” Vice President Biden’s surprising declaration of unqualified support for gay marriage seems to have forced President Obama into a public endorsement of a controversial social issue. It is difficult not to suspect that Biden’s pronouncement aimed to give the president some political cover. “
” When Johnson decided to fight for passage of the law John F. Kennedy had put before Congress in June 1963 banning segregation in places of public accommodation, he believed he was taking considerable political risks. “
” Whatever the long-term legal prospects for same-sex marriage, President Obama’s willingness to put the matter front and center in an election year can at least make him a candidate for inclusion in Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage. “
” As for Vietnam, what matters is that Kennedy successfully resisted pressure to send anything more than military advisers, a stance that was a likely prelude to complete withdrawal from the conflict. There is solid evidence of his eagerness to end America’s military role in that country’s civil war. “
” Kennedy saw the presidency as the vital center of government, and a president’s primary goal as galvanizing commitments to constructive change. He aimed to move the country and the world toward a more peaceful future, not just through legislation but through inspiration. “
” In seeking an empire of liberty, Jefferson wished not only to expand the country’s territorial holdings, but also to extend American institutions around the globe. “
” The rise of the Tea Party, along with the emergence of Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, Sharron Angle in Nevada, Carl Paladino in New York and Ron Paul in Kentucky, is not the first time in American history that voters have responded to hard economic times by supporting angry, unorthodox Senate and gubernatorial candidates. “
” In the late 19th century, the Populists – a protest movement of mainly disaffected farmers and workers – threatened to overturn established authority. “
” Joseph McCarthy and the John Birch Society launched an anti-Communist crusade that won the support of millions of Americans in the 1950s. “
” Besieged by lawsuits that threatened to engulf almost everyone at the White House, Clinton assistants shunned paper or e-mail records of their daily deliberations. One told me that he would go down the hall to confer with his division chief face to face rather than discuss an issue on the telephone. “
” A national government using New Deal programs and the massive defense spending beginning with World War II and continuing through the Cold War was Johnson’s vehicle for expanding the Southern economy and making it, as he hoped, one of the more prosperous regions of the country. “
” The Cold War is over. The kind of authority that the presidents asserted during the Cold War has now been diminished. “
” Lyndon Johnson is not a comfortable model for President Obama to imitate. He is an all-but-forgotten president – pilloried for the failed war in Vietnam and criticized for grandiose reforms conservatives denounce as the epitome of federal social engineering that costs too much and does too little. “
” Like Lyndon Johnson, President Obama understands that timidity in a time of troubles is a prescription for failure. “
” Historians evaluating George W. Bush’s first term will focus on foreign policy and, most of all, 9/11. I think they will criticize him for his early reaction, for not returning at once to Washington, D.C. “
” The greatest presidents have been those who demonstrated astute judgment in times of crisis – often despite the advice they were getting. “