We have spent some time thinking and talking about the beginning of our country and of course the presidential election is always in the news. It made me think back about other presidents. Some I remembered myself and others that I had read about. The one thing I remembered most about 2 in my life time was their wit. Reagan and JFK were not only smart they were quick witted.
One of the things I’ve noticed, and maybe it’s just me, but when Barack Obama attempts to be funny, it’s always in a petty way. It’s always mean-spirited. I think he’s incompetent, dishonest and narcissistic. Quick witted? I think not. The world is in flames and he’s worried about letting some lady with a penis in the women’s bathroom.
Have there been many presidents who were witty? I don’t think so but I thought I would like to find out. I like to say I’m curious – the truth is I’m nosey.
JFK was known for his wit. I absolutely loved his press conferences. I think he was probably the last Democrat that I had respect for. He was witty with a charming smile. It seemed so wholeheartedly genuine. Perhaps it wasn’t but I liked it anyway.
“Those of you who regard my profession of political life with some disdain should remember that it made it possible for me to move from being an obscure lieutenant in the United States Navy to Commander-in-chief in fourteen years with very little technical experience.” ~ President John Kennedy
“Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.” ~ President John Kennedy
Harry Truman was reputedly a funny man with a dry wit. I like dry wit. They make you work for it.
All the president is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing, and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway. ~ Harry S. Truman
When you get to be President, there are all those things, the honors, the twenty-one gun salutes, all those things. You have to remember it isn’t for you. It’s for the Presidency. ~ Harry S. Truman
We don’t often think of Abe Lincoln as being a witty man. His Gettysburg Address is one of the greatest speeches, while being one of the shortest, of all time. He was a very smart man but he was witty too. Here’s a couple of examples:
“He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas better than any man I ever met.” ~ President Abraham Lincoln
“People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ~ President Abraham Lincoln
“Nearly all men stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” ~ President Abraham Lincoln
Note how the Lincoln quotes are all short and to the point. Yet each speaks volumes. A truly great man with many talents.
Lincoln’s memoirs would also have been worth a read don’t you think?
How about the father of our country? Was he witty? We know he was smart and honorable and honest. He could also from most accounts swear to make a sailor blush. But was he witty? You be the judge.
The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments. ~ George Washington
Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth. ~ George Washington
I’m not sure I see all that much wit but what was a real knee-slapper back then might not seem too funny to us today. He certainly could say things that made you think. A great man if not exactly a stand up comedian.
But I still wanted to find some funny stuff.
I found this quote from Lyndon Johnson. He reminds me that Trump isn’t the only man to aspire to the White House who was crude. The difference, as I see it, is that Johnson was a savvy politician and competent to do the job. Honest? Not so much.
”Did you ever think that making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down your leg? It seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else.” ~ Lyndon Johnson
I may not know much, but I know the difference between chicken shit and chicken salad. ~ Lyndon Johnson
We can’t forget about Ronald Reagan when we talk about Presidential wit. To my mind he was even wittier than JFK. His wit was legendary.
Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15. ~ Ronald Reagan
Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book. ~ Ronald Reagan
To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will. ~ Ronald Reagan
Some of our presidents were witty, some were wise and some were duds. Such is life. When they run for office they promise much and often we know they can’t possibly deliver what they promise. But for some reason, knowing about their dishonesty we vote for them anyway. If confuses me that we do this. Over and over again.
Witty as some of our Presidents have been, some more than others, I doubt any could outdo a world leader named Churchill.
He had us pegged, didn’t he?