Every President has a signature line or a memorable quote. A moment in time that everyone who heard it will remember.
Kennedy had, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
Johnson had, “I will not seek, and I shall not accept, the nomination of my party to run for President.”
Nixon began a sad trend in memorable moments, “I am not a crook.”
Gerald Ford briefly recovered our pride with his line after Nixon’s resignation. “Our long national nightmare is over.”
Carter was such a disappointment as President, and so admirable as an ex-President, I can recall nothing he said.
Reagan had, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” (Tear down a wall? Almost heresy today.)
Bush 41 said in his inaugural address, “We know what works: Freedom works. We know what’s right: Freedom is right.”
Clinton, reinvigorating the downward spiral said, “I did not have sex with that woman.”
Bush 43 had this prescient statement. “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on.”
Obama brought a sense of dignity back for eight years with these lines, “We need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion. This isn’t a matter of political correctness. It’s a matter of understanding what makes us strong. The world respects us not just for our arsenal; it respects us for our diversity and our openness and the way we respect every faith.”
And now we have President Trump, who did come up with a good line, “One of the key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace, good people don’t go into government.”
But we are stuck with his pedantic predilection for tweets and must bear with the corybantic flummery of a popinjay. (I love the richness of the English language)
Let’s hope we have hit rock bottom.