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Quotes of the day: Theodore H. White

Published Tuesday, May 06, 2014 @ 12:42 AM EDT
May 06 2014

Theodore Harold White (May 6, 1915 – May 15, 1986) was an American political journalist and historian, known for his wartime reporting from China and accounts of the 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972 and 1980 presidential elections. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A genuine primary is a fight within the family of the party- and, like any family fight, is apt to be more bitter and leave more enduring wounds than battle with the November enemy.

A liberal is a person who believes that water can be made to run uphill. A conservative is someone who believes everybody should pay for his water. I'm somewhere in between: I believe water should be free, but that water flows downhill.

All men who run for presidency of the United States are amateurs; there is no way of becoming a professional at it, and all of them, win or lose, are forever altered in spirit of character by the ordeal.

Closeness to power heightens the dignity of all men.

Don't ever let anybody teach you to think; it is the curse of the world.

Every American election summons the individual voter to weigh the past against the future.

He who is created by television can be destroyed by television.

In politics, the things that do not happen are frequently as significant as those that do.

In the politics of consent, no victory is ever permanent unless the victor makes it firm on a base of persuasion.

It is almost nicer being a godfather than a father, like having white mice but making your nanny feed them for you.

Liberalism: for every complicated problem there exists both an intellectual and a moral solution and they coincide.

Politics in America is the binding secular religion.

Politics is a process which should slowly bring to public all the private worries and hopes of the individual.

Power in America today is control of the means of communication.

Professionals in a campaign are servants; they can tell him only how to do something once he tells them what it is he wants to do.

Quality in a classical Greek sense is how to live with grace and intelligence, with bravery and mercy.

The best politics for any president is to be a good president.

The best time to listen to a politician is when he's on a stump on a street corner in the rain late at night when he's exhausted. Then he doesn't lie.

The development of an image is a mysterious thing: once a public figure has been cast in a public role, it is almost impossible for him to change the character.

The flood of money that gushes into politics today is a pollution of democracy.

The most difficult thing in the world is to know how to do a thing and to watch someone else doing it wrong, without comment.

There is no excitement anywhere in the world, short of war, to match the excitement of the American presidential campaign.

To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can have.

Whether a man is burdened by power or enjoys power; whether he is trapped by responsibility or made free by it; whether he is moved by other people and outer forces or moves them- this is of the essence of leadership.

With the end of the nominating process, American politics leaves logic behind.


(Today is also the birthday of Sigmund Freud and Orson Welles )

Categories: Quotes of the day, Theodore H. White


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