Quotes from the Movie The American President

The White House is the single greatest home court advantage in the modern world.

President Andrew Shepherd

We had a nice couple of minutes together. She threatened me, I patronized her. We didn't have anything to eat, but I thought there was a connection.

President Andrew Shepherd

Okay. You're attracted to me, but the idea of physical intimacy is uncomfortable because you only know me as the President. It's not always gonna be that way, and the reason I know that is because there was a moment last night when you were with me and not the President, and I know what a big step that was for you. So, Sydney, I'm in no rush. Here's my plan: We're gonna slow down. And when you're comfortable, that's when it's gonna happen.

President Andrew Shepherd

Perhaps I didn't properly explain the fundamentals of the "Slow Down" plan.

President Andrew Shepherd

Let me see if I got this. The third story on the news tonight was that someone I didn't know thirteen years ago when I wasn't president participated in a demonstration where no laws were being broken in protest of something that so many people were against, it doesn't exist anymore. Just out of curiosity, what was the fourth story?

President Andrew Shepherd

People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty. They drink the sand because they don't know the difference.

President Andrew Shepherd

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 have not been 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. For the record: yes, I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU. But the more important question is why aren't you, Bob? Now, this is an organization whose sole purpose is to defend the Bill of Rights, so it naturally begs the question: Why would a senator, his party's most powerful spokesman and a candidate for President, choose to reject upholding the Constitution? If you can answer that question, folks, then you're smarter than I am, because I didn't understand it until a couple of minutes ago. America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You 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, 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 can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free". I've known Bob Rumson for years, and I've been operating under the assumption that the reason Bob devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn't get it. Well, I was wrong. Bob's problem isn't that he doesn't get it. Bob's problem is that he can't sell it. Nobody has ever won an election by talking about what I was just talking about. This is a country made up of people with hard jobs that they're terrified of losing. The roots of freedom are of little or no interest to them at the moment. We are a nation afraid to go out at night. We're a society that has assigned low priority to education and has looked the other way while our public schools have been decimated. We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious men to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, friend, 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-aged, middle-class, middle-income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family and American values and personal character. And you hold up an old photo of the President's girlfriend. You scream about patriotism and you tell them she's to blame for their lot in life, and you go on television and you call her a whore. Sydney Ellen Wade has done nothing to you, Bob. She has done nothing but put herself through law school, prosecute criminals for five years, represent the interests of public school teachers for two years, and lobby for the safety of our natural resources. You want a character debate, Bob? You better stick with me, 'cause Sydney Ellen Wade is way out of your league. I've loved two women in my life. I lost one to cancer, and I lost the other 'cause I was so busy keeping my job I forgot to do my job. Well, that ends right now. Tomorrow morning, the White House is sending a bill to Congress for its consideration. It's White House Resolution 455, an energy bill requiring a 20 percent reduction of the emission of fossil fuels over the next ten years. It is by far the most aggressive stride ever taken in the fight to reverse the effects of global warming. The other piece of legislation is the crime bill. As of today, it no longer exists. I'm throwing it out. I'm throwing it out. I'm throwing it out and I'm writing a law that makes sense. You cannot address crime prevention without getting rid of assault weapons and handguns. I consider them a threat to national security, and I will go door to door if I have to, but I'm gonna convince Americans that I'm right, and I'm gonna get the guns. We've got serious problems, and we need serious men to solve them, 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. Just tell me where and when, and I'll show up. This is a time for serious men, Bob, and your fifteen minutes are up. My name is Andrew Shepherd, and I am the President.

President Andrew Shepherd

I've loved two women in my life. I lost one to cancer, and I lost the other 'cause I was so busy keeping my job I forgot to do my job. Well that ends right now.

President Andrew Shepherd

Your fifteen minutes are up. We have serious problems, and we need serious people to solve them. I'm Andrew Sheperd, and I am the President!

President Andrew Shepherd

You have a deeper love of this country than any man I've ever known. And I want to know what it says to you that in the past seven weeks, 59% of Americans have begun to question your patriotism.

Lewis Rothschild

He's got the whole press corps asking each other how to spell "erudite".

Lewis Rothschild

Mr. President, I'm sure there's an appropriate thing to say at this moment. Probably some formal apology for the "nice-ass"-remark would be in order. I just don't quite know how to word it.

Sidney Ellen Wade

Camp David? Sure, I used to go there all the time, but then they changed chefs, and...

Sidney Ellen Wade

Mr. President, you've got bigger problems than losing me. You just lost my vote.

Sidney Ellen Wade

You've said it yourself a million times. If there had been a TV in every living room sixty years ago, this country does not elect a man in a wheelchair.

A.J. MacInerney

You fight the fights you can win? You fight the fights that need fighting!

A.J. MacInerney

Well, if anyone needs me, I'll be in the Roosevelt room, giving Lewis oxygen.

A.J. MacInerney

I want to buy her some flowers. That's what men do when they break a date.

President Andrew Shepherd

I'm sorry about this. We'll do it better next time.

President Andrew Shepherd

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

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 second.

President Andrew Shepherd

That's not what I mean. Two hundred pairs of eyes are focused on you with two questions on their minds - who's this girl, and why is the President dancing with her?

Sydney Ellen Wade

Well, first of all, the two hundred pairs of eyes aren't focused on me. They're focused on you. And the answers are Sydney Ellen Wade, and because she said yes.

President Andrew Shepherd

You're attracted to me, but the idea of physical intimacy is uncomfortable because you only know me as the President. But it's not always going to be that way, and the reason I know that is there was a moment last night when you were with ME, not the President. And I know what a big step that was for you. So, Sydney, I'm in no rush. Here's my plan. We're going to slow down, and when you're comfortable, that's when it's going to happen.

President Andrew Shepherd

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