One does not need a great sense of humor to be a great president. The “father” of our country, George Washington, evidently was no comedienne; neither were the two Roosevelts. However, a funny bone makes a leader more interesting, and in some ways, seems to make him more human.
After long hours of research I discovered that, in my opinion, Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan should have their likenesses carved on the Mount Rushmore of Laughter.
* During a debate an opponent accused Lincoln of being two-faced. Here is Lincoln’s reply: “If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?”
* “It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.”
* “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count; it’s the life in your years.”
* “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”
* “Common-looking people are the best in the world. That is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.”
* A minister was invited to the Coolidge home for dinner before he was to preach at a revival meeting. The minister barely touched his food, explaining that abstaining helped his preaching. After the revival, Coolidge remarked: “He might as well have eaten.”
* Coolidge was a man of few words, thus earning himself the nickname, “Silent Cal.” One day a lady approached him, explaining that she had a bet with her friends that she could get at least three words out of him. “You lose,” was his witty reply.
* President and Mrs. Coolidge were visiting an ultra-modern farm. Mrs. Coolidge, who took the tour of the farm first, was impressed by a rooster who never seemed to run out of energy as he performed his duties. “When Mr. Coolidge comes around, point out the stamina of this rooster to him,” she requested. Later, when the rooster was brought to his attention, Coolidge asked if it performed for one chicken or many chickens. When informed it was the latter, Coolidge requested that the guide make that known to his wife. Evidently, Coolidge was making the point that he too would be more productive if he were performing for several “chicks.”
JOHN F.. KENNEDY:
* Many skeptics speculated that Kennedy’s dad “bought” the 1960 presidential election. Kennedy replied: “I just received the following wire from my generous daddy: ‘Dear Jack, don’t buy a single vote more than is necessary. I’ll be d***** if I’m going to pay for a landslide.’”
* Kennedy had this to say about being president: “The pay is good and I can walk to work.”
* “Forgive your enemies but never forget their names.”
* “Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.”
* Kennedy was criticized for selecting his younger brother to be the Attorney General: “I see nothing wrong with giving Robert some legal experience as Attorney General before he goes out to practice law.”
* “It isn’t that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”
* “How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”
* Reagan’s critics pictured him as a teetering old man who spent most of his time sleeping: “I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even it I’m in a cabinet meeting.”
* “Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘We should never judge a president by his age, but only by his works.’ And ever since he told me that I stopped worrying.”
* During the presidential campaign the Democrats used Reagan’s age as a major issue. During a debate with Walter Mondale, Reagan turned the argument on its head: “I want you to know also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”