Mencken quote

Truer words were never spoken

With a particular point of view

A friend forwarded to me one of those ubiquitous emails quoting George W Bush saying people "misunderestimate" him followed by a cynical quotation about 'the people' getting the president they deserve:

As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
—H L Mencken (1880-1956)

This inspired me to look up some quotations about presidents. It's a fertile field to harvest.

Actually, there really is a more apt quotation when referring to W's tendency to mangle the English language:

We need a president who's fluent in at least one language.
—Buck Henry

Presidential candidates

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I'm beginning to believe it.
—Clarence Darrow (1857–1938)
Democracy means that anyone can grow up to be president, and anyone who doesn't grow up can be vice president.
—Johnny Carson (1925–2005)
Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so.
—Gore Vidal (1925– )
Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.
—Douglas Adams (1952–2001), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I donít know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.
—Kurt Vonnegut (1922– ), "Cold Turkey", In These Times, May 10, 2004
In America, anyone can become president. That's one of the risks you take.
—Adlai E. Stevenson Jr. (1900–1965)
I don't know if the presidential candidates are running for the White House or Animal House.
—Bob Hope (1903–2003)

The presidency

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 (1884–1972), Letter to his sister, Nov. 14, 1947

The vice-presidency

The vice-presidency ain't worth a pitcher of warm spit.
—Vice President John Nance Garner
Women are being considered as candidates for Vice President of the United States because it is the worst job in America. It's amazing that men will take it. A job with real power is First Lady. I'd be willing to run for that. As far as the men who are running for President are concerned, they aren't even people I would date.
—Nora Ephron, from her San Francisco lecture, November 4, 1983
The man with the best job in the country is the Vice President. All he has to do is get up every morning and say, "How's the President?"
—Will Rogers (1879–1935)

The electorate

Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.
—Gore Vidal (1925– )

Politicians and government

The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office.
—H. L. Mencken (1880–1956)
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
—H. L. Mencken (1880–1956)
Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
—H. L. Mencken (1880–1956)
Democracy: The worship of jackals by jackasses.
—H. L. Mencken (1880–1956)

Required reading for George W Bush

While you're saving your face, you're losing your ass.
—President Lyndon Johnson
War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with larger cerebums and smaller adrenal glands.
—H. L. Mencken (1880–1956)
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
—H. L. Mencken (1880–1956)