The Great Communicator always helped ease the tension with one of his funny one liners. Here are a few ....
1. Allegedly, after the assassination attempt, the very first thing he said to the First Lady when she arrived at the hospital was, “Honey, I forgot to duck.”
- To a nurse who told him to “keep up the good work” of his recovery: “You mean this may happen several more times?”
3. To the medical team in the operating room just after assassination attempt: "I hope you're all Republicans."
4. In a written note, upon coming out of anesthesia in the recovery room (paraphrasing Comedian W.C. Fields): “All in all, I’d rather be in Philadelphia.”
5. In another note, recalling a Winston Churchill observation: “There’s no more exhilarating feeling than being shot at without result.”
6. In a third note: “Send me to L.A., where I can see the air I’m breathing.”
7. In yet another note written while surrounded by medical staff: “If I had this much attention in Hollywood, I’d have stayed there.”
- To an attentive nurse: “Does Nancy know about us?”
9. Greeting White House aides the morning after surgery: “Hi, fellas. I knew it would be too much to hope that we could skip a staff meeting.”
- When told by Aide Lyn Nofziger that the Government was running normally: “What makes you think I’d be happy about that?”
11. “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
12. “The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this Earth is a government program.”
13. “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
14. “Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.”
15. “The taxpayer: That’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.”
16. “I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandment’s would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress.”
17. “Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.’ And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.”
18. “It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.”
19. "I want you to know that 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."
20. "We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much."
21. “Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.”
22. "I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I'm in a cabinet meeting."
23. "A hippie is someone who looks like Tarzan, walks like Jane, and smells like Cheetah."
24. "It’s hard when you’re up to your armpits in alligators to remember you came here [to Washington] to drain the swamp."
- "It’s true that hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?"
26. "Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They’re just braver 5 minutes longer."
27. "A recession is when a neighbor loses his job, a depression is when you lose yours. And recovery starts when Jimmy Carter loses his."
28. "Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement."
29. "There are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified as top secret."
30. Spoken as he refused a mule for a gift: "I'm afraid I can't use a mule. I have several hundred up on Capitol Hill."
- "How can a president not be an actor?" -when asked "How could an actor become president?'
32. "You know there is a ten year delay in the Soviet Union for the delivery of an automobile. And only one out of seven families in the Soviet Union own automobiles. There is a 10 year wait, and you go through quite a process when you are ready to by, and then you put up the money in advance.
This man laid down the money, and the fellow in charge said to him: 'Come back in 10 years and get your car.'
The man answered: 'Morning or afternoon?'
And the fellow behind the counter said: 'Ten years from now, what difference does it make?'
And he said: 'Well, the plumber is coming in the morning.'"
33. "The two fellows in the Soviet Union who were walking down the street and one of them says: 'Have we really achieved full communism? Is this it? Is this now full communism?'
I am an Equal Opportunity Insulter and as you read all this wonderful insight, please remember …