October 1, 2013

What this country needs – in addition to a good five-cent cigar...


“What this country needs is a good five-cent cigar.”  
Thomas Riley Marshall (1854-1925) 
       U.S. Democratic politician who served two terms as Vice-President under Woodrow Wilson 
       Remark made in 1917 during a debate in U.S. Senate  
       Although there are several versions of the story, the usual one is that Marshall uttered his famous quip after Senator Joseph Bristow repeatedly used the phrase “What this country needs…” while making a long-winded speech in the U.S. Senate. Marshall reportedly leaned over and told a Senate clerk, in a voice loud enough to be overheard: “Bristow hasn’t hit it yet. What this country needs is a good five-cent cigar.” Marshall didn’t actually coin the five-cent cigar line. It
had been used previously by cartoonist Kin Hubbard in his “Abe Martin of Brown County” cartoon strip and was already in use before Hubbard’s strip began running in newspapers in 1904.


“[Senator Ted] Cruz and those who believe as he does are acting like unruly children who stomp their feet and hold their breath until they turn blue if they don’t get their way...Unfortunately for the country, the Democrats have begun to exhibit some of the same stubbornness, and if they don’t heed the signals from the public, they, too, could find themselves in trouble. What this country needs is a viable third party with a more moderate viewpoint that would attract those who aren’t comfortable with the extreme positions of the two current parties.”
       Bill Kennedy
       Columnist for the Carroll County Times (Westminster, Maryland)
       Commenting on the deadlock in Congress that led to a government shutdown, in a column published on September 30, 2013. (Cartoon by Clay Bennett.)


“What this country needs is a dictator...There is no dictatorship in Louisiana. There is a perfect democracy there, and when you have a perfect democracy it is pretty hard to tell it from a dictatorship.” 
Huey Long (1893-1935)  
       Controversial Louisiana politician (nicknamed “The Kingfish”)
       Comments to reporters in 1935
       Quoted by Arthur Meier Schlesinger in his book
The Politics of Upheaval: 1935-1936 (2003)


“What This Country Needs Is a Safe Five-Cent Intoxicant.” 
Dr. Martin M. Katz 
       American psychologist 
       Title of an article he wrote for Psychology Today, published in the February 1971 issue


“What this country needs is a businessman for President.”  
Berton Churchill (playing the embezzling banker Henry Gatewood)
       In the film Stagecoach (1939)
       Stagecoach came out at a time when many business leaders were complaining about President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs and the new regulations he had imposed on banks and other businesses. Early in the movie, Gatewood opines: “What’s good for the banks is good for the country.” Later, after secretly stealing thousands of dollars from his bank, Gatewood goes on
a long rant about government, saying: “I don’t know what the government is coming to. Instead of protecting businessmen, it pokes its nose into business! Why, they’re even talking now about having bank examiners. As if we bankers don’t know how to run our own banks! Why, at home I have a letter from a popinjay official saying they were going to inspect my books. I have a slogan that should be blazoned on every newspaper in this country: America for the Americans! The government must not interfere with business! Reduce taxes! Our national debt is something shocking. Over one billion dollars a year! What this country needs is a businessman for president!” By putting those words in the mouth of the slimy character Henry Gatewood, director John Ford seemed to be taking a sly shot at Roosevelt’s business critics and expressing support for Roosevelt.


“Ron Paul cannot get elected...I’m well acquainted with winning, and that’s what this country needs right now: winning.” 
Donald Trump    
       Mega-millionaire, megalomaniac and losing candidate for Republican presidential nomine in 2011 
Comments he made at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, February 10, 2011


“What this country needs is a man who knows what the country needs.”
       Remark by an unnamed speaker at a Colorado School of Mines Alumni Association meeting in 1952
       Noted in
The Mines magazine: Volume 42 (1952)

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