The Best Man (1964)
Joe Cantwell: I don't understand you.
William Russell: I know you don't. Because you have no sense of responsibility toward anybody or anything. And that is a tragedy in a man, and it is a disaster in a president.
President Art Hockstader: Now, I am here to tell you this, that power is not a toy that we give to good children. It's a weapon, and the strong man takes it and he uses it. And if you don't go down there and beat Joe Cantwell to the floor with this very dirty stick, then you've got no business in this big league. Because if you don't fight, this job is not for you. And it never will be.
President Art Hockstader: [after a long silent pause] And so, one by one these compromises, these small corruptions, destroy character.
President Art Hockstader: To want power is corruption already.
President Art Hockstader: Oh, there have been moments when I've questioned your methods.
Joe Cantwell: Well, you got to fight fire with fire, Mr. President.
President Art Hockstader: And the end justifies the means, huh?
Joe Cantwell: Yes, I believe that.
President Art Hockstader: Well, son, I got news for you about both politics and life. And may I say the two are exactly the same? There are no ends, Joe, only means.
T.T. Claypoole: Nice thing about you, Joe, is that you can sound like a liberal, but at heart you're an American.
President Art Hockstader: Major Bascomb, do I understand by the way you are slowly beating around the bush, that Joe Cantwell was, what we used to call when I was a boy, a dee-generate?
Sheldon Bascomb: Yes, sir, Mr. President, sir. That's just what I mean.
William Russell: I don't believe it. No man with that awful wife and those ugly children could be anything but normal.
President Art Hockstader: Y'know, it's not that I object to your being a bastard, don't get me wrong there. It's your being such a stupid bastard that I object to.
President Art Hockstader: You aren't crazy, are you?
William Russell: Any man who wants to be President is crazy.
William Russell: [in response to reporter's question 'do you think people mistrust intellectuals like you in politics?'] Intellectual? You mean I wrote a book? Well, as Bertrand Russell said, 'people in a democracy tend to think they have less to fear from a stupid man than an intelligent one.' Actually, it's the other way around. It's the stupid man.
William Russell: Is there anything more indecent than the human face when it smiles? All those predatory teeth reminding us of our animal descent.
William Russell: T.T. Claypoole has all the characteristics of a dog except loyalty.
William Russell: [to reporters] And I am, of course, happy that the best man won.
President Art Hockstader: Oh well, the world's sure changed since I was politickin'. In those days, we had to pour God over everything like ketchup.
President Art Hockstader: [slyly] Oh, those rumors about you and your lady friends, they won't do you a bit of harm. You haven't written them any letters, have you?
William Russell: No, no letters
President Art Hockstader: Ah, good.
William Russell: I never pass a mirror, I don't look in it. I wonder why?
Alice Russell: As someone sooner or later is bound to say, 'politics makes strange bedfellows.'
William Russell: I was hoping it wouldn't be you who said it.
President Art Hockstader: Bill, do you believe in God?
William Russell: Do I? Well, I was confirmed in the Episcopal Church.
President Art Hockstader: Hell, I'm a Methodist, and I'm still asking. Do you believe in God? Do you believe in a day of judgement, and a hereafter?
William Russell: No. I believe in us. In man.
President Art Hockstader: [to William Russell] Time was, when you rich boys liked to play games like polo. Now you play politics.
President Art Hockstader: [to William Russell] You're a very superior man. The kind we don't often find in politics.
President Art Hockstader: [to William Russell] Well, son, you've got such a good mind, that sometimes you get so busy thinking how complex everything is, that important problems don't get solved.
William Russell: [speaking of Mrs. Gamadge] The only known link between the NAACP and the Ku Klux Klan.
Sue Ellen Gamadge: You are not the ideal candidate for the women.
William Russell: Which women do you have in mind?
Sue Ellen Gamadge: The women don't like you trying to be funny all the time.
William Russell: Oh, that is a flaw. I agree.
Sue Ellen Gamadge: Yes. They want a regular kind of man, like, well, like General Eisenhower, with that nice smile. And he's not pushy or aggressive, or any of those things we women don't like in our men. He was just grand. Why, you could imagine him washing up after dinner, or listening to his wife's views on important matters.
William Russell: Yes, indeed you can.
Sue Ellen Gamadge: So just don't try to be smart aleck and talk over our poor heads.