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The American President (1995) Poster

Quotes

President Andrew Shepherd: For the last couple of months, Senator Rumson has suggested that being president of this country was, to a certain extent, about character, and although I have not been willing to engage in his attacks on me, I've been here three years and three days, and I can tell you without hesitation: Being President of this country is entirely about character. For the record: yes, I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU. But the more important question is why aren't you, Bob? Now, this is an organization whose sole purpose is to defend the Bill of Rights, so it naturally begs the question: Why would a senator, his party's most powerful spokesman and a candidate for President, choose to reject upholding the Constitution? If you can answer that question, folks, then you're smarter than I am, because I didn't understand it until a few hours ago. America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free". I've known Bob Rumson for years, and I've been operating under the assumption that the reason Bob devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn't get it. Well, I was wrong. Bob's problem isn't that he doesn't get it. Bob's problem is that he can't sell it! We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. You gather a group of middle-aged, middle-class, middle-income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family and American values and character. And wave an old photo of the President's girlfriend and you scream about patriotism and you tell them, she's to blame for their lot in life, and you go on television and you call her a whore. Sydney Ellen Wade has done nothing to you, Bob. She has done nothing but put herself through school, represent the interests of public school teachers, and lobby for the safety of our natural resources. You want a character debate, Bob? You better stick with me, 'cause Sydney Ellen Wade is way out of your league.

[pauses]

President Andrew Shepherd: I've loved two women in my life. I lost one to cancer, and I lost the other 'cause I was so busy keeping my job I forgot to do my job. Well, that ends right now. Tomorrow morning, the White House is sending a bill to Congress for its consideration. It's White House Resolution 455, an energy bill requiring a 20 percent reduction of the emission of fossil fuels over the next ten years. It is by far the most aggressive stride ever taken in the fight to reverse the effects of global warming. The other piece of legislation is the crime bill. As of today, it no longer exists. I'm throwing it out. I'm throwing it out writing a law that makes sense. You cannot address crime prevention without getting rid of assault weapons and handguns. I consider them a threat to national security, and I will go door to door if I have to, but I'm gonna convince Americans that I'm right, and I'm gonna get the guns. We've got serious problems, and we need serious people, and if you want to talk about character, Bob, you'd better come at me with more than a burning flag and a membership card. If you want to talk about character and American values, fine. Just tell me where and when, and I'll show up. This is a time for serious people, Bob, and your fifteen minutes are up. My name is Andrew Shepherd, and I *am* the President.

Lewis Rothschild: You have a deeper love of this country than any man I've ever known. And I want to know what it says to you that in the past seven weeks, 59% of Americans have begun to question your patriotism.

President Andrew Shepherd: Look, if the people want to listen to-...

Lewis Rothschild: They don't have a choice! Bob Rumson is the only one doing the talking! People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand.

President Andrew Shepherd: Lewis, we've had presidents who were beloved, who couldn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty. They drink the sand because they don't know the difference.

[dancing at a state dinner]

Sydney Ellen Wade: I don't know how you do it.

President Andrew Shepherd: It's Arthur Murray. Six lessons.

Sydney Ellen Wade: That's not what I mean. Two hundred pairs of eyes are focused on you with two questions on their minds - who's this girl, and why is the President dancing with her?

President Andrew Shepherd: Well, first of all, the two hundred pairs of eyes aren't focused on me. They're focused on you. And the answers are Sydney Ellen Wade, and because she said yes.

A. J. MacInerney: The President doesn't answer to you, Lewis!

Lewis Rothschild: Oh, yes he does A.J. I'm a citizen, this is my President. And in this country it is not only permissible to question our leaders it's our responsibility!

A.J.: You've said it yourself a million times. If there had been a TV in every living room sixty years ago, this country does not elect a man in a wheelchair.

A.J. MacInerney: If anyone needs me, I'll be in the Roosevelt Room, giving Lewis oxygen.

A.J.: Good night, Mr. President.

President Andrew Shepherd: A.J.?

A.J.: Yes, sir?

President Andrew Shepherd: When we're out of the office, and alone, you can call me Andy.

A.J.: I beg your pardon, sir?

President Andrew Shepherd: You were the best man at my wedding, for crying out loud. Call me Andy.

A.J.: Whatever you say, Mr. President.

[after President Shepherd's speech]

Leon Kodak: Well, you don't see that every day of the week.

Lewis Rothschild: He's got the whole White House press corps asking each other how to spell erudite!

A.J.: Better call the printer, Lewis.

Lewis Rothschild: I know, we gotta rewrite the State of the Union.

A.J.: Every word, kid. It's a whole new ballgame. You have exactly 35 minutes.

Lewis Rothschild: Oh, good, I thought I was gonna be rushed!

[Last lines]

Sydney Ellen Wade: How'd you finally do it?

President Andrew Shepherd: Do what?

Sydney Ellen Wade: Manage to give a woman flowers and be president at the same time?

President Andrew Shepherd: Well, it turns out I've got a rose garden.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Why did I have to kiss him?

Beth Wade: You kissed him? You didn't tell me that. Where did you kiss him?

Sydney Ellen Wade: On the mouth.

Beth Wade: Where in the White House?

Sydney Ellen Wade: The dish room.

Beth Wade: The dish room?

Sydney Ellen Wade: The china room.

Beth Wade: And then what happened?

Sydney Ellen Wade: He had to go and attack Libya.

Beth Wade: It's always something.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Yeah... I gotta nip this in the bud. This has catastrophe written all over it.

Beth Wade: In what language? Sydney, the man is the leader of the free world. He's brilliant, funny, handsome. He's an above-average dancer. Isn't it possible our standards are just a tad high?

Lewis Rothschild: [the President wants to get flowers for Sydney] At least let the agents do a security sweep. We don't know who's in there!

President Andrew Shepherd: You think there's a florist in there planning an assassination on the the off-chance that I might be stopping by?

Lewis Rothschild: It's possible.

[Looking through Andrew Shepherd's college transcript]

Sydney Ellen Wade: Oh, Andy, a C minus in Women's Studies.

President Andrew Shepherd: Yeah, well, that class wasn't about what I thought it was about.

Lewis Rothschild: Can I just state very clearly I can't be part of anything illegal.

A.J.: Good for you, Lewis.

Lewis Rothschild: Say what you want. It's always the guy in my job that ends up doing 18 months in Danbury minimum security prison.

President Andrew Shepherd: You're attracted to me, but the idea of physical intimacy is uncomfortable because you only know me as the President. But it's not always going to be that way, and the reason I know that is there was a moment last night when you were with ME, not the President. And I know what a big step that was for you. So, Sydney, I'm in no rush. Here's my plan. We're going to slow down, and when you're comfortable, that's when it's going to happen.

[Sydney emerges from the bathroom wearing nothing but one of his shirts]

President Andrew Shepherd: Perhaps I didn't properly explain the fundamentals of the slowdown plan.

Sydney Ellen Wade: [feeling the bed] No, you explained it great.

President Andrew Shepherd: Are you nervous?

Sydney Ellen Wade: No.

President Andrew Shepherd: Good. My nervousness exists on... several levels. Number one, and this is in no particular order, I haven't done this in a pretty long time. Number two, uh, any expectations that you might have, given the fact that I'm... you know...

Sydney Ellen Wade: [approaching seductively] The most powerful man in the world?

President Andrew Shepherd: Exactly, thank you. I think it's important you remember that's a political distinction that comes with the office. I mean, if, uh, Eisenhower were here instead of me, he'd be dead by now... and number three...

Sydney Ellen Wade: Andy...

[she kisses him]

A. J. MacInerney: Excuse me, sir, where are you going?

President Andrew Shepherd: I'm going over to her house. I'm going to stand outside her door until she let's me in, and I'm not leaving 'til I get her back.

A. J. MacInerney: How are you going to do that, sir?

President Andrew Shepherd: Well, I haven't worked that out yet, but I'm sure groveling will be involved.

President Andrew Shepherd: What I did tonight was not about political gain.

Leon Kodak: Yes sir. But it can be, sir. What you did tonight was very Presidential.

President Andrew Shepherd: Leon, somewhere in Libya right now, a janitor's working the night shift at Libyan Intelligence Headquarters. He's going about doing his job... because he has no idea, in about an hour he's going to die in a massive explosion. He's just going about his job, because he has no idea that about an hour ago I gave an order to have him killed. You've just seen me do the least Presidential thing I do.

Sydney Ellen Wade: [to the President] This isn't about me. How can you keep quiet? How do you have patience for people who claim they love America, but clearly can't stand Americans?

Leon Kodak: [cut to conversation in progress] You see, the country has mood swings.

Lewis Rothschild: Mood swings? Nineteen post-graduate degrees in mathematics, and your best explanation for going from a 63 to a 46 percent approval rating in five weeks is mood swings?

Leon Kodak: Well, I could explain it better, but I'd need charts, and graphs, and an easel.

[President Shepherd watches his opponent finish up a speech on CNN]

President Andrew Shepherd: Oh, wait a minute here comes my favorite part.

Bob Rumson: My name is Bob Rumson, and I'm running for President!

President Andrew Shepherd: Sure glad he cleared that up, because that crowd was about to buy some Amway products!

President Andrew Shepherd: Is the view pretty good from the cheap seats, A.J.?

A.J.: I beg your pardon?

President Andrew Shepherd: Because it occurs to me that in twenty five years I've never seen YOUR name on a ballot. Now why is that? Why are you always one step behind ME?

A.J.: Because if I wasn't, you'd be the most popular history teacher at the University of Wisconsin!

President Andrew Shepherd: Fuck you!

[Sydney is unaware the President is listening]

Sydney Ellen Wade: Your boss is the chief executive of fantasy land!

President Andrew Shepherd: Well, let's take him out back and beat the shit out of him!

President Andrew Shepherd: This is NOT the business of the American people!

A.J.: With all due respect, sir, the American people have a funny way of deciding on their own what is and what is not their business.

Robin McCall: I think the important thing is not to make it look like we're panicking.

President Andrew Shepherd: See, and I think the important thing is actually not to BE panicking.

A.J.: Excuse me, Mr. President, I just got off the phone with the federal mediator in St. Louis. Management just walked away from the table; the baggage handlers, pilots and flight attendants are all getting set to walk out in forty-eight hours.

President Andrew Shepherd: You know, I studied under a Nobel Prize-winning economist, and you know what he taught me?

A.J.: Never have an airline strike at Christmas?

President Andrew Shepherd: She didn't say anything about me?

A.J.: No, but I could always pass her a note before study hall.

President Andrew Shepherd: She's questioning your loyalty.

Lewis Rothschild: Hell, I question it all the time.

Lucy Shepherd: Do you see it as part of your job to torture me?

President Andrew Shepherd: No, just one of the perks.

Sydney Ellen Wade: I regrouped. You have to give me that. I stood in the middle of the Oval Office and made it clear that he who doesn't take the GDC seriously does so at his peril.

Beth Wade: And then you walked out the wrong door.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Are you going to keep throwing that back in my face for the rest of my life?

Beth Wade: That's my current plan, yes.

President Andrew Shepherd: Lewis, however much coffee you drink in the morning, I want you to reduce it by half.

Lewis Rothschild: I don't drink coffee, sir.

President Andrew Shepherd: Then hit yourself over the head with a baseball bat, would you please?

President Andrew Shepherd: Two-ball on the side.

[He makes the shot, and the two-ball goes into the pocket]

A. J. MacInerney: Nice shot, Mr. President.

President Andrew Shepherd: "Nice shot, Mr. President"? You won't even call me by my name when we're playing pool?

A. J. MacInerney: I will not do it playing pool, I will not do it in a school. I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them, Sam I Am.

President Andrew Shepherd: At ease, A.J. At ease.

[He prepares to hit the nine-ball into the corner pocket; A.J. stands by that pocket]

President Andrew Shepherd: Would - would you get away from the pocket?

A. J. MacInerney: I beg your pardon, sir.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Hello?

President Andrew Shepherd: Yeah, hi, is this Sydney?

Sydney Ellen Wade: Leo?

President Andrew Shepherd: No, this is Andrew Shepherd.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Oh! It's Andrew Shepherd! Yeah, you're hilarious, Richard, you're just a regular riot!

President Andrew Shepherd: No, this isn't Richard, this is Andrew Shepherd.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Oh! Well, I'm so glad you called, because I forgot to tell you today what a nice ass you have. I'm also impressed that you were able to get my phone number given the fact that I don't have a phone. Good night, Richard.

President Andrew Shepherd: Uh, this isn't Richard-

[Sydney hangs up]

President Andrew Shepherd: This used to be easier.

Lucy Shepherd: My Dad told me to tell you that he's on the phone with his dentist, and that I should behave myself and entertain you until he gets back.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Oh. Your father's on the phone with his dentist?

Lucy Shepherd: No, he told me to tell you he's on the phone with his dentist. He wants you to think he's a regular guy.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Oh. Well, who's he on the phone with?

Lucy Shepherd: The prime minister of Israel.

President Andrew Shepherd: Do you think there will ever be a time when you can stand in a room with me and not think of me as the President?

Sydney Ellen Wade: This isn't a state of mind. You are the President. And when I'm in a room with you, oval or any other shape, I'm always gonna be a lobbyist, and you're always gonna be the President.

President Andrew Shepherd: I have news for you, Sydney. As a lobbyist, you'd never be alone in a room with the President.

President Andrew Shepherd: Let me see if I got this. The third story on the news tonight was that someone I didn't know thirteen years ago when I wasn't president participated in a demonstration where no laws were being broken in protest of something that so many people were against, it doesn't exist anymore. Just out of curiosity, what was the fourth story?

President Andrew Shepherd: For reasons passing understanding, people do not relate guns to gun-related crime.

Sydney Ellen Wade: If someone had asked me yesterday, I'd have told them that the Quebec Conference is made up of six professional hockey teams.

Leo Solomon's Secretary: Dig it, Miss Wade... you're the President's girlfriend!

Lewis Rothschild: But we're not gonna stay at 41. The numbers are gonna go back up.

[listens]

Lewis Rothschild: But they're gonna go back up.

[listens]

Lewis Rothschild: All right George...

[listens]

Lewis Rothschild: Congressman...

[listens]

Lewis Rothschild: Congressman Jarrett...

[listens]

Lewis Rothschild: Look George, listen to me... it's crunch time. It's personal. This is one of those moments. It's just you and the President. Now what's it gonna be? Yeah.

[listens]

Lewis Rothschild: Yeah.

[shakes his head as he listens]

Lewis Rothschild: All right George, can I tell you something? We're gonna win this thing. We're gonna get the votes we need and we're gonna win this thing. And you know what I'm gonna do after that, I mean that very night, I'm gonna go to Sam & Harry's, I'm gonna order a big steak, and I'm gonna make a list of everybody who tried to *fuck*

[slams pop can off his desk with a fist]

Lewis Rothschild: us this week!

Robin McCall: Lewis!

Lewis Rothschild: [into phone] Well just Vote your conscience, you chicken-shit, lame-ass...

[slams the phone down]

Lewis Rothschild: [continuing to Robin and Leon] We lost Jarrett.

Leon Kodak: [beat] I hope so. 'Cause, you know, if that was an "undecided," then we need to work on our people skills.

Janie: The 10:15 event has been moved inside to the Indian Treaty Room.

President Andrew Shepherd: 10:15 is American Fisheries?

Janie: Yes sir. They're giving you a 200-pound halibut.

President Andrew Shepherd: Janie, make a note. We need to schedule more events where somebody gives me a really big fish.

Janie: Yes sir.

[starts making note]

President Andrew Shepherd: Janie, I'm kidding.

Janie: [Stops and starts to smile] Of course, sir.

Sydney Ellen Wade: [with dread as she realizes that she was in fact speaking with the president on the phone] Mr. President... um... uh... I'm sure there's an appropriate thing to say at this moment... probably some formal apology for the "nice ass" remark would be in order, I just... I don't quite know how to word it.

President Andrew Shepherd: No, it's my fault. I shouldn't have called you at home. Should I call you at the office tomorrow?

Sydney Ellen Wade: No, no, of course not... I mean, yes, you can call me anytime you want... this is fine, right now is fine, when I said, "of course not," I meant... that... You know what, to hell with it, I'm moving to another country!

[after asking Sydney to join him for the state dinner. Long pause]

President Andrew Shepherd: Sydney, Congress doesn't take this long.

President Andrew Shepherd: [Lewis calls the President early in the morning] Lewis, it is five a.m. You have got to get yourself a life, man.

President Andrew Shepherd: Listen, I feel terrible about this, but I'm going to have to cancel our date tonight.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Another woman?

President Andrew Shepherd: No, I've gotta go to St. Louis to avert a massive airline strike.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Boy, if I had a nickel for every time I've heard that one.

President Andrew Shepherd: I want to buy her some flowers. That's what men do when they break a date.

Robin McCall: That's not what men do. I know no men who do that.

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[Ushering Sydney out of the White House after spending her first night there]

President Andrew Shepherd: I'm sorry about this. We'll do it better next time.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Well, I'm no expert but I think we did it pretty good this time.

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Lewis Rothschild: Who're we calling, sir?

President Andrew Shepherd: I'm calling the Organization of the United Brotherhood of It's None of Your Damn Business, Lewis. I'll be with you in a second.

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[Right before their first kiss]

Sydney Ellen Wade: Do you think this is a good idea?

President Andrew Shepherd: Probably not.

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Sydney Ellen Wade: Mr. President, you've got bigger problems than losing me. You just lost my vote.

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[Discussing a reprisal for an attack on US troops]

A. J. MacInerney: Sir, it's immediate, it's decisive, it's low-risk, and it's a proportional response.

President Andrew Shepherd: Someday someone's going to have to explain to me the virtue of a proportional response.

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Lucy: If you were a dork you should say you're sorry. Girls like that.

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President Andrew Shepherd: Did she say anything about me?

A. J. MacInerney: Ms. Wade?

President Andrew Shepherd: When she called?

A. J. MacInerney: Did she say anything about you?

President Andrew Shepherd: No. We had a nice couple of minutes together. She threatened me, I patronized her. We didn't have anything to eat, but I thought there was a connection.

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President Andrew Shepherd: The White House is the single greatest home court advantage in the modern world.

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Robin McCall: It's Christmas.

Lewis Rothschild: It's Christmas?

Leon Kodak: Yeah. You didn't get the memo?

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Leo Solomon: Politics is perception.

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A. J. MacInerney: Oh, you only fight the fights you can win? You fight the fights that need fighting!

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A. J. MacInerney: Oh, and Leon, don't be the nice, sweet guy from Brooklyn on this one. Do what the NRA does.

Leon Kodak: What, scare the shit out of them?

A. J. MacInerney: Exactly.

Leon Kodak: I can do that.

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Lewis Rothschild: I tell any girl I'm going out with to assume that all plans are soft until she receives confirmation from me thirty minutes beforehand.

Robin McCall: And they find this romantic?

Lewis Rothschild: Well, I say it with a great deal of charm.

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A.J.: Mr. President, this is an election year. If you're looking for female companionship, we can make certain arrangements that will ensure total privacy.

President Andrew Shepherd: I don't want you to get me a girl, A.J.! What is this, Vegas?

A.J.: No sir, this is the White House.

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President Andrew Shepherd: [Lucy is putting on his bow tie] That's a little tight, Luce.

Lucy Shepherd: It's supposed to be tight. It's supposed to make you look regal.

President Andrew Shepherd: Is it supposed to cut off the blood flow to my face?

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[On the phone with the florist]

President Andrew Shepherd: Perhaps it would be better if you bill me for the flowers, I'm sure it'll be all right with your boss... Well, I don't know if you recognize my voice, but this is the president... Of the United States!... Hello?

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Leo Solomon: I hired your reputation, Sydney. I hired a pit bull, not a prom queen.

Sydney Ellen Wade: That's unfair.

Leo Solomon: It's *incredibly* unfair.

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President Andrew Shepherd: You have concerns?

Sydney Ellen Wade: Yes. Not many. A few. One. I have one concern.

President Andrew Shepherd: This wouldn't have to do with the fact that one of us is president?

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[Watching Bob Rumson on television]

Bob Rumson: Last night, the cost of those liberal programs was raised to include the blood of 22 American soldiers. Now, Mr. Shepherd's read a lot of books, but it doesn't take a Harvard degree to see this one coming a mile down the road.

President Andrew Shepherd: I went to Stanford, you blowhole!

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President Andrew Shepherd: How much do you make?

Sydney Ellen Wade: More than you do, Mr. President.

President Andrew Shepherd: The name is Andy. How much money do you make?

Sydney Ellen Wade: What the hell does it matter how much money I make?

President Andrew Shepherd: You raise your voice to the president?

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Sydney Ellen Wade: Bob Rumson's gotta be drooling over this!

President Andrew Shepherd: Are you attracted to me?

Sydney Ellen Wade: I beg your pardon?

President Andrew Shepherd: I asked if you were attracted to me.

Sydney Ellen Wade: That's not the issue.

President Andrew Shepherd: Well, I tell you what, let's make it the issue. Let's try something new, because I know that most couples when they first get together are inclined to slam on the brakes because they're concerned about Bob Rumson's drool.

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[picking up the Oval Office phone]

President Andrew Shepherd: Yeah, hi, good morning... how do I get an outside line?

[hears dial tone immediately]

President Andrew Shepherd: Well, that was easy.

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Leo's secretary: Mr. Solomon? This was just delivered by a White House messenger. It's marked perishable.

Leo Solomon: The White House has sent me something perishable?

Leo's secretary: It's for Ms. Wade.

Leo Solomon: Oh, here we go.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Relax, Leo, I'm sure it's just a formality.

Leo's secretary: It's from him.

Leo Solomon: Of course it's from him.

Sydney Ellen Wade: So he had some staff flunky send me a fruit basket.

Leo's secretary: Well, he wrote the note himself.

Sydney Ellen Wade: I'm sure he didn't take the time to...

Leo's secretary: The messenger said he waited in the Oval Office for ten minutes while the president wrote the card.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Okay, listen- it took him ten minutes to write the card?

Leo's secretary: Apparently he went through several drafts.

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David: We should do some prep work. You wanna order in?

Sydney Ellen Wade: Uh, I can't. I'm having dinner at the White House. So let's start early tomorrow morning, say 7:30?

David: Okay. I'm having lunch at the Kremlin, so we'll have to, you know, start even earlier than that.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Good night, David.

David: In order for me to catch the morning plane to Moscow.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Good night, David!

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President Andrew Shepherd: You ever been to Camp David?

Sydney Ellen Wade: Camp David? Sure, I used to go there all the time, but then they changed chefs.

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President Andrew Shepherd: Seven trillion dollar communications system at my disposal, and I can't find out if the Packers won.

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[Watching Rumson on television]

Bob Rumson: I don't even know what we call her. Is she the First Mistress?

Sydney Ellen Wade: Oh, man... my father heard that.

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President Andrew Shepherd: If Mary hadn't died, would we have won three years ago?

A.J.: Would we have won?

President Andrew Shepherd: If we had to go through a character debate three years ago, would we have won?

A.J.: I don't know. But I would have liked that campaign. If my friend Andy Shepherd had shown up, I would have liked that campaign very much.

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President Andrew Shepherd: She didn't say anything about me?

A. J. MacInerney: Well, she did say you were taller than she thought you'd be.

President Andrew Shepherd: Well, that's something.

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Leo Solomon: There's never an egg timer around when you need one.

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President Andrew Shepherd: It's sass, right? You're sassin' me.

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Lucy: Just be yourself.

President Andrew Shepherd: Be myself.

Lucy: Yeah, and compliment her shoes. Girls like that.

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Sydney Ellen Wade: [as they head to the state dinner] Do you do this often?

President Andrew Shepherd: Well, we had a state dinner for the prime minister of Japan, who died shortly thereafter, so we stopped having them just in case.

Sydney Ellen Wade: No. I mean, do you date often?

President Andrew Shepherd: Oh. No. You?

Sydney Ellen Wade: Yeah, well, lately I seem to be going out on a lot of first dates.

President Andrew Shepherd: Oh, so you've got experience with this kind of thing.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Oh yeah, you can ask me anything.

President Andrew Shepherd: So, how are we doing?

Sydney Ellen Wade: Ohhh you know pretty much everyday first date kind of stuff...

President Andrew Shepherd: Darn, and I wanted to be different than the other guys.

[leaves her with her escort]

President Andrew Shepherd: Oh, by the way, nice shoes.

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Robin McCall: Buenas Dias, Senior Presidente.

President Andrew Shepherd: Too tall McCall, how was Mexico?

Robin McCall: I didn't truly appreciate it until I came back and discovered that America isn't a great society?

Lewis Rothschild: He dumped a whole section.

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[Sydney and President D'Astier were conversing in French]

President Andrew Shepherd: Sydney, you didn't dissolve our trade agreements, did you?

Sydney Ellen Wade: No, I just said we're sitting in this beautiful room, listening to the music of this wonderful orchestra, and I wondered why nobody was dancing.

President René Jean D'Astier: And I informed Miss Wade that in my country, a guest at the palace of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette would soon find their head in a guillotine if they made the impertinent gesture of dancing without so much as a by-your-leave from the King and the Queen.

[laughs]

A. J. MacInerney: I bet no one accused Louis of being soft on crime.

Sydney Ellen Wade: There's a lesson there, Mr. President.

President Andrew Shepherd: More beheadings at the White House!

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President Andrew Shepherd: Do you know what your problem is?

Sydney Ellen Wade: What's my problem?

President Andrew Shepherd: Sex and nervousness.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Sex and nervousness is my problem?

President Andrew Shepherd: Yes. Last night when we were looking at those place settings in the Dish Room, I realized those place settings were provided by the first ladies. And I'll bet none of those first ladies were nervous about having sex with their President husbands. And do you know why?

Sydney Ellen Wade: No, but I'm sure you'll explain it to me.

President Andrew Shepherd: I will. Because they weren't Presidents when they first met them. That's not the case here.

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A. J. MacInerney: I feel a nightmare coming on...

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President Andrew Shepherd: Douglas, does the NRA have video tapes of you playing golf with Satan?

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Susan Sloan: I just want to go on record and apologize for my attitude towards you since your arrival.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Oh, I didn't notice. Was there an attitude?

Susan Sloan: Well, I - I think that um, that I - I have a lot of pent-up hostility...

Sydney Ellen Wade: Well, I...

Susan Sloan: You know, and I'm wondering who I should blame that on.

Sydney Ellen Wade: I'm not really qualified to...

Susan Sloan: You know, because I've been blaming it on my mother and my ex-husband and, well, that doesn't seem to be working.

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President Andrew Shepherd: Janie, can you get me the number of a local florist?

Janie: I'll take care of it, sir, where would you like them sent?

President Andrew Shepherd: No, I want to do it myself. I just need the number.

Janie: I don't understand

President Andrew Shepherd: I want the phone number of a florist.

Janie: You just want the phone number?

President Andrew Shepherd: Yeah.

Janie: I don't understand, sir, is there a problem...

President Andrew Shepherd: Janie, I want to send some flowers. I want to do it myself. I don't want to staff it out, and I don't want to issue and executive order. I just want a phone number.

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Robin McCall: How do you want me to handle the "Sydney issue?"

[Shepherd looks up]

President Andrew Shepherd: The "Sydney issue?"

Lewis Rothschild: We should have a consensus on how the White House is going to handle it.

President Andrew Shepherd: Well I sure hope the "Sydney issue" refers in some way to a problem we're having with Australia, because if it's anything other than that...

[Janie pokes her head in]

Janie: Mr. President? Ms. Wade is here to see you.

President Andrew Shepherd: Send her in, please. I'm finished here.

Janie: Yes, sir.

President Andrew Shepherd: [to Lewis and McCall] There is no "Sydney issue."

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Lewis Rothschild: People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage. When they discover there's no water there, they'll drink the sand.

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President Andrew Shepherd: [as Sydney is angrily leaving] Syd, please, I don't want to lose you over this.

Sydney Ellen Wade: Mr. President, you got bigger problems than losing me. You just lost my vote!

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Bob Rumson: [singing giddily that an aide has found a compromising photo of Sydney] It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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