The Contender (2000)
Laine Hanson: [closing remarks at Congressional confirmation hearing] ... And, Mr. Chairman, I stand for the separation of Church and State, and the reason that I stand for that is the same reason that I believe our forefathers did. It is not there to protect religion from the grasp of government but to protect our government from the grasp of religious fanaticism. Now, I may be an atheist, but that does not mean I do not go to church. I do go to church. The church I go to is the one that emancipated the slaves, that gave women the right to vote, that gave us every freedom that we hold dear. My church is this very Chapel of Democracy that we sit in together, and I do not need God to tell me what are my moral absolutes. I need my heart, my brain, and this church.
President Jackson Evans: Who doesn't want a shortcut to greatness?
President Jackson Evans: You're the future of the Democratic party. And you always will be.
President Jackson Evans: [speaking of Rep. Reginald Webster] Well, he may not know his right from his left, but he does know the difference between right and wrong.
Shelly Runyon: We're both sticking to our guns. The difference is, mine are loaded.
Laine Hanson: It seems to me that all you can claim about me... claim, is that I had sex.
Shelly Runyon: Deviant sex.
Laine Hanson: Oh, deviant? Who says it was deviant?
Shelly Runyon: I do. What I say the American people will believe. And do you know why? Because I will have a very big microphone in front of me.
Shelly Runyon: Greatness is the orphan of urgency, Laine. Greatness only emerges when we need it most... in time of war or calamity. I can't ask somebody to be a Kennedy or a Lincoln. They were MEN created by their times. What I... What I can ask for... is the promise of greatness. And that, Madam Senator... you don't have.
Laine Hanson: Well, then... I just wouldn't be using sex as leverage... if I were you, Sheldon. Because, you know, there's one thing you don't want. It's a woman with her finger on the button who isn't getting laid.
Kermit Newman: The people of this nation can stomach quite a bit. But the one thing they can't stomach is the image of a vice president with a mouthful of cock.
[Trying to dig up dirt on Shelly Runyon]
Kermit Newman: I want something EMBARRASSING! Something sexual! Little boys, midgets, that sort of thing! Cows! I don't give a goddamn!
[Missing a bowling roll]
President Jackson Evans: Well, that's what I get for my Leftist tendencies.
Laine Hanson: Come on, Kermit. If we do that, we are no better than he is.
Kermit Newman: We are no better than he is!
Laine Hanson: Principles only mean something when you stick to them when its inconvenient.
Shelly Runyon: So, how are Will and the boy?
Laine Hanson: Let's forego the small talk today Shelly, I'm not in the mood.
Shelly Runyon: Let the big talk begin.
Shelly Runyon: There's a reason they call me honest Shell.
President Jackson Evans: Irony, Shelly.
President Jackson Evans: [outside the white house, walking away from the party] . Well can I tell you I'm just bustin' to know what really happened?
Laine Hanson: You mean, this would just be between Laine and the President?
President Jackson Evans: I'll go one better. This will be between Laine and Jackson.
President Jackson Evans: [adressing the Congress] Napoleon once said when asked to explain the lack of great statesmen in the world, that "to get power you need to display absolute pettiness; to exercise power, you need to show true greatness." Such pettiness and greatness are rarely found in one person... Laine Hanson has asked that I allow her to step aside. She asked me to do this because she wants my presidency to end on a note of triumph and not controversey. Understand, those of you who worked to bring Laine Hanson down, that she asked to have her name withdrawn from consideration, NOT because she isn't great, but because she isn't petty. Because those two forms of leadership traits could not live in her body or her soul. Greatness. It comes in many forms, sometimes it comes in the form of sacrifice - that's the loneliest form.
President Jackson Evans: I should have come down here and pointed my finger your way...
[focuses his gaze and points his finger at Rep. Shelley Runyon]
President Jackson Evans: ... pointed my finger YOUR way, and asked "Have you no decency, sir?"
President Jackson Evans: I'll die before Shelly Runyon checkmates me.
Shelly Runyon: Take a magic marker, cross out the word "objectivity". Your constituents want you for your opinions, your philosophy, for you subjectivity.