A Congressman was once asked about his attitude toward whiskey.
“If you mean the demon drink that poisons the mind, pollutes the body, desecrates family life, and inflames sinners, then I’m against it.”
“But if you mean the elixir of Christmas cheer, the shield against winter chill, the taxable potion that puts needed funds into public coffers to comfort needy children, then I’m for it.”
“This is my position, and I will not compromise.”
Dogs Say the Darndest Things
Ronald Reagan once commented on his choice of work. "Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards: if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book."
Mark Twain declared himself to be a greater man than George Washington, for Washington couldn't tell a lie, and he could.
The late Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago was a regular contributor of garbled language. He once told a group; "This is for the enlightenment and edification and hallucination of the uniformed (uninformed) alderman."
Many still recall his classic: "Get this straight – the policeman isn't there to create disorder. The policeman is there to preserve disorder."
Morris K. Udall, the good-humored representative from Arizona, offered these master of ceremonies' gaffes from his experience: "Our distinguished guest tonight, congressman Cannon, is a public servant who is equal to few and superior to none."
Also: "Now, ladies and gentlemen, I will ask Senator Crosby to come to the rectum."
Sometimes accused of dozing during meetings, Sen. S. I. Hayakawa of California is remembered for observing: "The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep."
Al Smith visited Sing Sing prison soon after he was elected governor of New York. His verbal problem began as soon as he had toured the grounds and began to address the inmates. He was unsure how to begin, but finally he said, "My fellow citizens." Then he recalled that when one goes to prison, one is no longer a citizen. So, he the said, "My fellow convicts." This brought a roar from the inmates.
Finally, Smith blurted out: "Well, anyhow, I'm so glad to see so many of you here."
Speaking at a patriotic event honoring Abraham Lincoln, Dan Flood, who was then serving as the congressman in Pennsylvania's 11th district, declaimed: "It is fitting that we pay tribute to Abraham Lincoln, who was born in a log cabin that he built with his own hands."
Baltimore's colorful councilman, the late Dominic "Mimi" DiPietro, was well know for his malapropisms. In discussing a controversial expressway, he explained: "It was like a little snowball which rolled down the hill, gathered moss and when it got to the bottom, it became a big mushroom."
Telling a reporter about a restaurant that served great coffee, the councilman explained, "They keep the urinals running 24 hours a day."
He criticized the court system because "there's too much flea bargaining."
A member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, James McSheehy, chairman of the Finance Committee, told a group of homemakers: "Ladies, I have here some figures which I want you to take home in your heads, which I know are concrete."
He was also the one who observed: "This has all the earmarks of an eyesore."
And then there's the story that Harold Hoffman, former governor of New Jersey, swore happened:
A state employee was driving a truck along a New Jersey highway at an excessive speed. A trooper stopped him and asked, "Do you realize you were doing over 55 miles an hour?"
"No, I didn't," said the driver.
"Well," asked the trooper, "haven't you a governor on the truck?"
"No, sir," said the employee, "the governor's in Trenton – that's fertilizer you smell."