25 Inspirational Quotes From Bill Clinton on His 70th Birthday
William Jefferson Clinton held office during the longest period of peacetime and economic expansion in American history. During that time, he retained a widely popular reputation despite personal scandals and controversial policies.
During and following his presidency, Clinton has made bold statements to compel the public to demand better for their lives -- fitting for a man born in a town called Hope. He is known for his humorous and candid comments, and his charismatic, down-to-earth personality has made his remarks resonate.
Here are 25 Bill Clinton quotes from speeches, books and interviews that seek to empower others to hold themselves accountable for the greater good.
On work ethic
"I did not run for this job just to warm the seat. I desperately want to make a difference."
"As powerful as our memories are, our dreams must be even stronger. For when our memories outweigh our dreams, we become old."
"Being president is like running a cemetery: you've got a lot of people under you and nobody's listening."
"We all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more."
On giving back
"Let us all take more responsibility not only for ourselves and our families but for our communities and our country."
"The road to tyranny, we must never forget, begins with the destruction of the truth."
On working under pressure
"Sometimes when people are under stress, they hate to think, and it's the time when they most need to think."
On mental health
"Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all."
"If you want to have a good life you have to have some constructive outlet for your feelings."
"There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America."
"Nothing big ever came from being small."
"A man is more than the sum of all the things he can do."
"People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power."
"If you live long enough, you'll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you'll be a better person. It's how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit."
"You can put wings on a pig, but you don't make it an eagle."
"You have to make a conscious decision to change for your own well-being, and that of your family and your country."
"May those generations whose faces we cannot yet see, whose names we may never know, say of us here that we led our beloved land into a new century with the American dream alive."
"In the new economy, information, education and motivation are everything."
On collective power
"We've got to get America back in the future business."
"Nobody's right all the time, and a broken clock is right twice a day. We're compelled to spend our fleeting lives between those two extremes, knowing we're never going to be right all the time and hoping we're right more than twice a day."
"Sometimes I feel like the fire hydrant looking at a pack of dogs. For six years I have declined to tell these kinds of jokes because I have been told repeatedly that it is not presidential. But I feel kind of outdoorsy today."
On critical thinking
"It depends upon what the meaning of the word "is' is."
Related: 10 Leaders Who Overcame Scandal
On admitting mistakes
"It wasn't my finest hour. It wasn't even my finest hour and a half."
"If being a good politician means that I've been able to be re-elected in tough times as well as good times, and have been able to build a broad base of support for priorities that were both important and that required the people of my state to change, then I plead guilty."
"I may not have been the greatest president, but I've had the most fun eight years."
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