Hubert H. Humphrey Quotes

A politician never forgets the precarious nature of elective life. We have never established a practice of tenure in public office.

American public opinion is like an ocean, it cannot be stirred by a teaspoon.

Anyone who thinks that the vice-president can take a position independent of the president of his administration simply has no knowledge of politics or government. You are his choice in a political marriage, and he expects your absolute loyalty.

Asia is rich in people, rich in culture and rich in resources. It is also rich in trouble.

Behind every successful man is a proud wife and a surprised mother-in-law.

Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.

Each child is an adventure into a better life – an opportunity to change the old pattern and make it new.

For the first time in the history of mankind, one generation literally has the power to destroy the past, the present and the future, the power to bring time to an end.

Foreign policy is really domestic policy with its hat on.

Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate.

Freedom is the most contagious virus known to man.

I have seen in the Halls of Congress more idealism, more humanness, more compassion, more profiles of courage than in any other institution that I have ever known.

I learned more about the economy from one South Dakota dust storm that I did in all my years of college.

I learnt more about politics during one South Dakota dust storm than in seven years at the university.

If there is dissatisfaction with the status quo, good. If there is ferment, so much the better. If there is restlessness, I am pleased. Then let there be ideas, and hard thought, and hard work. If man feels small, let man make himself bigger.

In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears. Things are not only what they are. They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be.

It is not enough to merely defend democracy. To defend it may be to lose it; to extend it is to strengthen it. Democracy is not property; it is an idea.

It is not what they take away from you that counts. It’s what you do with what you have left.

It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.

Leadership in today’s world requires far more than a large stock of gunboats and a hard fist at the conference table.

Liberalism, above all, means emancipation – emancipation from one’s fears, his inadequacies, from prejudice, from discrimination, from poverty.

National isolation breeds national neurosis.

Never answer a question from a farmer.

Never give in and never give up.

Never give up on anybody.

Propaganda, to be effective, must be believed. To be believed, it must be credible. To be credible, it must be true.

The difference between hearsay and prophecy is often one of sequence. Hearsay often turns out to have been prophecy.

The essence of statesmanship is not a rigid adherence to the past, but a prudent and probing concern for the future.

The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it.

The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.

The impersonal hand of government can never replace the helping hand of a neighbor.

The President has only 190 million bosses. The Vice President has 190 million and one.

The President is the people’s lobbyist.

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.

The Senate is a place filled with goodwill and good intentions, and if the road to hell is paved with them, then it’s a pretty good detour.

There are incalculable resources in the human spirit, once it has been set free.

There are not enough jails, not enough police, not enough courts to enforce a law not supported by the people.

There are those who say to you – we are rushing this issue of civil rights. I say we are 172 years late.

There is in every American, I think, something of the old Daniel Boone – who, when he could see the smoke from another chimney, felt himself too crowded and moved further out into the wilderness.

This, then, is the test we must set for ourselves; not to march alone but to march in such a way that others will wish to join us.

To be realistic today is to be visionary. To be realistic is to be starry-eyed.

To err is human. To blame someone else is politics.

Today we know that World War II began not in 1939 or 1941 but in the 1920’s and 1930’s when those who should have known better persuaded themselves that they were not their brother’s keeper.

Unfortunately, our affluent society has also been an effluent society.

We are in danger of making our cities places where business goes on but where life, in its real sense, is lost.

We believe that to err is human. To blame it on someone else is politics.