WETZSTEIN: Oval Office wisdom

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A main purpose of the family is to transmit values through the generations, so I hope families nationwide will take time to talk about Tuesday’s historical Inauguration Day events.

In keeping with the spirit, here are a few words from other men who preceded Barack Obama as our leader:

• “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.” — George Washington, first president

• “I pray Heaven bestow the best of blessings on this house and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.” — John Adams, second president

• “As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it.” — Martin Van Buren, eighth president

• “There is nothing stable but Heaven and the Constitution.” — James Buchanan, 15th president

• “It is now true that this is God’s country if equal rights, a fair start and an equal chance in the race of life are everywhere secured for all.” — Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th president

• “All a man can hope for during his lifetime - to set an example - and when he is dead, to be an inspiration for history.” — William McKinley, 25th president

• “The president is merely the most important among a large number of public servants.” — Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president

• “The intoxication of power rapidly sobers off in the knowledge of its restrictions and under the prompt reminder of an ever-present and not-always-considerate press, as well as the kindly suggestions that not infrequently come from … Congress.” — William Howard Taft, 27th president

• “Some people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American. America, my fellow citizens - I do not say it in disparagement of any other great people - is the only idealistic nation in the world.” — Woodrow Wilson, 28th president

• “My God, this is a hell of a job! I can take care of my enemies all right. But my friends, … they’re the ones that keep me walking the floor nights.” — Warren G. Harding, 29th president

• “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president

• “There is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence and energy of her citizens cannot cure.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th president

• “I like the job I have, but if I had to live my life over again, I would have liked to have ended up a sportswriter.” — Richard M. Nixon, 37th president.

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About the Author
Cheryl Wetzstein

Cheryl Wetzstein

Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor.

Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...

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