We have to keep it real: The West Wing remains one of the best shows ever made about American politics. The Aaron Sorkin political drama aired from 1996 to 2006 and the show’s cast was truly amazing: Martin Sheen starred as President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet, a man full of inspiring quotes. Alisson Janey played the ferocious and funny C.J. Cregg, president Bartlett’s press secretary. Rob Lowe and Bradley Whitford also had starring roles in President Bartlet’s cabinet.
While The West Wing may have had some storylines that haven’t aged so well, it still managed to infuse much-needed optimism and idealism about the American political system, all while keeping it real about its flaws.These 45 West Wing quotes will make you want to say, “Bartlet for President!”
1. “I’m press secretary Boo-Boo. I don’t have that kind of time.” — C.J. Cregg
2. “This guy’s walkin’ down a street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, “Hey you! Can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole, and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, “Father, I’m down in this hole; can you help me out?” The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by. “Hey, Joe, it’s me. Can ya help me out?” And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, “Are ya stupid? Now we’re both down here.” The friend says, “Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.” — Leo McGarry
3. President Josiah Bartlet: You got a best friend?
Roger: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Is he smarter than you?
Roger: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Would you trust him with your life?
Roger: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: That’s your Chief of Staff.
4. “I’ll just walk around some more and see if I can get into a pick-up meeting.” — Josh Lyman
5. Reporter: Would the White House care to comment on the expected contrast between the high degree of organization and discipline in the Republican Convention and the Democrats’ anticipated free-for-all?
Annabeth Schott: I believe the American people will be the beneficiaries, in that they will be presented with a clear choice: do they want to be governed by people who are animated, or animatronic?
6. “She should stick around. Your whole campaign is like some Dr. Seuss nightmare – One Fish, Two Fish, Dead Fish, We Fought The Good Fight Fish.” — Donna Moss
7. “What’s next?” — President Josiah Bartlet
8. “I don’t care if it’s three Bosnians, an Armenian, and a bus full of party clowns!” — Representative Matthew Santos
9. “My commitment to strive to be worthy of the example of the great men who have gone before. Presidents walk in giant footsteps. They have magnificent legacies to uphold. I stand here on this day and put my name forth, as one who aspires to their example, who will daily make that sacrifice, who will honor not just the office, but the people that office serves. *Their* President of these United States of America.” — Sen. Arnold Vinick
10. “I’ll just walk around some more and see if I can get into a pick-up meeting.” — Josh Lyman
11. “‘Cause it’s next. ‘Cause we came out of the cave and we looked over the hill and we saw fire. And we crossed the ocean and we pioneered the West and we took to the sky. The history of man is hung on a timeline of exploration, and this is what’s next.”
— Sam Seaborn
12. “Just trying to get a little pizza in an uncivilized world.” — Josh Lyman
13. “I have wit, I have charm, I have brains, I have legs that go all the way down to the floor, my friend.” — Amy Gardner
14. “We will do what is hard. We will achieve what is great. This is a time for American heroes and we reach for the stars.” — President Bartlet
“The First Lady just asked me to get boozy with her. You don’t think I want to write a book one day?” — Amy Gardner
15. “There’s literally no one in the world that I don’t hate right now.” — Toby Zeigler
16. “I think ambition is good. I think overreaching is good.” — Sam Seaborn
17.”If you don’t want to run again, i respect that. but if you don’t run because you think it’s gonna be too hard or you think you’re gonna lose, well, God, Jed, I don’t even want to know you.” — Mrs. Landingham
18. “I’m going to crush him. I’m going to make him cry and then i’m going to tell his momma about it.” — C.J. Cregg
19. “The history of man is hung on a timeline of exploration and this is what’s next.” — Sam Seaborn
20. “You’re a smart savvy woman who could easily consider world domination for a next career move.” — Charlie Young
21. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.” — President Bartlet
22. “The only thing you ever had to do to make me happy was come home at the end of the day.” — President Bartlet
23. Flight Attendant: Sir, I’m going to have to ask that you turn off your cellular phone.
Toby: We’re flying in a Lockheed Eagle Series L-1011. Came off the line twenty months ago. Carries a Sim-5 transponder tracking system. And you’re telling me I can still flummox this thing with something I bought at Radio Shack?
24. “There is no group of people this large in the world that can keep a secret. I find it comforting. It’s how I know for sure that the government isn’t covering up aliens in New Mexico.” — C.J. Cregg
25. “Before I go, please let me just say this: I’m seriously thinking about getting a dog.” — President Bartlet
26. ” Education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don’t need little changes. We need gigantic revolutionary changes. Schools should be palaces. Competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be getting six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge for its citizens, just like national defense. That is my position. I just haven’t figured out how to do it yet.” — Sam Seaborn
27. “Everybody’s stupid in an election year.” — C.J. Cregg
28. “No, no ‘however.’ Just be wrong. Just stand there in your wrongness and be wrong and get used to it.” — President Bartlet
29. “People stopped trusting the government during Vietnam. It was because the government stopped trusting them.” — C.J. Cregg
30. “Joy cometh in the morning, scripture tells us. I hope so. I don’t know if life would be worth living if it didn’t…” — President Bartlet
31. “You know, if was living in Qumar, I wouldn’t be able to say ‘shove it up your ass, Toby. But since I’m not: ‘shove it up your ass, Toby.” — C.J. Cregg
32. You know, I’ve spent the last 14 hours being snickered at by US senators, being ostarcized on the world wideweb and having my own colleagues question my ability to do my job. So I don’t think it really matter whether I’m gay or straight, or just the best damn basketball player in Ohion Valley history. No one should be treated this way.
34. “I’m too sexy for my shirt. Too sexy for my skirt. Too sexy for the other things.” — C.J. Cregg
35.“I drink from the keg of glory, Donna. Bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land.” — Josh Lyman
36. “I’ve been thinking it might not be such a bad idea to lock you all in here and set the place on fire. We have 48 hours before we kick off this campaign. We will work hard, we will work well, and we will work together. Or so help me, mother of God, I will stick a pitchfork so far up your asses you will quite simply be dead.” — Bruno Gianelli 37. Leo McGarry: “You’re really gonna let him loose in the White House, where there’s liquor and women?”
President Bartlet: “We can hide the women. But the man deserves a drink.” 38. Josh Lyman: “I’m just saying, if you were in an accident, I wouldn’t stop for a beer.” Donna Moss: “If you were in an accident, I wouldn’t stop for red lights.” 39. “I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I have you here. I’m interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She’s a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that, can I ask another? My Chief of Staff Leo McGarry insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it okay to call the police? Here’s one that’s really important because we’ve got a lot of sports fans in this town: touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you? One last thing: while you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, in this building, when the President stands, nobody sits.” — President Bartlet 40. “I am the president of the United States. Not the president of people who agree with me.” — President Bartlet
41. Sam Seaborn: “There are bathrobes at the gym?”C.J. Cregg: “In the women’s locker room.”
Sam Seaborn: “But not in the men’s. Now, that’s outrageous. There’s a thousand men working here and 50 women.”
C.J. Cregg: “Yeah, and it’s the bathrobes that’s outrageous.”
42. “We have the ability to affect more change in a day in the White House than we will have in a lifetime once we walk out of these doors.” — Leo McGarry
43. “We need a policy. Hoping no one would notice seems to have run its course.” — C.J. Cregg
44. “Because I’m tired of it: year after year after year after year having to choose between the less of who cares. Of trying to get myself excited about a candidate who can speak in complete sentences. Of setting the bar so low, i can hardly bear to look at it. They say a good man can’t get eleted President. I don ‘t believe that. Do you?” — Leo McGarry
45. “In this building, when the president stands, nobody sits.” — President Bartlet
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