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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the White House

de Charles Osgood

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A treasury of presidential campaign anecdotes from the past seventy years is a compendium of lighthearted speech excerpts, interviews, and press-conference quotes from the campaigns of such presidents as FDR, Truman, and JFK.
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The subtitle for this book is "Humor, Blunders, and Other Oddities from the Presidential Campaign Trail" and that sums it up perfectly. Charles Osgood has gathered pages of humorous quotes, some intentional and many not, from and about Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates beginning with the 1948 election of Harry Truman. Truman told a tale on himself about campaigning on an Indian reservation. After every promise he made the crowd would yell "Oompah! Oompah!" As he got ready to leave he had to cross a horse corral and his Indian escort told him to be careful not to step in the "oompah".
From JFK: "When I first began this campaign, I just wanted to beat Nixon. Now I want to save the country from him."
From Frank Licht (governor of RI) campaigning for McGovern: " Nixon has been sitting in the White House while George McGovern has been exposing himself to the people of the United States."
And no one was as unintentionally funny (I hope) than Dan Quayle:" One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is 'to be prepared'".
If you want a good chuckle I recommend this book. ( )
  Ellen_R | Jan 15, 2016 |
We've all heard Harry Truman's saying about if it's too hot to get out of the kitchen, well this book is full of the quips and anecdotes from presidential elections from Harry Truman through Bush II and some are just as memorable. McGovern is remembered for saying "Three things beat me. Dirty tricks, tapped phones, and I lost 49 states." The quotes ad stories are amusing and lighthearted.

My favorites that pertain to no candidates in particular are: Richard Harkness (newspaper commentator) "When it comes to facing up to serious problems, each candidate will pledge to appoint a committee. And what is a Committee? A group of the unwilling, picked from the unfit, to do the unnecessary. It all sounds great in a campaign speech." or humorist Caskie Stinnett's quote "take a second look at the candidate whose voice falters at the end of each page of his speech. He doesn't know, any more than you do, what's coming next."
On occasion we have had third party candidates that have added to the amusement. I liked the quote about Ross Perot. The National Review said "Ross Perot won't hire gays or adulterers for his administration. At last----a practical plan to shrink the size of the government." (Not my viewpoint, just an amusing quote.) ( )
  cyderry | Jun 22, 2009 |
Many of the quotes and jokes in this book are from the candidates themselves. If you're a fan of political trivia, this book will bring back memories. My favorite quote, though, was from Harry Truman, written after his terms of office were over. He said, "There's no reason why a woman shouldn't be in the White House as president, if she wants to be. But she'll be sorry when she gets there."

Subtitled, "Humor, Blunders, and Other Oddities from the Presidential Campaign Trail", Osgood's collection is a fun look back at campaigns. ( )
  LesaHolstine | Jun 11, 2009 |
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A treasury of presidential campaign anecdotes from the past seventy years is a compendium of lighthearted speech excerpts, interviews, and press-conference quotes from the campaigns of such presidents as FDR, Truman, and JFK.

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