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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Henry Ross Perot

Perot at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, 2008
Born June 27, 1930 (1930-06-27) (age 79)
Texarkana, Texas, USA
Education Texarkana Junior College
United States Naval Academy
Occupation Businessman
Net worth US$3.5 billion
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Margot Birmingham
Children H. Ross, Jr., Nancy, Suzanne, Carolyn, and Katherine

Henry Ross Perot (born June 27, 1930) is an American businessman from Texas best known for running for President of the United States in 1992 and 1996. Perot founded Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in 1962, sold the company to General Motors in 1984, and founded Perot Systems in 1988. Perot Systems was bought by Dell for $3.9 billion in 2009. He was born in Texarkana, Texas.[1]

With an estimated net worth of about US$3.5 billion in 2009, he is ranked by Forbes as the 85th-richest person in America.[2]


Early life

Perot was born in Texarkana, Texas, to Luly Maye Perot (née Ray) and Gabriel Ross Perot.[3] His father was a cotton broker.[4] He attended a private school called Patty Hill. The family went to church every Sunday. He graduated from Texas High School in Texarkana in 1947.[5]

Perot joined the Boy Scouts of America and made Eagle Scout in 1942, after only thirteen months in the program. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.[6][7]

Perot entered the United States Naval Academy in 1949 and helped establish its honor system.[6] By the time he graduated in 1953 he was president of his class and battalion commander. By late 1954, Perot was made a lieutenant, junior grade. In 1955, however, Perot expressed some discontent with his life in the United States Navy in a letter to his father. He quietly served the remainder of his four-year commitment and resigned his commission.

Perot married Margot Birmingham of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, in 1956.


After he left the Navy in 1957, Perot became a salesman for International Business Machines (IBM). He quickly became a top employee, filling his year's sales quota in two weeks[8], and tried to pitch his ideas to supervisors who largely ignored him. He left IBM in 1962 to founded Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in Dallas, Texas, and courted large corporations for his data processing services. Perot was refused seventy-seven times before he was given his first contract. EDS received lucrative contracts from the U.S. government in the 1960s, computerizing Medicare records. EDS went public in 1968 and the stock price rose from $16 a share to $160 within days. Fortune called Perot the "fastest, richest Texan" in a 1968 cover story. In 1984 General Motors bought controlling interest in EDS for $2.4 billion.

In 1974 Perot gained some press attention for being "the biggest individual loser ever on the New York Stock Exchange" when his EDS shares dropped $450 million in value in a single day in April 1970.[9]

Just prior to the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the government of Iran imprisoned two EDS employees in a contract dispute. Perot organized and sponsored their rescue. The rescue team was led by retired U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel Arthur D. ('Bull') Simons. When the team was unable to find a way to extract their two prisoners, they decided to wait for a mob of pro-Ayatollah revolutionaries to storm the jail and free all 10,000 inmates, many of whom were political prisoners. The two prisoners then connected with the rescue team, and the team spirited them out of Iran via a risky border crossing into Turkey. The exploit was recounted in a book, On Wings of Eagles by Ken Follett, which became a best-seller. In the 1986 miniseries, Perot was portrayed by Richard Crenna.

In 1984 Perot bought a very early copy of the Magna Carta, one of only a few to leave the United Kingdom. It was lent to the National Archives in Washington, D.C., where it was displayed alongside the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. On September 25, 2007, The New York Times reported that the Perot Foundation had terminated the loan and that Sotheby's would auction off the document in December 2007.[10] The document sold for $21.3 million USD on December 18, 2007.

Ross Perot put up the majority of the venture capital for Steve Jobs's NeXT computer project in 1986.[citation needed] That same year, after Perot strongly criticized General Motors, the corporation bought out Perot's remaining shares in EDS for $700 million.[citation needed] In 1988 he founded Perot Systems Corporation, Inc. in Plano, Texas. His son, H. Ross Perot, Jr., eventually succeeded him as CEO. Today, Perot Sr. serves as Chairman Emeritus, and Perot Jr. serves as Chairman. In September 2009, Dell announced the acquisition of Perot Systems for $3.9 billion.[11]

Early political activities

In the same year that Perot organized the rescue mission in Iran, Texas governor Bill Clements requested his assistance developing policy to reduce illegal drug use. Perot led the Texas War on Drugs Committee that proposed five laws, all of which were passed by the legislature.

In 1983 he was called upon by Democratic Governor Mark White to help improve the quality of the state's public education, and ended up leading the effort ("Select Committee on Public Education") to reform the school system, which resulted in major legislative changes. The best known of Perot's proposals that were passed into law was the "No Pass, No Play" rule, under which it was required that students have passing grades in order to participate in any school-sponsored extracurricular activities. The intent was to prevent high school sports from being the focus of the school's funding, and to emphasize the importance of education for the students who participated in sports. Another key reform measure was a call for teacher competency testing, which was strongly opposed by the teachers unions in Texas.

Perot became heavily involved in the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue. He believed that hundreds of American servicemen were left behind in Southeast Asia at the end of the U.S. involvement in the war,[12] and that government officials were covering up POW/MIA investigations in order to avoid revealing a drug smuggling operation used to finance a secret war in Laos.[13] Perot engaged in unauthorized back-channel discussions with Vietnamese officials in the late 1980s, which led to fractured relations between Perot and the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.[12][13] In 1990, Perot reached agreement with Vietnam's Foreign Ministry to become its business agent in the event that diplomatic relations were normalized.[14] Perot also launched private investigations of, and attacks upon, U.S. Department of Defense official Richard Armitage.[12][13]

Beginning in the late 1980s and continuing in the early 1990s, Ross Perot began speaking out about what he described as the failings of the United States government. Perot asserted that the United States "had grown arrogant and complacent after the War" and was no longer the world's greatest nation. Instead of looking into what was to come, he argued, America was "daydreaming of [its] past while the rest of the world was building its future." He said:

Go to Rome, go to Paris, go to London. Those cities are centuries old. They're thriving. They're clean. They work. Our oldest cities are brand new compared to them and yet… go to New York, drive through downtown Washington, go to Detroit, go to Philadelphia. What's wrong with us?

In Florida in 1990, retired financial planner Jack Gargan funded a series of "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" (a reference to a famous quotation from the 1976 political and mass media satire movie, Network) newspaper advertisements denouncing the U.S. Congress for voting for legislative pay raises at a time when average wages nationwide were not increasing. Gargan later founded "Throw the Hypocritical Rascals Out" (THRO), which Ross Perot supported.

Maya Lin, architect of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial received harassment from Perot after her ethnicity was revealed - he was known to have called her an "egg roll" after it was revealed that she was Asian.[15]

Perot did not support President George H. W. Bush and vigorously opposed the United States involvement in the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War. He unsuccessfully urged Senators to vote against the war resolution, and began to consider his own presidential run.

1992 presidential candidacy

On February 20, 1992, he appeared on CNN's Larry King Live and announced his intention to run as an independent if his supporters could get his name on the ballot in all fifty states. With such declared policies as balancing the federal budget, firm pro-choice stance, expansion of the war on drugs, ending outsourcing of jobs, support for gun control, belief in protectionism on trade, advocating the Environmental Protection Agency and enacting electronic direct democracy via "electronic town halls," he became a potential candidate and soon polled roughly even with the two major party candidates.

Perot's candidacy received increasing media attention when the competitive phase of the primary season ended for the two major parties. President George H.W. Bush was losing support, and Democratic nominee Bill Clinton was still suffering from the numerous scandal allegations made in the previous months. With the insurgent candidacies of Republican Pat Buchanan and Democrat Jerry Brown winding down, Perot was the natural beneficiary of populist resentment toward establishment politicians. On May 25, 1992 he was featured on the cover of Time Magazine with the title "Waiting for Perot", an allusion to Samuel Beckett's play Waiting for Godot.[16]

Several months before the Democratic and Republican conventions, Perot filled the vacuum of election news, as his supporters began petition drives to get him on the ballot in all fifty states. This sense of momentum was reinforced when Perot employed two savvy campaign managers in Democrat Hamilton Jordan and Republican Ed Rollins.

In July, while Perot was pondering whether to run for office, his supporters established a campaign organization United We Stand America. Perot was late in making formal policy proposals, but most of what he did call for were intended to reduce the deficit. He wanted a gasoline tax increase and some cutbacks of Social Security.

On July 11, while attending a NAACP meeting, Perot, in describing the criminality of certain populations, referred to them to the members as "your people", causing a negative reaction.[17]

By the summer Perot commanded a lead in the presidential race with thirty-nine percent of the vote,[18] but on July 16, Perot unexpectedly dropped out.[19] Perot eventually stated the reason was that he received threats that digitally altered photographs would be released by the Bush campaign to sabotage his daughter's wedding.[20] Regardless of the reasons for withdrawing, his reputation was badly damaged. Many of his supporters felt betrayed and public opinion polls would subsequently show a large negative view of Perot that was absent prior to his decision to end the campaign.[21]

In September he qualified for all fifty state ballots. On October 1, he announced his intention to reenter the presidential race. He said that Republican operatives had wanted to reveal compromising photographs of his daughter, which would disrupt her wedding, and he wanted to spare her from embarrassment. Scott Barnes, a private investigator and security consultant who had testified to that effect, later recanted his story. He revealed in 1997 that he had deceived Perot about the existence of the photographs, and that he had created the hoax with others who were not involved with any political campaign. Barnes was a Perot supporter, and believed that if it were revealed that Republicans were involved in dirty tricks, it would harm Bush's candidacy.[22]

He campaigned in 16 states and spent an estimated $65.4 million of his own money. Perot employed the innovative strategy of purchasing half-hour blocks of time on major networks for infomercial-type campaign advertisements; this advertising garnered more viewership than many sitcoms, with one Friday night program in October attracting 10.5 million viewers.[23]

Perot's running mate was retired Vice Admiral James Stockdale, a highly-decorated former Vietnam prisoner of war (POW). In December 1969 he organized and flew to North Vietnam in an attempt to deliver thirty tons of supplies to beleaguered American POWs in North Vietnam. Although North Vietnam blocked the flights, the effort was instrumental in bringing the plight of those POWs to the world's attention and their captors soon began treating them better.[6]

At one point in June, Perot led the polls with 39% (versus 31% for Bush and 25% for Clinton). Just prior to the debates, Perot received 7-9% support in nationwide polls.[24] It is likely that the debates played a significant role in his ultimate receipt of 19% of the popular vote. Although his answers during the debates were often general, many Democrats and Republicans conceded that Perot won at least the first debate. In the debate he remarked: "Keep in mind our Constitution predates the Industrial Revolution. Our founders did not know about electricity, the train, telephones, radio, television, automobiles, airplanes, rockets, nuclear weapons, satellites, or space exploration. There's a lot they didn't know about. It would be interesting to see what kind of document they'd draft today. Just keeping it frozen in time won't hack it."[25]

Perot denounced Congress for its inaction in his speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on March 18, 1992. Perot said:

This city has become a town filled with sound bites, shell games, handlers, media stuntmen who posture, create images, talk, shoot off Roman candles, but don't ever accomplish anything. We need deeds, not words, in this city.[26]

In the 1992 election, he received 18.9% of the popular vote, approximately 19,741,065 votes (but no electoral college votes), making him the most successful third-party presidential candidate in terms of the popular vote since Theodore Roosevelt in the 1912 election. Unlike Perot, however, some other third party candidates since Roosevelt have won electoral college votes. (Strom Thurmond had thirty-nine in 1948 and George Wallace had forty-six in 1968). Compared with Thurmond and Wallace, who polled very strongly in a small number of states, Perot's vote was more evenly spread across the country. Perot managed to finish second in two states: In Maine, Perot received 30.44% of the vote to Bush's 30.39% (Clinton won Maine with 38.77%); In Utah, Perot received 27.34% of the vote to Clinton's 24.65% (Bush won Utah with 43.36%).

A detailed analysis of voting demographics revealed that Perot's support drew heavily from across the political spectrum, with 20% of his votes coming from self-described liberals, 27% from self-described conservatives, and 53% coming from self-described moderates. Economically, however, the majority of Perot voters (57%) were middle class, earning between $15,000 and $49,000 annually, with the bulk of the remainder drawing from the upper middle class (29% earning more than $50,000 annually).[27] Exit polls also showed that Ross Perot drew 38% of his vote from Bush, and 38% of his vote from Clinton, while the rest of his voters would have stayed home had he not been on the ballot[28].

Based on his performance in the popular vote in 1992, Perot was entitled to receive federal election funding for 1996. Perot remained in the public eye after the election and championed opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), urging voters to listen for the "giant sucking sound" of American jobs heading south to Mexico should NAFTA be ratified.

The true impact of his sudden withdrawal from and later reentry into the race will never be fully known. It is possible that he could have won the race.[29]

Reform Party and 1996 presidential run

Perot tried to keep his movement alive through the mid-1990s, continuing to speak about the increasing national debt. He was a prominent campaigner against the North American Free Trade Agreement, and even debated Al Gore on the issue on Larry King Live, which attracted what was at the time the largest audience for a cable program.[citation needed] Perot's behavior during the debate was a source of mirth thereafter, including his repeated pleas to "let me finish" in his southern drawl. The debate was seen by many as effectively ending Perot’s political career.[30] Support for NAFTA went from 34% to 57%. The following week, NAFTA passed the House, with some hesitant members of Congress saying the Perot debate helped make a vote for the bill more popular.[citation needed] Perot sponsored conferences that were attended by numerous high-profile politicians.

In 1995, he founded the Reform Party and won their nomination for the 1996 election. His running mate was Pat Choate. Because of the ballot access laws, he had to run as an Independent on many state ballots. Perot received eight percent of the popular vote in 1996, much less than in the 1992 race but still an unusually successful third-party showing by U.S. standards. He spent much less of his own money in this race than he had four years before, and also allowed other people to contribute to his campaign, unlike his prior race. One common explanation for the decline was Perot's exclusion from the presidential debates, based on the preferences of the Democratic and Republican party candidates (as described by George Farah in Open Debates).

Later activities

Perot attending the 2009 EagleBank Bowl in Washington, D.C.

Later in the 1990s, Perot's detractors accused him of not allowing the Reform Party to develop into a genuine national political party, but rather using it as a vehicle to promote himself. They cited as evidence the control of party offices by operatives from his presidential campaigns. Perot did not give an endorsement during Jesse Ventura's run for governor of Minnesota in the 1998 election, and this became suspicious to detractors when he made fun of Ventura at a conference after Ventura had a fall-out with the press. The party leadership grew in tighter opposition to groups supporting Ventura and Jack Gargan. Evidence of this was demonstrated when Gargan was officially removed as Reform Party Chairman by the Reform Party National Committee.

In the 2000 presidential election, Perot refused to become openly involved with the internal Reform Party dispute between supporters of Pat Buchanan and of John Hagelin. Perot was reportedly unhappy with what he saw as the disintegration of the party, as well as his own portrayal in the press; thus he chose to remain quiet. He appeared on Larry King Live four days before the election and endorsed George W. Bush for President. Despite his earlier opposition to NAFTA, Perot remained largely silent about expanded use of guest worker visas in the United States, with Buchanan supporters attributing this silence to his corporate reliance on foreign workers.[31] Eventually, Perot ended all ties between himself and the Reform Party, which was largely defunct in most states, and has filed a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) lawsuit against a branch of the Reform Party.[citation needed] Some state parties have affiliated with the new (Buchananite) America First Party; others gave Ralph Nader their ballot lines in the 2004 presidential election.

Since then, Perot has been largely silent on political issues, refusing to answer most questions from the press. When interviewed, he usually remains on the subject of his business career and refuses to answer specific questions on politics, candidates, or his past activities.

The one exception to this came in 2005, when he was asked to testify before the Texas Legislature in support of proposals to extend technology to students, including making laptops available to them; additionally, changing the process of buying textbooks, by making electronic books (ebooks) available and by allowing schools to buy books at the local level instead of going through the state. In an April 2005 interview, Perot expressed concern about the state of progress on issues that he had raised in his presidential runs.[32]

In January 2008, Perot publicly came out against Republican candidate John McCain and endorsed Mitt Romney for President. He also announced that he would soon be launching a new website with updated economic graphs and charts.[33] In June 2008, the blog launched, focusing on entitlements (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security), the U. S. national debt and related issues.[34]


Perot is married to Margot Birmingham; they have five children (Ross Jr., Nancy, Suzanne, Carolyn, and Katherine). As of 2007, the Perots have 15 grandchildren.


On April 22, 2009, Ross Perot was made a Honorary Green Beret at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center in Fayetteville, North Carolina, that also honored the OSS, Alamo Scouts and the First Special Service Force, elite World War Two units that were inducted into the "1st Special Forces" Regiment.

Mr. Perot was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1988.

On September 18, 2009, the Texarkana Independent School District named him (1947 graduate of Texas High School) as a 2009 Distinguished Alumnus.[5][35]

In May 2009, he was appointed an honorary chairman of The OSS Society.

On October 15, 2009, the United States Military Academy at West Point awarded him with the distinguished Sylvanus Thayer Award.[36]

Electoral history

United States presidential election, 1992

United States presidential election, 1996

  • Bill Clinton/Al Gore (D) (Inc.) - 47,400,125 (49.2%) and 379 electoral votes (31 states and D.C. carried)
  • Bob Dole/Jack Kemp (R) - 39,198,755 (40.7%) and 159 electoral votes (19 states carried)
  • Ross Perot/Pat Choate (Ref.) - 8,085,402 (8.4%) and 0 electoral votes


  2. ^ "#85 Henry Ross Perot - The Forbes 400 Richest Americans 2009". September 30 2009. Retrieved February 7 2010. 
  3. ^ The Ancestors of Ross Perot
  4. ^ Posner, Gerald (1996). Citizen Perot. New York City: Random House. p. 8. 
  5. ^ a b "Texarkana Independent School District Names H. Ross Perot as 2009 Distinguished Alumni". Texarkana Independent School District. 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2006-09-17. 
  6. ^ a b c Townley, Alvin. Legacy of Honor: The Values and Influence of America's Eagle Scouts. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 89–100, 108, 187, 194, 249, 260, 265. ISBN 0-312-36653-1. Retrieved 2006-12-29. 
  7. ^ Ray, Mark (2007). "What It Means to Be a super duper rich person". Scouting Magazine. Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved 2007-01-05. 
  8. ^ Sam Wyly, 1000 Dollars & an Idea, Publisher: Newmarket, ISBN 1557048037
  9. ^ Henry Moscow, "An Astonishment of New York Superlatives: Biggest, Smallest, Longest, Shortest, Oldest, First, Last, Most, Etc." New York Magazine vol. 7, no. 1 (31 December 1973/7 January 1974) p. 53.
  10. ^ Magna Carta Is Going on the Auction Block September 25, 2007
  11. ^ Dell Pays 68% Premium for Perot’s Health,September 22, 2009
  12. ^ a b c Patrick E. Tyler (1992-06-20). "Perot and Senators Seem Headed for a Fight on P.O.W.'s-M.I.A.'s". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  13. ^ a b c George J. Church (1992-06-29). "The Other Side of Perot". Time.,9171,975891-6,00.html. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  14. ^ Patrick E. Tyler (1992-06-05). "Perot to Testify in Senate on Americans Missing in Southeast Asia". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-24. 
  15. ^ Frank H. Wu (2002). Yellow: Race In America Beyond Black and White. Basic Books. pp. 95. ISBN 0465006396. 
  16. ^ "Time Magazine cover: H. Ross Perot". 1992-05-25.,16641,19920525,00.html. 
  17. ^ "THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: Racial Politics; Perot Speech Gets Cool Reception at N.A.A.C.P.". 1992=07-12. 
  18. ^ Samuel James Eldersveld, Hanes Walton. "Political Parties in American Society". p.69.
  20. ^ THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: The Overview; PEROT SAYS HE QUIT IN JULY TO THWART G.O.P. 'DIRTY TRICKS', Richard L. Berke, NY Times, October 26, 1992
  21. ^ "THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: Ross Perot; Perot Says He May Rejoin Race To Publicize His Economic Plan", Richard L. Berke, NY Times, September 19, 1992
  22. ^ Barta, Carol (1997-03-28). "Ex-Perot aide says he set up '92 `dirty tricks', He says GOP did not tap campaign phones". Dallas Morning News. 
  23. ^ THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: The Media; Perot's 30-Minute TV Ads Defy the Experts, Again, KOLBERT, ELIZABETH. New York Times. (Late Edition). New York, N.Y.: Oct 27, 1992. pg. A.19
  24. ^ THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: On the Trail; POLL GIVES PEROT A CLEAR LEAD. New York Times. New York, N.Y.: Jun 11, 1992.
  25. ^ [1]
  26. ^ Perot, Ross, James W. Robinson. Ross Perot speaks out: issue by issue, what he says about our nation : its problems and its promise. p 55. Prima Pub., 1992. ISBN 9781559582742.
  27. ^ Politics: Who Cares by Peirce Lewis, Casey McCracken, and Roger Hunt (American Demographics, October 1994, vol. 16, no. 10) p. 23.
  28. ^ THE 1992 ELECTIONS: DISAPPOINTMENT - NEWS ANALYSIS An Eccentric but No Joke; Perot's Strong Showing Raises Questions On What Might Have Been, and Might Be - New York Times
  29. ^ "Would Ross Perot Have Won the 1992 Presidential Election under Approval Voting?", Steven J. Brams and Samuel Merrill III, PS: Political Science and Politics, Vol. 27, No. 1 (March, 1994), pp. 39-44, Published by: American Political Science Association
  30. ^ Reaves, Jessica; Frank Pelligrini (2000-10-03). "Bush plays off expectations; Gore learns from mistakes". Retrieved 2008-08-14. ""Gore's decisive victory was the saving of NAFTA and the beginning of the end of Perot as even a semi-serious public figure"" 
  31. ^ [2]
  32. ^ [3]
  33. ^ Ross Perot Slams McCain | Newsweek Voices - Jonathan Alter |
  34. ^
  35. ^ "Perot named TISD Distinguished Alumni". Texarkana Gazette. 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2006-09-17. 
  36. ^ "List of Thayer Award Recipients". West Point AOG. 2009-10-10. Retrieved 2009-10-14. 
  • Clinton, Bill (2005). My Life. Vintage. ISBN 1-4000-3003-X.
  • Forbes 400
  • Rapoport, Ronald and Walter Stone. Three's a Crowd: The Dynamic of Third Parties, Ross Perot, and Republican Resurgence Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2005.

Further reading

  • Thomas M. Defrank et al. Quest for the Presidency, 1992 Texas A&M University Press. 1994.
  • Mason, Todd (1990). Perot. Business One Irwin. ISBN 1-55623-236-5 An unauthorized biography by a longtime Perot watcher.
  • Doron P. Levin, Irreconcilable Differences: Ross Perot Versus General Motors (New York: Plume, 1990)
  • Thomas Moore, The GM System is Like a Blanket of Fog, Fortune, February 15, 1988
  • Posner, Gerald Citizen Perot: His Life and Times Random House. New York 1996

External links

  • Perot Charts; a blog launched June 2008 by Perot to examine different national issues with charts and graphs.
  • United We Stand, H. Ross Perot; text of the book published by Perot in 1992 to mark the launch of his Presidential campaign, complete with charts. The text is hosted by the site of the organization he created that year United We Stand America, as saved by The Internet Archive.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Reform Party Presidential candidate
1996 (3rd)
Succeeded by
Pat Buchanan


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Ross Perot (born 1930), is a billionaire American businessman from Texas best known as a candidate for President of the United States (in 1992 and 1996).


  • The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river.
  • Can I finish? Can I finish?...Can I finish?
  • Inventories can be managed, but people must be led.
  • If someone as blessed as I am is not willing to clean out the barn, who will?
  • If you can't stand a little sacrifice and you can't stand a trip across the desert with limited water, we're never going to straighten this country out.
  • If you see a snake, just kill it - don't appoint a committee on snakes.
  • Something in human nature causes us to start slacking off at our moment of greatest accomplishment. As you become successful, you will need a great deal of self-discipline not to lose your sense of balance, humility, and commitment.
  • Eagles don't flock, you have to find them one at a time.
  • Most people give up just when they're about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown.
  • You’re going to hear a giant sucking sound of jobs being pulled out of this country. [during a presidential debate (1992)]
  • [John] McCain is the classic opportunist. He’s always reaching for attention and glory. After he came home, Carol [McCain's first wife] walked with a limp. So he threw her over for a poster girl with big money from Arizona. And the rest is history.[1]


  1. Churcher, Sharon, "The wife U.S. Republican John McCain callously left behind", Daily Mail, June 8, 2008. URL accessed on 2008-06-09.

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