“I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things. I know what I’m doing and I listen to a lot of people, I talk to a lot of people and at the appropriate time I’ll tell you who the people are. But my primary consultant is myself and I have a good instinct for this stuff.”
– Donald Trump, March 16, 2016, after being asked who he consults with about foreign policy
You can’t deny it: Donald Trump has definitely said a lot of things. You have to give him that. And that’s important, you know. U.S. presidents have to say a lot of things. Saying a lot of things is a big part of the job. Name any president we’ve ever had, and I’ll bet if you look at the record you’ll find that he said a lot of things. Take Teddy Roosevelt, for example. He’s absolutely famous for saying a lot of things. Right now I don’t remember what any of those things were, but I know he said a lot of them.
Now Abraham Lincoln, he’s famous for giving a very famous speech that was only 271 words long. That’s not a lot of things. But don’t let this fool you – Honest Abe said a lot of things to a lot of people, and every one of them was true, mostly.
Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt – those guys were president a long time ago. In today’s world, with the internet and the 24-7 news cycle and all it’s even more important for presidents to be saying a lot of things all the time.
Richard Nixon was president when this modern era was just ramping up, and he certainly said a lot of things. We know – we’ve got tapes to prove it.
And look at Bill Clinton. He probably holds the presidential world record for saying a lot of things. He was president for two terms, which helps when you’re trying to get a lot of things said. Those impeachment hearings gave Clinton a chance to say a lot of things he might not have said otherwise. Even now that he’s not president anymore, give him a microphone and you can hardly shut the guy up.
George W. Bush said a lot of things, too. He said things like “I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully,” and “Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?” Not to mention the well-known “working hard to put food on your family.” Sure, a lot of things he said were weird. But he said them, and that’s what counts.
My brother pointed out that Calvin Coolidge didn’t say very many things. In fact, he was known for not saying many things. But who remembers Calvin Coolidge today? Mrs. Coolidge, sure, but who else?
Now we are in the midst of a campaign to determine who will be our next president. This is very important. We have to choose someone who will be able to say a lot of things. We’ve seen a lot of debates where the candidates were doing their best to say more things than their opponents. Some of them have dropped out of the race because they just couldn’t say as many things as the others could.
Most of those remaining keep saying the same things over and over. This puts them at a distinct disadvantage. Think about it: candidates who will freely say the exact opposite of things they’ve said before can say twice as many things as those who adhere to some silly notion of consistency. So I think I know who will be our next president.