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Political History Worthy Quotes

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From S1, E20 "The Necessary Art"

Elizabeth [astonished that retiring octogenarian statesman Ezra has figured out that Russia and the US are having a showdown]:You sure know how to read the signs!

Ezra: Tell that to the DMV. They took away my license.

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Some quotes from the pilot, 


Jake: Thing is, I don't really want to write about the Cold War.
Bess: You're aware that the class is called "Postwar Politics and the Cold War."?
Jake: Yeah, but I feel like it's been done.
Bess: That's why they call it history, Jake.

Henry: So, how I am supposed to develop a cult following?
Bess: Oh, I think you'll figure it out.

George: They both got Africa. Do you know how volatile that place gonna be? That is like the disco of global hot spots.

Isabelle: How is the bucolic life going?
Bess: It's great. We're teachers, we're parents, we're horse owners, and every morning we wake up, that's all we got to be.


Dalton (to Bess): You quit a profession you love for ethical reasons. That makes you the least political person I know. You don't just think outside the box. You don't even known there is a box.

Bess: Hey, Blake, on a scale of one to ten, how much does Nadine hate me?
Blake: Oh, I think that one goes to eleven.


Russell: As Chief of Staff, when I speak, I am generally speaking for the president.

Bess: Mr. Cole, free speech has landed us where we find ourselves right now. It's a constitutionally protected right, not a global one. As your sons are finding out the hard way.

Bess: Is it my masculine energy? I've got too much of it? Because I know some men, they're turned off by women in positions of power.
Henry: I totally love women in power positions.
Bess: Huh?
Henry: I'm completely attracted to your masculine energy... Tell me what to say.

George (to Henry): Hank. Where'd you come from?
Henry: The bedroom, I live here.

Blake:Hey, why don't we all take a seat and think our private thoughts?

Roxanne Majidi (stylist): Madam Secretary, I just do as I'm told. But I was sent by the Chief of Staff. He was pretty insistent. The way he conveyed it to me, you don't have a choice in the matter.
Bess: See, here's the problem: I've never met a situation where I don't have a choice in the matter.

Matt: I have a rough first draft. I'm still working on the adjectives. Right now you're "happy" and "excited".
Bess: You need to work on the adjectives.
Daisy: Well, I have to get something to the press by tomorrow.
Bess: Can I be "resigned" and "conflicted"?
Daisy: Yo can never be either of those things.
Matt: You can be "eager" and "optimistic".
Daisy: No, she can't be "eager", that's too Jimmy Carter.
Bess: Can I be "cautiously optimistic"?
Matt: Well, that's for more serious world events.
Daisy: You can be "forward-thinking".
Matt (to Daisy): You know what, I do the writing, thanks.
Bess: Can we maybe just throw in something of substance here? Maybe a reference global health issues or developing economies?
Daisy: Yeah, I just don't think now is a good time for substance.
Bess: Okay. What if I'm grateful for the opportunity to expose the world to a variety of cultural differences as we move toward a more global-thinking society?
Matt: That's really good.
Bess: Should I write it down for you?
Matt: No, I'm the writer. I...
Bess: Just as long as our roles are clear.

Nadine: It has to do with Operation Stupid Kids.
Bess: Is that really what we''re calling it?
Jay: That's what we were calling it before it went bust. Now we're calling it Operation Never happened.


Bess: Yes, Chechnya.
Anton: Such a paltry little rebellion by today's standards.


Anton: So you're cashing in your chips?
Bess: No. I am appealing to your humanity... And if that doesn't work, I'm reminding you that the Secretary of State can have any foreign diplomat removed off of U.S. soil for any reason.
Anton: I am feeling very humane.

Anton: Congratulations. You just bought yourself two stupid American kids.

Nadine: It's all right to address his wives by their first names. But be advised they probably won't have much to say. Most of them don't speak English. Unless you speak Swazi.
Bess: French, German, Arabic, Farsi, year of Spanish, high school.
Nadine: So you'll just smile a lot.

Russell: You'd better learn how to work with me instead of around me.
Bess: My first choice as well. I used your stylist, didn't I?
Russell: I think you'll find I make a much better ally than opponent.
Bess: Same here.

Nungunde (the king who has 10 wives): And what about your family, Madam Secretary? Do you have children?
Bess: I do. I have a son and two daughters.
Nungunde: Ah, a nice, small family.
Bess: Well, I-I just have the one husband.

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From "Eyjafjallajökull" 5.6:

[HENRY] So, uh, that whole, um non-monogomous, go-with-the-flow type of thing, is that something you - want to talk about? . . .
(SIGHS) . . . I was just Wanted to make sure that you and your boyfriend - are on the same page. . . 

[NOODLE/ALLISON] First of all, "boyfriend" is a label of the patriarchy.
And there is no page.
That's kind of the whole point.

[HENRY] The whole point is not to communicate with your - (STAMMERS) non-boyfriend? 

There's no need to define things because we're not in a relationship.
It just is, we're just being.
What? Too existential for you?

[HENRY] No, it's too risky.
If one of you is more invested than the other.

[ALLISON] That's not gonna happen because - we're not investing.

[HENRY] If you don't communicate, how do you know whether you're investing? How do you know you're not setting yourself up - for heartbreak?

[ALLISON] Oh, my God.
Stop Socratic method-ing me.
I'm not worried about heartbreak.

[HENRY] O-Okay, but you're not the first generation to try this kind of thing, you know.

[ALLISON] You don't know anything about my generation.
So keep your neo-Victorian judgments to yourself, okay? 

[HENRY] (STAMMERS) Do you see him during the day? Uh, does he work? Ali, come on.
[ELIZABETH] Label of the patriarchy? I'm neo-offended.

[HENRY] Victorian father would have just locked her in the attic.

[ELIZABETH] Hmm, or sent her to the workhouse.
Sewing blankets for gruel.
You got to admit, those parents had options.

[HENRY] I'd trade antibiotics for that.

[ELIZABETH] I had a feeling that you would not be able to resist weighing in.

[HENRY] I just can't stand all this.
(MOCKING): "We're just being, it just is." 

[ELIZABETH] (LAUGHS) Yeah, don't forget: "There's no page!" 

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