President Andrew Shepherd: I want to buy her some flowers. That's what men do when they break a date. Robin McCall: That's not what men do. I know no men who do that. [Looking through Andrew Shepherd's college transcript] Sydney Ellen Wade: Oh, Andy, a C minus in Women's Studies. President Andrew Shepherd: Yeah, well, that class wasn't about what I thought it was about. [Ushering Sydney out of the White House after spending her first night there] President Andrew Shepherd: I'm sorry about this. We'll do it better next time. Sydney Ellen Wade: Well, I'm no expert but I think we did it pretty good this time. Lewis Rothschild: Can I just state very clearly I can't be part of anything illegal. A.J.: Good for you, Lewis. Lewis Rothschild: You can say what you want. It's always the guy in my job that ends up doing 18 months in Danbury minimum security prison. Lewis Rothschild: Who're we calling, sir? President Andrew Shepherd: I'm calling the organization of the United Brotherhood of It's None of Your Damn Business, Lewis. I'll be with you in a second. [dancing at a state dinner] Sydney Ellen Wade: I don't know how you do it. President Andrew Shepherd: It's Arthur Murray. Six lessons. Sydney Ellen Wade: That's not what I mean. Two hundred pairs of eyes are focused on you with two questions on their minds - who's this girl, and why is the President dancing with her? President Andrew Shepherd: Well, first of all, the two hundred pairs of eyes aren't focused on me. They're focused on you. And the answers are Sydney Ellen Wade, and because she said yes. President Andrew Shepherd:
You're attracted to me, but the idea of physical intimacy is uncomfortable because you only know me as the President. But it's not always going to be that way, and the reason I know that is there was a moment last night when you were with ME, not the President. And I know what a big step that was for you. So, Sydney, I'm in no rush. Here's my plan. We're going to slow down, and when you're comfortable, that's when it's going to happen.
[Sydney emerges from the bathroom wearing nothing but one of his shirts] President Andrew Shepherd: Perhaps I didn't properly explain the fundamentals of the slowdown plan. Sydney Ellen Wade: [feeling the bed] No, you explained it great. President Andrew Shepherd: Are you nervous? Sydney Ellen Wade: No. President Andrew Shepherd: Good. My nervousness exists on... several levels. Number one, and this is in no particular order, I haven't done this in a pretty long time. Number two, uh, any expectations that you might have, given the fact that I'm... you know... Sydney Ellen Wade: [approaching seductively] The most powerful man in the world? President Andrew Shepherd: Exactly, thank you. I think it's important you remember that's a political distinction that comes with the office. I mean, if, uh, Eisenhower were here instead of me, he'd be dead by now... and number three... [Right before their first kiss] Sydney Ellen Wade: Do you think this is a good idea? President Andrew Shepherd: Probably not. Sydney Ellen Wade: Mr. President, you've got bigger problems than losing me. You just lost my vote. A. J. MacInerney: The President doesn't answer to you Louis! Lewis Rothschild: Oh, yes he does A.J. I'm a citizen, this is my President. And in this country it is not only permissible to question our leaders it's our responsibility! President Andrew Shepherd:
For the last couple of months, Senator Rumson has suggested that being president of this country was, to a certain extent, about character, and although I have not been willing to engage in his attacks on me, I've been here three years and three days, and I can tell you without hesitation: Being President of this country is entirely about character. For the record: yes, I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU. But the more important question is why aren't you, Bob? Now, this is an organization whose sole purpose is to defend the Bill of Rights, so it naturally begs the question: Why would a senator, his party's most powerful spokesman and a candidate for President, choose to reject upholding the Constitution? If you can answer that question, folks, then you're smarter than I am, because I didn't understand it until a few hours ago. America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free". I've known Bob Rumson for years, and I've been operating under the assumption that the reason Bob devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn't get it. Well, I was wrong. Bob's problem isn't that he doesn't get it. Bob's problem is that he can't sell it! We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. You gather a group of middle-aged, middle-class, middle-income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family and American values and character. And wave an old photo of the President's girlfriend and you scream about patriotism and you tell them, she's to blame for their lot in life, and you go on television and you call her a whore. Sydney Ellen Wade has done nothing to you, Bob. She has done nothing but put herself through school, represent the interests of public school teachers, and lobby for the safety of our natural resources. You want a character debate, Bob? You better stick with me, 'cause Sydney Ellen Wade is way out of your league.