Mo Udall’s Political Wit

Morris K. Udall wit and humor

Morris “Mo” Udall (June 15, 1922 – December 12, 1998) served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1961 to 1991. He sought the Democratic nomination for President in 1976. Although he failed in that quest, he succeeded in cementing his reputation as a first-class wit. His account of the failed race and other details of his life can be found in his book Too Funny to be President. Here is a small sampling of the political wit of Mo Udall:

  • “If nominated, I shall run to Mexico. If elected, I shall fight extradition.”
  • “Let’s turn inflation over to the post office. That’ll slow it down.”
  • “Lord, give us the wisdom to utter words that are gentle and tender, for tomorrow we may have to eat them.”
  • Referring to his challenger in the 1976 primaries, “Carter was the first politician in memory to come complete with a halo.”
  • “The ability to change one’s views without losing one’s seat is the mark of a great politician.”
  • After acknowledging the unhappy results of the election, he said, “The voters have spoken—the bastards!”
  • “When I die, I want to be buried in Chicago so I can remain active in politics.”

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