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Sources of Gubernatorial Wisdom: From Abraham Lincoln to Charlie Brown

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In their State of the State Addresses, several governors quoted the philosophies of a variety of famous people, living, dead, and fictional. Following is a sample of these gubernatorial "great quotations":


Education can "promote the virtue and advance the happiness of man.''

--Thomas Jefferson, quoted by Gov. Cecil D. Andrus of Idaho.


"Let's put our minds together to see how we can build a better life for our children."

--Sitting Bull, quoted by Gov. George S. Mickelson of South Dakota.


"He is raised the higher that he may fall the heavier."

--Menander, quoted by Gov. Michael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts.


"What is behind us and what lies before us, are small matters compared to what lies within us."

--Ralph Waldo Emerson, quoted by Gov. Gaston Caperton of West Virginia.


"No problem is so big or so complicated that it can't be run away from."

--Charlie Brown, quoted by Gov. Neil Goldschmidt of Oregon.


"I can't believe you like me. You really like me."

--Sally Field, quoted by Gov. Thomas H. Kean of New Jersey.


"There are only two important forces in the affairs of men. One is the sword, the other the spirit. The sword will always be conquered by the spirit."

--Napoleon Bonaparte, quoted by Governor Goldschmidt.


"We have it in our power to begin the world all over again. ... The birthday of a new world is at hand."

--Thomas Paine, quoted by Gov. John Ashcroft of Missouri.


"The strongest and sweetest songs yet remain to be sung."

--Walt Whitman, quoted by Gov. Mario M. Cuomo of New York.


"Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better."

--Harry S Truman, quoted by Gov. Michael N. Castle of Delaware.


"Let us have faith that rightmakes right, and in that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it."

--Abraham Lincoln, quoted by Governor John Ashcroft.

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