Peggy Noonan

Remember the waterfront shack with the sign FRESH FISH SOLD HERE. Of course itís fresh, weíre on the ocean. Of course itís for sale, weíre not giving it away. Of course itís here, otherwise the sign would be someplace else. The final sign: FISH.

If you join government, calmly make your contribution and move on. Donít go along to get along; do your best and when you have to -- and you will -- leave, and be something else.

Most people arenít appreciated enough, and the bravest things we do in our lives are usually known only to ourselves. No one throws ticker tape on the man who chose to be faithful to his wife, on the lawyer who didnít take the drug money, or the daughter who held her tongue again and again. All this anonymous heroism.

If you commit a big crime then you are crazy, and the more heinous the crime the crazier you must be. Therefore you are not responsible, and nothing is your fault.

The Irish are often nervous about having the appropriate face for the occasion. They have to be happy at weddings, which is a strain, so they get depressed; they have to be sad at funerals, which is easy, so they get happy.

You donít have to be old in America to say of a world you lived in: That world is gone.

Donít fall in love with politicians, theyíre all a disappointment. They canít help it, they just are.

Beware the politically obsessed. They are often bright and interesting, but they have something missing in their natures; there is a hole, an empty place, and they use politics to fill it up. It leaves them somehow misshapen.

I love eulogies. They are the most moving kind of speech because they attempt to pluck meaning from the fog, and on short order, when the emotions are still ragged and raw and susceptible to leaps.

Great speeches have always had great soundbites. The problem now is that the young technicians who put together speeches are paying attention only to the soundbite, not to the text as a whole, not realizing that all great soundbites happen by accident, which is to say, all great soundbites are yielded up inevitably, as part of the natural expression of the text. They are part of the tapestry, they arenít a little flower somebody sewed on.

TV gives everyone an image, but radio gives birth to a million images in a million brains.

The battle for the mind of Ronald Reagan was like the trench warfare of World War I: never have so many fought so hard for such barren terrain.

A speech is poetry: cadence, rhythm, imagery, sweep! A speech reminds us that words, like children, have the power to make dance the dullest beanbag of a heart.

Memorable Quotations: Speechwriters

Memorable Quotations: Women Writers