James Baker

(James Addison Baker III)

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
A pragmatic sense of what will and will not play politically is a critical skill of a negotiator. Negotiating & Negotiations
A United States President should never, never, never, never threaten the use of force unless he is prepared to follow up. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Almost every achievement contains within its success the seeds of a future problem. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
At some point the law must prevail and the lawyers must go home. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Be careful what you say. Words matter. Words really matter in foreign policy. Oratory, Discussion & Debate ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Because you're a heartbeat away from the big office. That's why. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
Divisiveness is the only thing that sells today. Comity dies not sell. Civility does not sell. Legislating & Legislative Process
Every administration, ever since John Adams took over from George Washington, has inherited foreign policy problems from its predecessor. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Foreign policy is like plumbing. You never notice it till it breaks and then all hell breaks loose. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
From my experience with 5 presidential elections, candidates sometimes say things when campaigning that they don't necessacerily do when they are governing.
Fuck 'em. They didn't vote for us. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Funds are fungible .... Capital controls are extraordinarily difficult to implement and enforce. Money, Coins & Minting
George W. Bush's motto is "You die, and I'll fly. Slogans & Mottoes
I don't think its particularly smart [in a campaign] to spend your time responding to the other candidate. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I found early on that having a position of power really doesn't bring the fulfillment that many people think it does. Power
If force must be used, it will be used suddenly, massively and decisively. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
If the international community must act, then America must lead. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
If you can’t bring the people with you, you lose the policy Policy & Policy Making
In all free trade agreements there are winners and losers. Foreign Trade
It helps to have “has beens” on commissions because they have no political ax to grind. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
It is absolutely critical to build domestic support for any foreign initiative. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
It is difficult to overcome protectionism when times are bad. Foreign Trade
It is easier to obstruct peace than it is to promote it. War & Peace
Just because you change administrations doesn't mean you have to change [foreign] policy. Policy & Policy Making ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Pan-European security is a dream.. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Policy flip-flops debase the currency of United States credibility. Management & Managing Government
Puritan standards have become the public standards of America, and you will find more of New England in Colorado Springs, Boulder, or Greeley than in most towns of Massachusetts. Public Opinion & Polling
Republicans have not been at the table because we are skeptics and denyors.
Sometimes an active policy is best advanced by doing nothing until the right time -- or never. Policy & Policy Making
Stability is a reasonable foreign policy goal, but not at the expense of human rights. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Structure the national security apparatus so that … they are all singing off the same sheet of music. Defense & National Security
The reason I think settlements are not a good idea is that they create facts on the ground about issues that are supposd to be negotiated. It makes it very hard to trade land for peace--one basis of the 2 State Solution.
The telephone number is 1-202-456-1414 When you're serious about peace, call us. Negotiating & Negotiations
The United Nations is a means. It is not an end for American foreign policy. United Nations ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The United States cannot want peace more than the Palestinians and the Israelis. War & Peace ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
There is a middle ground between sitting on our hands and sending in the marines. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
They [the Trump Administration] didn't roll out the travel regulations as well as they should have. Runing the government is a lot different from running a business where a CEO gives an order and it is implemented, but that doesn't happen in this town.
This was a man we could trust. He never lied to me. He never lied to me. Discrimination & Prejudice
We are broke—bankrupt—really bankrupt! Budgets & Budgeting
We are optimistic with respect to thrifts .... I don't think that there is any cause for undue concern and I would reject any suggestion that we are in the midst of some sort of a major systemic problem with respect to any element of our financial services industry. Business, Commerce & Finance
We don’t have a dog in that fight. War & Peace
We have 17 different intelligence agencies and they are all basic;ly doing the same thing.
We have to deal in 30 second sound bites. It's not your fault. It's not our fault. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Why spend billions on a super collider, when we already have John Sununu? Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Words matter in foreign policy—even empty words. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Work Hard, Study, and Keep Out of Politics Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
You can’t kill your own people and survive very long. Civil Disorder, Riots, Protests & Demonstrations ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
You don’t go for a vote in the Security Council unless you know that you have the votes to win. United Nations
You have to be seen as at least a semi-honest broker, The lawyer for the Israelis is not going to very credible in dealing with the issues of the Palestinians.
You simply cannot ever refuse to be on the attack in a campaign. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I understand personally that it is frustrating to lose presidential elections by narrow margins.
Never let the other fellow set the agenda.
Sometimes an active policy is best advanced by doing nothing until the right time - or never. Time
Sometimes you move publicly, sometimes privately. Sometimes quietly, sometimes at the top of your voice.
This is what happens, when, for the first time in modern history, a candidate resorts to lawsuits to try to overturn the outcome of an election for president. Time ;History
When you have energy companies like Shell and British Petroleum, both of which are perhaps represented in this room, saying there is a problem with excess carbon dioxide emission, I think we ought to listen.
You don't need to know who's playing on the White House tennis court to be a good president.