Helen Thomas Quotes

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Helen Thomas

Thomas in February 2009
Born Helen Amelia Thomas
(1920-08-04)August 4, 1920
Winchester, Kentucky, U.S.
Died July 20, 2013(2013-07-20) (aged 92)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater Wayne University (B.A., 1942)
Occupation Author, journalist, columnist
Years active 1943–2013
Known for Pioneering female reporter;
first female member of
the White House press corps
Home town Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Spouse(s) Douglas B. Cornell
(1971–1982; his death)
Parent(s)

George Thomas (né Antonious)
Mary Thomas (née Rowady)

Relatives 8 siblings

The presidency awed me, but presidents do not. Perhaps I have always expected too much of them, but I believe that when they reach the highest office in the land, they should live up to the greatest honor that can come to a person in American political life. Some have stood the test better than others.
Helen Thomas
If we care about the children, the grandchildren, the future generations, we need to make sure that they do not become the cannon fodder of the future.
Helen Thomas
I'm decrepit but I don't want to give up, and I love my work.
Presidential power was overruled by the high bench in July 1974, when President Nixon was ordered to turn over some audio tapes of his White House conversations, including the 'smoking gun' tape of June 23, 1972, that revealing the Watergate cover up.
Helen Thomas
Every president thinks that all information that comes to the White House is their private preserve after they all promise an open administration on the campaign trail, but some are more secretive than others. Some want to lock down everything.
Helen Thomas
You don't spread democracy through the barrel of a gun.
The White House used to belong to the American people. At least that's what I learned from history books and from covering every president starting with John F. Kennedy.
Helen Thomas
I got into the Kennedy White House because at the time I was president of the Women's National Press Club, and they assigned me to cover the early days of the Kennedy campaign. Jackie especially. Everyone was interested in the family.
Helen Thomas
War makes strange bedfellows.
I covered Kennedy when she was three years old and the darling daughter of President Kennedy who doted on her and whose mother did everything to protect her from the prying press.
Helen Thomas
We got the vote, which we should've been born with, in 1920. Everything we've had to struggle for – it's ridiculous.
Helen Thomas
The United States has tried for years to live down President Franklin D. Roosevelt's order during World War II to move Japanese-Americans on the West Coast to inland detention camps on grounds that they might be disloyal.
Helen Thomas
I don't think a tough question is disrespectful.
In Plains, I saw Jimmy Carter as he really is – a nice, decent man… in terms of compassionate contribution to society, he certainly has proven to be our best past president.
Helen Thomas
We won't really know what will happen until it happens.
I'm a liberal, I was born a liberal, and I will be a liberal 'til the day I die.
Helen Thomas
When you speak of the press, of course, you have to speak of different segments of the press. Reporters, straight reporters, wire services, you stick to the facts; you don't create the story, per se. You cover what is happening.
Helen Thomas
Many voters think about the makeup of the Supreme Court when they are choosing a president. The justices deal not only with constitutional issues but also with social issues that were unknown to the founding fathers who wrote the Constitution more than 200 years ago.
Helen Thomas
I censored myself for 50 years when I was a reporter. Now I wake up and ask myself, 'Who do I hate today?'
Helen Thomas
You don't spread democracy with a barrel of a gun.
People will never know how hard it is to get information, especially if it's locked up behind official doors where, if politicians had their way, they'd stamp 'top secret' on the color of the walls.
Helen Thomas
Vice President Dick Cheney reportedly has been disturbed over what he sees as the erosion of presidential powers since the Watergate scandal and has urged Bush to take a stronger stand against what Cheney sees as congressional intrusions into the executive branch.
Helen Thomas
I'm not anti-Jewish; I'm anti-Zionist.
The day Dick Cheney is going to run for president, I'll kill myself. All we need is one more liar.
Helen Thomas
As a reporter having covered him for eight years in the White House, I am sure the press could have done a better job if we had known the real Ronald Reagan.
Helen Thomas
I can remember the morning after President Nixon won re-election in 1972. His chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, called a Cabinet meeting and told the members: 'You are all a bunch of burned-out volcanoes;' and asked for their resignations.
Helen Thomas
Maybe the Jefferson case will give members of Congress second thoughts the next time they get ready to legislate away the rights of ordinary Americans.
Helen Thomas
I'm of Arab background.
Great presidents take stands, and they fight off these people who really are so far to the right. I don't want to call them names, even though they would call me names.
Helen Thomas
I covered two presidents, LBJ and Nixon, who could no longer convince, persuade, or govern, once people had decided they had no credibility, but we seem to be more tolerant now of what I think we should not tolerate.
Helen Thomas
We have organized lobbyists in favor of Israel. You can't open your mouth. I can call the president of the United States anything in the book, but if you say one thing about Israel, and you're off limits.
Helen Thomas
I was in Independence, Missouri when Johnson signed the Medicare bill, with Truman standing there. Truman had first proposed Medicare, but couldn't get it through.
Helen Thomas
But when will our leaders learn - war is not the answer.
To my mind, a president should care about all people, and he didn't, which is why I will always feel Reagan lacked soul.
Helen Thomas
I had a lot of fun bantering back and forth with Kennedy. But for ease and comfort, it would be Gerald Ford. He was a down-home type. I came from the Midwest and he came from the Midwest. He was nonaggressive and kindly.
Helen Thomas
This is the worst President ever. He George W. Bush is the worst President in all of American history.
Helen Thomas
I think that presidents deserve to be questioned. Maybe irreverently, most of the time. Bring 'em down a size. You see a president, ask a question. You have one chance in the barrel. Don't blow it.
Helen Thomas
I have a background and an understanding of what's happened in the Middle East that a lot of people don't have, because there's been no interest.
Helen Thomas
Congress, the White House, and Hollywood, Wall Street, are owned by the Zionists.
Helen Thomas
All of us who covered the Reagans agreed that President Reagan was personable and charming, but I'm not so certain he was nice. It's hard for me to think of anyone as 'nice' when I hear him say 'The homeless are homeless because they want to be homeless.'
Helen Thomas
All presidents rail against the press. It goes with the turf.
We began to see the renovation of our offices as a subtle part of the Nixon war against the press.
Helen Thomas
We don't go into journalism to be popular. It is our job to seek the truth and put constant pressure on our leaders until we get answers.
Helen Thomas
Presidents hate the press. They hate me most of the time.
I think I'll work all my life. When you're having fun, why stop having fun?
Helen Thomas
I love my work, and I think that I was so lucky to pick a profession where it's a joy to go to work every day.
Helen Thomas
Every President hates the Press.
I wrote that President Bush is passing on to President-elect Obama two wars and an economic debacle. I call it a depression. And he is arming Israel against the Palestinians in every way in Gaza.
Helen Thomas
Truman fired the popular Gen. Douglas MacArthur because he disobeyed orders in the Korean War. Johnson knew that he had reached the endgame in Vietnam when Gen. William Westmoreland, the top commander in Vietnam, requested 240,000 more troops in 1968 for the prolonged war that also could not be won.
Helen Thomas
I hit the third rail. You cannot criticize Israel in this country and survive.
Helen Thomas
We in the press have a special role since there is no other institution in our society that can hold the President accountable. I do believe that our democracy can endure and prevail only if the American people are informed.
Helen Thomas
I've never covered the president in any way other than that he is ultimately responsible.
Helen Thomas
President Bush has asserted the right to wiretap and eavesdrop on any American without a warrant in the name of fighting terrorism. He has asserted presidential power beyond stated constitutional rights, and there is no Republican gutsy enough to call his hand.
Helen Thomas
I respect the office of the presidency, but I never worship at the shrines of our public servants… The Washington press corps has the privilege of asking the president of the United States what he is doing and why.
Helen Thomas
It's time for women to make their voices heard. Their silence on the subject of war and peace is deafening.
Helen Thomas
We are the only institution in our society that can question a president on a regular basis and make him accountable. Otherwise, he could be king.
Helen Thomas
I think Obama is handling his image very well, but I think he lacks boldness.
Helen Thomas
The sudden ending of a White House career all seems so unceremonious for aides who have personally sacrificed a lot – and sometimes even bent their conscience – to do the president's bidding.
Helen Thomas
It's like I say to young people who ask me about going into journalism: If you want to be loved, don't go into this business.
Helen Thomas
I don't think there are any rude questions.
Everyone with a cell phone thinks they're a photographer. Everyone with a laptop thinks they're a journalist. But they have no training, and they have no idea of what we keep to in terms of standards, as in what's far out and what's reality. And they have no dedication to truth.
Helen Thomas
I'm covering the worst president in American history.
When you're in the news business, you always expect the unexpected.
There are better ways we can transform this virulent hatred – by living our ideals, the Peace Corps, exchange students, teachers, exporting our music, poetry, blue jeans.
Helen Thomas
Clinton is the first female to be taken seriously for the highest office in the land. She has the credentials, the stamina and she is a good campaigner. Her detractors in both parties like to say she can't win, but they may be proven wrong.
Helen Thomas