The Juan Valdez vote

“A video camera captured Sen. Clinton (D-NY) inspecting the coffee maker and trying to figure out how it works. After several moments of fiddling with the machine, Clinton gave up on the idea of getting a hot cup of coffee herself.”

Excerpt from Abraham Lincoln’s remarks at his fifth debate with Stephen Douglas, Galesburg, Illinois, Oct. 7, 1858:

“Among the interrogatories that Judge Douglas propounded to me at Freeport, there was one in about this language: ‘Are you opposed to the acquisition of any further territory to the United States, unless slavery shall first be prohibited therein?’ I answered as I thought, in this way, that I am not generally opposed to the acquisition of additional territory, and that I would support a proposition for the acquisition of additional territory, according as my supporting it was or was not calculated to aggravate this slavery question amongst us. I then proposed to Judge Douglas that we go out and get a cup of Joe. We have our differences, but I had a mighty craving for some espresso con panna or maybe a chai latte and I figured it wouldn’t hurt for us to pull up a couple of chairs at the Roast ‘N Brew and jawbone this thing about additional territory for a while. Now friends, you will not believe me, stout and fair a man as Judge Douglas is, but he turned me down. I’m going to let you decide what you want to make of this, but I’m starting to worry the guy doesn’t even like coffee.”

From John F. Kennedy’s Special Message to Congress on Urgent National Needs, May 25, 1961:

“First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish. It’s going to take a lot of late nights. Countless pots of coffee. Speaking of coffee, Jackie’s been making ours with a, what do you call them, like a French press pot. You know, with the plunger things. And I gotta tell you it comes out tasting like a million bucks. I’m so wired on coffee right now I think I’m gonna go over to Bobby’s later and rotate the tires on his convertible. Who’s with me?”

From Ronald Reagan’s remarks at the U.S. Ranger monument, Pointe du Hoc, France, 1984:

“Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there. These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. This is a dynamite cup of Java! Holy cow. It’s nutty, I don’t know, almost like a walnutty taste or — what do you call them? — cashews or something. Did you roast them differently this time? Man. But we’re gonna have to cut this short because I need to make a pit stop. I must have had a gallon of this stuff.”

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.