I Don’t Want To Elect Anyone Stupid Enough To Want the Job

Erma Bombeck? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: The age of social media has exacerbated political antagonisms. A sardonic comedian once claimed that no person foolish enough to run for a high political office could be worthy of a vote. I hope high-quality candidates ignore this facetious viewpoint, but it is difficult to discount. Would you please explore this remark?

Quote Investigator: In 1992 the widely-syndicated humorist Erma Bombeck wrote the following about the position of U.S. President. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1

It is fast coming to the point where I don’t want to elect anyone stupid enough to want the job.

She described the following as a drawback for the office:

A president can look forward to four to eight years’ employment—tops. Then what does he do? Write his memoirs? Play a little golf? Build houses? Visit his library?

The website IZQuotes attributed a version of the quotation to Erma Bombeck. The phrase “coming to the point” was changed to “approaching the point”: 2

“It is fast approaching the point where I don’t want to elect anyone stupid enough to want the job.”
―Erma Bombeck

In conclusion, Erma Bombeck wrote a statement that matched the theme of the question in 1992.

Image Notes: An image depicting antagonistic boxes from redhead_pueppi at Pixabay.

(Great thanks to the anonymous person whose inquiry led QI to formulate this question and perform this exploration. QI was given a pointer to the Wikiquote discussion page for Erma Bombeck where the quotation was listed in the unsourced section, and he was asked to find a source.)


  1. 1992 March 16, Asheville Citizen-Times, Presidency: a dead end job for sure by Erma Bombeck, Quote Page 2A, Column 4, Asheville, North Carolina. (Newspapers_com)
  2. Website: IZQuotes, Webpage title: Erma Bombeck Quote, Occupations specified for Bombeck: Journalist, humorist, writer, Birthdate specified for Bombeck: February 21, 1927, Website Description: “your most extensive source of quotes on the web”. (Accessed izquotes.com on April 5, 2018) link