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.

(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.)

Notes:

  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