Philander Knox on Politics as Usual

“Oh, Mr. President, do not let so great an achievement suffer from any taint of legality.”

Philander C. Knox (1853-1921)

Quoted in Tyler Dennett, John Hay: From Poetry to Politics (1933). Knox’s reply, as attorney general, to President Theodore Roosevelt’s request for a legal justification of his acquisition of the Panama Canal Zone.

Excerpted from: Shapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

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