Finding your voice as a leader is never easy, but it's pretty much the whole gig.


It's a little hard getting schooled on authenticity by a guy with a comb-over.

Dalton [to Russell]

You're a wonk and a spook. You're not supposed to connect at the podium do. 'Cause you're real.

Russell [to Dalton]

I saw your kickoff speech at the Steel Industries. You said a lot of things they didn't want to hear and they loved you anyway. That's pretty much the whole gig.

Russell [to Dalton]

Dalton: I don't think we've met before.
Russell: I generally avoid daylight.

If I can't trust myself, I can't lead, Bess.


When my brother was in his senior year of high school, he started to hear a voice. He didn't tell anybody at the time. It was only later he told me he thought he was talking to God. And then when the voice told him to hurt himself...he knew it was the Devil.


Elizabeth: Well, for an acting president, she's suddenly reluctant to act.
Russell: Yeah, it happens when they're new to office. The reality sinks in.

Where do I fall on this list of family failures? See, I had to work, Allison. That's where you get up and you do something you don't want to do and they pay you for it.


Look, I know that it seems sophisticated to cut everything down, but the *actual* sign of a fine mind is the ability to engage in a broad spectrum of culture without judging it.

Henry [to Allison]

Maureen: Oh, wasn't that beautiful? I felt like I just spent the morning in Paris.
Allison: Please. It was like one long celebration of the bourgeoisie, and now we have an endless array of tchotchkes to prove it.

There's nothing more unbearable than a college freshman.


Madam Secretary Season 4 Episode 15 Quotes

Allison: Do you have time for muffin?
Elizabeth: What kind of life would I be living if I didn't have time for a muffin?
Allison: Not your best one.

I'll be happy to get back to security briefings. Why does anyone watch cable news?