Every week Scandal viewers are blown away by the dialog on the popular ABC show. Dedicated fans everywhere have started up blogs dedicated solely to the best Scandal quotes, with the words of Cyrus Beene (played by Jeff Perry) being a favorite among most. Now midway through its third season, Shonda Rhimes and the other writers continue to bring the shock and awe with epic speeches, rants and monologues from various cast members, all touching on themes of love, gender, class, race and politics. Here are ten of the best quotes/rants from the characters of Scandal; here’s what they didn’t teach you in third period Government.
10. “No one elected you! You’re not the president! You don’t weigh in on foreign policy! Your opinion doesn’t matter! You are the first lady. Your job is to plant gardens and decorate rooms and let them blog about your clothes. You’re ornamental, not functional. So, don’t come into the oval and try to use your brain because no one cares.” —President Fitzgerald Grant
Fitz shuts his wife down, suggesting to Mellie that her position as the First Lady is not one that carries any political clout.
9. “We are talking about the president of the United States. You wanna burn down his house, you’re gonna have to burn down your own as well.” —Olivia Pope
The fixer warns Amanda Tanner, her first client in the first season about going after the president of the United States.
8. “I wasn’t made to be the chief of staff. Do you know what I was made to be? I was made to be the president of the United States. I was made to lead the nation. I was made to ensure this country’s place in the world for generations to come. I would’ve been great at that. I have the stones. I have backbone. I have the will. I would have been a great president. But guess what? I’m fairly short, and I’m not so pretty, and I really like having sex with men. So instead of being president of this land that I love, I get to be the guy behind the president of the United States. And sure, I have power. I influence decisions. I help steer the country. But I’ll never be in the history books. My name will never be on an airport or a doctrine. Being the guy behind the guy is as far as my road goes.” —Cyrus Beene
Cyrus (who appears multiple times on this list) knows his true destiny, and he also knows that the social politics of America would never allow him to achieve it.
7. “I need to make some plans for my political future. And I do have a bright, bright political future. A sweet lawyer who gave up her career for her husband, suffered a miscarriage and then had a late-in-life baby while first lady. That’s gold. That’s a future president. That’s a hell of a second act. America loves a second act.” —Mellie Grant
During a difficult time in their marriage (difficult because Fitz was making it clear that he had no intentions of ending his relationship with Olivia Pope), Mellie explains precisely how, if she wants to, she can get the American people to elect her the first woman president of the United States.
6. “I know she seems weak now, but she is smart and powerful. And smart, powerful women like Catalina don’t just curl up and hide when they’ve been wounded. They strike back … by writing memoirs and appearing on talk shows and at benefits and red carpets, talking about women’s rights in the developing world. And how babies were ripped from her arms by a ruthless dictator who can’t run a family, much less a country. And then one day out of nowhere, she’s not just the mother of your children anymore; she’s a hero. And people everywhere—here, your country—love a hero… This woman can be the mother of your child or the face of your opposition.” —Olivia Pope
Olivia tells her client, a foreign dictator, why divorcing his wife and taking custody of their children might be a bad political move on his part.