The Best of Notable Quotables; December 12, 1988

Vol. One; No. 22


Sam Donaldson

"You’d better be glad I’m leaving the White House beat in November, because if Bush gets elected, I’d savage him."

-- ABC White House correspondent Sam Donaldson, at the Republican Convention, quoted in Newsweek’s "Overheard" column, August 29.

The Primaries

"When he entered the race nearly a year ago he had the courage to say that as President he would probably have to raise taxes. And he never recovered from his courage."

-- ABC’s Peter Jennings on Babbitt’s withdrawal from the race, World News Tonight, February 18.

"Jesse Jackson toured Chicago and brought tears and excitement wherever he went. Watch him as he walks to the Robert Taylor project, home of some of this city’s poorest people. They gave him what they had, they gave him love. This week Jackson has been king. Greeted like a rock star, in a campaign more emotional, perhaps, than Robert Kennedy’s in 1968."

-- Reporter Bruce Morton, CBS Evening News, March 15.

"Dukakis is a centrist."

-- Los Angeles Times reporter Robert Scheer on The McLaughlin Group, weekend of June 11.

“Dukakis would junk SDI, MX missiles”

-- Washington Times, June 15

“Dukakis Adopts Centrist Stance: On National Security Policy, He Seeks to Reassure Establishment”

-- Washington Post, on same speech, next day

"George Bush wants to convince voters that Michael Dukakis is a big spender who will raise taxes, coddle criminals, and disarm America. In other words, a ‘liberal.’ But does the dreaded ‘L’ word stick to Dukakis? Probably not."

-- Newsweek table of contents summary of lead story in the July 4 issue.

"Not only is the campaign getting stale, it’s getting a little gruesome, and Dukakis may be sending the wrong message. He may be convincing voters the issue is: ‘Do you vote for Bush and hope he lives, or Dukakis and hope he doesn’t?’"

-- CNN political analyst Frederick Allen, October 11.

"Obviously, I am for Dukakis."

-- Convicted murderer Willie Horton in USA Today, October 19.

Democratic National Convention

"Jesse Jackson succeeded in conducting a brilliant presidential campaign in which he enlisted white support as well as black support...and conducted a mainstream campaign."

-- Walter Cronkite, July 20.

"He [Jackson] has become here, a kind of new, he’s acquired a new status. He’s almost like Hubert Humphrey was, a sort of conscience of the country."

-- Eric Sevareid during CBS News coverage, July 20.

"Nobody almost is an old-fashioned liberal anymore in a sense of ‘let’s throw some money at a problem.’"

-- Reporter Bruce Morton on CBS, July 19.

"Today’s Jane Pauley, perky as ever on her Wednesday morning broadcast, has resilience. She arose for work at 4 a.m., as usual, after having stayed up until the wee hours. The compelling draw to keep her out late Tuesday night? Visiting the convention. ‘I’m a Jesse fan,’ she says."

-- USA Today, July 21.

Republican National Convention

"He’s against outlawing abortion, he’s against President Reagan’s Star Wars defense, he worries about the poor and homeless...Nine delegates to this convention describe themselves as liberals....Harold Fergiss: a lonely, rather brave figure out there on Canal Street. Symbol of the kind of Republican that once was, but almost isn’t anymore."

-- Charles Kuralt on CBS, August 17.

"But for all the talk about Bush’s asserting his political independence, the Vice President cannot hope to defeat Michael Dukakis without standing on the shoulders of the President. Bush appears, on present form at least, overmatched as a candidate, offering the voters little more than a resume without a rationale."

-- Time National Political Correspondent Laurence Barrett, August 22 issue.

Dan Quayle

"What is really hypocrisy, as I hear that word bandied about, is to watch some pontifical powdered poop asking Dan Quayle questions and know that that person was hiding out during the Vietnam War carrying a Viet Cong flag."

-- Senator Alan Simpson on NBC Nightly News, August 18.

"I’ve always said that I.Q. is a small part of the political world....The minute he speaks his own mind, he reminds us of why Lady Di isn’t allowed to talk, the guy has nothing to say and when he speaks it’s frightening....He explains his military policy in Europe on the basis of what [Indiana basketball coach] Bobby Knight believes, ignoring the history of World War II, this century’s history. In terms of strategic policy, he looks to Tom Clancy for his authority. These are not metaphors he uses....What can he do? Can he talk or think? Which one can he do?" 

-- San Francisco Examiner reporter and CBS This Morning "political columnist" Chris Matthews on The McLaughlin Group, September 17.

"From a distance of two feet Quayle looks younger than he is, his face smooth and creamy, as if unmarked by life. He’s good looking, no denying that. If he were a woman he would be described as beautiful. His facial bones are delicate, and his mouth is what pulp fiction writers call sensual."

-- New Republic politics editor and former Newsweek reporter Hendrick Hertzberg, October 31.

"After the 1988 campaign, no one can any longer argue that network news reflects a ‘liberal bias.’...Telejournalists...are indeed a bunch of liberals. But their ideological slant has worked against any ‘liberal bias’ by the TV news, as reporters bend over backwards not to seem at all critical of Republicans."

-- Johns Hopkins University instructor Mark Crispin Miller, in The New York Times, November 16.

"Bush won by default, and by fouls. His ‘mandate’ is to ignore the threats to our economy, sustain the Reagan heritage of let’s pretend, and serve as figurehead for what America has become, a frightened empire hiding its problems from itself."

-- Conclusion of November 21 Time article by Gary Wills.

-- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
-- Brent H. Baker, Marc S. Ryan; Editors
-- Richard Marois, Dorothy Warner; Media Analysts
-- Cynthia Bulman; Administrative Assistant