The Best of Notable Quotables; December 16, 1996

Vol. Nine; No. 26

Media Hero Award

"How can anyone argue that Bill Clinton has not been a good
President? Business should love him. The country has been in a
controlled boom since he bludgeoned through by one vote his first
economic package....Workers should love him. There are more jobs
than ever....Minorities should love him. He has a terrific record
of appointing women and minorities to judgeships and high federal
posts. He has put civil rights back on the table after 12 years
of Republican neglect...."
"No, it makes you wonder what the President and his wife could
have accomplished these four years if they had not been consumed
by these scandals, these lawsuits and these clippings. By almost
any measure, the past four years have been spectacular for many
Americans. Still, if Bill Clinton had been a full-time President,
if Hillary Clinton had been a full-time First Lady..."
"Would the poor be a little richer? Would the old be a little
healthier? Would the young be a little smarter? Would the nation
be a little more prosperous? Would the world be a little less
troubled? You wonder. And you wonder if he wonders."

-- Former NBC News President Michael Gartner in his June 11 USA Today column. [71 points]


"I can't bring myself to hate the Unabomber. Quite the opposite;
I find his story curiously affecting. The original Unabomber --
the anonymous, hooded fellow, hiding behind aviator glasses --
was uninteresting, a freak, a nobody. But Theodore Kaczynski is
someone very interesting indeed...I envy his disobedience....the
[manifesto] tells us what we all know: that American society can
be a powerfully compromising, deadening, even saddening force... If Kaczynski proves to be the Unabomber, he is nobody's hero, certainly not mine. The bomber murdered three people, and might well have many more, all by design. Coincidentally, Kaczynski invaded our front pages just before Easter Sunday, mute, pathetic and manacled before his captors. But maybe he accomplished what the Unabomber set out to do, to make us think about ourselves, and the society that drove him to madness."

-- Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam, April 10. [58]

"It's likely that your view of Mikhail Gorbachev depends on your
point of view. From the perspective of the West, the former
President of the Soviet Union of course was a courageous, far- seeing prophet whose reforms set in motion the collapse of the Soviet dictatorship and the end of the Cold War."
"We always welcome you in this country, Mikhail Gorbachev. We're
especially pleased to have you tonight on InterNight. And we
offer our very best, of course, to Raisa Gorbachev and we hope
that you'll have a long and happy life. Perhaps one day again
we'll see you in political office in Russia. We know that you've
devoted your life to peace and to changing your country and those
of us who have gotten to know you count ourselves among the

-- Tom Brokaw opening and closing his October 29 MSNBC InterNight interview with former communist dictator Mikhail Gorbachev. [55]