The Best of Notable Quotables; December 18, 1995

Vol. Eight; No. 26

I Still Hate Reagan Award

Thomas Friedman, New York Times reporter and columnist: “Governor, I’m kind of a foreign policy wonk, and it scares the bejesus out of me to have someone as President of the United States, Commander-in-Chief, and finger on the nuclear button who is such an outsider to Washington and American foreign policy.”
Lamar Alexander: “Well, did Ronald Reagan scare you, Tom?”
Friedman: “He sure did.”
Alexander: “Did he? He didn’t scare me. I thought he was the best national defense and Commander-in-Chief and foreign policy President we’ve had since Eisenhower.”
Friedman: “Ask 245 Marines in Beirut about that.”

– Exchange on CBS’s Face the Nation, March 5.


“How much did Reagan fool the American people and how much did he simply play into their wishes? Were they misled by the nature of his campaigning or were they led into ways they wanted to go? Was Reagan sort of a modern Pied Piper? It’s my instinct about it that he very successfully delayed the apprehension of reality by this country for about a decade. He made people feel that things were better than they were, that the external dangers were greater than they were.”

– PBS anchor Robert MacNeil in the 1995 Liz Cunningham book Talking Politics: Choosing the President in the Television Age.