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The Best of Notable Quotables; December 19, 1994

Vol. Seven; No. 26


I Still Hate Ronald Reagan Award



“Then one day in the summer of 1981 I found myself at the L.L. Bean store in Freeport, Maine. I was a correspondent in the White House in those days, and my work -- which consisted of reporting on President Reagan’s success in making life harder for citizens who were not born rich, white, and healthy – saddened me....My parents raised me to admire generosity and to feel pity. I had arrived in our nation’s capital [in 1981] during a historic ascendancy of greed and hard-heartedness....Reagan couldn’t tie his shoes if his life depended on it.”

New York Times editorial page editor (and former Washington Bureau Chief) Howell Raines in his book Fly Fishing Through the Midlife Crisis.


Runners-up:


“America is cheering [for Forrest Gump]. Much as it cheered Ronald Reagan, who more than Schweik or Candide, is the real proto-Gump. Reagan too was relentlessly upbeat. Reagan too was extraordinarily lucky. And his luck, like Gump’s, was often built on the backs of people who suffered off-screen. Forrest had bankrupt shrimpers, martyred Vietnam buddies, and his wife, whose death was remarkably demure, considering her ailment. Reagan scored points off America’s poor; somehow managed to cloak himself in heroism while apologizing for a needless screw-up that killed 241 servicemen in Beirut; and avoided tarnishing his reputation for optimism by spending too much time on AIDS.”

– Essay by Time Associate Editor David Van Biema, August 29 issue.

“Both Greedy and The Ref find comic pay dirt in the spectacle of blood relations uncorking their revulsions and resentments in open insult. You could read them as belated tantrums against the patriarchal, money-obsessed Reagan ‘80s.”

Newsweek movie critic David Ansen, March 14 issue.