Notable Quotables - 01/12/2009
|Drooling Over Obama's "Chiseled Pecs"|
"Fit to serve: Barack Obama photographed shirtless in Hawaii and a lot of women
are giving him the presidential seal of approval."|
- NBC's Matt Lauer starting out the Today show, December 23.
"Between workouts during his Hawaii vacation this week, he was photographed
looking like the paradigm of a new kind of presidential fitness, one geared less
toward preventing heart attacks than winning swimsuit competitions. The sun
glinted off chiseled pectorals sculpted during four weightlifting sessions each
week, and a body toned by regular treadmill runs and basketball games."
|Admiring the Greatness of Obi-Wan Obama|
"By now we are all accustomed to that Obi-Wan Kenobi calm....He hit the American
scene like a thunderclap, upended our politics, shattered decades of
conventional wisdom and overcame centuries of the social pecking order....[But]
what now seems most salient about Obama is the opposite of flashy, the
antithesis of rhetoric: he gets things done. He is a man about his business - a
Mr. Fix It going to Washington....Spare us the dead-or-alive bravado, the
gates-of-hell bluster, the melodrama of the 3 a.m. phone call. A door swung open
for a candidate who would merely stand and deliver....In the land of the
hapless, the competent man is king."|
- Editor-at-large David von Drehle in his cover story announcing Obama as Time's "Man of the Year," December 29 issue.
|Barack Obama = "The Epitome of Cool"|
Co-host Harry Smith: "Mmm-hmm."
Tracy Smith: "I mean, you're cool, but we're actually talking about how a lot of people think that President-elect Barack Obama is the epitome of cool. Look at that guy. Everything, I mean, even in a baseball cap."
- Exchange on CBS's The Early Show, December 26. [Audio/video (0:27): Windows Media (1.63 MB) and MP3 audio (105 kB)]
|A "Team of Moderates" with "So Much Brain Power"|
"President-elect Barack Obama wrapped up his Cabinet appointments yesterday,
meeting his ambitious holiday deadline by assembling a team full of outsize
personalities with overlapping jurisdictions and nominees who are known more for
pragmatism than for strong leanings on the issues they will oversee....[Many of
Obama's] picks reflect his apparent preference for practical-minded centrists
who have straddled big policy debates rather than staking out the strongest
"It's also a meritocracy. These are superstars, not afraid of strong
personalities - Larry Summers inside the White House - but people with so much
brain power, and so much education, and a combination of talents here."
|Chris Clamors for More Lefties: "I'm Waiting for Change"|
"What happened to the victory of 'change' and - I hate to use the phrase - 'the
Left'?...Why do we have no lefties in this cabinet?...Why no lefties? Why nobody
that talks like Barack Obama talked when he got elected?...I'm waiting for
- MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Hardball, December 8.
|Praying Obama Is Another Gorby|
"Is it too much to expect Barack Obama to change history? Make peace? Transform
an economic system? Rescue the Earth? Build a political program around the
truth? Restore a great nation's decency? ...It will do Americans well to recall
that just such a transformation took place once before, even if we declined to
respond with transformation of our own. By the grace of God, it is not too late
to match the greatness with which [Soviet leader Mikhail] Gorbachev acted 20
- Boston Globe columnist James Carroll in a December 29 column, "Gorbachev's Model for Obama."
|Bill and Hillary to the Rescue|
"Preoccupied with economic woes at home, Obama simply won't have time to spend
a big chunk of his first year in office on the road. In many ways the
crucial restoration of America's prestige in the world will fall instead to
the Clintons. The couple are already so popular abroad that when they land
at a foreign airport, they can hit the tarmac running on all the bilateral
and multilateral issues they know so well."|
- Senior editor Jonathan Alter naming the Clintons to Newsweek's "Global Elite," December 29-January 5 issue.
|Bush's Legacy: No Job, No Health Care, No House|
"His economic legacy is selfishness. You know, you look at what they wanted to
do to Social Security. Imagine if our money was in the markets right now....You
know, he should be ashamed of what he, what he's left us....I'm just so
disheartened by what Bush did to us, and, and all this focus on fighting a war
that we couldn't win....I think the regular American people are sitting here
going, 'We're in this war, and you said you couldn't afford health care, and yet
all these billions of dollars are over there. And I have no job, no health care
and probably no house.'"|
- Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary on NBC's Meet the Press, December 28.
|Ann Coulter: A "Whiner" Who Should Be Hung on a Cross|
"You talk about victims and victimhood in America, which I think is a serious
problem. On the other hand, the more I listen to your complaints, the more I
kept thinking, well, you're the whiner. You're the one who's claiming victimhood
here. That you're the victim of this great left-wing conspiracy....You should -
you should have a cross. You should put yourself up on a cross."|
- CBS's Harry Smith on the January 6 Early Show scolding conservative author Ann Coulter about her new book Guilty: Liberal Victims and Their Assault on America.
|Newsweek Ends the Year By Slamming Sarah Palin|
"In a smear that sounds even worse in retrospect, Sarah Palin goes rogue and
stirs up prejudice by accusing Barack Obama of 'palling around with
- From Newsweek's list of "The Biggest Losers" of 2008, those "who set the high-water mark for low behavior in 2008," December 29-January 5 issue.
"Sarah Palin: Ill-informed, inarticulate shopaholic has ego bigger than
Alaska - and she's still the darling of the GOP."
"Sarah Palin: She seemed like McCain's silver bullet...until she
opened her mouth. A 2012 contender if she starts boning up on issues. Now."
|Accused Senate Seat-Seller Just a "Victim" of History?|
"The Windy City is a political stew of characters, a cast of players that even
Hollywood would envy. Governor Rod Blagojevich is just the latest squeaky wheel
in Chicago's political machine. Although he promised to be different, he fell
victim, prosecutors allege, to history."|
- NBC correspondent Lee Cowan on the December 11 Nightly News.
|New York Times: No Poison Politics Before 1998|
"Ten years ago this week, Bill Clinton became the first elected president ever
impeached by the House of Representatives, the culmination of a sex-and-lies
scandal that consumed the nation and fractured the political
system....Washington in the last decade has been governed by a climate of anger
and animosity, a modern-day tribalism pitting faction against faction that some
trace to the days of the impeachment."|
- New York Times reporter Peter Baker in a "Week in Review" piece published December 14.
|Celebrating Iraq's "Instant Hero"|
"Sock and awe. How the Iraqi shoe-thrower is now being hailed as a hero and
drawing thousands of supporters....It's being referred to as the 'toss heard
around the world.' In fact, many Iraqis are showering accolades on the
journalist who threw his shoes at President Bush."|
- CBS's Harry Smith on The Early Show, December 16.
Middle East, there's no bigger insult than hitting someone with a shoe, a dirty
object worn on the lowest part of the body. By showing the kind of contempt
formerly reserved for Saddam Hussein to President Bush, [Muntathar] al-Zaidi's
become an instant hero....Al-Zaidi should do jail time, said the Iraqi bloggers
- because he missed."
|I'm Not Stumping for Anybody - I'm a Journalist|
Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher: "Do you agree with every candidate and your candidate's policies?"
Roberts: "Hey, I'm not out there stumping for anybody, I'm a journalist."
Wurzelbacher, laughing: "I'll leave that one alone."
Roberts: "No, seriously."
- Exchange on CNN's American Morning, December 23. [Audio/video (1:05): Windows Media (3.92 MB) and MP3 audio (297 kB)]
|Washington Post Ombudsman Acknowledges: "Conservatives Excluded"|
"Make a serious effort to cover political and social conservatives and their
issues; the paper tends to shy away from those stories, leaving conservatives
feeling excluded and alienated from the paper. I'd like those who have canceled
their subscriptions to be readers again. Too many Post staff members think
alike; more diversity of opinion should be welcomed."|
- Outgoing Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell in her "Resolutions for a Better Post," December 21 column.
|From the 'I Wish I Could Take That Back' File|
"For a party bereft of ideas, [Illinois Governor Rod] Blagojevich is worth
listening to. His enthusiasm is contagious.... With his shock of black hair and
cherubic face, he is reminiscent of another eager young governor, Bill Clinton
circa '92, even using much the same language about the forgotten middle-class
that launched Clinton on the national scene."|
- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift profiling Blagojevich in a December 16, 2005 Web-exclusive column.