Notable Quotables - 02/22/1999
Get Rid of the House Managers
"I can't think of anything that would be
better for the American Republic than to see some of the Republicans who
brought this bogus, inflated case and have put the country through all this
turmoil for the last, almost a year than for them to be sent packing and to be
replaced by someone who can put this in somewhat better perspective."
- Time national correspondent Jack E. White on MSNBC's McLaughlin Special Report, February 10.
Northeastern Liberals: In Touch
"The Republican managers pushed a case
that was bogus from the beginning. It should have been a vote of censure in
the House and be done with it. And look at the defectors, the Republican
defectors in the Senate: Northeastern Republicans. That's the aspect of the
party that's still in touch with the people."
- Newsweeks Eleanor Clift, February 13 McLaughlin Group.
Admiring the Liars...
"It was a weak obstruction of justice case
for a couple of reasons. I think the biggest reason was the three principals
involved in it - Clinton and Monica and Vernon Jordan - are pros, they know
how to cover-up so there was never any, they didn't have to do any explicit
'now young lady, you have to lie.' Monica's a savvy gal. She knows how
to lie when the time is right. Clinton's been doing it all his life. And
Vernon is a terrific lawyer who knew exactly how not to get himself into
trouble. And with those three principals involved you were never going to pin
a case on them."
- Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas, February 13 Inside Washington.
"In a grand jury appearance last March, he [Vernon Jordan] testified that Lewinsky told him she did not have sex with the President, though he added he purposely did not press her for details, saying, 'I thought I'd heard enough.'
"His friends would say that's classic
Vernon Jordan: smart, careful, always ahead of the game. He's a dazzling
contradiction, a man who can charm an entire room and never give away his
secrets, a man who fixes other people's problems and never seems to break a
sweat over his own....Vernon Jordan, grandson of an African-American
sharecropper, the only black man in his class at DePaul University, went from
tending bar at an all-white club for lawyers, to become himself one of the
most influential lawyers in America...."
- Good Morning America co-host Diane Sawyer, February 2.
...Hating the Truth-Tellers
"From Linda Tripp tattling on her pal
Lewinsky to Hitchens ratting out his buddy Blumenthal to former Clinton aides
George Stephanopoulos and Dick Morris taking pot shots at their ex-boss and
cutting million-dollar book deals to tell all, the capital seems a colder
- U.S. News & World Report writer Franklin Foer on the scandal's losers, February 22 issue.
CBS News analyst and U.S. News
writer Gloria Borger: "All along you've seen the polls, the
public has said well, don't remove him from office, but give him some kind
of reprimand. Why cant you folks agree in a bipartisan way to do something,
to reprimand this guy and they just couldn't get there....but essentially
the Republicans were saying we're voting to convict and that's enough and
we don't want to appear to be piling on, which was kind of strange
Tom Friedman, New York Times: "Too late to be piling on."
Borger: "Right, and it's unconstitutional, and as Republicans why would they want to do anything the public wanted them to do? This would be a first."
- Exchange on PBS's Washington Week in Review, February 12.
Hugh's Glandular Thing
"I think it is fair to say in a case like
this where a powerful man who is an astute politician, obviously intelligent,
but who is driven to take risks. There is no doubt about that, not
politically, he is very careful about that. But this is a glandular thing,
really, with a lot of men and we all probably suffer from it to a certain,
more or less extent that can eclipse one's rational faculties for a time,
and I am sure that is what happened. It wasn't like he did something dumb or
that he was venal about it so much as he was just driven, and his wife sees
fit to forgive him for it. I don't know why the nation wouldn't forgive
- ABC 20/20 co-anchor Hugh Downs during a February 2 discussion on CNN's Larry King Live.
"Horrible" FNC Fed the Right
"Fox News Channel. The home of
sludge-master Matt Drudge is horrible, but impressive ratings increases prove
it has found its audience: viewers who have no concerns about journalistic
standards. If the drive to impeach was kept alive by the right-wing Republican
base, then Fox may be able to claim credit for keeping that base agitated by
feeding it scandal stories everyday, even when nothing was happening."
- USA Today TV reviewer Robert Bianco, February 15.
Racist Managers, Honest Clinton
"Don't you think 13 guys, all of whom,
you know, are not noted for any contribution to civil rights. I'm talking
about the House managers. All of whom are born-again, all of whom are
right-to-lifers, all of whom are you know, anti-immigration, pro-English Only,
etc, etc, don't you think that when that face is presented, isn't that one
of the reasons the majority, the vast majority of the American people support
the President? When they look at the people prosecuting, some say persecuting
him, and say, wait a second, those people wouldn't even let me into their
home or their neighborhood or to work along side them?"
- NBC's Geraldo Rivera, February 2 Rivera Live on CNBC.
"I, you know, wasn't particularly a fan one way or the other of his
[Clinton], until I became maybe his most ardent television defender. That's
because I was offended by this case against him. But he seems to be a guy who
is honest in every other aspect of his life but his sex life. He seems to be,
you know that's where his problem is."
- Rivera, February 9 Rivera Live.
Managers Lack Good Breeding
"It is indicative of the House managers
that they have consistently asked for too much and ended up with too little.
They probably ought to have asked for just two counts and limited it to the
perjury. They now come over here and they lay out a case in a manner that is
so selective that it allows them to be blown up like, as my husband, my
wonderful late husband used to say, like 'gone goslings,' and it's, I
don't think it's just a mismatch between good lawyers and less good
lawyers. This isn't just a matter of quality of breeding so to speak. It's
a matter over bad judgment, overstating your case."
- NPR's Nina Totenberg, February 6 Inside Washington.
More Trial? Terrifying Nightmare
ABC legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin:
"I don't think there are going to be any surprises, any new
information. But the interesting point to keep in mind is that this may not be
the final chapter. Kenneth Starr is still investigating. He is weighing
whether to indict President Clinton on these facts, so it is worth keeping in
mind whether an actual jury, not a Senate jury, may yet hear the same
Peter Jennings: "But just so that you don't terrify people altogether, Jeffrey, this is going to be the last of the Senate impeachment trial this week as far as we know."
Toobin: "That's right. This national nightmare is over. We'll see if there's another one."
- ABC News live coverage of final arguments, February 8.
Using Newt's Vindication to Take Pot Shots at Starr
"NEWT GINGRICH. IRS says foundation that
gave him money was clean; message to Ken Starr: quitters win."
- February 15 Time "Winners & Losers" item.
Heckler: The Voice of the People, the Hero of Monicagate
"Good evening. We begin tonight with the
voice of the people heard from the Senate gallery today during yet another
procedural vote at the President's impeachment trial...'God almighty,'
the man said, 'take the vote and get it over with.' He was arrested.
That's him in the beard, slightly balding, on the right. He may think it was
worth it, speaking as he does for so many Americans, whether they believe the
President should be convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice or not.
The best that we can say tonight is they are getting there."
- Peter Jennings, February 4 World News Tonight.
"You know who the hero of this whole thing is, it's that guy, what was
his name, Richard Llamas, the guy who stood up in the Senate gallery last week
and said, 'Good God vote and get over with this, will you.' If they had
stretched this out for another two or three weeks, which if they would have
had the kind of witnesses Bob [Novak] wanted to have, I want to tell you
something, I think the people may have stormed the United States
- Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt on a special edition of CNN's Capital Gang, February 11.
Monica, Part of an Anti-Climax?
"The very reality of her was more of a
relief and revelation than anything she had to say. And that her long-awaited,
much feared, out-of-body performance on the Senate floor should have been more
anti-climax than denouement was the greatest justice of all."
- Time's Nancy Gibbs on Lewinskys video testimony, Feb. 15.
His Sixth Wife Got His Brain
"What-if department...What if President
Clinton announced a cure for cancer developed by the National Institutes of
Health? What would critics say? Would Bob Barr want him impeached for failing
to tell us the study was going on? Would Rush Limbaugh decry the President
taking credit while admitting getting rid of cancer wasn't a bad thing?
Would Pat Buchanan insist that no nation other than America be given it? Would
The Wall Street Journal worry about its effect on pharmaceutical stock
prices? And so it goes...."
- CNN's Larry King in his USA Today column, February 15.