Notable Quotables - 03/10/2008

Vol. 21; No. 5

Guzzling Obama’s Kool-Aid

“Even in the conversations we have as colleagues, there is a sense of trying especially hard not to drink the Kool-Aid. It’s so rapturous, everything around him [Barack Obama]. All these huge rallies.”
— Correspondent Lee Cowan, who covers Obama for NBC News, as quoted by New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg in a March 1 story.

Barack “Springsteen” Obama


“If you’ve never been to an Obama rally before, a word of advice: go early. Think Springsteen concerts, but the tickets are free....Inside, they felt the warm glow of hope.... Obama’s true believers respond as though they’ve spent their whole lives out in the cold....Young people hoping that Obama can redeem politics from mere partisanship; black people hoping he can finally achieve Martin Luther King’s dream; white people hoping he can redeem America from the sins of slavery and segregation. It is hard to see how any politician, a mere human, can achieve all that, but it will be very interesting to watch.”
— ABC’s David Wright on Nightline, February 19.


Hillary Is Super-Duper, Too

“[Hillary] Clinton relishes the chance to talk concretely about the real problems in real people’s lives....Unlike the stadium events where Barack Obama thrives, Clinton seems to prefer smaller, more intimate settings where her voice is softer and her message more personal....Senator Clinton was in her element, comfortable, she says, as head of the class, but not head of the pack.”
— ABC’s Cynthia McFadden on Nightline, February 28.

Ooh, They’re Both So Wonderful


Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift: “Women have waited decades to see the first woman president, and it’s actually something of a tragedy that a talented African-American guy comes along at the same — this isn’t liberal guilt.”
Columnist Pat Buchanan: “Why is it a tragedy?”
Clift: “Because you have to choose between two people who you-”
Buchanan: “That’s a tragedy?”
Clift: “I call it a tragedy, yes. Because people, women, women in particular are having a very hard time deciding here....They are both class-act people. And I am proud as a citizen to see that both of them are in contention.”
The McLaughlin Group, March 2.


Slamming “Nasty and Vicious” GOP

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews: “Is this gonna be a vicious, almost ethnic fight, going after the guy [Obama] because of his heritage, his name and saying, ‘He’s gonna sell us out.’ Is that what’s coming?”
Reporter Norah O’Donnell: “There are some Republicans and some conservatives who want it to be that fight, who will try and disparage Barack Obama, trying to paint him as a Muslim — he is not a Muslim, he is a Christian — and as someone who is anti-Israel....”
Newsweek’s Howard Fineman: “It’s gonna be a classic, classic, and it’s gonna be nasty and vicious.”
— MSNBC’s Hardball, February 27.

“Swift Boating” of Barack Obama

“Warming up the crowd before the McCain rally in Cincinnati today, local conservative radio personality Bill Cunningham made caustic references to Barack Obama, calling him a hack politician from Chicago....And Cunningham went on to use Obama’s Muslim middle name, Hussein, three times. Obama is actually a Christian.”
— ABC reporter Ron Claiborne on World News with Charles Gibson, February 26.

“We begin with tough talk on the campaign trail today — tough talk, an apology, a disavowal, and now, questions whether what you’re about to hear is a taste of sleazy campaigning and Swift Boating to come....Clearly, for a two-bit radio host, this is the biggest thing to happen to him in quite a long time.”
— CNN’s Anderson Cooper discussing Cunningham’s remarks on Anderson Cooper 360, February 26.

Host Chris Matthews: “We had some really rotten business today. Here’s radio talk show host Bill Cunningham at a John McCain rally today:”
Bill Cunningham: “...All is gonna be right with the world when the great prophet from Chicago takes the stand and the world leaders who want to kill us will simply be singing Kumbaya together around the table of Barack Obama....”
Matthews: “Margaret, there’s a winning personality for you. I hate to see he has an Irish name. I have to tell you, that was the offensive part to me.”
Margaret Carlson, Bloomberg News: “Chris, let’s not claim him as our own. With, with someone like him you know what he’s about. It couldn’t have been a surprise to the McCain campaign that he went a little bit wild. He is wild. That’s his stock in trade.”
— Exchange on MSNBC’s Hardball, February 26.


McCain Guilty, Even if Innocent

“He [John McCain] says there was no romantic relationship, that no favors were granted. You reiterate that. But even if this was just a close friendship, a typically close friendship, does a close friendship with a Washington lobbyist fly in the face of what John McCain has stood for over these past several years, the Straight Talk Express and an independence from special interest groups in Washington?”
— NBC’s Matt Lauer to McCain lawyer Robert Bennett on Today, February 21, a few hours after a front-page New York Times story suggested McCain had a “romantic” relationship with a female lobbyist but presented no evidence to back up the charge.

Co-host Diane Sawyer: “So, George, on the scandal Richter scale, one to ten, what does — where does this rank?”
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos: “Somewhere between a six and seven, Diane. I think it’s a damaging story, there’s no question about that.”
— ABC’s Good Morning America, February 21.

Dan Gives His Stamp of Approval


“Jim Rutenberg, who was the lead reporter on this; Bill Keller, who’s the editor who made the decision — these are not ordinary journalists. These are outstanding journalists and that probably needs to be said. Now, if they can’t back it up any further than they have it, they’re in a heap of trouble. But, on the record, it deserves to be said these are very responsible journalists.”
— Dan Rather on the February 24 Chris Matthews Show talking about the anti-McCain New York Times story.


Exposing Evil Limbaugh-NYT Plot

Co-host Joy Behar: “Is there any possibility that the right wing of the party, the real conservative Limbaugh, Huckabee, that group, planted this article?...Because they’re the ones who are trying to really cut him out, cut his legs off....Is that too conspiratorial?”
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg: “Nothing is impossible.”
— Exchange on ABC’s The View, February 21.

So Obama Is Really a “Centrist”?

“[New York City Mayor Michael] Bloomberg’s plan all along was, to run, was to see two nominees on the extremes — people who were more partisan or more associated with the extreme wings of their party. He ended up with two guys [McCain and Obama] who are centrists.”
Time senior political analyst Mark Halperin on CNN’s American Morning, February 28.

Don’t Skip Commie Talking Points

• “Please note Fidel did bring social reforms to Cuba — namely free education and universal health care, and racial integration — in addition to being criticized for oppressing human rights and freedom of speech.”
• “While despised by some, he is seen as a revolutionary hero, especially with leftists in Latin America, for standing up to the United States.”
— Excerpts from an internal CNN memo from one-time Havana bureau producer Allison Flexner, guiding CNN reporters on how to discuss the resignation of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, February 19.

Al Outsmarted by “Shrewd” Fidel

“Personal insight into what a shrewd, slick guy Castro has been in outsmarting us: Brilliantly briefed, he opened our 10 p.m. meeting with this question: ‘Mr. Neuharth, I understand your new newspaper lost a lot of money. How did you pay the bills?’
“My honest but naive reply: ‘Our Gannett company has more than 80 very profitable newspapers. They helped out financially.’
“Castro’s quick, slick comment: ‘Aha, your company and my country are both socialistic!’
“I paused, said ‘touche’ and lifted a glass of Cuban rum. Then we talked capitalism and socialism and sports until 3:55 a.m.”
USA Today founder Al Neuharth’s column, Feb. 22.

Limbaugh’s “Savage” Nativism

FNC’s Geraldo Rivera: “It stems from kind of a nativist reaction that started really at the grassroots and it’s driven by the most savage talk radio campaign ever in history.”
Co-host Joy Behar: “Name names.”
Rivera: “Well, I think that Rush Limbaugh is the dean of the academy.”
— ABC’s The View, March 3.

Exploiting Buckley to Slam Rush

“In a way, it’s sad that people like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage are today’s mouthpieces for conservatism. What a far leap they are from the quick witted and smart [William F.] Buckley....Buckley was not a hate monger; he was a serious-minded person who made reasoned and rational arguments for his cause. No apologies to Limbaugh, Savage or their listeners and adherents — they are no substitute for Buckley’s class and intellectualism.”
— CBS News Washington producer Ward Sloane in a February 27 entry at’s “Couric & Co.” blog.

PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
MEDIA ANALYSTS: Geoffrey Dickens, Brad Wilmouth, Scott Whitlock, Matthew Balan and Kyle Drennen
INTERN: Lyndsi Thomas