Notable Quotables - 07/12/1999

An Ungrateful America

"The economy is terrific. People are making money and yet they are saying to Clinton and Gore, What have you done for us lately, we want Bush.' There is a lot of ingratitude out there."
- CNN political analyst William Schneider, June 28 Inside Politics.


Rudy Giuliani, Psycho Killer

Host Chris Wallace: "What I'm wondering about is there a danger of a backlash? If [Rudolph Giuliani] really treats [Hillary Clinton] like another candidate, are there some people, are there a lot of people who are going to be offended by that?"
Joe Klein, The New Yorker: "If he treats her like another candidate, that'll be okay. If he treats her the way the Serbs treated the Kosovars, which are, which is kind of his natural impulse, he might be in some trouble."
- Exchange on ABC's Nightline, June 23.

"And it seems a certainty that a New York Senate race will be savage, serving up her past on the news each night like stale leftovers. Hillary's chief rival, Republican New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, combines the political instincts of a knife fighter with all the restraint of a 4-year-old."
- U.S. News & World Report writer Roger Simon, July 12 issue.


No Hillary Jokes Will Be Allowed

Rudy Giuliani joking on the Late Show about running for the Senate from Arkansas: "I've never lived here. I've never worked here. I ain't never been here. But I think it would be cool to be your Senator."
Jeralyn Merritt, MSNBC legal analyst: "That's just so unfair."
MSNBC anchor Gregg Jarrett: "It's ugly."
Merritt: "It's ugly and its unfair because she has spent a lot of time in New York and she has the desire to help and she is bright. She's the best of the group."
- Exchange on MSNBC's InterNight, June 25.


Turn Back the Clock to God?

"Is that the answer to, you know, to try to turn back the clock? Is there not a solution to be found with dealing with certain realities? Which is that religion is not the simple way, the catch-all way, to reach children individually and find out how they can keep them from slipping over to the dark side, to borrow from Star Wars, or to try to return to a simpler time when were, thats not the times were living in?"
- NBC reporter David Gregory (on posting the Ten Commandments in schools) as guest host of CNBC's Rivera Live, June 22.


Conservatives Can't Handle Truth

Bill Press: "Why is it that you are the epitome of the left-wing liberal media in the mind of every conservative I've ever talked to? What did you do to get that reputation?"
Dan Rather: "I remained an independent reporter who would not report the news the way they wanted it or from the left or the right. I'm a lifetime reporter. All I ever dreamed of was being a journalist, and the definition of journalist to me was the guy who's an honest broker of information....I do subscribe to the idea of: Play no favorites and pull no punches."
- Exchange on CNN's Crossfire, June 24.


Medicare: Not Enough Spending

"For many older people the Clinton plan is welcomed, but it would hardly solve the problems of those who have huge drug bills every month. That would include the Mitchells, who live in Florida. 68-year-old Willie has kidney problems, heart problems, and diabetes. The Mitchells' combined income each month from Social Security is only $1,200. Last month Willie's drug bill alone was more than $1,000. To make it through each month he cuts back on food and on medications, cutting his pills into quarters.....Under the Clinton plan Willie would only get $83 a month, not enough....His doctor urged him to go to Mexico where drugs are cheaper. But as a war veteran who paid taxes all his life, Willie can't understand why his own government can't help more."
- John Cochran on ABC's World News Tonight on June 29, the day Clinton announced his proposal to cover prescriptions.

"Now the average prescription costs $37, the average brand name drug almost $52. Pharmacist Jack Collins says he sees a serious, perhaps deadly toll on elderly customers....The President's plan, however, will try to change that and require that seniors be given a discount of about ten percent on all drug purchases. O'Laughlin says every little bit helps and hopes Medicare will finally begin to meet her changing needs, so that she can both stay well and afford to live well."
- Lisa Myers on NBC Nightly News, June 29.

"It sounds like a no-brainer. Seniors spend billions of dollars on prescription drugs every year, often putting them in terrible financial situations. So what's wrong with this plan?"
"And while I appreciate your concern about medical research, certainly I feel passionately about that as well, it's important for people who are sick now and who are experiencing problems to be able to get affordable drugs, isn't it?"
- Today co-host Katie Couric's questions to pharmaceutical industry spokesman Alan Holmer, June 29.


Bush's Refreshing Repudiation

"It is extraordinary that people are saying they're going to vote for this guy, many of whom have never even heard him speak. But as long as he can present very few rough edges, very few angles that other people can get at he's already shooting over the heads of the conservative right, the Christian Coalition, when he says he has no litmus test on abortion. He's playing a general election game there already. It's really extraordinary. In one sense, it's almost arrogant, but you know, at the very least it might be refreshing that the Christian Coalition doesn't seem to be calling the shots."
- Time Senior Writer Eric Pooley on MSNBC's The News with Brian Williams, June 24.


Move Left, Mr. "Compassionate"

"Bush may be forced into arguing that being a 'compassionate' President means doing less for the poor from Washington and letting the states fill the breach. That could be a winning philosophy in GOP primaries, but its a weak approach to the general-election campaign that seems to have already begun. Should compassionate conservatives ("com cons" to cognoscenti) turn out to be spreading just a kinder and gentler gloss on the same old Republican agenda, Bush's bumper sticker will peel off."
- Newsweek Senior Editor Jonathan Alter in a July 5 article "To make 'compassionate conservatism' real, Bush should borrow some ideas from a liberal" - former Hart aide Bill Shore.

Starr's Inept, So Webb's Innocent

"This guy is leaving as a pious prosecutor, an inept prosecutor, someone who engaged in partisan witch hunts for whatever the reasons....I think that what Webb Webb Hubbell and the Riadys bothers me a lot. I think it's deeply, deeply troubling. But I tell you the reason Ken Starr couldn't bring a case. It was because he rendered himself unfit with the kind of vendettas he waged against the Julie Steeles of the world. And for Bob Novak, who used to talk about prosecutorial abuse, now to crybaby with his buddy, Ken Starr, about, oh, we can't get juries to convict people I'm sorry, Bob, in America we're innocent until were proven guilty."
- Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt on CNNs Capital Gang, July 3.


Oh, Poor Wounded Hillary's Soul!

"The column said the Clintons are the Tom and Daisy Buchanan of this generation from The Great Gatsby, careless people who smash up the lives of people close to them. That was like taking a knife right into Mrs. Clinton's soul."
- The Washington Post's Bob Woodward hitting Joe Klein for a 1994 Newsweek piece, June 29 CNN Late Edition Primetime.


Hubbell, Hounded and Hooked

Katie Couric: "Five years, $40 million. Was it worth it?"
Bob Woodward: "Oh I don't know. I mean, again look at Webb Hubbell. There is a man in anguish. There is a man, who has been, he did some wrong. He acknowledged it, he went to prison. But this idea of once you get your hook into somebody and you don't let it out and then you start tearing their guts out, I think is just wrong. And that's why no one really supported the extension of this law."
- July 1 Today exchange on Kenneth Starr's investigation.


Gore: "Militantly Married"?

"Al Gore has a woman problem. No, not that kind. The Vice President is militantly married, a steady family man and grandpa-to-be who has proved in stunning contrast to the prowling President as popular with women voters as the Nice Young Man mother says they should have married."
- Los Angeles Times reporter Mark Z. Barabak, June 22.

"Gore, who has been described as militantly married, is making this visit without his wife Tipper."
- CNN reporter Jennifer Auther on Al Gore's trip to California, June 24 Inside Politics.


Kind Sir, Why Are You So Hated?

"Two and a half years ago in your inaugural, you said you wanted to help the nation 'repair the breach' and this morning, you called again for greater cooperation in Washington. But it seems apparent that for many people you personally remain a polarizing and divisive figure in national politics. I was wondering if you've ever reflected on why, as Mrs. Clinton I think has sometimes noted, throughout your career you've always seemed to generate such antagonism in your opponents and do you assign any responsibility to yourself for what this morning you described as the rancorous mood in Washington today?"
- Washington Post White House reporter John Harris to President Clinton at a June 25 press conference.


Hillary, My Goddess

"[W]e are in the middle of a primal American saga and the important part is yet to come. Bill Clinton may be merely the prequel, the President of lesser moment except, so to speak, as the horse she rode in on....I think I see a sort of Celtic mist forming around Hillary as a new archetype (somewhere between Eleanor and Evita, transcending both) at a moment when the civilization pivots, at last, decisively perhaps for the first time since the advent of Christian patriarchy two millenniums ago toward Woman."
- Time's Lance Morrow in a July 12 "Viewpoint" piece.


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