Notable Quotables - 08/11/2008
Celebrating Obama the “Superstar”
“In this city where John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton all made famous speeches, Obama will find himself stepping into perhaps another iconic moment Thursday as his superstar charisma meets German adoration live in shadows of the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate....It’s not only Obama’s youth, eloquence and energy that have stolen hearts across the Atlantic....Obama has raised expectations of a chance for the nation to redeem itself in the role that — at various times through history — Europe has loved, respected and relied upon.”
— Associated Press writers Matt Moore and Melissa Eddy in a July 22 dispatch, “Obamamania in full flight ahead of tour of Europe.”
Anchor Brian Williams: “Here in Berlin today, not far from where the wall once stood, the man from Chicago, Illinois, the first ever African-American running as presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, brought throngs of people into the center of Berlin, streaming into this city, surging to get close to him, to hear his message....I heard one American reporter tonight say it’s hard to come up with a list of others who could draw such a crowd, but then again it’s hard to know what we witnessed here today.”
Correspondent Andrea Mitchell: “It’s hard to figure out what the comparison is — what do you compare this with? It was his largest crowd ever, more than 200,000 people. And before this group he promised Europe that he would repair its strained relationship with the United States.”
— NBC Nightly News, July 24.
Which Line Should We Gush Over?
“When an American politician comes to Berlin, we’ve had some iconic utterances in the past. We’ve had ‘Ich bin ein.’ We’ve had, ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall’....Is the phraseology that you would like remembered: ‘People of Berlin, people of the world, this is our moment, this is our time’?”
— Anchor Brian Williams interviewing Obama on the July 24 NBC Nightly News.
Barack Gives Chris Another Thrill
“Ich bin Barack. Ich liebe America....What, what do you make of this? Let’s take another bite here because it was quite a speech. You have to judge for yourself, but the speech had its thrill factor, certainly, once again.”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asking his panel about Barack Obama’s speech in Berlin, July 24 Hardball.
McCain’s “Nasty,” “Childish” Ad
“Tonight, McCain says Obama is all star power and no substance. Obama says McCain is using scare tactics. It’s getting nasty. And it’s only July.”
— Charles Gibson opening ABC’s World News, July 30.
“Is this the type of discussion you want? That you’re comparing the candidate that you’re running against to Paris Hilton. That it’s frivolous, childish. Is that good for you?... Do you want to put out a pledge: ‘No more ads like this; let’s leave the personal alone; let’s talk about what we’ll do for America’?”
— ABC’s Chris Cuomo to McCain campaign manager Rick Davis on Good Morning America, August 1.
Paris Hilton = “the Race Card”?
“I think it’s very much playing the race card to put a highly-educated, articulate, middle-aged black family man into a television commercial with two blonde bimbo airheads with a combined I.Q. of a box of cereal. And if you have any doubts about what I’m talking about, it’s the same kind of thing that was done to Harold Ford down in Tennessee in 2006, and it stinks. It’s more subtle, but it stinks just the same.”
— CNN’s Jack Cafferty on The Situation Room, July 31, complaining about McCain’s ad that included images of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton to suggest Obama is more celebrity than substance.
Appalled at Doubting Obama
George Stephanopoulos: “You’ve taken heat this week with your comments saying that Senator Obama would rather lose a war than win a political campaign. I can’t believe you believe that.”
John McCain: “Well, I’m not questioning his patriotism. I’m questioning his actions. I’m questioning his lack, total lack of understanding.”
Stephanopoulos: “But that is questioning his patriotism. When you say someone would rather lose a war...that’s questioning his honor, his decency, his character.”
— Exchange on the July 27 edition of ABC’s This Week.
“Do you really think he’s [Barack Obama’s] that craven?... But what you seem to be saying there is that it’s all about personal ambition for him and not about what he honestly thinks is right for the country.”
— ABC’s David Wright in an interview with McCain shown on World News with Charles Gibson, July 23.
Insulting Rioters = Insulting Obama
“The black people in France are very proud and very hopeful for their future. They also live, many of them, in poor situations. And you know, you’ve had your own riots here and protests and disturbances in the Banlieue — in the city. At one point, when we were covering those riots, when you were Interior Minister, you called the rioters ‘scum.’ And I’m wondering whether you feel, today, when you stand next to someone you clearly admire so much, and who has broken so many barriers, that you regret that term or that you wish you hadn’t said it?”
— CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour to French President Nicolas Sarkozy during a July 25 press conference with Barack Obama shown live on CNN.
McCain’s Problem = “Hard Right”
“We should also remember that the first President Bush did not fare very well when he made that absolutely firm, clear campaign pledge not to raise taxes. So, you know, I think that, in a way, the biggest problem John McCain is facing in this campaign is the hard right of his own party, which is trying to pin him into positions that are not really very realistic right now.”
— Financial Times U.S. managing editor Chrystia Freeland on MSNBC’s Hardball July 29, reacting to conservative criticism of McCain for considering a payroll tax hike.
Free Market Fails; Let’s Raise Taxes
“It is not the protectionists of the AFL-CIO or CNN who are primarily to blame for the erosion of public support for trade in the United States, as bone-headed as they may be. The blame lies squarely with a business community that continues to support Republican politicians who refuse to raise the taxes and spend the money necessary to provide the economic safety net for American workers that a free-market economy has not, and will not, provide.”
— The Washington Post’s Steven Pearlstein in his August 1 column, “Wave Goodbye to the Invisible Hand.”
GDP Doubles; CBS “Disappointed”
“The biggest issue for voters this year is the economy, of course, and there’s news about that tonight. The government now says the economy was receding, not growing, in the final quarter of last year. It picked up a bit in the first quarter of this year, but look at this: In the second quarter, when all those rebate checks were supposed to stimulate the economy, it grew less than two percent. Jeff Glor has more about the disappointing numbers.”
— CBS’s Katie Couric on the July 31 Evening News, reporting that GDP grew 1.9% from April to June, more than twice the 0.9% rate of the first quarter.
McCain’s Subliminal Sneakiness
“You know, we sit here in living rooms and dens across America and these ads come beamed across and you sort of, half pay attention to them. I think a lot of people just half pay attention to ’em. But there’s an element in that [McCain] ad, right toward the end of the ad, where it has Obama’s face up and the word ‘foreign,’ next to it with ‘more foreign oil.’ There it is, it’s right there on the screen now....Am I overreacting to that?”
— Guest host Mike Barnicle, MSNBC’s Hardball, July 30.
Weren’t Swift Boat Vets All Liars?
Reporter Deborah Solomon: “You helped re-elect Bush in ’04 when you gave $3 million to the Swift Boat campaign to discredit John Kerry’s Vietnam service. Do you regret your involvement?”
Businessman T. Boone Pickens: “Why would I?”
Solomon: “Because it’s such an ugly chapter in American political history.”
Pickens: “Oh, I see. Well, it was true. Everything that went into those ads was the truth.”
Solomon: “Really? I thought it was all invented.”
— “Q&A” exchange published in The New York Times Magazine on Sunday, August 3.
Don’t Worry — He’s No Liberal
“I think, in general, he’s shown people he’s not a left-wing ideologue. If anything, he’s center, even center-right, on foreign policy issues in the way he was talking on this trip.”
— Bloomberg News foreign affairs columnist Fred Kempe on Bloomberg TV, discussing what Barack Obama’s Middle East trip revealed about the Democrat’s ideology, July 25 Political Capital.
Why Are You Protecting Cheney?
“You’ve ruled against impeaching George Bush and Dick Cheney....Why do you, why do you insist on not impeaching these people so that the world and America can really see the crimes that they’ve committed?”
— Co-host Joy Behar on ABC’s The View, July 28, asking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi why she refuses to begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
Any Liberal Bias? “Hell No!”
“Hell no! I’m dying to find another liberal [to] open their mouths. Where are they!”
— Former UPI White House correspondent Helen Thomas, when asked if she thinks most White House reporters are liberal, as reported by The Washington Examiner’s Jeff Dufour and Patrick Gavin, July 21.
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