Notable Quotables - 11/18/1996


Conservatives Deaths Greatly Exaggerated

"All the reporting that Ive done suggests that Kate is absolutely right, and I think over 90 percent of the incumbents are going to be re-elected because its a good year for incumbents. But my gut tells me that two dozen of those Gingrich robots, the freshmen, are going to bite the dust and the Democrats are going to pick up 25 seats. Mark Im not sure I believe it, but its my prediction and Im sticking with it."
- Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt, Nov. 2 CNN Capital Gang. Absentee counting and run-offs mean the final number is unknown, but so far 11 of 69 freshmen who ran lost. Democrats gained 8 seats.

Al Hunt: "I think the Gingrich robots are going to pay a price. I mean Helen Chenoweth, the militia momma, is toast. Shes gone. Absolutely."
Mark Shields: "Helen Chenoweth better start working on her concession speech."
Times Margaret Carlson: "Oh absolutely. Toast. Yeah."
- October 12 Capital Gang. U.S. Representative Helen Chenoweth of Idaho won re-election.

"Hes a very conservative Senator in a state thats becoming more moderate. Most people on the national scene will recall him as the one that fought against abortion over the past three or four years and always brought all those graphic photos out to the Senate floor. But in our polling, our exit polling today we found that the moderate voters, 61 percent of them said that they voted for Dick Swett. This is a state that is simply becoming more moderate. When we ran this poll, I think that almost half of the people in New Hampshire told us that they now consider themselves moderate. This used to be a very conservative state but it got too moderate, I guess, for Bob Smith."
- Bob Schieffer on why Senator Bob Smith (R-N.H.) lost, CBS election night coverage. Final returns showed he won.

Republicans Suffered from False Impressions We Created

"You think the campaign began here, at the Democrats made-for-TV convention? No way. It really began with this years State of the Union address. The President already knew hed have no opponent in New Hampshire and the Republicans had just stumbled badly by shutting down the government."
- CBS reporter Bill Plante, November 4 This Morning.

"Newt Gingrich has become sort of a logo for harsh Republican rhetoric. I dont think theres anybody who would tell you today that the Republicans maybe did not go a little too far in the harshness of their rhetoric. They really irritated a lot of people, poll after poll shows it, local officials will tell you that, when they shut down the government. They got the blame for that and I think in some ways it really kind of frightened people."
- CBS reporter Bob Schieffer, November 3 Sunday Morning.

"The Republican Party actually helped William Jefferson Clinton in that comeback, especially when they voted to shut down Congress. The American people said the Republicans went too far. We did not send you to Washington to shut down the federal government."
- CNNs Bernard Shaw on election night.

"I think this was set by two or three people. I think Alan Greenspan, who is the Fed Chairman, helped engineer an economy that worked and it worked for President Clinton. I think the Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich helped engineer a shutdown of the Congress twice, that scared the country and that worked against Senator Dole. It wasnt Senator Doles fault...."
- ABCs Sam Donaldson, election night, Nov. 5.

"Often abrasive, Gingrich never mastered the fine art of compromise. Less than a year after he rode into Washington in triumph, he was on the defensive. His gambit to shut down the government over the budget backfired. Seizing the moment, President Clinton quickly became the voice of centrist reason."
- CBS reporter Troy Roberts on This Morning, November 6.


Dont Tie Down Our Boy

"How concerned is the President about the potential of his being, sort of, tied down as Gulliver was by the Lilliputians, by all this scandal investigation, ethics investigations that are bound to be unleashed?"
- Dan Rather to Vernon Jordan election night, November 5.

"White House officials are under no illusions and still expect Republicans to vigorously pursue investigations on other fronts. But theyre also encouraged that DAmatos announcement [of no more hearings] may signal an end to any high profile political witch hunts."
- Jim Miklaszewski, November 7 NBC Nightly News.


Wealthy Info-Babes Looking Out for Number One

"Affirmative action was a hotbed issue in this country, still a big race on that subject going on about that in California. Did you feel at times like weve turned back the clock on some of these issues?"
- NBCs Maria Shriver to Jesse Jackson on Californias Civil Rights Initiative which won, election night November 5.

"But thats sort of living in an ideal world. I mean, its nice to say it on paper. If you look around at corporate offices in America and in CEOs offices, youre gonna see very few minorities and few women. Are we really ready to backtrack on civil rights now, or on affirmative action?"
- CBS This Mornings Jane Robelot arguing with Civil Rights Initiative advocate Ward Connerly who just said it ensured equal treatment for all, Nov. 6.


Hillarys Extraordinary Aura

"From an early age, Hillary Rodham Clinton radiated an aura of extraordinary promise. But in the White House, that sense of promise has been shattered by relentless scrutiny, a barrage of accusations, the scent of scandal. Friends say the haze created by political opponents and a scandal-hungry media has obscured who Hillary Clinton really is. A traditional woman. A woman with a deep-seated desire to do good. A woman raised on American staples of family, hard work, and helping others."
- Kathleen Slobogin in the CNN Presents: Democracy in America special on Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Dole, "They Dont Bake Cookies," Oct. 13.


May I Kiss Your Birthmark?

"Its likely that your view of Mikhail Gorbachev depends on your point of view. From the perspective of the West, the former President of the Soviet Union of course was a courageous, far-seeing prophet whose reforms set in motion the collapse of the Soviet dictatorship and the end of the Cold War."
"We always welcome you in this country, Mikhail Gorbachev. Were especially pleased to have you tonight on h InterNight. And we offer our very best, of course, to Raisa Gorbachev and we hope that youll have a long and happy life. Perhaps one day again well see you in political office in Russia. We know that youve devoted your life to peace and to changing your country and those of us who have gotten to know you count ourselves among the privileged."
- Tom Brokaw opening and closing his October 29 MSNBC InterNight interview with former communist dictator Mikhail Gorbachev.

Takes Real Class to Call Someone a Wacko

"When I heard the quote it sounded to me like it was Limbaugh or Liddy or Ollie North. It was like wacko talk radio. It didnt sound like Brinkley. In other words, Brinkleys always been irreverent, but always kind of classy."
- CNNs Larry King on David Brinkleys election night comments that Clinton is a "bore" and his speech delivered "more goddamn nonsense," November 7 Larry King Live.


Ratherisms 96

"Reelection of President Bill Clinton is as secure as a double knot tied with wet rawhide and heres why..."

"In New Hampshire, closest Senate race in the country, this race between Dick Swett and Bob Smith is hot and tight as a too small bathing suit on a too long car ride back from the beach."

"Now, we may see Michael Jacksons baby before we know the final outcome of this race for the House of Representatives tonight..."
- Dan Rather during CBS News election night coverage, November 5.


- L. Brent Bozell III, Publisher;
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Geoffrey Dickens, Eugene Eliasen, Jim Forbes, Steve Kaminski, Clay Waters; Media Analysts
- Peter Reichel, Circulation Manager; Kathy Ruff, Marketing Director; Joe Alfonsi, Intern