The Best of Notable Quotables; December 19, 1994

Vol. Seven; No. 26

Rodney Dangerfield Award (for Demanding Bill Clinton Get Respect)

“Well, it may seem the sheerest act of heresy to say so, but far from being pathologically dishonest, Bill Clinton has been more faithful to his word than any other chief executive in recent memory. He may have skirted the truth about the draft, Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, and so on. But Clinton has kept his contract with voters. On policy issues, he has done almost exactly what he said he was going to do, despite setbacks and enormous obstacles. And by so doing, he has made himself an excellent President.”

– Former Newsweek reporter Jacob Weisberg in New York magazine, September 5 issue.


“In less than two years, Bill Clinton had already achieved more domestically than John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George Bush combined. Although Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan often had their way with Congress, Congressional Quarterly says it’s Clinton who has had the most legislative success of any President since Lyndon Johnson. Inhale that one....The standard for measuring results domestically should not be the coherence of the process but how actual lives are touched and changed. By that standard, he’s doing well.”

Newsweek Senior Editor Jonathan Alter, October 3 magazine story.

Host Tina Gulland: “Are we agreed generally that it was a plus week for Clinton in the sense that he was viewed as presidential and in charge of foreign policy?”
ABC and National Public Radio reporter Nina Totenberg: “He was there in the middle of the desert. I mean, it was biblical!”

– Exchange on Inside Washington about Clinton’s Middle East trip, October 29.

“Around the country, President Clinton is routinely trashed by conservative talk-show hosts and Republican candidates for being the most liberal President in modern times...But based on the measures that Mr. Clinton succeeded in getting through Congress in his first two years, he looks like Mainstream Bill....The Clinton record is surprisingly pro-business and centrist.”

Wall Street Journal reporter Jeffrey Birnbaum, October 7.