Notable Quotables - 02/11/2008

Vol. 21; No. 3

Gushing Over “Son of Camelot”


“Today they gathered by the thousands at American University, sensing a moment of history. John F. Kennedy gave the commencement address here five months before he was shot. And today, the audacity of hope had its rendezvous with destiny. The Kennedy clan anointed Barack Obama a son of Camelot.”
— ABC’s David Wright on the January 28 World News, reporting on Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Obama.

“Today, the audacity of hope had its rendezvous with destiny. No mere endorsement this, more like a political anointment from the Kennedys, merging ideals from two different eras....Obama is now an adopted son of Camelot. His candidacy blessed not just by the Lion of the Senate, patriarch of the clan, but by JFK’s daughter.”
— Wright on ABC’s Nightline later that evening.

“It feels like the ’60s are back....In the civic religion that is Democratic politics, the most treasured covenant was passed to the young Senator from Illinois.”
— CBS’s Harry Smith on The Early Show, January 29.

“The endorsement brought the Kennedy mystique to this campaign, not in a whisper, but a roar.”
— NBC’s Lee Cowan on the January 28 Nightly News.

“Today we got a glimpse of the early 1960s when politics was alive, so here and now in Washington D.C. The era of serious commitment, of short hair, white shirts, narrow ties and the Peace Corps. Today, for a brief, shining hour the young got to see what we saw. Not the gauzy images of Camelot but the living spirit of the New Frontier.”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews opening Hardball, Jan. 28.


Future Victim of Evil Right Wing?

Host Harry Smith: “When you see that enthusiasm, though, and when you see this generational change that seems to be taking place before our eyes, does it make you at all fearful?”
Senator Edward Kennedy: “Well, not really. I think — what is — I think people are basically saying is that they want a new day and a new generation....”
Smith: “I just — I think what I was trying to say is sometimes agents of change end up being targets, as you well know. And that was why I was asking if you were at all fearful of that.”
— Exchange on CBS’s The Early Show, January 29.

Big Media’s “Dream Ticket”

Co-host Diane Sawyer: “And the moment where it was a question about would there be a Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton ticket, or Clinton/Obama ticket.”
George Stephanopoulos: “The dream ticket.”
Sawyer: “The dream ticket. What do you think?”
— ABC’s Good Morning America, February 1.

Obama Campaign Commercial?

Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran: “Connections. That’s what is at the heart of Obama’s politics, the notion that divisions are artificial and can be overcome by an act of will and of imagination....[to Obama] It always seems that the biggest applause lines are those where you tell people, ‘Let’s come together.’”
Barack Obama: “Yeah. There’s enormous hunger for that.”
Moran: “A hunger for a politics that could dissolve the old categories, start a new story.”
— ABC’s Nightline, January 29.

Utterly Unbiased Debate Review

Co-host Diane Sawyer: “This morning, snubs to hugs. Inside the historic Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton debate as the stars came out in Hollywood to watch.”...
Co-host Robin Roberts: “We thought it would be a lot of fireworks, but it was like a buddy movie.”...
Sawyer: “Let us begin with this truly historic debate last night. ABC’s Kate Snow is at the Oscar venue, the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. And, Kate, over to you.”
Reporter Kate Snow: “Okay, Diane. Good morning. Well, this is where the Oscars take place, right? So, the nominees for best performance in a televised debate go to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.”
— ABC’s Good Morning America, February 1.

In Awe of “Brilliant” Bill

“There he [Bill Clinton] goes again. The man often called the most gifted politician of his generation is once again at the center of American politics, taking over the 2008 Democratic campaign. And he’s clearly loving every minute of it....He lectures and jokes around and feels your pain and implores you to believe.... It’s so unprecedented, this personal and political partnership, so fraught with history and Baby Boomer melodrama. They have already made history, and they are out to do it again, together, through it all.”
— ABC’s Terry Moran after spending the day with Clinton for a report on Nightline, January 24.

Saluting Edwards’ Liberalism

“Democrat John Edwards is exiting the presidential race Wednesday, ending a scrappy underdog bid in which he steered his rivals toward progressive ideals while grappling with family hardship that roused voters’ sympathies, The Associated Press has learned....”
— AP reporter Nedra Pickler in a January 30 dispatch.

“Agree with him or not, he [Democratic candidate John Edwards] deserves credit for pushing tough issues off the back burner. He encouraged his fellow Democrats to speak out for the disenfranchised and under-served. He was the first to raise issues like poverty, universal health care and climate change, proposing big ideas — sometimes controversial ideas — to meet big challenges. He bucked the conventional wisdom and took political risks, speaking honestly about why he wanted to raise taxes, for example. That took courage.”
— CBS anchor Katie Couric in her daily “Katie Couric’s Notebook” video posted to on January 30, a few hours after Edwards dropped out of the race.

Sounds Good to Cynthia


Correspondent Cynthia McFadden: “Newsweek magazine this week says flatly if you’re elected, it will be a co-presidency [with former President Bill Clinton].”
Senator Hillary Clinton: “Well, that is not the case.”
McFadden: “Well, maybe it’s a good idea.”
— Exchange on ABC’s Nightline, January 30.


NY Times Attacks, Anchors Jump

“In tomorrow morning’s editions of the New York Times, they are out with their endorsements in the New York primary. Senator Clinton on the Democratic side, Senator McCain on the Republican side. In tonight’s lead editorial, they say, quote: ‘The real Mr. Giuliani, who many New Yorkers came to know and mistrust, is a narrow, obsessively secretive vindictive man. His arrogance and bad judgment are breathtaking.’ How can you defend against that in your hometown paper?”
— NBC’s Brian Williams to GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani at the MSNBC debate on January 24.

“I want to give you a chance to respond to that endorsement by the New York Times, because they really took after you. They said your ‘arrogance,’ your ‘vindictiveness’ were, I think, are ‘breathtaking,’ in their phrase. What do you say about that when people ask you about that?”
— CBS’s Bob Schieffer to Giuliani on Face the Nation, January 27.

McCain Opponents Simply Petty

Reporter Ron Claiborne: “Even as the odds-on favorite to be the GOP nominee, McCain still faces stiff opposition.”
Matthew Dowd, ABC News Political Contributor: “He basically is not going to answer to anybody, especially the conservative pundits or the conservagentsia. And they don’t like that.”
— ABC’s World News, January 30.

Bush the Medicare “Slasher”

“The President’s budget slashes billions of dollars in the growth of federal health care programs. Medicare and Medicaid would be cut by almost $200 billion....”
— ABC’s Martha Raddatz on World News, Feb. 4. In fact, spending on Medicare would increase by 5% next year.

Time for a “Sensible” Tax Hike

“Republicans have taken taxes off the fiscal table, no matter how sensible they might be. That makes compromise difficult and it could be bad policy, too. In addition to raising revenue, the small gasoline tax increase that conservative Republicans were able to purge from the final 1990 deal ‘might have been good energy and environmental policy,’ [former OMB Director Richard] Darman said in a talk last March.”
— From Washington Post reporter Steven Mufson’s January 26 “appreciation” of Darman, who died January 25.

CNN’s Toobin: The Commander-in-Chief of Stupid Analysis


“[Rudy Giuliani] said he thought McCain should be ‘Commander-in-Chief of the United States.’ The President is not Commander-in-Chief of the United States. He’s Commander-in-Chief of the military. And that is an example of, you know, Giuliani’s, kind of, militaristic, authoritarian approach that I think is just not right. And even the President, that’s not what the President does. He doesn’t run the country.”
— CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin on The Situation Room, Jan. 30.


Blame Reagan for Iraq “Heist”

“This is a big heist, this is a big heist. The right wing is in power, the bankers are screwing everyone — the oil companies, Halliburton — this is no f---ing mystery....It started with Reagan crushing the poor, crushing the unions, rewarding people, putting them into heads of certain departments of the government and then disassembling those departments because they have contempt for the government.”
— Actor/comedian Richard Belzer on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher on January 25, reacting to a comment that $80 billion of Iraq war spending is unaccounted for.

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