Notable Quotables - 06/02/2008

Vol. 21; No. 11

Obama Is “Something Special”

“Presidential campaigns have destroyed many bright and capable politicians. But there’s ample evidence that [Senator Barack] Obama is something special, a man who makes difficult tasks look easy, who seems to touch millions of diverse people with a message of hope that somehow doesn’t sound Pollyannaish.”
— AP writer Charles Babington in a May 10 dispatch.

Following Her Liberal Heart

“I see this as a moment of transformational change in the country and I have spent my lifetime sitting on the sidelines watching people attempt to make change. I just decided that I can’t sit on the sidelines anymore.”
— Former ABC and CBS correspondent Linda Douglass confirming that she was going to work for the Obama campaign, as recounted by The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder in a May 21 blog entry.

Beware GOP Vote Thieves


“They’ve [the Obama camp] been arguing that their electoral map is different, that they can do this with North Carolina and Colorado, and other places where they have won either primaries or caucuses. Other people, I should point out, other Clinton loyalists, but realists, say that that electoral map is a stretch in one regard: There are, you know, Republican governors and Secretaries of State, if you will, Katherine Harris-type election officials in those states. So, even though he may have won primaries or caucuses in those states, he has to go up against the establishment, which would be Republican, and he has to figure out a way to get a fair vote if he’s the nominee in those red states.”
— NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell during MSNBC’s live primary night coverage, May 20.

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin: “There are four very conservative Justices there [on the U.S. Supreme Court]. They decided a case about Indiana election law.”
Host Bill Moyers: “Upholding the state’s voter identifica-tion....What did you think about that?”
Toobin: “Well, I thought it was a bad decision, but a predictable one, because it was a very clear attempt by Republicans to stop Democrats from voting. I don’t think there’s any doubt about what the motivation was of that law....The fact is electoral fraud scarcely exists in this country. The real agenda was to help Republicans.”
— PBS’s Bill Moyers Journal, May 23.


Democratic Racists vs. Obama


MSNBC’s Chris Matthews: “You could have predicted West Virginia 20 years ago....These people made up their mind in ’57. I mean, I don’t think any other argument — should it be Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton?”
Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan, laughing: “What an indictment! What an indictment of your party, Chris!”
Matthews: “No, it may be a suggestion of understanding the geography of America.”
— Exchange on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on May 13, previewing that day’s Democratic primary in West Virginia.


“Grotesque” and a “Sucker Punch”


“What was he up to in the Knesset today with that, well, you’d have to call it a sucker punch over there? In the Knesset, in Israel, which was, you know, so much to do with the Holocaust, let’s be honest. In terms of the world and the way it looks, the necessity of a state of Israel, a Jewish state. And to go in there and basically accuse the Democrats of selling out the Jews of Europe. I mean, an amazing charge right there in, in the homeland! Incredible!”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews talking about the President’s speech before the Israeli parliament, May 15 Hardball.

“John McCain was trying to say in his speech yesterday that he stands for a new kind of politics, that he’s above of this sort of traditional, slash and burn politics and, yet, he then embraces in what is clearly an intellectually grotesque and dishonest statement by President Bush.”
— MSNBC’s David Shuster on MSNBC News Live, May 16.


NBC Scolds the President

“How do you feel that Iran is — its position in the world is rising because of your actions in Iraq?”
“If you look back over the last several years, the Middle East that you’ll be handing over to the next president has, is deeply problematic. You have Hamas in power, Hezbollah empowered, taking to the streets, Iran empowered, Iraq still at war. What region are you handing over?”
“The war on terrorism has been the centerpiece of your presidency. Many people say that it has not made the world safer, that it has created more radicals, that there are more people in this part of the world who want to attack the United States.”
— NBC’s Richard Engel to President Bush in an interview shown on NBC’s Today, May 19. The White House later complained to NBC that the network “deceitfully” edited the President’s answers.

No Mention He’s a Psycho


“What I didn’t see I thought was interesting as well. There was hardly any mention of his mental health. There was no mention of depression. You know, this is a man who had two admittedly weak suicide attempts when he was a prisoner of war. There was no mention of post-traumatic stress disorder or anything that may have been asked, or substance abuse. None of that was even mentioned.”
— CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta discussing John McCain’s medical records on the CBS Evening News, May 23.


Missed Chance to Loathe America

“In private discussions with friends and colleagues, some of them have pointed out that McCain, who was shot down and captured in 1967, spent the worst and most costly years of the war sealed away, both from the rice paddies of Indochina and from the outside world. During those years, McCain did not share the disillusioning and morally jarring experiences of soldiers like Kerry, Webb and Hagel, who found themselves unable to recognize their enemy in the confusion of the jungle; he never underwent the conversion that caused Kerry, for one, to toss away some of his war decorations during a protest at the Capitol. Whatever anger McCain felt remained focused on his captors, not on his own superiors back in Washington.”
— Contributing writer Matt Bai profiling John McCain in the New York Times Magazine, May 18.

Obama Gets a Freebie from ABC

“Timed for maximum exposure, timed to coincide with the evening newscasts, timed to give Barack Obama a needed boost after his bad defeat yesterday in West Virginia —George Stephanopoulos, this [endorsement from John Edwards] is the kind of publicity that you can’t buy.”
— Anchor Charles Gibson wrapping up ABC’s live coverage of the Obama-Edwards rally on World News, May 14.

“Shut the Hell Up!”

“As a final crash of self-indulgent nonsense, when the incontrovertible truth of your panoramic and murderous deceit has even begun to cost your political party seemingly perpetual congressional seats....When somebody asks you, sir, about the cooked books and faked threats you foisted on a sincere and frightened nation; when somebody asks you, sir, about your gallant, noble, self-abdicating sacrifice of your golf game so as to soothe the families of the war dead; this advice, Mr. Bush: Shut the hell up! Good night and good luck.”
— MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann in a “Special Comment” on Countdown, May 14.

No More Food & Medicine

Anchor Charles Gibson: Tonight, gas and diesel hit another record. People tell us they’re sacrificing food, health, and their lifestyle just to fill the tank.”...
Reporter Dan Harris: “The pain is being felt all over the country. We here at ABC News are getting flooded with messages from people like Rosaria Giamei, who says, ‘I even stopped filling a much-needed monthly prescription that costs $45 so I will have more money for gas.’”
— ABC’s World News, May 19.

Jeremiah Wright, Media Victim

“He was assassinated by soundbites....His whole career was being summed up in soundbites that added up to no more than 20 seconds, endlessly played through the media grinder of our national press. He was angry about that.... He was like a man who goes out and picks up the morning newspaper and gets hit by a cyclone!”
— PBS’s Bill Moyers talking about Reverend Jeremiah Wright on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show on May 13.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

“Now to the most absurd analogy of the day. In praising John McCain for his stoicism while he was tortured in Vietnam, Georgia Republican Party Chair Sue Everhart had this to say about her candidate, quote, ‘John McCain is kind of like Jesus Christ on the cross.’ Well, I think John Lennon made that mistake when he said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. Let’s cool it with those comparisons.”
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Hardball, May 19.


“When I watched him [former President Bill Clinton] at Mrs. King’s funeral, I just have never seen anything like it.... There are times when he sounds like Jesus in the temple.”
— Matthews on Hardball, February 28, 2007.

Quick, Get Them an Atlas


Co-host Harry Smith: “In which ocean are the South Sandwich Islands located? A sixth grader from Nebraska answered that question. It’s in the — is it in the Atlantic? I thought the Sandwich Islands were actually named after the Earl of — it’s Hawaii. That’s not right. I’m so sorry. Other — you know what, let’s-”
Co-host Julie Chen: “No, it’s in which ocean, so that is right. So it’s the Atlantic Ocean.”
Smith: “Hawaii is not in the Atlantic Ocean.”
Chen: “Oh, it’s in the Pacific.”
— Discussing the winners of National Geographic’s geography bee on CBS’s The Early Show, May 22.

PUBLISHER: L. Brent Bozell III
EDITORS: Brent H. Baker, Rich Noyes, Tim Graham
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