Notable Quotables - 06/06/1994

Hey, What's A Little Corruption Among the Powerful?

"Here's the latest Clinton plot twist: Can Dan Rostenkowski prod the big health care plan through his Ways and Means Committee before he's indicted on low-rent financial-irregularities charges?"
- Time Senior Editor Bruce Handy, May 30.

"Are the charges here so serious as to bring down one of the most powerful men in Washington and in Congress?...What's involved is perhaps what, fifty-some thousand dollars in stamps and some phantom jobs for friends?...The contrast, here, though, is a guy who passes bills or is shepherding bills that are worth billions of dollars risking his career for small amounts, or you think, amounts significant enough that there's real corruption here?"
- Good Morning America co-host Charles Gibson to Chicago Sun-Times reporter Mark Brown, May 26.

"You're a fierce partisan on the other side of the aisle from Dan Rostenkowski, but you're also an admirer of good legislators. How do you feel about this personally? Is this an American tragedy?"
- Gibson to Newt Gingrich, same show.

"It's sad. It's not something people are gloating about because the fact is, Bryant, Congressman Rostenkowski came here as a political hack from Chicago and turned into a very formidable national legislator."
- NBC Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert on Today, May 25.

"It's a big loss for the President. It's a big loss for the Congress, and I think it's a big loss for the country."
- NBC reporter Lisa Myers, same show.

"They've got a very steep hill to climb to make a case for personal enrichment, I believe, and when you say penny ante, the way I read that phrase is, this may be the operation of a political machine, but not the enrichment of a person. And if that's the case, it looks a lot more like Kay Bailey Hutchison to me than a true criminal case."
- Boston Globe columnist Tom Oliphant on Inside Washington, May 21.


GOP Scare Tactics

Sen. Don Nickles: "Chairman [Rep. John] Dingell says the President's plan has choice. It doesn't. The government is going to design a very comprehensive, expensive plan that everybody has to have and then mandate that on employers. My point is that tells that small employer in Rhode Island or in Oklahoma or Kentucky, wherever, that they have to buy this government-knows- best plan, that the plan that they have -"
Steven Roberts, U.S. News & World Report: "Isn't that just some of the scare words, though, that Mrs. Clinton was talking about. Big government. Aren't you just trying to scare people?"
- Exchange on a CNBC/U.S. News & World Report special on health care, May 24.


Loving the Breyer Nomination

"This is a President who really believes and takes the Supreme Court very seriously. That hasn't always been the case in recent years. You've had some obscure and ideological choices."
- Newsweek Senior Editor and CBS News Consultant Joe Klein, May 15 CBS Evening News.

"I do think, however, that Jack [Kemp] praises Judge Breyer erroneously from your point of view because I want to say from what I know about Judge Breyer - and I talked to a lot of his friends of the last two days - he's a guy who on a lot of issues is going to be a very compassionate progressive. He cares about a lot about social issues, about race relations, about affirmative action. And this is a guy who is so many cuts above Clarence Thomas. They will vote together very rarely, I assure you."
- Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt, on CNN's Capital Gang, May 14.


"Totally Free" Health Care

"The Clinton plan proposes totally free coverage, no co-payment for preventative measures....The single-payer plan, and the House Education and Labor Committee would add free family-planning services and contraceptives for poor women."
- ABC reporter Ann Compton, May 26 Good Morning America.


Uncanny Kempton

"His prescience is often uncanny. Writing of Ronald Reagan as Governor of California in 1968, he could have been summing up Reagan's presidency 20 years later: `For touching a people who want to forget ugly problems, no politician equals the one who has already forgetten them himself.'"
- Time contributor Charles Michener reviewing book by Newsday columnist Murray Kempton, May 16


Democrats Had Nothing to Do With Segregation

"[Jack] Kemp gets no reaction at all from Republican audiences. He's not a guy hitting a core within the Republican Party, and in fact, the Republican Party, a lot of its gains have been based on racial polarization. That's its game in the South, for instance, based on taking advantage of white fear of blacks."
- Newsday reporter Susan Page on CNN's Late Edition, May 1.


Thriving East Germans

+"Erich Honecker, whose leadership brought east Germany prosperity, but who left the nation polluted and in debt, was 81."
- front page caption, May 30 New York Times.

"It took the collapse of communism in eastern Europe and the absorption in 1990 of his country by the larger, immensely richer West Germany to lay bare the extent to which the Honecker government had mismanaged the economy and the environment. To the dismay of western Germans and the federal government in Bonn, eastern Germany's infrastructure, from telephones to railroads, needed to be rebuilt, and vast sources of contamination had to be cleaned up - all at enormous expense."
- Times obituary by Wolfgang Saxon, same day, page 40.

Golfers Dropping Dead Across America!

"With the Memorial Day weekend, you've been hearing plenty of stories about summertime health hazards to watch out for in the weeks ahead. Some of those hazards, though, may be less obvious than others. For example, a day at the golf course. There's fun, sun, exercise, and nature - and just maybe, a toxic cocktail right under your nose. If you took all the golf courses in all the land and put them together they would equal the size of Delaware and Rhode Island. But the chemicals needed to tend those 3000 square miles of grass are raising fears the links may be lethal."
- CBS substitute anchor John Roberts on lawn chemicals, May 30 Evening News.


King's Quitting: Quite a Loss for Radio

"How do you think Abraham Lincoln would have fared with today's right-wing radio talk show hosts?...Doesn't the National Rifle Association sometimes make arguments that are laughable?...Don't you believe that Kermit and Miss Piggy are real?...When do you think Supreme Court Justice Thomas will speak from the bench, if ever?...Do you eat those little chocolates in the hotel rooms at bedtime?"
- CNN talk show host Larry King in his USA Today column, May 9.


Thanks for the Plug

"Knocking the media is today's last refuge of scoundrels."
- Larry King in his USA Today column, May 31.


Publisher: L. Brent Bozell III
Editors: Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham
Media Analysts: James Forbes, Andrew Gabron,
Mark Honig, Kristin Johnson, Steve Kaminski, Mark Rogers
Circulation Manager: Kathleen Ruff
Interns: Patrick Pitman, Clay Waters