Notable Quotables - 11/09/1992


Clinton Wins: It's Reagan's Fault

"When I covered Bush's 1980 primary campaign against Ronald Reagan, he opposed Reagan's economic program. He called it `voodoo economics' - said it wouldn't work. But then of course, Bush agreed to be Reagan's running mate. For eight years, he supported policies which, it is now widely acknowledged, contributed mightily to our excesses then and our economic problems now; above all, America being held hostage by debt. George Bush went along to get ahead, and it worked. He became President. Now Ronald Reagan is in happy retirement in California, and President Bush is left to pay the price. The price for supporting something he did not believe in to begin with. He knows it - knows it is now too late to do anything about that fateful bargain he entered into twelve years ago. Going along to get ahead made George Bush President. Now it may unmake him. The ancient Greeks wrote about this sort of thing. They called it tragedy."
- NBC anchor Garrick Utley, October 17 Nightly News.


"It will be so exciting as to make the wax pop out of your ears."
- Dan Rather during election coverage.

"There's material here that will make their fingernails sweat."
- Rather.

"Long ago and far away, I worked a Zesto stand in Huntsville, Texas, and if a guy came in and asked for a glass of water, didn't buy anything, I'm not sure what my reaction would have been."
- Rather after a story about Clinton getting free water in a McDonald's after jogging.

"Texas...another of the so-called big enchiladas, or if not an enchilada, at least a huge taco."
- Rather.

"This woman has gotten a very bad rap, Hillary Clinton. It is true that she's smart. She didn't go to school just to eat her lunch."
- Rather.

"While the Clinton-Gore campaign was as unstoppable as say, a Beethoven symphony..."
- Rather.

"This was one of the nastiest campaigns in the country, and boy that's saying a lot this year. These two men called each other names you normally only hear aboard merchant ships or on late- night cable TV. This was really down and dirty."
- Rather on the D'Amato-Abrams New York Senate race.

"I'd like to leave you with the words of that popular, secular, patriotic hymn: `Long may our land be bright with freedom's holy light.'"
- Rather, approaching tears at 2am EST.


Our Poll Shows Conventions Didn't Matter, But They Did

Dan Rather: "Did people talk about the Buchanan speech at the Republican convention? Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson being there at the President's side? Was that mentioned very often?
Ed Bradley: "Well, I don't have it in this survey, but my recollection of talking to people in an informal survey, and particularly among Republicans, there were a number of Republicans who said that they felt let down by their convention, watching it on TV, that what Pat Buchanan had to say, that some of the positions of the religious right did not represent the way that they felt. And I think this is an issue that's going to affect the Republicans four years from now...The Republican Party is going to have to come back toward the center, instead of going toward the right, because I think going toward the right hurt them tonight."
- Exchange from CBS election night coverage.

"We gave the voters a list of things to choose from, Dan, things that helped them make up their minds. I think in past years the conventions were very important, how they played on television, television ads. This year, they fell at the bottom of the list. The single most important thing that helped them decide were the debates between the candidates, 64 percent said that was number one."
- Bradley, two minutes earlier.


The Houston Convention: A New Willie Horton?

"There are many people in the Republican Party who believe that the Republican National Convention in Houston, at which you were a prominent part, was simply too extreme, too strident in its positions, and they cite your speech and Pat Buchanan's speech as well."
- Tom Brokaw to Pat Robertson, election night.

"I think that the convention - and certainly all the polling data indicates this - offended a lot of women, offended a lot of people in the country who thought it was too religious and too hard-edged."
- John Chancellor during NBC election coverage.

"Well, you've seen one of the old maxims in presidential politics is you may have to move to the far right or the far left during a primary to pull in those voters to support you during a primary, but you've got to move back and moderate for the general election. We remember the convention in Houston, the Patrick Buchanans and the very conservative movement that took over - looks like it may have hurt the President."
- CNN anchor Catherine Crier during election coverage.

Lisa McRee: "Patrick Buchanan's speech was one of those speeches that not many people will ever forget. It divided the party and many moderates were frightened away by that. Patrick Buchanan is a very smart man...I find it hard to believe that he didn't know what kind of effect his speech was going to have."
Ann Compton: "...There are those who also say that George Bush's biggest mistake this whole year has been pandering to the end of the party, which is not going to pull together the kind of votes he needed to win nationwide."
- ABC's World News Now, November 4.


Clinton Shouldn't Make Anti-Tax Pledges

"One of the best things about Bill Clinton's campaign, I think, has been that he has criticized George Bush's no-tax pledge, saying he would never take such a pledge. Well, last night he came awfully close. There are a lot of loopholes in his pledge. But he said that he would never tax the middle class, and if things don't work out right, he still won't tax the middle class. I think that was one of the worst things I've heard from Bill Clinton."
- NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell, October 20 Today.


A Caring President

"What about race, the oldest American problem? Both candidates skirted the issue....Might be understandable in a political campaign, but an impossible way for a caring President to behave. What about the people sleeping in the streets of every large city? An intolerable situation for a country that calls itself great."
- From Charles Kuralt's "essay," CBS election coverage.


Hurray for Hillary

"It hasn't been easy being the Woman in this Year of the Woman, everybody's favorite target for all that's dangerous about being independent, smart, impatient, articulate, outspoken, ambitious - and while she's at it, a three-fer: wife, mother, and successful corporate lawyer. By any standard, Hillary Clinton has been a handful for America to deal with."
- Washington Post reporter Donnie Radcliffe, October 30.

"In six speeches and rallies in Denver and Atlanta observed over two days, the woman whom Republicans tried to smear as a cookie- hating Lady Macbeth is being greeted more like an Eleanor Roosevelt. Like Roosevelt, she has overcome criticism from those who resent her independence, earning widespread affection and respect for doing just that."
- Chicago Tribune reporter Jessica Seigel, Oct. 20.


Star of the Week

"My star is Barbara Boxer, who everyone thought was a goner last week after suffering lots of blows from Bruce Herschensohn, who's running against her for Senate in California."
- Newsweek reporter Clara Bingham on the Fox Morning News, October 26.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Brant Clifton, Nicholas Damask, Steve Kaminski, Marian Kelley, Tim Lamer; Media Analysts
- Jennifer Hardebeck; Circulation Manager
- David Muska; Intern