Notable Quotables - 11/12/1990


The Crash of Reaganomics?

"If there's anything that we heard out there at the polls today, it was the sound of Reaganomics crashing all around us. If there's anything left of Reagan's trickle-down theory, Dan, it seems to be anxiety which seems to be trickling down through just about every segment of our society."
- Ed Bradley during CBS News election night coverage, November 6.

"We have a lot of turnovers where Republican Governors raised taxes and they have been turned out."
- Lesley Stahl, also during CBS election coverage.


Hating Helms, Hoping for Harvey

"What Helms has done is taken the words 'North Carolina values' - a beautiful phrase that evokes the small-town, good-hearted sense of place that one feels when one travels the state - and redefined them as the values belonging to a certain group of North Carolinians, mostly white, mostly male, mostly unhappy with the changes of the last 30 years. To Helms and his supporters, 'North Carolina values' seems to translate into a status quo view of the world in which blacks, women, and poor people know their stations in society."
- Reporter Juan Williams in The Washington Post Magazine, October 28.

"I think the question there, I mean there are several of them, but one of them is whether old time Southern racist politics can work, because Helms really let loose this week with some base, hate, racist ads."
- Wall Street Journal reporter Jane Mayer on Fox's Off the Record, November 4.

"Helms' attack on what he calls pornography has a lot of appeal here, especially in rural areas. But most people say they are more concerned about the things that affect their lives more directly, the economy, education, the environment. North Carolina is almost dead last in scholastic aptitude tests, has the worst infant mortality rate in the nation. Those are Gantt's issues."
- NBC's Andrea Mitchell, October 30 Today.

"This has really been a heart-breaking race....What happened here was a very strong racial message from Jesse Helms in the closing ten days of the race and it focused on something that we've found, found previously in Louisiana with the David Duke campaign."
- Mitchell during NBC's election night coverage, November 6.

"In victory, Jesse Helms was no more gracious than he had been during his slashing campaign...Gantt's surprisingly strong showing will encourage more black candidates to run for office, but this contest also proves that race is still a powerful issue in American politics."
- Mitchell, NBC News at Sunrise, November 7.

"Everybody seems to agree on the general dimensions of that race, and we also seem to get common agreement that it is going to be one of the most important indicators of whether we have progress in racial voting or not."
- CNN reporter Ken Bode during election night coverage, November 6.


Big Green

"Clean air and water, pure food and natural beauty, which most Californians were all for a few months ago, have been made to seem a radical and expensive idea that has to be rejected at the polls on Tuesday. The stakes are very high in California because environmentalists know that if the Big Green initiative happens to pass there, the idea of cleaning up the air and water could spread like wildfire to all the other states. The forces opposing it know that too."
- Charles Kuralt on America Tonight, October 31.

"Proposition 128 is the biggest test yet of public concern about the environment and of whether that concern will translate into political change."
- Reporter Ned Potter on ABC's World News Tonight, October 30.


Face Reality: Raise Taxes

"The fact is that most government spending cannot be cut. The way out of the mess is for the government to raise some money through taxes and at last that's being done. And there's encouraging news in the returns from yesterday's elections. Six states from Massachusetts to California rejected measures designed to limit taxation. Can it be that the great tax revolt of the 1980s is coming to an end? If true, maybe the country can get on with the business of balancing its books in a sensible and logical way."
- John Chancellor on NBC Nightly News, November 7.

"Some of the blame for this 'have everything attitude' could easily be placed on the Reagan Administration and a compliant Congress. You remember, 'morning in America.'...Face reality, like Governor Jim Florio has in New Jersey and you've got a revolt on your hands. The recession has cut revenues there, so he's trying to raise taxes I order to still deliver the services the people in New Jersey say they want. That, of course, is political heresy."
- CBS This Morning co-host Harry Smith, November 2.

"The public's angry denial of the budget truths they've been asked to face is perhaps the most dangerous legacy of Reaganomics and of President Bush's rabid anti-tax campaigns."
- Newsweek economics columnist Jane Bryant Quinn, October 22.

"Congress, driven by the twin threats of incipient recession and the electorate's rising rage at weeks of political gamesmanship, finally summoned up the nerve to Do the Right Thing about the deficit - even if it meant raising taxes in an election year."
- Reporter Tom Morgenthau in Newsweek, November 5.


Carter the Prophet

"Jimmy Carter the President wasn't particularly well liked. Carter the prophet was right on the money. The gas lines of the Arab oil embargo apparently left little lasting impression, though....Just this week, the Senate killed a bill that would have forced car makers to significantly improve gas mileage. Maybe we just don't care that much."
- CBS This Morning co-host Harry Smith, September 28.


Loving The Nation

"Ever since the Civil War...Americans have been reading a magazine called The Nation. It's always been a platform for speakers who have been ahead of their time. This morning we'll look at a new book that reminds us how important that platform has been."
- Today national correspondent Katherine Couric on the far-left magazine, October 22.


Setting the Abortion Debate Terms

"We're not going to resolve the issue. I know that. But you know better than I that there are millions of us in the country who have not yet made up our minds about how much government interference in our lives there should be, either to protect a woman's ability to have an abortion, or to make it even more difficult, even illegal."
- Peter Jennings' introduction to a panel discussion after the ABC special on abortion, The New Civil War, November 1.


Rather Goofy

"Let's go down to Texas and let me show you actual votes in and tabulated. This was a race considered so nasty it would gag a buzzard....This race is so close that everybody's having a 4,000-calorie attack down there."
- Dan Rather during CBS News election night coverage.


"I wouldn't touch that line with a 12-foot pole, which as you know is a pole I reserve for those things that I certainly wouldn't touch with an 11-foot pole."
- Rather's response to whether he had a favorite candidate for President, same night.


- L. Brent Bozell III; Publisher
- Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham; Editors
- Callista Gould, Jim Heiser, Marian Kelley, Gerard Scimeca; Media Analysts
- Jennifer Hardebeck; Administrative Assistant