Notable Quotables - 11/27/2000


Decisive "Tax Dodgers"?

Time columnist Margaret Carlson: "Here we will have possibly a bunch of tax dodgers deciding the election."
Don Imus: "I don't think we want to refer, we want to refer to people serving in the military as tax dodgers, do you?"
Carlson: "No, but they've chosen a state of convenience like going to the Cayman Islands...I mean this is just taking this whole tax issue a little too far."
November 8 exchange on MSNBC's Imus in the Morning simulcast on absentee ballots from military personnel in Florida. Florida does not have a state income tax. (Carlson later apologized.)


W Stands for Wallace

"And the way that Governor Bush trashed the Florida Supreme Court, he ought to be ashamed. I haven't heard that kind of language since George Wallace and Richard Nixon. And frankly, if the U.S. Supreme Court now hears this case, seven judges on the Supreme Court were appointed by Republicans. Does that mean that I think they dont have the country's interest at heart and that theyre tools of the Republican Party? No, I don'!"
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on The McLaughlin Group, November 25.


Margaret's Fractured Feminism

"The Bush campaign should have insisted and begged Katherine Harris to recuse herself, to have the co-chair of the Bush campaign in the position of trying to call who won the election, so brazenly hurt the Bush campaign and if they had certified the election today on the basis of her say so, the legitimacy would have been undercut from the outset of any Bush presidency."
Time's Margaret Carlson, November 18 CNN Capital Gang.

"The only person who looks like a character from one of the more usual cable dramas is Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, a Bush campaign co-chairwoman who mixed the pious certitude of Linda Tripp with the hauteur of a Dynasty protagonist. She once performed in a Sarasota nightclub, getting audience members to join her in flapping their arms to music in a peculiar art form called chicken dancing. Until the Florida Supreme Court enjoined her from certifying the vote, Harris, often compared to Cruella de Vil, snatching ballots rather than puppies, was briefly the most powerful woman on the planet."
Carlson in the November 27 Time.


Partisan Hack with Bad Makeup

"At this moment that so desperately needs diplomacy, understatement and calm, one wonders how this Republican woman, who can't even use restraint when shes wielding a mascara wand, will manage to use it and make sound decisions in this game of partisan one-upmanship."
Washington Post fashion reporter Robin Givhan in a "Style" section front-page story, November 18.


Haranguing Hardline Harris

"Secretary of State Katherine Harris in Florida. As you know she's a Republican, a Bush supporter. Warren Christopher said yesterday that her, her decision on this five o'clock deadline has the look of trying to produce a certain result in the election. Do you think, and to use a rather crude term, that her decision does not pass the smell test?"
Matt Lauer to Gore aide Bill Daley, Nov. 14 Today.

"But the Secretary of State...she asked the counties to come up with reasons, these written statements turned in by two o'clock yesterday, and the counties obviously came up with reasons such as confusing ballots and discrepancies between the number of counts you just talked about. Why aren't those legitimate reasons to allow this to go on, what the Democrats say four more days? They're saying Saturday would be 10 days past the election. If you give them four more days, they'll wrap it up."
Matt Lauer to Sen. Fred Thompson, Nov. 17 Today.

"But why do we have to have so many deadlines from the Secretary of State? I mean, the critical thing here is to get a proper count. Now she's set a deadline of two o'clock this afternoon where they have to submit an essay as to why they want to conduct a hand recount and she wants to announce a final vote by Saturday, when counties that want a hand recount may not be able to finish by then... But what the other side seems to be saying is it's more important to get it right than to meet a deadline."
Charles Gibson to Bush lawyer Ted Olson, November 15 Good Morning America.

"I know you don't have return video there, but I, I don't know if you've seen this morning's New York Daily News. They have a picture of Secretary of State Harris and the headline says, 'She Can Pick the President.' Are you at all concerned that this ruling allows her too much leeway and, in effect, makes her a king-maker?"
Bryant Gumbel to David Boies, Nov. 15 Early Show.

Did I Mention She's Republican?

"What set this all in motion, the Gore offer, was the decision by the Florida state Supreme Court late today to reject unanimously, a request from Florida's Republican Secretary of State, who wanted to try to stop those hand recounts from proceeding....Today, Gore's chief lawyer accused Florida's Republican Secretary of State, of trying to stall the recounts ....there's nothing that's happened that would prevent Florida's Republican Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, from certifying these elections on Saturday."
Reporter David Bloom in one story on the November 15 NBC Nightly News.


Republicans Tried to Snow Us!

"The real Republican problem has been their legal strategy. They started out with a losing strategy, a political and legal strategy that stressed the machine count. They actually thought that they were going to get all of us to believe that machine counts all around the United States were the last authority, when on the books in states all over the country they have these hand counts. And they thought they could snow us with these machines, and it didnt work."
Newsweek's Jonathan Alter on MSNBC after the Florida Supreme Court ruling, November 21.


Boisterous Boosting of Boies

"As the battle in the Florida arena shifted to the legal arena, the Gore campaign brought in a heavyweight, a New York lawyer with an enviable record and a quirky personal style. The Gore team hopes he'll do for them what he did to Bill Gates. His name is David Boies, and hes a legend in his own time."
Tom Brokaw introducing November 16 NBC Nightly News profile of Boies.

Democracy Lovingly Preserved

"Late at night, with Thanksgiving nearing and with the political impasse moving into its third week, the Florida Supreme Court stepped into the election struggle, throwing the battle for the presidency into upheaval with the simple revolutionary thought that created the country two centuries ago and could eventually bring the 2000 campaign to an end: The merest individual voice said that a political campaign so close that the margins were microscopic must ultimately be decided the way even the most lopsided elections are decided, by the voters. And, the court ruled, if that means counting every last ballot card, that is both the burden and the glory of democratic rule."
Front page "news analysis" by Boston Globe Washington Bureau Chief David Shribman, November 22.


The Florida Supreme Court, "Moderate to Conservative"?

"We, by the way, tried to avoid labeling people this week, but here's a quick take on the makeup of the Florida Supreme Court. There are seven justices. Six were appointed by Democratic Governors. Our legal analyst in Florida tells us that only one of the judges is considered to be a liberal. The rest are regarded as moderate to conservative."
ABC's Peter Jennings, Nov. 17 World News Tonight.


Stephanopoulos: No Question Gore Won Florida...If It's Fair

"There is no question, or very little question, that Al Gore won the votes cast in the state of Florida. The question is: Will he win the votes counted? Look at the statistics. In the rest of the state of Palm Beach County [sic], Buchanan was strongest in the precincts where Bush was strongest. In Palm Beach he was strongest where Gore was strongest because they were right next to each other on the ballot. Even more important, in the rest of the state Buchanan got the same percentage of votes on the ballots as he did in absentees. In Palm Beach County he got four times more votes on this butterfly ballot than he did on absentees. Listen, if this race is counted fairly, Al Gore won more votes in Florida."
George Stephanopoulos on This Week, November 12.


Bush As Reprehensible As Gore

"There's an equal number of Americans right now who worry that they're being cheated on the other side and to suggest that one side is culpable here and not the other. There is no difference between what Bill Daley said and what Jim Baker said. Both have declared an end to this election before the process is finished. And Karl Rove is going out lying about various things, and somehow thats acceptable. I'm sorry, you cannot say there's a difference in behavior here."
Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Al Hunt on CNNs Capital Gang, November 11.

Help! James Baker Might Hit Me With His "Fear Stick"

"Jim Baker was talking, raising well, I can't say raising fears. He was talking about quote 'uncertainty in financial markets,' unquote, and 'uncertainty abroad.' Is this a fear stick that the Bush camp now intends to hit the Gore campaign over the head with?"
Dan Rather to reporter Bill Whitaker after a press briefing by Baker, November 14 CBS News special report.