Notable Quotables - 12/14/1998


Rather: Hillary Should be Named "Person of the Year"....

"I would not be astonished to see Hillary Clinton be the Democratic nominee in 2000....Hillary Clinton, as far as I'm concerned, she's the Person of the Year, if Time magazine doesn't put her on the cover, they may put Mike, Mark McGwire, or Alan Greenspan, or somebody, but Hillary Clinton is the Person of the Year in that, you talk about a comeback kid she makes her husband look like Ned in knee pants in terms of comeback from where she was early in the Clinton administration. You know, you add it all up, and you can make a case that Hillary Clinton might, might mark the word be the strongest candidate for the Democrats."
CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather on CNN's Larry King Live, December 3.

....Or Better Yet: Chief Justice of the Supreme Court...


Dan Rather: "If you're Al Gore listen he's been a loyal Vice President. He is the odds-on favorite for the nomination. If you were Al Gore, what would you do?"
Larry King: "Make her, ask her to be Vice President. Is that what you think? Is that where you're leading me?"
Rather: "No, I think maybe I would say, 'You know, we want the goals of the Clinton administration to be achieved and to go forward. I need your help, First Lady, friend of mine, Hillary Clinton, and if I'm elected President, I will make you the next Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.' That's what I'd do, but Al Gore is a better man than I am and I doubt that he'd do it."
CNN's Larry King Live, December 3.


...And I Hate the Lewinsky Story


"I have hated it from the very beginning and I have hated right the way through, you see? Well, wait a minute, you just said that sometimes a big story you like, bad news? I realize that it's somewhat contradictory. But this story is, from the beginning, it's the kind of story that, you know, I have no apology. I hate it. I have hated it all the way through. It's one reason I tried to stay in Cuba, when the Pope, it turned out that that would have been a foolish thing for us to do, I suppose, but I was the last out of there because I kept hoping. I just said, oh, we have got a great story, the Pope in Cuba, and were going to go back to cover something as sleazy as this. Naturally, we all came back and the rest is history. But I hate it, as well."
Dan Rather, December 3 Larry King Live on CNN.


Time Asks Readers to Save Bill


"If the House forwards articles of impeachment, there are only two ways the Senate can get out of it a two-thirds vote to suspend the rules, or a motion-to-end-trial by a Senate juror, decided by simple majority. Both are considered too proactive or too craven, depending on your point of view to be viable options. So attention jaded American public: Write a letter. Take a poll. The next two weeks are your last chance to save the Spring."
Frank Pellegrini in a Dec. 4 Time Daily online news story.


Geraldo Loves Clinton, Unlike Those Anti-Choice Activists


"That I understand and I love him maybe more than you do, Bob, but I know that he lied to you not once, but the good lawyer that you are, I am positive that you asked him ten different ways whether or not he had done Monica Lewinsky."
Rivera to Clinton lawyer Bob Bennett, Dec. 7 Rivera Live.

"Hello everybody and welcome to something many never expected to see: the impeachment of a President for committing adultery and then lying about it under oath. Why are House Republicans doing this to Clinton? Because they can. For the next few weeks until the next Congress is seated in January, the lame ducks still have the votes to defy the will of the electorate. So infuriated by everything from Clinton's evasive answers to his pro-choice politics, they are about to do something that has not been done for 130 years."
Geraldo Rivera opening CNBC's Upfront Tonight, Dec. 7.


Persecuted Squishes


"These moderate Republicans are a little bit like being a Christian in the Arab world or a Jew in Russia. You know they are a besieged minority....The conservative leaders of the House are putting enormous pressure on them."
Steve Roberts of the New York Daily News on CNN's Late Edition, December 6.


Security Breach? GOP's Fault


"In closing, we should point out that despite their self-righteousness about Grigori Loutchansky and the Democrats' fundraising abuses, the Republicans have consistently torpedoed efforts in the Senate to pass any meaningful campaign reform."
Mike Wallace at the end of a December 6 60 Minutes story on Loutchansky, a Mob-tied Russian on a CIA and State Department watch lists invited to meet Clinton at an October 1993 fundraiser.


The Press Sided with Starr? Huh?


"A backlash against the 1960s led to Ken Starr's interest in the President's sex life; a backlash against that backlash allowed Clinton to escape. To make matters more complicated, the Washington media establishment has switched teams. Once liberal but always fickle, the press clearly sided with the prim, conservative Starr for much of the year, while the once conservative 'Silent Majority' backed the hip, liberal Clinton, or at least the way he has handled his job."
Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, November 30 issue.


Sawyer Sticks It to Starr



Announcer:"Did Kenneth Starr go too far?"
Diane Sawyer to Starr: "I think there were 62 mentions of the word ' breast,' 23 of 'cigar,' 19 of 'semen.' This has been called demented pornography, pornography for Puritans. Were there mistakes made in including some of this?"
Announcer: "The tables are turned. Now its the prosecutor's turn to be grilled, when 20/20 Wednesday continues after this from our ABC stations."
Plug during 20/20 interview with Ken Starr, November 25.


"Did they cross the line? First with Monica Lewinsky, when nine federal officers took her to a room at the Ritz-Carlton and put pressure on her to turn on the President? People see a young girl who was in tears, who was threatened with 27 years in prison possibly, who was told that her mother might be prosecuted based on things she had said about her mother, who was to wire herself or tape the President or Vernon Jordan. And they say this isn't John Gotti. This isn't Timothy McVeigh..."
Sawyer: "Which brings us to Linda Tripp, the woman people love to hate, and the accusation that Ken Starr was not what he had seemed. Are you part of a right-wing conspiracy?"
Starr: "No. I don't know that there is one."
Sawyer: "His key witness, Linda Tripp, is now a recognized soldier in the army of Clinton haters among them Tripp's friend and svengali, Lucianne Goldberg. Among them, the lawyers for Paula Jones. Before he became independent counsel, Starr gave them advice. And among them, millionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, who hired people to dig up dirt on Bill Clinton and funded a chair at Pepperdine University for Ken Starr...."
"Driving to the White House that day, for what was for all intents and purposes a lot of people think your trial, the only trial you were going to get. Did you think to yourself, here is a man who has to deal with Saddam Hussein and bin Laden and what's going on in Russia, and we're putting him through this?"
Some of Diane Sawyer's questions to Starr, November 25.


Ken Starr, Evil Algebra Teacher


"Perhaps beneath the dullness lies pure evil. Or perhaps just more dullness. He may have reminded some viewers of the most tedious teacher they'd ever had in high school in shop class, maybe, or algebra. The teacher whose classes you were most desperate and likely to skip....He was supposedly offering up the facts as gathered at great expense by his costly posse of investigators, but the speech really consisted of Starr attacking Clinton and defending himself. He's a coy, sly and even coquettish attacker, however, so what he delivered was unique in its way: a mealy-mouthed diatribe. He seemed alternately mousy and weaselly."
Washington Post's Tom Shales on Starr's testimony, Nov. 20.


Smaltz, Meet Starr


"A major legal victory for a former top Clinton administration official. Former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy was acquitted yesterday of 30 corruption counts. The independent counsel in the case, Donald Smaltz, spent four years and $17 million bringing Espy to trial....I just want to get this clear. This man was accused of taking $33,000 or so worth of football tickets, plane tickets, fine meals, a crystal bowl. So they spent $17 million to investigate him?....Proportionality, does that mean anything in Washington?"
Co-host Lisa McRee to ABC legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, December 3 Good Morning America.

"A stunning verdict in the corruption trial of a former Clinton cabinet member. Another expensive investigation by an independent counsel adds up to nothing."
Tom Brokaw at the top of the December 2 NBC Nightly News.

Reality Check:
"Those prosecutions have resulted in 15 convictions and we have collected over $11 million in fines and penalties."
Independent counsel Donald Smaltz in the subsequent NBC story on his record against other figures in the case.

Year-End Cheeriness?


"The good sense and the sound judgment of the American people, expressed in poll after poll this year, and in the November elections basically putting the scandal in a perspective that nobody here in Washington has been able to do."
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on what she's thankful for, November 28 McLaughlin Group.

"Washington, like the rest of the country, is in a cheery, holiday mood. But not inside the Capitol, where Republicans are digging in their heels, forging ahead and even expanding hearings and investigations to impeach the President."
NBC's Gwen Ifill, December 1 Nightly News.



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