"Critics" (NYT Reporters) Say Bush Has "Squandered the Country's Moral Authority"

Plus: GOP "Spreading Hatred on Immigration" and the Return of "The Age of Greed"
"Critics" or Times Reporters?
"Mr. Bush never sounds surer of himself than when the subject is Sept. 11, even when his critics argue that he has squandered the country's moral authority, violated American and international law, and led the United States into the foolhardy distraction of Iraq." - Steven Lee Myers, February 12.

"After finishing third in three of the four primary contests so far - except in Iowa, where he beat Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York for second place by less than one percentage point - Mr. Edwards has shown no sign of quitting, and his advisers have insisted that he still hopes to capture the nomination." - Julie Bosman, January 29. Edwards quit the next day.

McCain's Amnesty Plan for Illegals? Never Heard of It
"Mr. McCain learned that the hard way: The maverick who ran against George W. Bush in 2000 headed into the 2008 race with all the expensive accouterments of the front-runner, only to lose some of his political identity when he embraced evangelicals and the Republican orthodoxy of tax cuts, not to mention an unpopular war. By last summer Mr. McCain's campaign had all but collapsed and he was flying into New Hampshire alone to meet with small clutches of voters." - Elisabeth Bumiller, February 4.

Mocking Mitt
"It may seem an unlikely role for a PowerPoint-loving, buttoned-down multimillionaire, but there Mr. Romney was, on stage Monday here in his starched white shirt and tie, raising his voice to be heard above the crowd and portraying himself as the anti-establishment insurgent." - Michael Luo, February 5.

What "Sharp" Reductions in Spending?

"President Bush's final budget, a $3 trillion plan offered Monday that would continue his tax cuts and sharply reduce domestic spending, has little chance of surviving in a Democratic Congress. But the problems it lays out will survive and grow, presenting tough choices for the next administration." - Steven Weisman, February 5.

Reality Check: "Bush budget would nearly freeze domestic spending." - Reuters headline, same day.

Howell Raines on "Petroleum Republicans"

"To me, the big story tonight is the inability of the Republican establishment, the corporate Republicans, the Wall Street Republicans, the petroleum Republicans, aided and abetted by the conservative talk show hosts, the inability of all of those horses to drag Mitt Romneyacross the finish line." - Former Times Executive Editor Howell Raines on the February 5 (Super Tuesday) edition of the PBS talk show Charlie Rose.

What About "Democrats Would Raise Taxes"?
"Democrats would roll back the Bush administration's tax cuts for wealthy Americans....The Democrats would roll back the Bush tax cuts on the most affluent...." - Robin Toner, February 4.

And Because We Won't Give Him Credit

"Mr. Bush has spent years presiding over an economic climate of growth that would be the envy of most presidents. Yet much to the consternation of his political advisers, he has had trouble getting credit for it, in large part because Americans were consumed by the war in Iraq." - Sheryl Gay Stolberg, January 28.

Stay Classy, NYT

"Perhaps he was living an illusion all along." - Opening line of Michael Powell and Michael Cooper's story on Rudy Giuliani's withdrawal from the presidential race, January 30.

GOP "Continues to Spread Hatred" on Immigration
"Mr. Bush has included a call for immigration reform in all of his previous State of the Union addresses. But he has never matched that rhetoric with strong ideas or political passion. A push last year for comprehensive reform was defeated by his party's right wing, which continues to spread hatred on the campaign trail. His insight last night: 'Illegal immigration is complicated.'" - From the Times' lead editorial of January 29.

There They Go Again

"The Me Decade was declared dead in the recession of the early 1980s, only to yield to the Age of Greed and later the Internet boom of the 1990s." - From economics reporter Peter Goodman's February 5 front-page story.

Saluting Sandy "Socks" Berger
"People who know Sandy Berger and know his record suggest that he's one of the people who might well have been saluted in the 9/11 Commission report for having been on top of al-Qaeda." - Investigative reporter Philip Shenon, an author of a book on 9-11, defending disgraced Clinton national security advisor Sandy Berger, convicted of stealing copies of classified documents and putting them in his socks, on the February 4 edition of "Fresh Air" on National Public Radio.

Laying Into Limbaugh

"But as it became clear that McCain, who is anathema to many conservatives, was going to head the Republican ticket, Romney had his chance. Gov. Mike Huckabee, for all his chuckleheaded bon mots, was never a viable candidate. He simply didn't have the money, the experience or the judgment. Talk radio's leading gasbag, Rush Limbaugh, said as much ." - Reporter turned Times.com blogger Timothy Egan, February 7.

Mitt 1, NYT 0
"Those views are outside the mainstream of Republican conservative thought. And I guess I'd also note that if you get endorsed by The New York Times, you're probably not a conservative.'" - Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, to John McCain, during the January 30 GOP debate.