Notable Quotables - 09/04/2000

Gore Kiss: Way to Go, Sexy Man

"I've got to ask you because everybody is talking about that big kiss you planted on your wife at the convention before your speech....People say though there is a new Al Gore, whatever that means, that you're looser, that you've lightened up. Do you feel it?"
Two of CBS The Early Show co-host Jane Claysons questions to Al Gore, August 21.

"Let's talk about what they are now calling, Mr. Vice President, 'The Kiss'. You heard about 'The Catch' in that football game, this is The Kiss. You really planted one on Mrs. Gore at the beginning of your speech there. What were you thinking?"
"Were you trying to tell the American people that you're really a kind of emotional guy?"
"Well after watching that kiss I know how you survived 30 years, Mr. Vice President. Way to go! It's nice talking to you."
Today co-host Matt Lauer to Al Gore, August 21.


Saint Janet's Burden

"What's good for Gore has become a burden for Janet Reno. She takes the heat for refusing to appoint a special counsel for the third time."
CBS reporter John Roberts on Janet Reno's decision not to name a special counsel, August 23 Evening News.


Clancy Out of Touch...or Lauer?

Matt Lauer: "Let me write [sic] what one reviewer wrote about you. 'Clancy insists on subjecting readers to a simplistically conservative political philosophy, whether or not they want it. For long stretches in this book it reads like the transcript of a Rush Limbaugh talkathon.'"
Tom Clancy, author, The Bear and The Dragon: "Obviously somebody who voted for George McGovern in 1972."
Lauer: "You too conservative? Does it come through on every page?"
Clancy: "I don't think so. The American people voted for Reagan twice."
Lauer: "You think you're in step with the feelings of this country?"
Clancy: "I'm in step with the feelings of a couple of million readers. I'll settle for that. You know people vote for my books with their money, as opposed to saying yes when the Gallup poll calls them up on the phone."
Exchange on NBC's Today, August 22.


Bush Tax Cut: Let's Repeat the Gore Press Release as "News"

Bob McIntyre, Citizens for Tax Justice: "The truth of it is it's a pretty traditional Republican tax cut plan that gives 60 percent of its benefits to the top tenth and 42 percent of its benefits to the top one percent."
CNN reporter Brooks Jackson: "So the richer you are, the more you would gain under Bush's tax plan. And not only that, it would consume most and some say all of the budget surplus outside Social Security....Bush's tax cut by itself would shrink the surplus an estimated $275 billion, because the national debt would not be paid down as fast and the government would have to pay more interest ....Republican George W. Bush says the growing federal surplus is money the government doesn't need and should give back....But Gore would use the surplus to pay down the national debt by the year 2013, more quickly than Bush proposes. That would put downward pressure on interest rates. And Gore says lower interest rates benefit family budgets just as well as federal tax cuts."
CNN's Brooks Jackson on Inside Politics, August 22.

"If the underlying motivation for those leaning to Bush is 'change for changes sake,' the average voter's bottom line on Gore is increasingly: 'He'll do.' That's the living-room view. Out in Campaignland, a spirited debate is underway about Gore's populist theme....But on balance, it should work. Bush's massive tax cut does overwhelmingly favor the wealthy at the expense of health and education. When that becomes widely known, it will hurt Bush."
Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, August 28 issue.


Courage to Tap Christie

"She's proved her toughness to the point where she stares down critics on the right and the left, and I think if Bush had picked her, it would've shown a courage that would have won over a lot of swing voters and a lot of Democrats [as] well, especially women."
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift on how Bush should have picked Christie Whitman as VP, Aug. 26 McLaughlin Group.

Reputation Splashed by Media

"Grand Jury leaks on Al's day, splashes your rep. Give up: you cant catch that wascally wabbit."
Time naming independent counsel Robert Ray a "loser" in its "Winners & Losers" feature, August 28 issue. Carter-appointed Judge Richard Cudahy admitted before Time went to press that he had the loose lips.


Kick the Killer Car Dealer

Matt Lauer: "Let's say I come down to your dealership, I buy a car tomorrow, I get my voucher, I go out and get my gun and then in a week or so I decide that I don't want it, what's to stop me from selling it to anyone I want to sell it to?...."
"And so if then the person that buys that gun from me goes out and commits a crime with it, or God forbid takes a life with it, how are you going to feel at your auto dealership?"
Tennessee car dealer Greg Lambert, who gave free gun to car buyers: "I'm not responsible for the actions of other people...what we need is crime control, not gun control."
Lauer: "Yeah, but why not take away the possibility? If you give someone a CD player, they can't go out and kill someone with it...."
"From what I understand, Mr. Lambert, you're taking the promotion a little bit further. Even children who come to your dealership are going to get a free water pistol, and some people say that's just going too far."
Aug. 25 Today interview.


Post-Convention Liberal Guilt

"George [Stephanopoulos] and I were working some early morning hours, as well as some late night hours, and every time we drove to the Staples Center, or even in Philadelphia, we'd drive by people living in cardboard boxes on the street. And it was a continuing reminder that there are uses for money that could be, I just found it disturbing to continually drive here and think to myself 'okay several hours from now I'm going to be eating some free shrimp paid for by somebody else,' and I do think it's worth noting that the cost of these events are upwards of $20 million each. I'm not sure they need to be four days long."
ABC reporter Michel Martin, August 20 This Week.


"Red Meat Right Wing" Bush

"When he picked a running mate, he picked a running mate who was straight out of the red meat, right-wing part of the party. When he was asked about who he wants, everybody's talking about how he's not making a litmus test about abortion for Supreme Court nominees, but he says his two favorite Supreme Court nominees are Scalia and Clarence Thomas, hardly people that most blacks or Hispanics think are ideal candidates for the court. There's still some kind of a disconnect between this wonderful public face, comfortable with Hispanics or whatever, and the decisions this guy has actually made."
Time's Jack White on Inside Washington, August 5.

Eric Pooley's Pool of Drool

"The biographical film narrated by Tipper Gore was effective because it showed Gore as a loving family man, and he is that. Best of all, it was a chance to show off photos of Al and Tipper as young marrieds in the 1970s a scruffy hunk and his blond babe. As a 30-year-old woman sitting in the hall was heard to say, 'Gore was hot-who knew?'"
Time's Eric Pooley, August 28 issue.

"At first glance you figure he will bore you silly, but he grows on you his voice is a decent instrument, and he obviously enjoys playing it. His basic tune, about an immigrant's grandson who was the first in his family to attend college and now might be Vice President, is an American classic. He makes no effort to conceal how tickled he is to be on the ticket, and the result is charming."
Pooley on Lieberman, August 21.

Acknowledged Double Standard

"It bears repeating that if a conservative Republican were saying these things it would, people would be going nuts."
Time's John Dickerson discussing Joe Lieberman's professions of faith, August 28 Hardball on MSNBC.

"Yet the comments today by Mr. Lieberman, the first Jew nominated for national office by a major party, were striking for a moderate Democrat. His words, if spoken by a conservative Christian, would probably be received with alarm by many factions in Liebermans own party including many Jews who are wary of the political activism of the religious right."
New York Times reporter Richard Perez-Pena, August 28.


How Could Al Be So Unlucky?

"One of the mysteries of this campaign is how Monica could attach to Al Gore and not prosperity. It just confounds me."
Time magazine's Margaret Carlson on CNN's Capital Gang, August 5.


Geraldo's Premature Nostalgia

"You're going to miss that guy. Don't tell me you're not gonna miss that guy. This is a master. He may be a rogue, but he is an artful and pleasant rogue and done a hell of a job as President. I'm gonna miss the guy...He should've been vice presidential candidate."
Geraldo Rivera after humming the theme from Rocky over footage of Clinton's pre-speech hallway walk, August 21 Rivera Live on CNBC.