Notable Quotables - 11/16/1998

Conservatism Loses Elections?

"If you are going to look for a trend, I think maybe it would be that this was a fairly tough season for very ideological Republicans, not the moderates but the social conservatives. You had Bob Inglis, the challenger, going down to Fritz Hollings in South Carolina. You had Lauch Faircloth, an incumbent, very conservative Senator, going down in North Carolina. Mark Neumann, the very conservative challenger to Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, also lost. So if there is a trend, maybe that's it."
- CNN's Bruce Morton at 12:40am ET election night.

"One of the great myths today is that if it weren't for the Lewinsky scandal, the Republicans would have done better. If this campaign had been fought on the issues... I think the Democrats would have won the House and gained seats in the Senate. And they were denied that because of President Clinton's recklessness."
- Wall Street Journal's Al Hunt on CNNs Capital Gang, Nov. 7.

"I think the real danger for the Republicans is misreading the election. There are a lot of very conservative Republicans who say the reason why they lost seats was because the party wasn't pure enough, it wasn't right-wing enough. I think that's exactly the wrong message....As Dick Gephardt has said on the show this morning, that part of the problem any Republican leader is going to have is that Hamas wing of the Republican Party who are not going to compromise."
- Steve Roberts of the New York Daily News (formerly of the New York Times and U.S. News), Nov. 8 CNN Late Edition.

"Ninety percent of the voters we talked to said they wanted more cooperation and less confrontation. Let's turn to you, Congressman Cox. Do you think now that the Republican voice will become more moderate and that those extreme right-wing conservatives will have less of a voice?"
- Good Morning America co-host Lisa McRee, November 9.


All Hail the "Pragmatic Centrists"

"You know there's this old line that the only thing in the middle of the road is a yellow line and a dead armadillo. But now everybody is running to the middle of the road. And the faster that you get there, the better you do at the polls. So this is a bad election for extremists in both parties and a bad night I think for the Christian Coalition and those who want to pull the Republican Party to the right. The centrist, pragmatic Republican Governors did very well."
- Newsweek's Jonathan Alter, November 4 Today.


The New Speaker Must Go Left...

"But, Randy, there are people, I think lots of people today who are looking, for example, at California, even the Carolinas, and saying that this kind of strident, conservative, social conservative position is not a winning position, and if you're going to replace the Speaker, you need someone who is more inclusive, not less inclusive."
- Good Morning America substitute co-host Aaron Brown to Randy Tate of the Christian Coalition, November 5.


...Like Our Liberal Heroes!

"If someone like Russ Feingold, who is trying to really promote campaign finance reform, and trying to run basically as clean a campaign finance campaign as one can run, gets wiped out in Wisconsin that's really depressing to me. If you can't win that kind of campaign in Wisconsin, I find that really disappointing."
- New York Times columnist (and former reporter) Thomas Friedman on PBS's Washington Week in Review, October 30.

"Politics is a copycat profession. If Feingold prevails in his maverick my-way campaign, the elections can still be won without bartering your soul for soft money. And if he loses, it will be Halloween all year long."
- USA Today columnist (and former Time reporter) Walter Shapiro, October 28.

"I think Humphrey wins. I mean, the delight, nationally at least, to have another Humphrey in the arena."
- Sam Donaldson on ABC's This Week, November 1. Democrat Skip Humphrey finished third in Minnesotas gubernatorial race.


Fusillades Against Faircloth

"I've got to know, Pat, why is this John Edwards/Lauch Faircloth race so important to the Republicans, other than the obvious that Senator Faircloth is considered to be one of the junior Grand Wizards of the vast right-wing conspiracy?"
- MSNBC's Keith Olbermann to former Democratic pollster Pat Caddell, October 26 Big Show.

"I'm happy about Fritz [Hollings]. He's a crusty old coot, the kind you don't really see in Congress any more. Faircloth is a sort of more recent edition. He's a member of the hater branch of the North Carolina Republican Party, so good riddance to him."
- Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas, November 7 Inside Washington.


Glenn's Glory Great for Clinton

"Tonight President Clinton and NASA are basking in John Glenn's status and who can blame Mr. Clinton if some of Glenn's glory reflects onto him, what with congressional elections just five days away."
- NBC reporter David Bloom, October 29 Nightly News.


Clinton's Just Like Jefferson

"Could a new genetic study suggesting Thomas Jefferson fathered a child with a slave be a boost for President Clinton in fighting impeachment? The study in next week's edition of the journal Nature concludes that new genetic work, coupled with old circumstantial evidence, proves Jefferson fathered at least one child by his slave, Sally Hemings. One of the study's authors says it suggests, according to history, presidential indiscretions are long-standing."
- CNN anchor Marina Kolbe, October 31 The World Today.

"And if the test results mean Jefferson is now regarded as what one scholar calls 'a 90s kind of guy,' the White House must be smiling. After all, if Bill Clintons favorite President could end up on Mount Rushmore and the two-dollar bill, despite being sexually active with a subordinate, it might put Mr. Clinton's conduct with a certain intern in a different light."
- NBC reporter Bob Faw, November 2 Nightly News.


Hefner, Guccione, Flynt, Starr

"The cosponsor Arthur Schlesinger, the legendary aide to John F. Kennedy, was particularly blunt and harsh when it came to the subject of Ken Starr. Ken Starr, America's number one pornographer in Arthur Schlesingers words."
"America's number one pornographer, Arthur Schlesinger calls Ken Starr. Back in a flash, stay tuned."

"Be right back. Arthur Schlesinger said of Ken Starr that he is America's number one pornographer."
- Geraldo Rivera on a letter from historians saying Clinton's actions are not impeachable, October 28 Rivera Live on CNBC.


"Fairly Timid" or "Hard-Hitting"?

"The Republican National Committee today unleashed three fairly timid ads in which the subject of President Clinton's indiscretions and evasions are ever so gently hinted at."
- Ted Koppel on the October 28 Nightline.


"Then Gingrich backed off, playing the part of statesman.... Only to orchestrate an open-ended congressional investigation and personally approve hard-hitting commercials just before the election."
- ABC reporter Chris Bury on the November 6 Nightline.


J. Edgar Hoover = Joseph Stalin?

"In the Soviet Union and in America, the Cold War was fought by fear. The Soviet Union raised fences against the outside world. The Gulag, the secret universe of labor camps, swallowed the lives of millions. Both sides turned their fear inwards against their own people. They hunted the enemy within."
- CNN Cold War narrator Kenneth Branagh in the Nov. 1 installment plugged on "The 1950s usher in an era of fear and persecution on both sides of the globe."


Promoting a Negative Reaction to GOP Impeachment Ads

"Mr. Nicholson, it's been said that the political climate and discourse in this country has been coarsened to a great degree by what Bill Clinton has done this year. Is there not a sense that this kind of advertising continues the process rather than puts Republicans on a higher road than Mr. Clinton?"
- Keith Olbermann to RNC Chairman Jim Nicholson, October 28 Big Show on MSNBC.

"But just raising the subject again could everybody just go 'Bleah!' 'Sick of it?"
- ABC's Lisa McRee to ABC News political director Mark Halperin, October 29 Good Morning America.


Rather's Election Night Patter: Enough to Gag a Buzzard

"Democrats and Republicans are nervous as pigs in a packing plant over these returns because the polls have closed and we don't know the results."

"Now, if you're in those states where the polls are open, let me encourage you to vote. And of course, if youre in a state where the polls are closed, let me encourage you not to vote. It's illegal."
- Dan Rather ending the November 3 Evening News.

"Charles Schumer is one of the stunners of the night. This race was as hot and squalid as a New York elevator in August."

"How sweet this must be for President Clinton. Lauch Faircloth, the man who actually was responsible, along with Jesse Helms, for making Ken Starr the special prosecutor, who has dogged President Clinton for so long. Lauch is locked out in North Carolina."

"The call is just in for the South Carolina Senate race. This was one of the cardiac arrest time races. This thing was nasty enough to gag a buzzard. But it turns out that Fritz Hollings, the veteran Democratic Senator, has held on to win."
- Rather on the election night CBS News special, November 3.


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