Pundit Wire

May 2012

May 1, 2012

“The Republican Party is sort of united in terms of what they’re against. But there’s not a great deal of consensus right now in terms of what they’re for.”

- Michael D. Tanner, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, Washington Post, Aug. 17, 2011

May 2, 2012

“[Americans] think a little too much that democracy is a sort of religion, and the only thing you have to do is convert people.”

– French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine, on refusing to sign the declaration creating the Community of Democracies in Warsaw in 2000, as reported in the National Journal, Apr. 9, 2011

May 3, 2012

“It’s hard to say that there are any winners in Washington these days and therefore, the biggest winner is anyone not working here.”

- Democratic aide, Politico, Nov. 22, 2011

May 4, 2012

“I’m not really a politician yet. I have to get elected at least twice to be a politician.”

– Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor, speech at the International Franchise Association’s annual meeting, Feb. 14, 2011

May 5, 2012

“We’ve created a Congress that is a full-time fund-raising enterprise that occasionally legislates and a White House that, save for 100 days, has to be in perpetual campaign mode.”

- Columnist Thomas Friedman, New York Times, Jun. 22, 2011

May 6, 2012

“That’s the secret to politics: trying to control a segment of people without those people recognizing that you’re trying to control them.”

- GOP strategist Scott Reed, New York Times magazine, Oct. 16, 2011

May 7, 2012

“Leaders of all stripes are hard to come by lately…. Rage is channeled into online comments and Facebook posts and tweeting for the revolution, whatever that revolution may be.”

- Sarah Hepola discussing the lack of leader for the feminist movement, The New York Times, March 16, 2012

May 8, 2012

“The role of the teacher definitely does change in the 21st century. There’s no doubt. The teacher does become the guide and the coach and the educator in the room helping students to move at their own pace.”

- Tom Luna, Idaho schools superintendent, The New York Times, Jan. 3, 2012

May 9, 2012

“After 9/11, proliferation and terrorism were not ‘problems’ to be ‘managed.’ They were mortal threats to be stopped. They still are.”

– John Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, op-ed on FoxNews.com, Sept. 7, 2011

May 10, 2012

“He’s the smartest guy in the room, but he’s got the reverse Midas touch. Everything he touches turns to-well, unsatisfying outcomes.”

- Columnist Peggy Noonan, on Obama, The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 20, 2011

May 11, 2012

“The greatest threat facing American today – next to voter fraud, the Western Pinebark beetle, and the memory foam mattress – is the national news media.”

- Stephen Colbert, I am American (and so can you!), 2007

May 12, 2012

“If the Senate is the world’s greatest deliberative body, the House is poised to be the world’s greatest tweeting one.”

- Columnist Ruth Marcus, on the new House rules allowing wireless devices, The Washington Post, Dec. 29, 2010

May 13, 2012

“Surely there must be a level beyond which profit from news is simply indecent.”

- Christiane Amanpour, keynote speech at the Edward R. Murrow Awards Ceremony, Sept. 13, 2000

May 14, 2012

“If we are negative by nature, we Americans are more human than most. The Founding Fathers loved going negative. Heck, the Declaration of Independence is one long negative ad.”

- Columnist Paul Begala, Newsweek, March 26 & April 2, 2012

May 15, 2012

“It’s not the spear, but who holds the spear that matters.”

- Rahul Bedi, a defense analyst in India, on nuclear weapons, The Associated Press, as reported by NPR, April 19, 2012

May 16, 2012

“I found that while our country accepts the idea of women working, as a culture we don’t fully accept the notion of women supporting the family. Despite the gains that women have made in the workforce, there’s still an intense pressure for a man to be a provider. But now there’s another pressure for men: and that’s to be domestic.”

- Jessica Grose, Slate, Dec. 13, 2011


May 17, 2012

“If your chance of being killed by a terrorist in the United States is 1 in 3.5 million, the question is, how much do you want to spend to get that down to 1 in 4.5 million?”

- John Mueller, Ohio State University professor, on counter-terrorism spending, Los Angeles Times, Aug. 28, 2011

May 18, 2012

“In flush times, regulation seems like a mindless red tape promulgated to satisfy someone’s sadistic taste. Yet the absence of regulatory prudence is what we all decry when a poorly inspected airplane, crib design, or elevator repair results in a death: where were the regulators when we needed them?”

- Kent Sepkowitz, infectious disease specialist and academic medical contributor, Newsweek, April 9, 2012

May 19, 2012

“Human dignity is a little bit outside the scope of cost-benefit analysis.”

- A senior Obama administration official, on considering distributional equity and human dignity in policy decision-making, National Journal, Jan. 22, 2011

May 20, 2012

“Memo to young journalists: Democratic victories are always ascribed to hope; Republican ones to rage.”

- Columnist David Brooks, The New York Times, Nov. 2, 2010

May 21, 2012

“Paul Revere had a broad network, a fast horse, and a catchy phrase far less than one hundred and forty characters: ‘The British are coming!’”

- Twitter founder Biz Stone in response to Malcolm Gladwell’s criticism of social media, The Atlantic, Oct. 19, 2010

May 22, 2012

“A nation is formed by the willingness of each of us to share in the responsibility for upholding the common good. A government is invigorated when each one of us is willing to participate in shaping the future of this nation.”

- Barbara Charline Jordan, 1976 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address, delivered 12 July 1976, New York, NY

May 23, 2012

“Even when you cherish democratic ideals, it is never easy to turn them into effective democratic institutions. This process will take decades.”

- Former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice, in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Jan. 23, 2008

May 24, 2012

“As I understand it, triangulation is the idea that you demonstrate to some set of swing voters that you are politically palatable by poking the extremes of both parties in the eye.”

- White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, Politico, Dec. 17, 2010

May 25, 2012

“Neither party is truly the ‘party of women.’ Or better put, each party serves the interests of different types of women.”

– J. Bryan Lowder, Slate, May 16, 2012

May 26, 2012

“The job of a social entrepreneur is to recognize when a part of society is stuck and to provide new ways to get it unstuck. He or she finds what is not working and solves the problem by changing the system, spreading the solution and persuading entire societies to take new leaps. Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry.”

― Bill Drayton, CEO, chair and founder of Ashoka, in Leading Social Entrepreneurs Changing the World

May 27, 2012

“Legislation is the art of compromise.”

- Senator Harry Reid, Meet the Press, Jan. 9, 2011

May 28, 2012

“For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.”

– Senator Zell Miller, Republican National Convention, September 2, 2004

May 29, 2012

“It is the growing periphery of the Arab world – the masses at its margins, not its feeble and decaying center – that is shaping the future of the region.”

- Wadah Khanfar, director general of Al-Jazeera, The Washington Post, Feb. 25, 2011

May 30, 2012

“Two truths are all too often overshadowed in today’s political discourse: Public service is a most honorable pursuit, and so is bipartisanship.”

- Olympia Snowe on why she was not seeking a 4th term in Congress, Washington Post, March 1, 2012

May 31, 2012

“Some may belittle politics but we who are engaged in it know that it is where people stand tall. Although I know that it has many harsh contentions, it is still the arena that sets the heart beating a little faster. If it is, on occasions, the place of low skulduggery, it is more often the place for the pursuit of noble causes.”

- Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in his final session of Prime Minister’s Questions, June 27, 2007