Pundit Wire

October 2011

October 1

“I mean you did again feel like two children. Think of yourselves sitting on Lincoln’s bed.”

– Jacqueline Kennedy, remembering her husband’s inauguration, from the newly released tapes of her memoirs, Sep. 26, 2011

October 2

“The debt ceiling debacle is almost a horrible metaphor: It’s as if a bomb went off at 800 Pennsylvania Avenue and sent shrapnel flying in every direction. I don’t know what these guys think they’re doing, but it looks like they’re committing political suicide.”

- Pollster Charlie Cook on the very partisan 112th Congress, Washington Post, Sept. 23, 2011

October 3

“Those who need a champion cannot afford compromise, in the face of forces that are powerful, persistent and pernicious and greedy.”

- Elizabeth Edwards, in a speech at the Consumer Watchdog’s Rage for Justice Dinner, June 8, 2007

October 4

“It doesn’t matter if you call it ‘Obama-care’ or ‘Elvis Presley care’ or ‘I-don’t-care care.’ It cannot sustain itself in its present form.”

- Former Sen. Alan Simpson, co-chair of the deficit-reduction commission, on Medicare, Time, Aug. 8, 2011

October 5

“You want to be commander in chief, you can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient.”

- President Barack Obama, criticizing GOP candidates over jeering of a gay solider, in a speech given at a Human Rights Campaign dinner, Oct. 1, 2011

October 6

“The fields are always flawed. There is never a perfect candidate. As their nomination becomes inevitable … suddenly they become much less flawed and much more acceptable.”

- GOP strategist Mark McKinnon, The Hill, Sept. 27, 2011

October 7

“Media use has become a real contact sport. It’s not just consumerism, it’s a conversational experience.”

- Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 30, 2011

October 8

“To a man in love with his hammer, every problem requires a nail.”

- Columnist David Brooks, on the inability of political parties to embrace solutions outside their ideology, New York Times, Sept. 27, 2011

October 9

“There are those that advocate that the voice of religion be silenced, or at least relegated to the purely private sphere. There are those who argue that the public celebration of festivals such as Christmas should be discouraged. These are worrying signs of a failure to appreciate not only the rights of believers to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, but also the legitimate role of religion in the public square.”

- Pope Benedict XVI from Great Britain, on the role of religion in society (via Voice of America), Sept. 17, 2010

October 10

“We are the 99 percent.”

- Occupy Wall Street demonstrators in New York City, reported in the New York Times, Oct 8, 2011

October 11

“Elections are not getting dirtier. They’re just as dirty as they have always been. Whether that’s a heartening trend depends on your point of view. I myself am a great fan of the unruly democratic process, which I think will always be unruly.”

- Joseph Cummins, historian, in a Q&A on “The Complete History of Dirty Politics,” New York Times, Nov. 6, 2007

October 12

“This is the Obama generation declaring their independence from his administration.”

- Jeremy Varon, a historian at the New School said of the Occupy Wall Street protest in the New York Times, Oct 8, 2011

October 13

“We cannot build our country or any country in the world without peace.”

- Tawakkol Karman, a winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, New York Times, Oct 7, 2011

October 14

“[Y]ou can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

- Steve Jobs, Stanford University Commencement Address, June 2005

October 15

“It is not unusual in our history that the majority of the Congress represents a party in opposition to the president’s party. The first one was George Washington.”

- President Harry Truman, State of the Union address, Jan. 6, 1947, reported in the National Journal, Jan. 22, 2011

October 16

“What I love is, creativity can make up for the lack of bucks…Real, raw talent has the ability to break through all the noise out there.”

– Rob Willington, new-media strategist, on reaching voters during election season, The Washington Post, Oct. 8, 2010

October 17

“[King] would want us to know we can argue fiercely about the proper size and role of government without questioning each other’s love for this country.”

- President Obama, at the dedication of the MLK Jr. memorial, Oct. 16, 2011

October 18

“No society can thrive when half its people are left behind.”

– Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, on improving the quality of life for the world’s women, Newsweek, Sep. 26, 2011

October 19

“The high road almost always leads to political oblivion.”

- Columnist Dana Milbank, The Washington Post, Jun. 21, 2011

October 20

“If you want to live the American dream, you should move to Finland or Denmark.”

- Dr. Richard Wilkinson, epidemiologist at the University of Nottingham, on economic inequality and the difficulty of social mobility in the U.S., PBS NewsHour, Sept. 28, 2011

October 21

“The Reagan and Gingrich forces wanted a leaner government, but they still believed in government.”

- Columnist Maureen Dowd, on the difference between Tea Partiers and the Republican Party, New York Times, Jul. 31, 2011

October 22

“If ‘we’ really are the 99%, why have we failed to use our overwhelming democratic heft to set in place reforms that would unrig the system and put the 1% in their place?”

- Blogger W.W. in The Economist Democracy in America, The Economist, Oct. 14, 2011

October 23

“Everyone’s willing to settle for Mitt Romney, but nobody wants to settle for Mitt Romney.”

- Erick Erickson, publisher of the conservative blog RedState.org, The Hill, Sept. 27, 2011

October 24

“The end of despots is always odd—exhilarating to those who suffered their tyrannies, and to those who hold despotism in contempt, and anti-climatic at the same time, the discovery that these tyrants were petty, frightened men after all.”

– Columnist Fouad Ajami, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 21, 2011

October 25

“We Americans, and I think it’s true of democracies generally, are not great at winning long, long wars because people in democracies get impatient and they say, ‘Why must we keep having our soldiers die? What are we getting out of it?’”

– E.J. Dionne Jr., columnist for The Washington Post, Meet the Press, Jan. 2, 2011

October 26

“We didn’t elect Superman, we elected a human being.”

- Former Sec. of State Colin Powell, on Obama, State of the Union, CNN, Jan. 23, 2011

October 27

“The media can be an instrument of change: it can maintain the status quo and reflect the views of the society or it can, hopefully, awaken people and change minds. I think it depends on who’s piloting the plane.”

– Katie Couric, journalist, Miss Representation documentary, 2011

October 28

“Politics is infused with rich ironies.”

- Bush campaign strategist Mark McKinnon, New York Times, Oct. 21, 2011

October 29

“Mr. Obama cannot win in 2012, but the Republicans can lose.”

- Columnist Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 24, 2011

October 30

“Nobody climbs a ladder alone, and we are never going to bring this country back by telling people they’re on their own. We have got to be America and the world together.”

- Bill Clinton at his 65th birthday celebration, Oct. 15, 2011

October 31

“Be wary then; best safety lies in fear.”

- William Shakespeare, Hamlet