Pundit Wire

August 2011

August 1, 2011

“Uncertainty over the debt ceiling has been radioactive. You certainly don’t want to give yourself multiple doses in a short period of time.”

- Austan Goolsbee, departing Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, New York Times, Jul. 30, 2011

August 2, 2011

“To my Republican friends: take back your party. So that it doesn’t matter so much who wins the election, because we have shared values.”

- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), on the Tea Party movement in the Republican Party, in a speech at Tufts University, Apr. 8, 2011

August 3, 2011

“Zealots are great on the campaign trail, but a huge problem when it comes to governance. They often don’t believe in the art of a deal, even with their allies. If they are not tamed, they can eat their own party alive.”

- Julian E. Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton, on the Tea Party, New York Times, Jul. 30, 2011

August 4, 2011

“Zealots are great on the campaign trail, but a huge problem when it comes to governance. They often don’t believe in the art of a deal, even with their allies. If they are not tamed, they can eat their own party alive.”

- Julian E. Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton, on the Tea Party, New York Times, Jul. 30, 2011

August 5, 2011

“Oddly, many voters prefer the policies of Democrats to the policies of Republicans. They just don’t trust the Democrats to carry out those promises.”

- Pollster Stanley Greenberg, New York Times, Jul. 31, 2011

August 6, 2011

“The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government.”

- President Barack Obama, addressing the nation from the White House, Jul. 25, 2011

August 7, 2011

“A lot of people in this town can never say yes.”

- Speaker of the House John Boehner, speaking on the House floor, Jul. 29, 2011

August 8, 2011

“It’s now time for Congress to get back to our regularly scheduled programming, and that means jobs.”

– Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), in a statement to reporters during a press conference following the Senate vote on the debt ceiling, Aug. 2, 2011

August 9, 2011

“If we fail, we deliver a free people into the hands of financial bondage.”

– Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), on the debt ceiling debate, CNN, Aug. 2, 2011

August 10,2011

“I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting. Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming.”

- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), on the debate over raising the debt ceiling, Washington Post, Aug. 7, 2011

August 11, 2011

“Virtually everyone in every sector with every interest is being disappointed by Congress. I cannot remember a Congress that has achieved less or been more crippled by gridlock than the 112th.”

– Joshua Freed, Director of the clean energy program at Third Way, Politico, Aug. 3, 2011

August 12, 2011

“The pose of choice in Washington is the pointed finger.”

- David Axelrod, senior strategist for the Obama re-election campaign, Bloomberg Businessweek, Aug. 4, 2011

August 13, 2011

“The ability to pivot and adjust is not only essential to the fast pace and daily rhythm of the White House, it is expected.”

- Jamie Smith, Obama spokeswoman, Politico, Aug. 3, 2011

August 14, 2011

“We have to go back to being a country that builds things, rather than one that just consumes goods that are produced overseas…This is a nation that’s been built on bricks and mortar and fiber-optics, and we’ve got to get back to doing that again.”

– Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), in a Capitol news conference on jobs, Aug. 2, 2011

August 15, 2011

“He doesn’t like the bully pulpit, just the professor’s lectern.”

- Columnist Maureen Dowd, New York Times, Aug. 10, 2011

August 16, 2011

“Congress will never be popular. But it will be less unpopular.”

– James A. Stimson, professor of political science at the University of North Carolina, on the correlation between Congressional approval ratings with the state of the economy, Express, Aug. 11, 2011

August 17, 2011

“The Internet is the great equalizer.The technology which emanated from the Silicon Valley of California has more potential to ameliorate social inequality than any development in the history of the world, including the industrial revolution.”

- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, speaking at the International Women’s Leadership Forum in San Francisco, Sept. 25, 1997

August 18, 2011

“We’ve got an electorate that is motivated…by anger on the right and apathy on the left and amnesia all around.”

– Former President Bill Clinton, Politico, Oct. 16, 2010

August 19, 2011

“If you’re in the White House looking out, there just seem to be a lot of dark storms on the horizon.”

- James Lindsay of the Council on Foreign Relations, Politico, Aug. 10, 2011

August 20, 2011

“You want to know what’s wrong with the press? The press is what’s wrong with the press.”

- NBC and ABC reporter Sander Vanocur, Washington Whispers, U.S. News and World Report, May 17, 2011

August 21, 2011

“Essentially they are all so similar that they might as well be Legos, they are that interchangeable.”

–DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, on the field of GOP candidates trying to ‘out-right wing each other,’ Face the Nation, Aug. 14, 2011

August 22, 2011

“[Lawmakers] have stirred up fears about our economic prospects without doing anything to truly address those fears.”

— Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, in a letter to members of the NYSE and Nasdaq, on foregoing political contributions to Congress, Aug. 16, 2011

August 23, 2011

“The rules of an election are similar to those of the sporting contests Obama so enjoys. Candidates are expected to be tough, to go after their opponents, to push and shove and throw them off balance. If you doubt Obama can do this, ask Hillary Clinton or John McCain.”

– EJ Dionne, columnist, on Obama’s negotiating temperament giving way to competitiveness, Washington Post, Aug. 14, 2011

August 24, 2011

“[B]lessings are showered upon us by legislators in Washington who feel compelled to protect us, much as if we were spotted owls or some other endangered species.”

– Warren Buffet, on tax breaks to the rich, op-ed in the New York Times, Aug. 14, 2011

August 25, 2011

“[S]top sending out press releases [and] start passing some bills…”

– President Obama, on Congress needing to focus on governing instead of partisan politics, speaking at a factory in Holland, Michigan, as reported by the Associated Press, Aug. 11, 2011

August 26, 2011

“For all the powers of the incumbency, for all the advantages he had as he was rolling through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois, one thing that hung over him is reality. That’s one thing that he didn’t have to deal with in 2007 or 2008.”

- Journalist Jeff Zeleny, on Obama’s presidency, on ABC’s This Week, Aug. 21, 2011

August 27, 2011

“So much of the problem with our politics today is that politicians tend to interact with homogenous groups, and they therefore misinterpret a mandate.”

– Former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN), USA Today, Aug. 17, 2011

August 28, 2011

“Now there’s another cheeseburger on the menu with some Texas hot sauce.”

– Mike Murphy, Republican strategist, on Gov. Rick Perry joining the GOP field upon his announcement to run for President, Meet the Press, Aug. 14, 2011

August 29, 2011

“Politics, differences of religion or race, all that fades away when we are confronted with the awesome power of nature, and we’re reminded that all we have is each other.”

- President Barack Obama, at a press conference in Alabama, Apr. 29, 2011

August 30, 2011

“Al-Qaeda’s obituary has been written countless times over the decade. Each iteration has proved to be ephemeral, as the moment has continually shown itself to have a deeper bench than we imagine.”

– Bruce Hoffman, terrorism expert and Georgetown University professor, Washington Post, Jul. 10, 2011

August 31, 2011

“There’s a tendency to overpromise and overestimate the power of the presidency. He made all those mistakes as a candidate. It helped him get elected. But it all but guaranteed he would fail to meet the expectations in his governance.”

– Kathleen Hall Jamieson, University of Pennsylvania communications professor, on Obama, Washington Post, Aug. 26, 2011