Pundit Wire

January 2011

January 1, 2011

All politics is moral.”

- Democratic strategist George Lakoff, The Huffington Post, Dec. 10, 2010.

January 2, 2011

“Whatever their defects, America’s political parties are marvelously sensitive market mechanisms, measuring every tremor of the electorate’s moods.”

- George F. Will, columnist, op-ed in The Washington Post, Dec. 19, 2010

January 3, 2011

“If the question is, in order to keep the patient alive, we have to use medicine we don’t like, we may have to do it.”

- Vice President Joe Biden, on passing necessary legislation with included earmarks, Meet the Press, Dec. 19, 2010

January 4, 2011

“Lincoln had time to think. That kind of downtime just doesn’t exist anymore.”

- Allan Lichtman, professor of history at American University, Newsweek, Nov. 13, 2010

January 5, 2011

“I’m not going to chirp at the people inside. I know that it’s a lot easier out here than it is in there, and these are patriotic people who are trying to do their best every day. They don’t need me chirping at them. I think that things are not easy. This is a really tough time for the United States, a tough time for our world, but people are doing their best.”

– Condoleeza Rice, former Secretary of State, when asked what she would do differently is she were still in the White House, The Daily Show, Oct. 13, 2010.

January 6, 2011

“My hope is that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell will realize that there will be plenty of time to campaign for 2012 in 2012.”

- President Barack Obama, MSNBC, Jan. 5, 2011

January 7, 2011

“In some quarters, ‘compromising’ has become a dirty word. Some senators insist on ideological purity as a precondition.”

- Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), Senate floor goodbye speech, Dec. 21, 2010

January 8, 2011

“I’m thoroughly agnostic. If Republicans have a good idea, let’s go with it.”

- Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Politico, Dec. 21, 2010

January 9, 2011

“We basically have two bankrupt parties bankrupting the country.”

- Stanford political scientist Larry Diamond, The New York Times, Oct.3, 2010

January 10, 2011

“The rhetoric is incredibly heated — not just the calls, but the e-mails, the slurs. Things have really got spun up.”

- Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, before the recent midterm election, The Daily Rundown, MSNBC, Mar. 25, 2010

January 11, 2011

“If you have to do an amputation, get it over with. We need to get this showdown over so we can go on to other issues.”

- Rep. Pete King (R-Iowa), on the upcoming House vote to repeal the health care bill, The Washington Post, Jan. 8, 2011

January 12, 2011

“A great deal of scar tissue has built up on both sides of the aisle: We cannot ignore that, nor should we. My belief has always been, we can disagree without being disagreeable.”

- Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), in his first speech as Speaker of the House, Jan. 5, 2011

January 13, 2011

“Those with a megaphone, whether provided by public office or a media outlet, have responsibilities. They cannot avoid the consequences of their blatant efforts to inflame, anger, and outrage.”

- Former Sen. Gary Hart, The Huffington Post, Jan. 8, 2011

January 14, 2011

“McConnell is like a conservative in a Victorian novel, who believes that change is necessarily for the worse, and therefore must be blocked. But change comes anyway. So you have to plan for it and make sure it happens on terms that you regard as acceptable.”

- David Frum, former Bush speechwriter, The Atlantic, Jan/Feb. 2011 issue

January 15, 2011

“We must come to realize that not every defense program is necessary, not every defense dollar is sacred or well-spent, and more of everything is simply not sustainable.”

- Sec. of Defense Robert Gates, on a press conference about cuts in defense spending, Jan. 6, 2011

January 16, 2010

“Governing is a hazardous business for presidential parties.”

- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), quoted in The Atlantic, Jan/Feb. 2011 issue

January 17, 2011

“When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.”

- Martin Luther King, Jr., in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington, Aug. 28, 1963

January 18, 2011

“There is very little shared experience in the nation now; there are only competing versions of the experience.”

- Journalist Matt Bai, on political polarization, The New York Times, Jan. 15, 2011

January 19, 2011

“It is based on the most enduring of all American values– the belief in the limitless creative power of the free individual. It is proof, if proof were needed, that deeply committed individuals, prepared to work and sacrifice, can have a profound impact on the most difficult and intransigent of problems. And through people like this, through our Volunteers, we are discovering that we do not have to be defensive or apologetic about the American way of life.”

- Sargent Shriver, first director of the Peace Corps, on the Peace Corps, in a speech before the Commonwealth Club of California, Oct. 11, 1963

January 20, 2011

“We see it as an entrepreneurial bill, a bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care.”

- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, on the Affordable Care Act, The New York Times, Jan. 15, 2011

January 21, 2011

“Everything that anyone says is immediately spun. And I mean spun in a political sense, but also in the sense of a washing machine, so that the meaning really gets bled out.”

- Yale Prof. John Lewis Gaddis, on the lack of time to process political events in modern life, The New York Times, Jan. 15, 2011

January 22, 2011

“Political leaders are not and cannot reasonably be expected to be indifferent to the cruelest calumnies aimed at their character.” – Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), on not taking the call for civility too far, The Washington Post, Jan. 16, 2011

January 23, 2011

“The choreographed standing and clapping of one side of the room — while the other side sits — is unbecoming of a serious institution and the message that it sends is that even on a night when the president is addressing the entire nation, we in Congress cannot sit as one, but must be divided as two.”

- Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), in a letter on the party-line seating during the State of the Union address, Jan. 13, 2011

January 24, 2011

“People will be judging the speech on the basis of his final call for civility.”

- John Podesta, former Clinton Chief of Staff, on Obama’s SOTU address, The Washington Post, Jan. 23, 2011

January 25, 2011

“It’s not ‘Kumbaya’ – we may end up doing dueling press conferences afterward.”

- Rep. Peter King (R-NY), on sitting with Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner during the SOTU address, Politico, Jan. 23, 2011

January 26, 2011

“It was a prayer to the free market, for the nation building in our own nation that comes from invention, from entrepreneurship.”

- Rachel Maddow, on President Obama’s State of the Union, MSNBC, Jan. 25, 2011

January 27, 2011

“There is this sense that the pyramid is flattening, whether it’s in the world of business or in the world of politics. And that the, the top has less say, less influence over what the bottom wants.”

- Katty Kay, Washington Correspondent, BBC World News, Meet the Press, Jan. 2, 2011

January 28, 2011

“Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law. That’s what democracy is all about. It’s not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.”

- Justice Antonin Scalia, California Lawyer, Jan. 2011 issue

January 29, 2011

“It wasn’t that long ago that opinions were something carefully considered and weighed, so that they’d stand the test of time and reflect well on the author. Thinkers were like gourmet chefs laboring over an elaborate meal they wanted to be perfect. But today, opinions are Big Macs — thrown together hastily, served by the billions and not very good for you.”

– Stephen Randall, Op-Ed contributor, Los Angeles Times, Jan. 16, 2011

January 30, 2011

“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

January 31, 2011

“The genie is out of the bottle in Egypt. It cannot be put back in.”

- John King, on the protests in Egypt, Piers Morgan Tonight, CNN, Jan. 28, 2011