Pundit Wire

March 2012

March 1

“It’s a political process; and if you don’t play politics in one way or the other, you’re going to end up a lobbyist.”

– Larry Ceisler, Philadelphia Democratic consultant, on Congressmen fighting to keep their seats in the face of redistricting, Politico, Feb. 18, 2011

March 2

“Excluding women from postconflict recovery would be like trying to tie your shoes with one hand.”

– Anne-Marie Goetz, peace and security adviser for U.N. women, on progress for women in emerging democracies, Newsweek, Sep. 26, 2011

March 3

“The culture war is a battle between traditionalists and secularists of all faiths. It’s not a battle between different religious groups but within them.”

– Journalist Peter Beinart, Newsweek, Jan. 30, 2012

March 4

“Leaders who wage wars are disconnected from their people.”

- Kati Marton, author and wife of the late Richard Holbrooke, The New York Times, Apr. 19, 2011

March 5

“Intelligent legislators know that human beings sometimes cut corners.”

- Columnist E.J. Dionne, Jr., The Washington Post, Jan. 6, 2011

March 6

“America has polarized. The word ‘class’ doesn’t even capture the divide Murray describes. You might say the country has bifurcated into different social tribes, with a tenuous common culture linking them.”

- Columnist David Brooks, New York Times, Jan. 30, 2012

March 7

“Ask yourself: what is Mitt Romney’s biggest weakness as a candidate…? The answer is that he has all the rhetorical flair of a PowerPoint presentation.”

– Columnist Niall Ferguson, Newsweek, Jan. 30, 2012

March 8

“For now, American policy lives between these poles of attack and acquiescence, in the realm of uncertain calculation and imperfect options. If you want to measure your next president against a hellish dilemma, here’s your chance.”

- Columnist Bill Keller, op-ed in New York Times, Jan. 22, 2012

March 9

“Pretending yet again that young women are nonsexual creatures in need of protection from foul sexual influences is an effective strategy for appeasing one segment of the American public. But denying what appears to be the strongest kind of scientific consensus may do more reputational harm than political good.”

– J. Bryan Lowder, Slate, Dec. 9, 2011

March 10

“We have enormous power. Eighty-six percent of the purchasing power in this country is in the pockets of women. Well, let’s use it.”

– Pat Mitchell, CEO Paley Center for Media, on being smart about choosing media that empower women, Miss Representation documentary, 2011

March 11

“I got tested for AIDS. I know Barack got tested for AIDS. There is no shame in being tested for AIDS. It’s an important thing.”

– Sen. Joe Biden, Democratic primary debate at Howard University, Jun. 29, 2007

March 12

“Are we to be one people bound together by common spirit, sharing in a common endeavor; or will we become a divided nation? For all of its uncertainty, we cannot flee the future. We must not become the “New Puritans” and reject our society. We must address and master the future together.”

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

March 13

“The riveting moral power of the Arab Spring comes from its homegrown quality. This is about Arabs overcoming fear to become agents of their own transformation and liberation.”

- Columnist Roger Cohen, The New York Times, Mar. 18, 2011

March 14

“For all of us, it is a hard road, because our battle is against ourselves. We have to listen to our values, our aspirations, our present, against all the past that we have lived. It is a hard test, and success is not assured.”

- Ahmed Ounaies, a former Tunisian ambassador who served briefly as minister of foreign affairs after the ouster of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali on a post Muammar el-Qaddafi Libya, New York Times, Oct. 20, 2011

March 15

“Political parties, meanwhile, have distilled themselves so completely to their essences that they have caricatured themselves into cartoonish self-parody.”

- Columnist Kathleen Parker, Washington Post, Oct. 17, 2010

March 16

“Politically speaking, America may be the most confused country in the world. Millions of people in this country are conservatives and even reactionaries who think they are liberals; we have millions more liberals and radicals who call themselves conservative.”

- Walter Russell Mead, Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College, The American Interest, Dec. 15, 2010

March 17

“Compromise today is too often applauded simply for itself. The cost of compromise to principles and real lives doesn’t seem to matter.”

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

March 18

“I got the feeling that you can’t just read a book about Congress if you want to know how it actually works. You’ve got to be there.”

– James Sullivan, staffer for Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), The Hill, Aug. 3, 2011

March 19

“Imagine a boy who dreams of being a KGB officer when everyone else wants to be a cosmonaut.”

- Journalist Natalia Gevorkyan, on Vladimir Putin’s childhood, Newsweek, Feb. 27 & Mar. 5, 2012

March 20

“Gay people have a different role than other minority groups…Very few black kids have ever had to worry about telling their parents that they were black.”

- Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), Mother Jones Magazine, 1995

March 21

“While we’ve made enormous progress in encouraging women to assume traditional men’s roles, we haven’t made comparable progress in encouraging men to take on traditional women’s roles.”

– Deborah Rhode, director of the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession, Newsweek, Mar. 12, 2012

March 22

“Iraq and Afghanistan have exacted a toll on America — in lives, treasure and standing — that it will take a generation to work through.”

- Columnist Roger Cohen, New York Times, Nov. 1, 2011

March 23

“Until more politicians understand — or remember — what it means to be poor in this country, we are destined to fail the least among us, and all of us will pay a heavy price for that failure.”

- Columnist Charles M. Blow, New York Times, Jun. 25, 2011

March 24

“America’s founders were modern men who wanted a modern country that broke with its past to create a more perfect union.”

– Fareed Zakaria, on America being too dogmatic in regards to its political traditions past, Time, Mar. 14, 2011

March 25

“Nothing reveals your personality more succinctly than your characteristic emotional reaction to novelty and change.”

- Journalist Winifred Gallagher, The New York Times, Feb. 13, 2012

March 26

“Politics, in a sense, has always been a con game.”

- Joe McGinnis, The Selling of the President, p. 26, 1968

March 27

“I think the fact that people are associating being girlie with weakness, that needs to be examined. I don’t think that it undermines my power at all.”

- Zooey Deschane, Slate, Feb. 1, 2012

March 28

“You can be a cable television darling by saying provocative things, but you can’t be president of the United States.”

- Jim Dyke, former communications director for the Republican National Committee, on Michele Bachmann, New York Times, Sep. 16, 2011

March 29

“We don’t accept tyranny in the name of religion any more than we accept tyranny in the name of the military.”

- Mohamed Beltagy, member of the Muslim Brotherhood, New York Times, Dec. 4, 2011

March 30

“We are a people in search of our future. We are a people in search of a national community. We are a people trying not only to solve the problems of the present, unemployment, inflation, but we are attempting on a larger scale to fulfill the promise of America. We are attempting to fulfill our national purpose, to create and sustain a society in which all of us are equal.”

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

March 31

“Now is one of the times when it is ultimately better for our government leaders to come together on common ground where it can be found, instead of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good enough.”

- Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), Politico, Dec. 17, 2010