Notable Quotables - 01/06/2003
Sliming Frist's Conservative Votes
"He's [Senator Bill Frist] worked the same charm in Washington, where he's known as a conservative without sharp edges. But if his style is moderate, his politics are not always. In fact, civil rights groups complain his voting record is not much different than Trent Lott's."
-ABC's Claire Shipman on Good Morning America, December 23.
"Where does Bill Frist stand on civil rights, the issue that brought down Trent Lott? Well, the record shows that several of his key votes mirrored those of Lott. Both the Senator from Mississippi and the Senator from Tennessee voted 'yes' on banning affirmative action. That vote was in 1995. And both voted 'no' two years ago on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation."
"If you look at the civil rights voting records of both Trent Lott and Bill Frist, they're really not that different. So how is Bill Frist going to be any better for the Republican Party in terms of its image when it comes to civil rights issues?"
-Judy Woodruff's introduction and question to South Carolina's incoming Republican Governor Mark Sanford on CNN's Inside Politics, December 20.
...And Impugning All Republicans
"Republican elders and activists were eager to put distance between the party and Lott's apparent nostalgia for the days of Jim Crow. Former President Bill Clinton acidly, but not inaccurately, observed that Lott had just made the mistake of saying what too many Republicans still feel. Like his father before him, George W. Bush stooped to win the GOP nomination by appealing to the Southern redneck vote in 2000 (by, for instance, declining to stand against state capitols' flying the Confederate flag)."
-From an article by Evan Thomas and Eleanor Clift in the December 30/January 6 issue of Newsweek.
"The sad truth is that many Republican leaders remain in a massive state of denial about the party's four-decade-long addiction to race-baiting. They won't make any headway with blacks by bashing Lott if they persist in giving Ronald Reagan a pass for his racial policies....It's with Reagan, who set a standard for exploiting white anger and resentment rarely seen since George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door, that the Republican [Party]'s selective memory about its race-baiting habit really stands out."
-Time's Jack E. White in a column posted on Time.com on December 14.
Equating Conservative Stances With Segregationist Sentiments
John Roberts: "Lott had declared it was simply a poor choice of words to say the country would be better off had segregationist Strom Thurmond been elected President in 1948. But he'd said almost exactly the same thing 22 years ago, and his voting record against an extension of the Voting Rights Act, the Martin Luther King Holiday, and an African-American judges confirmation suggested to some in his hometown a disturbing pattern."
Unidentified Man: "To put it bluntly, I just think he took his hood off."
-CBS Evening News, December 13.
So Kerry Is No Longer a Liberal...
"They [White House officials] thought they might be able to write him [Senator John Kerry] off as a liberal, Massachusetts Democrat. But that, that title doesn't really apply anymore. And the fact of the matter is, as someone in the White House said to me the other day, this is a guy who is smart, he looks presidential and he has a ton of money."
-NBC White House reporter Campbell Brown on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show, December 8.
And Daschle Is Really a Centrist?
"Massachusetts Senator John Kerry now seems to be the leading voice for a more classically liberal approach. Senator's Joe Lieberman, John Edwards and perhaps even Tom Daschle lean towards the more pragmatic political center."
-MSNBC's David Shuster on Hardball, December 16.
Still Celebrating Gore's Victory
"Tonight former Vice President Al Gore has announced he will not run for President in 2004. The statement puts to rest months of speculation. It is a remarkable decision from the man who won the popular vote in the 2000 election."
-Carole Simpson on ABC's World News Tonight Dec. 15.
Raise In Pay = Pay Cut
"Some federal workers are about to feel the financial crunch. President Bush is freezing part of a scheduled pay raise for most civilian federal workers, citing the national emergency since the September 11th attacks as his reason for taking the action. The President says the cuts will save the country about $13 billion."
-NBC's Don Teague on Today, Nov. 30. Federal workers get a 3.1% pay increase, but not additional locality pay.
Awed by the Greatness of Jimmy
"President Carter's crowning achievement, of course, the Camp David Accords, designed to forge peace in the Middle East. Unfortunately, that seems like a distant memory, but it's so nice to see former President Jimmy Carter honored this way....A ceremony is being held to bestow the Nobel Peace Prize on former President Jimmy Carter, that is in Oslo, Norway. It's a terrific honor for him for all the work he did while he was President and, of course, he is considered by many as one of the finest former Presidents this country has ever seen. Once again, we send our heartfelt congratulations to President Jimmy Carter."
-NBC's Katie Couric on the December 10 Today.
"Evangelist for a better world, mediating to end war, mobilizing to fight disease, traveling the planet to promote democracy. Jimmy Carter, laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize....Remarkable people are honored on this stage every year for achievement that is always historic, sometimes even astonishing. But this year's laureate has several of them to his credit: Two decades of peace between Egypt and Israel, thousands of political prisoners freed because of his personal intervention, millions of people delivered from disease....Think of the leaders who've made history in our time. A few remain influential, but most make their mark and then see their moment pass. Jimmy Carter is a special case. No leader in our era has been so active or so effective since leaving office."
-CNN International anchor Jonathan Mann in a one hour special from the stage where Carter received his Nobel Prize on December 10, according to a transcript posted on the CNN Web site on December 11.
Those Costly, Foolish Tax Cuts
"Should we freeze or postpone prospective tax cuts and avoid any new tax cuts until we are sure we have the money to pay for the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq?"
-NBC Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert to Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), December 15.
"He [Treasury Secretary-designate John Snow] is said to be in favor of further tax cuts but against deficits. Doesn't one lead to the other?"
-ABC's Peter Jennings to George Stephanopoulos on World News Tonight, December 9.
Speaking of Stagnant Thinkers...
"Bush's economic team - the old one and the new one - for thinking tax cuts are the answer to everything."
-Newsweek's Eleanor Clift giving her award for "Most Stagnant Thinker" on the Dec. 28 McLaughlin Group.
Beware of Scary Utility Vehicles
"Is your SUV a weapon of terrorism? Some people think so. They're taking out ads to tell you why.
Coming up in our next half-hour, is your SUV a weapon of mass destruction?"
-Fill-in co-host Lester Holt plugging segment on how buying Middle East oil aids terrorism on Today, Dec. 17.
Mocking Missile Defense
"They used to call it Star Wars, President Reagan's idea for a possible missile defense shield over America. Today President Bush committed the people of the United States to actually building it, an expensive system which, it is hoped, would intercept incoming enemy missiles. So far, tests have produced mixed results at best. But the first actual deployment of a small scale version, a sort of Star Wars Junior, is now slated for 2004. Supporters have high hopes and say they're confident the thing will eventually work. Critics call it pie in the sky and a kind of relief act or corporate welfare for big defense contractors."
-CBS's Dan Rather on the December 17 Evening News.
We've Won the War Against Bias?
"It took conservatives a lot of hard and steady work to push the media rightward. It dishonors that work to continue to presume that - except for a few liberal columnists - there is any such thing as the big liberal media. The media world now includes (1) talk radio, (2) cable television and (3) the traditional news sources (newspapers, newsmagazines and the old broadcast networks). Two of these three major institutions tilt well to the right, and the third is under constant pressure to avoid even the pale hint of liberalism....What it adds up to is a media heavily biased toward conservative politics and conservative politicians."
-Former Washington Post and New York Times reporter E.J. Dionne in a December 6 Washington Post op-ed.
CBS's Ever-Alert Watchdog
"I was asked....'If Trent Lott's remark that the country would have been better off had then-segregationist Strom Thurmond been elected President in 1948, then why did you and the rest of the press wait several days to report it?' Well....I didn't expect much news there, so instead of going to the Capitol, I had a long lunch and decided to watch the party on C-SPAN from the cozy confines of my office. I listened to Bob Dole's tribute, and it was funny. But by the time Lott rose to speak, the effects of lunch had set in, it was snowing outside, warm inside and I fell sound asleep."
-CBS's Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer in his Face the Nation commentary on December 22.