Notable Quotables - 04/19/1999
Mean Judge Ruins Clinton's Day
Clinton had hoped to use this day to demonstrate his role as
commander-in-chief, making a quick visit to Barksdale Air Force Base in
Louisiana to thank the crews of B-52's who have been flying missions against
Serbia. But, the President returned to the White House and some unwelcome
news. A federal judge in Arkansas found him in contempt of court for his
behavior in the Paula Jones case. NBC's Claire Shipman at the White House
now and Claire, this is a legal tangle that simply will not die."
- Tom Brokaw on the April 12 NBC Nightly News.
Clinton Needs a Break, Like FDR
it was bad PR [for Clinton to play golf] and apparently a lot of people on his
staff advised him not to do it. But you know, there's a great passage in
Doris Kearns Goodwin's book about the Roosevelts in World War II in which
she describes how President Roosevelt, when he would get in a real bind, would
go out on his boat for a week or two to try to figure out how to get out of it
and to clear his mind, to think clearly about it. Clinton was feeling
exhausted, he wanted to get out, he wanted to, let some air in and I don't
- ABC News and National Public Radio reporter Nina Totenberg on the April 3 Inside Washington. Charles Krauthammer responded: "The comparison to FDR is simply absurd. That was a war that lasted half a decade. This was Day Six of the bloody campaign..."
If Only You'd Stuck with the Pack
end with this. How many times, sitting in front of your computer typing away
stories about cigars and cocktail dresses, did you look up and think to
yourself why did I ever pursue the Paula Jones story?"
- Last question from Today co-host Matt Lauer to Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff on his Lewinsky scandal book Uncovering Clinton, April 8.
Lucianne's Got a Gun!
relations person [Lucianne Goldberg] who started Linda Tripp, is now packing
heat. Do not mess with Lucianne. People who have complained to her personally
on the street have gotten her upset. She has renewed her pistol permit and
apparently she has a designer, snub-nosed .22."
Diane Sawyer: "There are people who think her tongue should have been licensed, but to have a gun as well..."
- Exchange on Good Morning America, March 26.
Send the Ad Bill to Sarah Brady
News reporter Bob Woodruff:
"The law would forbid felons from getting permits, but those convicted of
most misdemeanors could get them, and under Missouri law, that would even
include certain types of assault, stalking, harassment, and child molestation.
Even supporters have a hard time defending this."
Woodruff to concealed-weapons law supporter Michael Gordinier: "Explain to me why people who have committed misdemeanors are allowed to get concealed weapons permits?"
Gordinier: "I don't know."
Woodruff: "So allowing people to carry concealed guns will mean allowing some criminals to carry them, too. The voters decide today if that is worth the risk."
- End of an April 6 World News Tonight story on Missouri's concealed-weapons ballot initiative.
Zhu Rongji, Witty Oppressor
Rongji is the kind of foreign leader the American public finds delightfully
appealing: straight-talking, savvy, witty. Clinton officials want to like the
Chinese premier, too. They call him the architect of China's economic
reforms. President Clinton observed Zhu's success last summer when the
President visited modern Shanghai, where Zhu was once the reform-minded
- ABC's Ann Compton, April 8 Good Morning America.
"The other purpose of Premier Zhu's U.S. visit: To dispel the notion
held by most Americans that Chinese leaders are stiff, humorless communist
ideologues. Repeatedly Premier Zhu took aim at Chinas critics, showing
flexibility on issues like human rights and toughness on other core issues
like the future of Taiwan. He also ad-libbed throughout the day and even joked
about sensitive subjects like allegations of Chinese spying."
- CNN's Andrea Koppel on The World Today, April 8.
"Black hairs have already turned to gray, he [Zhu] said last month,
expressing his frustration at the slow pace of negotiations with the U.S. for
China's entry into the World Trade Organization. He could have been
referring to his own life story, an ever more difficult struggle against the
forces of disintegration, anarchy, and corruption that could yet rip China
apart. Tall and sharp, with the features of a falcon, Zhu dominates meetings
with his quick mind. His IQ must be 200, Deputy U.S. Treasury
Secretary Lawrence Summers once said."
- Time East Asia correspondent Terry McCarthy, April 12.
Rivera to Susan McDougal's attorney Mark Geragos:
"If I was there, buddy, I'd give you a slap on the back. I'd give you
a high-five and a hug."
Geragos: "Geraldo, I wish you were here. I'll tell you. I want to thank you. You were kind of, as they say, early money in this case and we appreciate it more than I can tell you."
Rivera: "Well, it was really my pleasure. I really thought all along that to bring the criminal contempt after she did 18 months on the civil contempt showed a kind of viciousness that made Ken Starr a legal terrorist in my book."
- CNBC's Upfront Tonight, April 12.
"Dear Larry: You were absolutely terrific in your appearance on my show!
The ratings went through the roof. Now get better fast and come back on. The
hypocrites are waiting, shaking in their self-righteous boots! Best wishes.
- January 15 letter from Geraldo Rivera to Larry Flynt, published in the Flynt Report released in March.
Moderates are Fixing the GOP...
it's been reported increasingly lately that the Republican Party realizes,
especially moderate members of the party, that they have a real identity
crisis and a real split within the party, people like Christine Todd Whitman,
et cetera. And they had a meeting down in Florida, I believe, where they
talked about the only people that still liked them are what businesspeople and
who else did they say, one other subset of the population, it was pretty
small. So do you think that they are going to fix the party? Don't you think
they might somehow bring it more to the center? They realize they are
alienating so many moderate Republicans in this country..."
- NBC's Katie Couric to former Texas Governor Ann Richards as she hosted a 92nd Street Y appearance in New York City on March 3 shown by C-SPAN on April 3.
...While Zealots Inspire Murders
talk a little bit more about the right wing because I know that's something
you feel very strongly about. But this is actually not necessarily about the
right wing, but perhaps a climate that some say has been established by
religious zealots or Christian conservatives. There have been two recent
incidents in the news I think that upset most people in this country, that is
the dragging death of James Byrd Junior and the beating death of Matthew
Shepard. I just would like you to reflect on whether you feel people in this
country are increasingly intolerant, mean- spirited, etcetera, and what, if
anything, can be done about that because a lot of people get very discouraged
when they hear and see this kind of brutality taking place."
- Couric to Richards, same event, minutes later.
would you say to Reverend Robertson? A lot of people look to him to figure out
where they should vote, what they should think to be guided by him. What
would you say?"
- Today co-host Maria Shriver to conservative columnist Cal Thomas, whose new book Blinded by Might argues religious conservatives have become too entangled in politics, April 2.
Post to Hillary: Forget the Senate, You're "Queen of the World"!
"Forget the Senate. Over the last 12 days, Hillary Rodham Clinton has looked and sounded more like a candidate for Secretary of State. There she was in Egypt, gently urging tolerance for the minority Coptic Christians. There she was in Tunisia, lashing out at Islamic radicals in other countries who oppress women. And here she was in Morocco, speaking out on everything from the Middle East peace process to the NATO airstrikes in Yugoslavia....
sight of the First Lady back on the world stage where she feels so sure-footed
brought into sharp focus the peculiar trade-offs facing her as she decides
whether to run next year for the seat of retiring Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan
(D-N.Y.): How does a woman who eagerly told an audience this morning about
education and economics in Guatemala and Uganda turn her attention to the
pork-and-potholes issues that arise in places like Utica and Ithaca? How does
a woman whose international profile is so high that bystanders in Africa two
years ago referred to her as the queen of the world adjust to becoming a
low-ranking member of the seniority-conscious Senate?"
- Washington Post reporter Peter Baker in an April 1 news story about Hillary Clintons trip to Africa.
Brokaws Greatest Liberals
on the Republican newcomers, [retired Senator Mark] Hatfield told a reporter,
There are those who think we should be of one mind. They feel, perhaps,
that diversity in the party is a weakness, not a strength. Im an Old Guard
Republican. The founders of our party were for small business, education,
cutting the military budget. That was our platform in 1856 and I think its
still a darned good one. Some of the newer Republican Senators, with their
strict conservative dogmas, may never understand a man like Mark Hatfield, but
then theyve never shuttled Marines ashore under heavy fire at Iwo Jima or
Okinawa. Theyve never looked out on the otherworldly landscape of nuclear
devastation and shared their lunch with a starving Japanese child."
- Tom Brokaw on page 339 of his book on World War II veterans, The Greatest Generation.
Publisher L. Brent
Editors Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham
Media Analysts Jessica Anderson, Brian Boyd,
Geoffrey Dickens, Mark Drake, Paul Smith , Brad Wilmouth
Research Associate Kristina Sewell
Circulation Manager Michelle Baetz
Intern Ken Shepherd