Notable Quotables - 08/02/2004

Partying with Liberal Rock Stars

"I've been coming to conventions now since 1968, and I know they're controlled and they're scripted, but you can tell a lot about how energized a party is. And Monday night, for a convention, was rocking here. People were juiced like I don't think I've seen at a convention ever before. This place really was moving last night."
-ABC's Charles Gibson introducing Good Morning America, July 27.

Hannah Storm:" In this sports-mad town, it was like the Celtics were playing in a championship game here at the Fleet Center last night. It was absolutely electric. Good morning to all of you. It was just rocking here last night...."
Cynthia Bowers: "Even as he urged Democrats last night to send John Kerry to Washington, it was clear Bill Clinton is still the best man to send out to the stump. He not only managed to rock the Fleet, as you mentioned, he also managed to give life to a convention that sorely needed it."
-Story during the 7am news update on CBS's Early Show, July 27.

"It was unbelievable in here after Bill Clinton spoke and it really started when Hillary Clinton took the podium. It was as if she was a rock star coming in here. And speaking of rock star, a guy that they are projecting to be a next big star in the Democratic Party, he's already being called a rock star, little known state senator from Illinois [Barack Obama]. He was hand-picked by John Kerry. He's going to make the keynote address tonight, so can you imagine the nerves that he's feeling?"
-Hannah Storm during the 8am news update on the same show.


Elvis Is Very Clever

Tom Brokaw: "And when he [Bill Clinton] talked about the tax cuts, he really did refer to the number of uniform police who are going to be cut from the program. That was fairly started during the Clinton administration."
Tim Russert: "And he said, I'm the recipient of the tax cut and I also avoided going to Vietnam. And by using those own personal weaknesses, if you will, he only re-enforced the uniqueness of John Kerry. Very clever speech."
Brokaw: "Well, the Democratic Party is off to its start here in Boston by bringing out their biggest rock star. They call him Elvis and not for nothing."
-Exchange on NBC during live coverage following Clinton's speech to the Democratic convention, July 26.


What a "Moderate" Party

"For the second convention in a row, a CBS News/New York Times poll has found that the majority of delegates who will be here on the floor describe themselves as 'moderates.' Only 41 percent lay claim to the mantle of liberal, and while thats more than in the year 2000, by historic standards liberals will again take a backseat here in Boston."
-CBS's John Roberts on the July 25 Evening News. CBS's poll found the delegates hold very liberal positions on abortion, gay marriage, tax cuts and the Iraq war.

"The message is more practical and down the middle. If you read the Democratic platform, which was engineered by the Kerry people, it's very cautious. It doesn't call for pulling the troops out of Iraq, for example. It's moderate, but you know, consistent with pragmatic Democratic policy on health care and so forth."
-Newsweek's Howard Fineman on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, July 19.

Pleading for an Exception

"Governor, you and I have been around for a long time, and you keep talking about putting the accent on the positive here. Will you not talk about Vice President Cheney? I mean, he seems to be, and we've been hearing all these things about the Vice President, how he's now a drag on the Republican ticket. Will we hear anything about him at this convention?"
-Bob Schieffer to Democratic Convention Chairman Bill Richardson on CBS's Face the Nation, July 25.


Not Too Harsh for MSNBC

Andrea Mitchell: "One of the problems here for some of the speakers has been that Kerry and DNC people have been trying to keep all the red meat out of the speeches. They want to be kinder and gentler, and that has affected some of the potential speakers. I'm standing here now with former head of the Democratic National Committee, current Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell. Governor, I gather that they've taken some of the best lines out of your speech, the speech you're gonna give Wednesday night....Well, were gonna give you a chance right now on MSNBC to give us, tell me a line that they cut out...."
Governor Ed Rendell: "My line was the Bush energy policy was written by Big Oil, of Big Oil and for Big Oil. Good line, but you know...."
Mitchell: "That line was too tough?!"
-Exchange during MSNBC's live coverage, July 26.


Does GOP Meanness Bother You?

"Speaking of angry, have you ever had any anger about President Bush - who spent his time during the Vietnam War in the National Guard - running, in effect, a campaign that does its best to diminish your service in Vietnam? You have to be at least irritated by that, or have you been?"
-Dan Rather to Senator John Kerry, on the July 22 CBS Evening News.


Lauding Jimmy The Great

"Nearly 80 years old now, Jimmy Carter was given a spotlight. And in many ways, to many people, he has improved with age....It's hard to imagine shrill and Jimmy Carter in the same sentence."
-CNN's Aaron Brown on NewsNight, July 26, following President Carter's convention speech in which he blasted U.S. foreign policy as extremist and isolating.

Empathizing with Teresa's Plight

"Teresa Heinz today told, or reportedly told, a reporter, editorial editor, to stick it. 'Shove it,' I think, was the exact phrase. You had your baking cookies moment. How much pressure is there on a spouse?"
-ABC's Peter Jennings during an interview with Senator Hillary Clinton shown on World News Tonight, July 26.


Neither Liberal Enough for CBS

Dan Rather: "Minimum wage is now just over $5 an hour, and many say no one can live on that. It hasn't been raised in a long while. What, if anything, would the presidential candidates do about this?"
Richard Schlesinger: "...The federal minimum wage has been stuck at $5.15 for seven years. According to one report, had the minimum wage kept up with inflation every worker in the U.S. would now be guaranteed $8.49 an hour....Kerry would raise the minimum wage, but to only $7 by 2007.... Kerry and Bush both worry that raising the minimum wage by too much could actually cost jobs. The President has opposed a federally mandated minimum wage hike."
-CBS Evening News, July 20.


Rallying 'Round Sandy Berger

"The notion that he would do something mortally sinful is about as likely as Brent Scowcroft or George Shultz or name your foreign policy priesthood member. This is a very solid, decent guy. I'd be shocked if there was something really terrible that he did here."
-Time magazine writer Joe Klein on CNN's Paula Zahn Now, July 20, discussing charges that Berger took top secret documents from the National Archives last year.


One Frosty, Two Straws?

Katie Couric: "I know you'll be celebrating your 27th wedding anniversary, and I understand you go through a romantic ritual every year to commemorate that date. Share it with us will you?"
Senator John Edwards: "Wendy's. We go to Wendy's for our anniversary."
Couric: "That is so weird, I'm sorry....What do you say, 'One Frosty, two straws?'"
-From an interview shown on the July 15 Today.

"Let me ask you, when your husband was voted Sexiest Politician by People magazine, were you like blech? Or were you like, 'Hey! That's my man!?'"
-Couric to Elizabeth Edwards in the same interview.


Everybody Loves John Edwards

"Somewhere along the way, the redneck son of a mill worker from rural North Carolina morphed into an almost-perfect candidate....The America that Edwards dreams of is a place where there's no crime, no poverty and no pushing. That place, of course, just happens to be John Kerry's America....It's as if Edwardss main message is his positivity. He loves the crowd, and the crowd loves him. He smiles at the crowd, and they smile at him. He speaks to the crowd, and they speak to him."
-Newsweek reporter Richard Wolffe in a Web-exclusive commentary posted on his magazines Web site July 14.


"Of Course" We're Liberal

"Of course it is....These are the social issues: gay rights, gun control, abortion and environmental regulation, among others. And if you think The Times plays it down the middle on any of them, you've been reading the paper with your eyes closed."
-New York Times Public Editor Daniel Okrent in a July 25 column which appeared under a headline asking, "Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper?"


Turner's Dream World

"Men have been running the world from a governmental basis since the beginning of time, and we still are living with war and weapons of mass destruction and high military budgets all over the world. And I think if women ran the world for one hundred years, we'd see more money going into education and health care and homes for the homeless, and so forth, and less into the military, and I think we'd be a safer and better world with women in charge for a while."
-CNN founder Ted Turner, Wolf Blitzer Reports, July 15.