(CNN) – With less than three weeks left in the year, the Yale Book of Quotations is out with its list of the 10 quotes for 2008, and statements some politicians probably wish they could take back dominate this year’s list.
This year had “a particularly important and dramatic election,” said Fred Shapiro, editor of the Yale Book of Quotations, about the fact that so many political quotations appeared on the 2008 list. “An election that had a cast of characters among the candidates,” Shapiro added
Indeed, Tina Fey’s “I can see Russia from my house” impersonation of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin took the No. 1 spot on the list.
Palin herself was not far behind at No. 2 with an answer during one of her interviews with Katie Couric. "All of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years,” Palin told Couric when the CBS anchor asked the then-Republican vice presidential candidate what newspapers she read.
McCain economic adviser and former Republican Sen. Phil Gramm took third place for saying “we have sort of become a nation of whiners,” about the struggling economy in a July interview with the Washington Times.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Attorney general nominee Eric Holder is leaving a lucrative job as a high-powered Washington lawyer to take a modest government salary as the nation's top law enforcement official - but he won't have to pinch pennies.
According to documents released Monday by a Senate panel, Holder has accumulated assets worth more than $5.7 million dollars. The documents made public by the Senate Judiciary Committee show that if Holder is confirmed, he will give up an annual salary of more than $2 million dollars to accept the government post which pays a comparatively paltry $186,600.
The information Holder provided for his confirmation hearings shows he received $2,154,364 as a partner in the prestigious Washington firm Covington and Burling this year. Next year he will receive even more, even though he will no longer be working there.
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama is set to tap Sen. Ken Salazar of Colorado as his nominee for secretary of the interior, two transition officials told CNN Monday.
(CNN) - A Democratic source confirms to CNN that President-elect Barack Obama's choice for secretary of education is Arne Duncan, the head of Chicago public schools.
Duncan, who like Obama is a graduate of Harvard University, has served as chief executive of Chicago's public schools since 2001. Chicago is the third largest school district in the country.
Obama and Duncan often play basketball together, and Duncan was one of those who played with the president-elect in a game on Election Day.
(CNN) - Time Magazine's Jay Carney is set to become Vice President-elect Joe Biden's communications director, two sources tell CNN's John King.
Carney, currently Time's Washington Bureau chief, has been with the magazine for two decades.
Time Magazine is owned by Time Warner, CNN's parent company.
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama on Monday named Carol Browner as the newly created "climate czar" inside the White House.
Obama made the announcement at a news conference in Chicago, picking Browner for a position that will oversee policies on energy, the environment and climate.
Browner was administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in the Clinton administration.
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama has tapped Lisa Jackson, former head of New Jersey's environmental agency, to serve as his Environmental Protection Agency administrator.
He also picked Nancy Sutley, the Los Angeles deputy mayor for energy and environment, to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Sutley, a prominent supporter of Sen. Hillary Clinton's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, is the first high-ranking gay appointee to the Obama administration.
CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama has selected physicist Steven Chu for the position of energy secretary.
Obama made the announcement at a news conference in Chicago Monday, calling Chu "uniquely suited to be our next secretary of energy" for his work on new and cleaner forms of energy.
Chu, who runs the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory in California, won the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics and is highly respected in energy circles.
(CNN) - Caroline Kennedy, the 51-year-old daughter of President John F. Kennedy, has made it clear to high-level Democrats, including New York Gov. David Paterson, that she wants to be the next senator from New York, a source close to Kennedy has told CNN's John King.
Two other sources confirm her interest in filling the seat now held by Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton. One source is a senior Democratic operative.
Kennedy's interest in the seat could mean the continuation of a family legacy in the Senate that began 56 years ago with the election of her father as the then-junior senator from Massachusetts.
Her uncle Ted has represented Massachusetts in the Senate since 1963. Her uncle Robert served as New York's junior senator from 1965 until he was assassinated in 1968.
"Remember, this (Clinton's) seat in the Senate was once held by Robert Kennedy," CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider said. "Her other uncle, Ted Kennedy, is ill right now. If Paterson appoints Caroline Kennedy to the Senate, it means there could be a Kennedy staying in the Senate for quite a long time."
Before this year, Kennedy generally limited her forays into the public sphere to non-partisan activity, penning books on civil liberties and serving as the de facto guardian of her father's legacy.
But in January, she backed a political candidate for the first time, announcing her endorsement of Obama during the Democratic primary season with an op-ed in the New York Times that drew days of the kind of media attention she has spent her life avoiding.
"I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them," she wrote. "But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president - not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans."
"Apparently she has acquired a taste for politics," Schneider noted. "She wants to be part of this new regime in America, clearly playing a key role in the Senate if she gets that appointment."
- CNN's John King and Kate Bolduan, and Mark Preston contributed
to this report.
(CNN) - New York Gov. David Paterson's office says Saturday Night Live went too far in its portrayal of the legally blind governor over the weekend.
SNL, famous for mocking politicians and newsmakers, portrayed the governor in a four-minute "Weekend Update" segment as confused and disoriented - often looking in the wrong direction and mistakenly walking in front of the camera when it was not his turn to speak.
SNL's version of the governor, played by cast member Fred Armisen, also refers to using cocaine and says he became governor of New York due to a "sex scandal I was miraculously not at the center of.”
A spokesman for Paterson, who became governor of New York last spring after then-Gov Eliot Spitzer was forced to resign amid a sex scandal, suggested the skit was offensive to all people with physical disabilities.
"The governor engages in humor all the time, and he can certainly take a joke,” said Risa Heller, Paterson's communications director. “However, this particular Saturday Night Live skit unfortunately chose to ridicule people with physical disabilities and imply that disabled people are incapable of having jobs with serious responsibilities.
“The governor is sure that ‘Saturday Night Live’ with all of its talent can find a way to be funny without being offensive,” she also said.
Paterson has said he is completely blind in his left eye and has limited vision in his right eye. He is the first legally blind man to be governor.