December 15th, 2008
08:09 PM ET
10 years ago

Fey, Palin, McCain dominate list of top 10 quotes for '08

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was bested by Tina Fey for the No. 1 spot on the list of the top ten quotes for 2008, according to the Yale Book of Quotations.'"]
(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.

Not to be outdone by Gramm or Palin, Sen. McCain took two spots on the top ten list: he scored fifth place for saying “the fundamentals of the American economy are strong” and the Arizona senator was also awarded seventh place for suggesting the U.S. troops might remain in Iraq for 100 years.

Quotes from Republicans take center stage in this year’s top ten because they were all potentially game changers that might have cost the GOP ticket the White House, according to Shapiro who also noted that McCain was potentially misunderstood in both of the quotes that made the list this year.

President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden had their own memorable quotes in 2008 that fell just shy of making the top ten. Shapiro cited Obama’s comment that rural Americans “cling” to guns and religion and Biden’s statement that leaders of other countries would test Obama if elected as statements that might have made the list in another year when there wasn’t a “super abundance” of political quotes from which Shapiro had to choose.

Celebutante Paris Hilton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. also made the list for their politically-oriented quotations.

Click here to read the entire list.

Updated: 3:15 p.m. with Shapiro quotes

Filed under: Jesse Jackson • John McCain • Phil Gramm • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (319 Responses)
  1. All's fair in love and politics

    Where are Obama and Biden's quotes?

    December 15, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. Proud American

    Wow and to think these people wanted to lead our great nation. We dodged a bullet folks.

    December 15, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. Chi Town

    I think they anounced the winners too soon... This is gonna be a good one.

    “I have never spoken to the governor on this subject. I am confident that no representatives of mine would have any part of any deals related to this seat,”

    It's looking like this one might bite someone in the backside!

    December 15, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  4. Precious Coker, NY

    It pays to be clueless!!!!!!

    December 15, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  5. Ken in NC

    The "Pit Bull" simply refuses to go away. She cannot take a hint. LOL

    December 15, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  6. Tom in Delaware

    Tina Fey’s “I can see Russia from my house” impersonation of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin took the No. 1 spot on the list.

    There's a strange amalgam of humor and contempt when I think of the legions of Libtards who actually believe that Sarah Palin said this instead of Tina Fey.

    December 15, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. Peter (CA)

    Ah! Those left wing Yalies are at it again.
    How can they disparage the genius of Sarah Palin and Paris Hilton.

    December 15, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  8. obama-mama

    The pit bull has now been reduced to poodle. Hope she doesn't scar her children with this terrible publicity.

    December 15, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. Baze

    She's a POS, but god I just can't deny how sexy Palin is

    December 15, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. Jeff

    When they ridicule and imply that Sarah Palin's husband is having sex with his own daughters that's considered good old fashioned fun but when its a democrat now they have gone too far. Typical double standard bias.

    December 15, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  11. Cori from Colorado

    I think Palin will be a joke for all eternity!

    December 15, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  12. Chuck

    Not even close to being news!!!!

    December 15, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. An Obama Supporter

    CNN and the rest of the MSM should also be on the list for their constant use of statements like "There is absolutely no evidence linking PE Obama with the scandal surrounding the Gov of Illinois but questions linger". I though Gov. Palin was a joke but the reporters, pundits and commentators on CNN take the cake.

    December 15, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  14. Pete in WA

    It's not hard to see why the McCain/Palin ticket lost so badly.

    December 15, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  15. jm

    nothing about our "57" states?

    December 15, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  16. Jeff

    Gee – shocking that all the top quotes are from Republicans. Would never have expected that. So original. Of course Obama's 57 states or honoring dead veterans in the audience, or Michele Obama's I've never been proud or Jessie Jacksons rant about Obama didnt make the list.

    December 15, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. t

    Sick of Palin CNN, every other day she is on front street, and if she
    not......she does something or say something to put her back in the media....and you CNN is playing right into her hands. We dont care about her she is yesterday if she is not on the news
    she will do something to get back on the news, seems like to me she
    is playing the media how she fsee fit ! NO MORE PALIN. Who is really the one getting PLAY?!!!!!!

    December 15, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. Charm

    It's really a sad thing to see Palin the idiot still getting so much attention.

    December 15, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. Everything in Moderation

    Interesting almost all of them are from folks who were critical of the Messiah's campaign....

    December 15, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Jason

    worthless article

    December 15, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    And we would do very well to remember those Sarah Palin quotes should she ever try to run for national offie again, God forbid!

    December 15, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  22. Dan

    Tom: Ms Palin did tout the proximity of Russia as a qualification for her to be vice president. She did say "you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska".

    December 15, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  23. K-Dub 4 Obama

    Tom in Delaware: She very well did say it, not in those exact words if you want to be picky, but she even tried to defend it as her national security credentials. You remember the part about "when the Russian President rears his head over that water and enters US air space, where do they go? It's Alaska!" That should have been hands down #1 comment of the year. I hate to be rude, and it's ok to like and admire somebody, but to not admit (now that it's all over and America agrees) that she's an absolute incompetent for this position and not too many nuts away from a pecan pie is beyond naivity; it makes you look as out of touch as she was. Jus' sayin.

    December 15, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. Markus

    Tom in Delaware – what Palin actually said about it wasn't too far off, you "Reptard."

    Did you get "amalgam" off your word of the day calendar today?

    December 15, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. Peter (CA)

    ...and leave it to Tom in Delaware to keep on meding the rift this country is in.
    Good to see you right wingers keep saying it's the lefties who are the problem here.

    December 15, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
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