December 15th, 2008
08:09 PM ET
9 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. Superman

    Talk about funny:

    Last time I saw a mouth like lib has, it had a hook in it. The dumbing down of public schools looks like it finally caught up to us here in the USA.

    December 15, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  2. LindaA1

    Jeff –

    Not all of us are conservatives who believe Shapiro's list is another liberal Obama fan's propaganda farce. And of course it's presented by CNN as "news' and defended by folks like you who seem lost in the fantasy of "just words" and oblivious to what's really going on around you politically.

    Mark my words, it will not be six months before Chicago politics tests Barack Obama – and your apparent fondness for him.

    December 15, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  3. Gwen

    At least the repubs can laugh at themselves. Make fun of a dem or Nobama supporter and they get nasty. Lighten up libs, not everyone laughs behind your back.

    December 15, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  4. floridajack

    where are my comments???

    December 15, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  5. Mike, Syracuse NY

    peace love and understanding

    You can of course quote Palin's 'race baiting' comments. Perhaps you'd like to share some specific ones. I suspect you won't find any. As far as death threats, don't you think it's logical that the first serious black Presidential candidate wouldn't get the most death threats? You're giving Palin too much 'credit'.

    December 15, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  6. nan

    I appreciated Tina Fey's portrayal of Palin. It helped me stay informed, as I do not speak in tongues.

    December 15, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  7. Mike, Syracuse NY

    To be fair, you're right, both parties make gaffes. The reason you pay more attention to Republican ones is that the media, liberal to the core, gives them much more air time.

    December 15, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |


    December 15, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  9. jaye

    Pretty much everything that came out of Palins mouth was utter nonsense.
    She needs to just go away.

    December 15, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  10. I'll make 'em famous

    ...And that's where you'd find the Republican ticket leading the race.!

    Finally Obama has been beaten fair & square , LLoooL

    December 15, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |


    December 15, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  12. tennisguypitt

    God, some of these comments thrashing Obama are making me laugh very hard.


    December 15, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  13. I'll make 'em famous!!

    Boy, she almost finished first!!

    December 15, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  14. I'll make 'em famous!!

    Bwoy, she almost finished first!!

    December 15, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  15. I'll make 'em famous!!

    Bwoy, she almost won that contest!!

    December 15, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  16. And i woz a POW

    Bwoy, she almost finished 1st!!

    December 15, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Obama: We've been campaigning in, what is it , fifty, I think it's, yeah, fifty-seven states. And we have one to go, one more to go.

    Yes, he said that. Yes, he was serious. You can hear the audience laughing because they think he's joking. They quickly quieted when they realized he wasn't.

    December 15, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  18. janet , ohio

    Obama: We've been campaigning in, what is it , fifty, I think it's, yeah, fifty-seven states. And we have one to go, one more to go.

    Yes, he said that. Yes, he was serious. You can hear the audience laughing because they think he's joking. They quickly quieted when they realized he wasn't.

    December 15, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  19. Angie-OHIO

    A Canuck December 15th, 2008 5:19 pm ET

    You have to include "that was a size 10 shoe" LOL !!!!!!!
    I love it. and the only good thing you can say about that bozo bush is he has good reflexes.

    December 15, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  20. keekers

    Between this and McCain's ringing endorsement of her, the writing's on the wall...God did the right thing, he sent you back to Alaska and that's where you'll stay.
    Palin for KKK president '12. (they can all move to Ak.)

    December 15, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  21. B

    Yes, Palin is an easy person to ridicule and she doesn't have the best qualities, but what I find appalling is the ignorance of those who actually attributed Tina Fey's quote and actually believed that Palin said "I can see Russia from my house." I'm talking to you Mr. Hughley, check your facts first and actually watch the news rather than getting it from SNL.

    December 15, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  22. Debby

    This is almost as lame as the shoe throwing incident. Michael Ware's reaction seemed like he approved of the whole thing. I mean doesn't Brown have any other news to report besides all this redux on the ticker.

    December 15, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  23. Carl Justus

    John McCain should be right near the top with his quote that Sarah Palin was ready to be president.

    December 15, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  24. A Benigna Marko

    It is just something that no one will forget. Give the lady a break. Would like to see more important things highlighted rather than dredging mistakes of the past. Think forward with prosperity.
    Benigna Marko

    December 15, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  25. Me

    Even if Sarah Palin never becomes president she's still more accomplished than the terminally adolescent liberals with Mommy issues.

    December 15, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
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