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. tim

    Republications should just face the fact that the only reason to vote for Palin was that she was good looking. Kind of a 50's thing where the women were good for just a few things and talking was not one of them.

    December 15, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  2. Monica

    I consider myself a liberal – but even I see a liberal bias on this list. On a list that seemed to focus on political blunders that became prime soundbites, it seems strange that Obama's "they cling to guns or religion" quote was not ranked. It was a moment in the campaign where the Republicans found their wedge in, and could have very well been a crucial turning point in their favor. Strange that it failed to make the cut.

    December 15, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  3. No Hillary = No Obama

    It just goes to show anybody can be an idiot, even people who graduate from Harvard

    December 15, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  4. DE

    Shapiro admitted in another interview that he is a liberal democrat and that influenced his decision to leave Obama and Biden quotes off the top ten list. Stories like this just give creditability to the Zogby Poll that showed that Obama voters knew more Palin's background, real and fictional, of which they didn't know the difference, than Obama's background.

    December 15, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  5. Matt's going to be a very VERY LOOOONG 8 years for some of you HAHAHAHA

    December 15, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  6. Independent voter

    The best quote of the year" of course I have foreign policy experience, we border Russia on one side and Canada on theother" by Sarah Palin. Hysterical!!!! she is one funny chic..... she is so out there!

    December 15, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  7. Roger

    I just can't wait for January 20th and then the savior who "speaks so well" can start paying my mortgage and putting gas in my car.

    December 15, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  8. Matt

    @ DE

    Sorry dude. That kind of polling does little to deflect polls in places like TX that showed fully 60%+ of the people polled there believed Obama was a Muslim. You're going to have to do better if you want to deflect attention from the GOP's nasty, racist, sexist (yes, picking Palin was based on playing the political sex card, which makes it sexist) and xenophobic misinformation campaign.

    December 15, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  9. kate

    Spoke to soon, EXACTLY!
    we still have half a month of Blago bullet dodging by Obama folks.....

    Palin still insights rabid libtards, like CNN, it's great! Go Sarah!

    December 15, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  10. Matt

    @ No Hillary = No Obama

    Don't forget Yale.

    December 15, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  11. Texas Teacher

    And we are interested in this article because.... ?

    I really don't need anyone to tell me what nonsense we have heard this year and during this election campaign... strange that there is always SOMEONE who is eager to tell us what to think and believe! 🙂 Obviously, this is one man's opinion.

    *LOL* I can't help but agree with him on most of them, however!

    December 15, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  12. Palin IS an IDIOT

    Here is the plain and simple facts, Sara Palin, believes that ONLY creationism should be taught in PUBLIC schools, She BELIEVES that if you are RAPED by your BROTHER and get pregnant you should HAVE TO KEEP THE SPAWN BY LAW. Thats all anyone should have to know. She is a product of the FAR FAR FAR right, a complete idiot JC freak that actually covered up her teen daughters first pregnancy. Look it up for yourself.

    December 15, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  13. conservative

    Well ; I wonder who made these selections ?

    December 15, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  14. DAvid

    Joe Biden should be number 1 through 5 with his ignorant comments.

    December 15, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |



    December 15, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  16. Sue

    Where is Joe the Plumber, Electrician, Teacher, Hygienist, Waitress, everyman?

    December 15, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  17. Sarah Palin

    Stop discussing me, I'm irrelevant to American Politics now. Please let me fall back to the place I came from, obscurity.

    December 15, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  18. DAvid

    PLEASE... would a liberal out there bashing Palin explain how Biden is better? Is it because he has Senate experience?
    –Does it even matter that he was on the WRONG side (even within his own party) of almost every major foreign policy issue in the past 20 years?
    –Does it not matter to you people that he didn't know who was President when the Great Depression started or when TV started?
    –Did it not matter that he doesn't even know the Ammendment that defines the Vice Presidents job (which is, in effect, his boss the past 30+ years)?

    The guy is a walking joke and a bag man for DuPont but you have such blinding hatred for Bush you don't see it. Pathetic.

    Now you have Obama handing out cabinet posts to every insider liberal and old friend he can find.... where's the real change he promised you? He just named Chicago's head of Schools as the Education Secretary??? Guess his kids won't be going to public school anytime soon. Have any of you seen the public schools in Obama's old stomping grounds?

    Oh well, lots of countries have voted with blinders on in the past because they wanted change..... Germany in the 1930's, Italy in the 1920's, Venezuela a few years ago.... good luck to us all.

    December 15, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  19. Matt

    @ Kate

    And here I would have thought someone who supposedly supports Palin would realize that she might not like the use of language like "libtards." That's ok though, we've come to expect that kind of hypocrisy from the of tropical thunder.

    December 15, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  20. Palin IS an IDIOT

    DAvid, if you want ignorant, Palin is your poster child. The twit cant even name a newspaper she has ever read.

    December 15, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  21. C

    None of you look well-informed when you're arguing like children...

    December 15, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  22. andrew

    if you really think sarah palin is not a fool i think you are the fool. how can you even say she is bright. impossible. people who think sarah palin is a good choice should be shot for stupidity reasons

    December 15, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  23. spellingnazi

    To Kate, with the undecipherable comment at 9:21pm– do you mean "incites" instead of "insights"? Kinda changes the whole meaning, huh?

    December 15, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  24. Denisa

    To Keep you "change"

    What a stupid racist, ignorant thing to say. Much respect should be given to Obama, his wife and his children. He is a very fine example for all people, regardless of race. The fact that you and people who think like you can't accept him, speaks volumes to the change we really need!

    December 15, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  25. Polly

    I thought Reverend Wrights quotes would have made the top two.

    December 15, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
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