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. G.R.I.T.S - Girl Raised in the South

    To Kate, who said, "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 Palin."

    Okay, so you think you are intellectually superior to the "rabid libtards"?

    Try learning how to spell, you moron. Insights? How about incites.

    I hate to use this word, but, who is the 'tard?

    December 15, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  2. janey

    Tina Fey is nowhere near as beautiful and exciting as Palin. She was a poor replacement–the homely sister. Guess her fame is up now that the real star is out of the spotlight. As for Palin not running for President–Obama thought she was–he trashed and mocked her at every turn until somene informed him she was the VP candidate. Obama's best trashy quote was calling his Grandma a "typical white person." that trumps everything anyone else said about racism.

    December 15, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  3. George Washington

    I would rate CNNs handling of the news far more goofy than palin or mccain flubs. thank you.

    December 15, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  4. Marcy


    "insights"? did you mean "incites"? ignorant much?

    December 15, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  5. gerri

    I feel so bad for the Republicans,I wrote a song about their pain,I play the record between my forefinger and my thumb.

    December 15, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  6. Willy Brown

    Can't wait to see and watch the liberal media covering up for Obama and the democrat ilk when they start screwing up America on Jan 22 2009

    December 15, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  7. Alistair

    Well the woman from Wasilla has been reduce to a poddle.

    December 15, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  8. Jonathan Coolidge

    "The fundamentals of our economy are strong." (insert sound effects of a car crash, followed by any game show losing music.)

    December 15, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  9. Mike

    Where's Obama's dumb comments?
    "57 states"..
    and "huh, huh.. I can't put uh two words uh, together on my huh, mm uh, own.

    December 15, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |


    December 15, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  11. HANKIE

    Well, Tina provided us with great entertainment and many laughs. But I don't think Palin is that goofey!!! Is she??? Ok, she gets on my nerves after listening to her for a while, but I wouldn't mind stopping by and sampling some of that moose meat chili...

    December 15, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  12. Brett E

    all facets of our economy are tanking and measures to stem the tide have been or are projected to e marginally effective at best, we are fighting two wars that are nowhere near completion, corruption abounds in the boardrooms of wallstreet and the offices of politicians, and the current incumbent republican president who has presided over this mess for 8 years has one of the lowest approval ratings in the history of the United States. Yeah, i cant wait for the Democrats to "start screwing up" our country come January 22, 2009.

    December 15, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  13. Australian

    God I hate Americans.All of you, liberal, conservative, whatever. Look at yourselves, you make me feel ashamed FOR you. A disgrace.

    December 15, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  14. Phil

    Tina Fey could get rich. This idiot Palin is a gift that keeps on giving.

    December 15, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  15. Phil

    Hey Polly I think you need a man!! Get a life or laid.

    December 15, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  16. ds

    What happened to Czechoslovakia?

    December 15, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  17. People should think

    "Have any of you seen the public schools in Obama's old stomping grounds?"

    Actually, Illinois is a leading change agent in schools, as they are implementing school-wide positive behavior supports. That's actually great news for America's education.

    How's your foot taste?

    December 15, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  18. no kidding

    Palin is a joke and anyone who thinks she is worth her wait in moose caca is looney.

    December 15, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  19. Kris in AL




    December 15, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  20. Abraham Lincoln

    You kids are clueless! Wait until O'bama screws up.

    December 15, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  21. Cathy, Peoria AZ

    All of you need to be quiet and concentrate on the real issues: It's the Economy, stupid! Who cares about the top ten quotes! I think Senator McCain said it all when he mentioned he's not sure would support a Palin presidential nomination – guess Gov. Pawlenty of MN isn't looking so boring now! BIG MISTAKE, SENATOR, guess you should have chosen the boring guy!
    Palin is back in Alaska where she belongs and hopefully stays, Bush and Cheney leave with the country in a MES (good riddance to them both)and hopefully the new president can fix things – if not, guess we will be right back here in 4 years bashing each other again!

    December 15, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  22. Peter (CA)

    Hey DE-

    Read a real polling site like Pollster or FiveThirtyEight. The Zogby poll was a joke.

    December 15, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  23. Jebediah Coonhump

    Hey DAvid, Biden doesn't know when TV was invented? That's really relevant, isn't it? What a joke – did you know the answer to that without looking it up? Palin didn't even have to be set up by loaded questions to look like an idiot – it just comes naturally for her. Her ignorance on a whole range of things doesn't compare to your stupid little Biden list. She is not a moron – she's just ignorant, but Biden's intellect blows her out of the water. And by the way you don't stay in office as US Senator for 30 years if you are a walking joke. And I don't hate Bush, not even blindly. I think he was a plain-spoken idiot that ran our country into the ground and only became president because of his last name, but I don't hate him.

    December 15, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  24. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Personal to Tom in Delaware:

    Palin stated you can see Russia from Alaska, Fey just extended it.

    But, do run Palin in 2012; the debates will be a scream!!!

    December 15, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  25. John Q.

    Wily Brown, if the media were liberal, as you say, they would have hammered Bush and Cheney to pieces for stupid things and lies they've voiced. They hammered Clinton about 'not inhaling', yet let Bush stop all questions about his own marijuana usage, and didn't even go after his cocaine use. If the media were liberal, why didn't everyone see when W. stated that he is "truly not that concerned about that guy, bin Laden"? That approach of labeling the media as liberal is a cheating argument – if the media agrees with you, let it stand...if not, then discredit it for having an unfair slant.

    December 15, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
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