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)

    Palin represents the idiots in this nation–and I believe that she does it very Well!

    December 15, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  2. Peter (CA)

    @ It's On Now-


    Are you trying to say Ayers and Wright. Well, I can see from the posts what is not on...the lights in the house.

    December 15, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  3. Jeff

    Yeah Willy, it will be interesting to see how Obama and the Democrats are going to start "screwing up America." You mean continue screwing it up after the past 8 years of Bush and the Republicans putting us in the fast lane to Hell?

    December 15, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  4. david Kubik

    how come biden's three letter word did not make the list JOBS J-O-B-S

    December 15, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  5. Kenneth

    I just love the conservatives who respond on these stories. They were lousy, ungracious winners for eight years. Now, they are cry-baby losers. None of you "tards" got into Harvard, so JUST SHUT UP!

    December 15, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  6. david Kubik

    i would have liked to see:

    "welcome to my hanging" – dubya

    "in 1929 when the stock market crashed FDR adressed the nation on TV" – joe biden

    "stand up chuck" – joe biden

    December 15, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  7. john from sandiego

    i've been to 57 states and kenya.....

    December 15, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  8. Wolfe 36

    Kate has the IQ of a dirty diaper....except the diaper serves a purpose. Kate, maybe the US should have an IQ test for the right to vote. If we did, maybe George W wouldn't have crushed this country.

    A Presidential Library? What will be the theme.....Green Eggs and Ham

    December 15, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  9. Daniel

    You all need to get a life...stop being haters and pull together for a better country now.

    December 15, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  10. Jay

    I kind of wish people would stop quarreling over politics. The elections are over. Democracy has spoken. Regardless of who you supported prior to the election, you should now be fully ready to pledge your support to Obama and Biden. Dissent is detrimental to the success of our great nation.

    December 15, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  11. Bush Voters Sit This One Out

    Ah the righties miss ole' mumblin' George so much. Aint that cute.

    December 16, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  12. Wolfe 36

    "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"

    Right. The current administration has done such a great job.

    December 16, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  13. Republican mean to tell me that the republican oral blunders of the campagin top the list, but the democratic gems like Biden going on about how FDR went on TV to calm the nation during the Great Depression are nowhere to be found? Haha, what liberal media?

    December 16, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  14. Josh

    It's shocking to me to see how eager everyone is, Democrat or Republican, to hate each other. People wonder why there are such problems in this country; everyone is practically foaming at the mouth for another crack at whatever ignorant member of either side. Things have become not so much about the issues anymore as they have about throwing verbal punches back and forth. The only way to get out of this dilemma is to work together. It's easy to sit back and whine about a result you find unfavorable. If you really cared, you'd go and do something about it that's productive instead of carrying on with this political bickering. Talk about blindness....this country can't even see itself being torn apart from the inside by stupidity and blatant ignorance. It's a real shame...

    December 16, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  15. LindaA1

    Can't wait to see how you Obama liberals blame the Chicago corruption – and Obama's participation in it – on Palin's "ignorance."

    I can't fathom the connection – Palin can't see Chicago from her house – but since when has logic stopped the Obama idol worshippers from whacking away at the Palin pinata. Sorry but wailin' at Palin does not distract us from what's really going on with Mr. Obama.

    December 16, 2008 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  16. bsmith171

    we all now that before palin used the term "YOU BETCHA" obama used it starting in 2002.

    December 16, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  17. Alex

    All you silly people defending Gov Palin by listing the actual quote are just (as always) missing the forest for the trees. The original and exact quote was said by Palin in the midst of making the totally ridiculous argument that Alaska's proximity to Russia was part of her foreign policy credentials! Using her "logic" (term used loosely), since I live in Texas, if elected to office, I now have foreign policy experience with Mexico. This is why Republicans have almost run this nation into the ground. The nation is burning and they build straw men and set them on fire like a crazy mob all the while the nation continues to burn and they stand around patting themselves on the back for destroying the straw men. Can you guys start to focus on REAL issues?

    December 16, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  18. Todd Mantei

    How about "I've visited all 57 states" – The savior Barack Obama
    "My uncle helped liberate Auschwitz" – The Russian Barack Obama

    At least Dubya knows how many states there are...

    December 16, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  19. Al Gore

    Why have people quit listening to me? I'm still saying lots of stupid stuff. Why am I not on the quotes list? What am I, chopped liver? Just listen to me. I can be as stupid as anyone they quoted. I'm the stupidest of all. Somebody listen to me!! I'm a Nobel Prize winner!!!

    December 16, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
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