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. Red, Red WHINE!!


    I love it when the republican fan base blames 'liberals' for making their idols/politicians look stupid. Almost as if to say: "Yea, they is bad for make them look stupider. Stupid is as stupid does me mama always tole me!"

    No ladies and gents, Liberals do not have the power to MAKE them stupid. They simply ARE. They REALLY did say those things. And you wonder, why oh why did they lose? Deal with it!

    December 15, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Almost the end of THE error!

    My favorite is "That was a size 10"

    December 15, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. John

    Ah...... The Memories. Loved it all.

    December 15, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. Dave in Houston

    I like Obama's bitter people clinging to guns and religion quote.

    It was played off as a gaffe, but I think he was right on the mark, especially if you hear the whole context of the quote.

    December 15, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. Kneeslapper

    What about Obama bin Laden?

    December 15, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. latina-obama 2012

    they wish!

    December 15, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Blue balloons

    Hallo, Madame Palin, Ce'st Nikolas Sarkozy from France. I miss you, mon cherie amour, why have you not called me? Non, non, honeste, it reeely is me this time.

    December 15, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. LIP

    Once and for all...Palin said you can see Russia from Alaska, not her house and you can if you are on the Aleutian island closest to Russia. Fey made the other statement by misquoting Palin. Get it straight idiots and lets not forget that Sarah Palin received 53,000,000 votes, losing by only a few million to Obama and when Hillary ran against Obama she received 18,000,000 votes...quite a contrast.

    December 15, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. Ryan

    WHY does the media insist on keeping Palin around? This is just sad and pathetic how far the "news" organizations will go just to keep her in the spot light.

    Get it through your heads... most of America hates this woman and what she stands for.

    Stick her back in Alaska where she "belongs" so the rest of us can get on with more serious business. I know I'm not the only one sick of seeing her face and hearing her name.

    December 15, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. jaye

    I love Tina Fey – and I despise that shameful duo of McCain and Palin.
    McCain and Palin shamed themselves, their party, and their country.
    I wish they would just go away.

    December 15, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. jaye

    Gee – now campbell brown can spend an entire episode dedicated to the sexist treatment of these two women. LOL
    That show really needs to go. She should be replaced with someone with a brain. JMO.

    December 15, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. Dan

    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.


    Gotta love the short-term memory of all the right-wing sheep. No wonder they were able to tolerate the last eight years ... they weren't in denial, they just actually believed that nothing happened!!!

    December 15, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  13. Clark

    What does it matter what anyone says during any campaign. The one
    thing Americans love is being lied to. Tell them the truth and they
    cringe. Anyone with character doesn't want to run for public office
    because the candidate knows that if he or she has honorable
    standards, the media will smear and lie for ratings; and, the "we have
    a right to know" public eats it up. It's too bad that people without a
    college degree are allowed to vote. The Republicans liked Palin
    only because she carries her library card up her skirt.

    December 15, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. Dave in Stl

    So now that they lost and Obama is part part of this whole deal in IL we still have to hear about Palin?

    December 15, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. Oski

    LOL MD! It's not CNN's list. 'Sides, if lies made the list, I think McCain's little quote about Obama wanting to teach sex ed to kindergarteners might have taken second place, topped only by Palin's (remember her husband was in a political party that advocated seccession from the United States) accusing Obama of "palin' around with terrorists." I agree with you in principle though, that those lies should have been included!

    December 15, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Independent Again

    Brian fr Fort Hill SC,

    Thanks for the laughs that Biden has foreign policy street creds!! LOL!!

    Biden is the same guy who said we should divide Iraq into three countries.

    Biden is the guy who vote against Reagan star wars arms build up during the cold war that led to the fall of the Soviet Union.

    Biden is the guy that had to be convince to support US forces stopping the genocide in Kosovo/Bosnia conflict.

    Biden is the guy that has be on the wrong side of every foreign policy issue!
    Research it fool!!

    Foreign Policy creds my arse!! Biden is just a windbag!!

    December 15, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. CHI TOWN

    Where is the post of PE – Obama nor his staff had no "dealings" with the Gov. of IL, CNN? Just heard it, now you guys in the MSM to put it to rest.

    December 15, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. an american first

    I guess I don't get these lists. They are calling it a top-10 list, but it should be called the worst-10 list. All quotes in here are "bad" quotes. I understand the ranking but not the heading basically...

    My top 10 quotes would have at least 5 Obama quotes. I think he would need his own category. Look at some of these quotes..
    "We are the ones we have been waiting for".
    "Change just doesn't come from Washington....Change comes TO Washington."
    "I am asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington.....I am asking you to believe in yours."
    "The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down."

    I can go on and on....

    December 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. Big T

    I liked McCain saying Hello my fellow prisioners. I think yes we can should be on that list. McCain said "my friends" enough it should have been number one on the list.

    December 15, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  20. empty vessel

    Shapiro is a hack and it is AMAZING that Obambi and his 57 states doesn't show up, his clinging to guns and religion or Biden acting "real" by going to his favorite diner for dinner when it actually closed over TWENTY years ago, or how about his getting the PRESIDENT wrong in 1929 or THE FACT THAT THE TV WAS NOT INVENTED YET!

    How about your beloved SOS Hillary LYING about ducking sniper fire?

    How about Obama saying that he would accept campaign finance rules and would call McCain about agreeing to it, but the call never came?

    How about calling his grandmother a "typical white person".

    How about his saying that Ayers is mainstream?

    Ya, "Shapiro", you are not some liberal hack are you, but this proves AGAIN how Obama and ALL his cohorts can say anything and nothing happens, is said, or as THE EXIT POLLS SHOWED, NOT REPORTED.

    I will save the best for last, "I did not, nor did my staff EVER contact or DISCUSS my Senate seat with the Governor".

    Really Barry?

    More lies and the meager reporting on them.

    December 15, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. AF

    Where are Obama and Biden's quotes?

    Nowhere - they dont say dumb things like Republicans!

    December 15, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. bud in NC

    Oh c'mon folks. lay off Palin. It is in very poor taste to riducule someone who is mentally limited. You don't poke fun at the village idiot do you?

    December 15, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  23. Kevin in Ohio

    Can't wait till next year and see how many inane half-truth Obama comments make it to the list. The liberals are in charge now.....

    December 15, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  24. Amber

    To Markus, and Tom in Delaware:

    Enough with the Libtards and Reptards. You both sound emotionally and developmentally disabled when you throw those around.

    The internet gives people the daily excuse to revert back to a mean mental age of 8, I swear to God...

    December 15, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. The Apostle Barack

    I can see everything Obama says will become Bible, just like The Apsotle Paul's. A star or a savior is born... The White House is built just for him, and his family. Will Michelle Obama be our first woman president, so moral, honest, pure, wise and Goldy?

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