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. Matt

    @ Doug, New Jersey who said

    "What is a Democrat without double standards, hate, and lies? No answer since you can't find one without that qualities-LMFAO!!!"

    If you only understood the irony of a Republican trying to crack that joke...

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

    How bout the one the whole Republican Party chanted 1 hour after Palin was named. " I don't know Her, but She's the best". !!

    December 15, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. obama-mama

    My favorite Palin blunder was when she thought she was holding a conversation with the President of France......That woman loves attention. Todd please attend to your wife.

    December 15, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. A Woman In California For Obama

    Of course. Larry, Moe and Curly. Always good for a laugh. What about Joe the Ignorant Plumber? He's a bigger laugh than all three of them put together.

    December 15, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. Matt

    @ Chi Town

    The only backside involved in this is mine, and you can kiss it. Wishful thinking and repetition of fabrications and X-Files style conspiracy theories will not make your dreams of Obama having an untoward link to Blagojevich into a reality. So yeah, sorry to break your heart, but you're just going to have to watch more FOX news with the inconvenient truth that they're all liars floating aroudn in the back of your narrow little mind.

    December 15, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. beth

    so, has palin's second grandchild been born yet? i wonder what the name will be....hmm....jethro, ellie mae....

    December 15, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Roark

    Wonder what part this media-fueled hated of Sarah Palin had in convincing someone to light fire to her church over the weekend.

    December 15, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. Matt

    @ An Obama Supporter

    Youre' right. Sayign that there's no link between Obama and Blago and should have earned CNN a spot on that list. I mean, a news outlet speaking the truth? That's complete crazy talk!

    December 15, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Al, Southern California

    All this is great, but I still do not know where to email thanks to that journalist that thrown shoe into Bush. Of course, all these crooks, Bush, Cheney etc. should be in prison for a while by now, but at least a shoe...

    December 15, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  10. Peggy

    It makes me wonder, if the American people are blind to what is taking place in the GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.

    They seem to strive on simple things, and try to blemish other individual, while at the same time, they are being kicked out of their jobs, and the like.

    This is the reason the greates nation on this planet is going under, because they strive on NEGATIVITY

    December 15, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. Jeff

    How about these:

    "A coal powered plant will bankrupt them." (Obama)

    "A three letter word: J-O-B-S." (Biden)

    "I've now been to 57 states, I think. One left to go." (Obama)

    "We shouldn't worry about the federal defecit over the next few years." (Obama after ridiculing Bush for the same thing)

    December 15, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. Betty the maid

    Face it folks, Sarah Palin is dumb as any twat can be and her hill billy supporters are not far behind.

    Obama won...get over it repubes, it's our world now. Hee hee hee

    And...too bad that shoe was not a brick!!!!

    December 15, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. Jim

    What kind of retard would actually defend Sarah Palin? They must be dumber than she is.

    December 15, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. Joe

    Is it any surprise that Shapiro couldn't find any comments that were awe-inspiring? Could it be the left wing side of his own limited brain power or did he actually think that because Obama said he had visited all 57 states, with maybe one to go, that it was true?

    December 15, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. Angie

    Obama's 57 states was top dumbest hands down. Of course that didn't make the list. Liberals have selective memory.

    December 15, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. beth

    yeah, i think that most politicians have 'misspoke' from time to time. the difference is that palin repeated her stupidities over and over. if that's the best that the republican party can do in 2012, i'm even more grateful to now be a registered democrat. i can't believe that i actually know people that thought that she was a credible candidate. my toddler is smarter than she is and has a lot better manners.

    December 15, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. roy

    Let's all pray that Palin finds her niche in life...namely appearing on daytime talk shows, and doing advertising for Alaskan auto dealers!
    And...actually (to reply to another blog)....Palin DID say she can see Russia from her house, and that airplanes 'fly over' Alaska, so she is the first to welcome them to this country, etc, etc......
    The award is MOST DESERVED!!!!

    December 15, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. Jackie in Dallas

    My personal favorite was what Palin DIDN'T say...when Katie Couric asked her about a Supreme Court case other than Roe vs. Wade. Obviously, Governor Palin isn't up on her own state; one of the juiciest cases tried in the last 20 years was the State of Alaska vs. the Exxon Valdez! Can't see how a Governor of the state of Alaska which is reaping billions from Exxon and the shipping company could somehow not know about THAT one.

    By the way, yes Obama and Biden made some verbal gaffees; geez, I hope to heaven they did! I LIKE Biden, and I laughed like crazy about his FDR and the radio quote! But the fact of the matter is, they KNOW they made gaffees, they've laughed at themselves about it. What made McCain's, Palin's and Gramm's quotes so memorable were the fact that they were deadly serious, and have never once admitted they made a mistake! For all you Palin worshippers, YES, she did make the quote that was slightly paraphased by Tina Fey. That's actually what made the SNL stuff so funny - they used her own words!

    December 15, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  19. Tiff of lithia springs

    Jeez– ignoring her apparently won't make her go away.

    December 15, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. please

    Tom –
    There's a strange amalgam(?) of humor and contempt when I think of the legions of [tards] who actually believe that Tina Fey was making up Sarah Palin's quotes.

    She said it, maybe if you educated yourself (is that socialism, sharing of knowledge and ideas?) you would realize that Palin did say that she has foreign policy experience because she can see Russia from Alaska. She also supported this by saying when the Russian president flies to the US, he flies over Alaska.

    December 15, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  21. Proud to be American

    The best Palinism was " Say it ain't so Joe"?

    December 15, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. Mike Mundy, Houston, TX

    Lemme guess, Sarah Palin was acussed of being clueless and not having what it takes to be Vice President, yet you liberal freaks think Caroline Kennedy (who has NEVER held and elected office) is qualified to be a U.S. Senator?

    Are we not past voting for someone because of his or her famous last name? Pathetic!

    December 15, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. Chris

    Another fascinating story from the liberal media.
    The fact that Obama and Biden did not have any of their quotes on the top ten...or Rev. Wright for that matter (we wouldn't want to bring him up again and tarnish the image of the savior), is almost as funny as Sarah Palin's quotes.

    December 15, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. obama-mama

    I can see Russia from Philadelphia

    December 15, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. Cindy

    No wonder Tina Fey hung up her Sarah Palin costume. No more attention for the Guv who almost became a heartbeat away from the Presidency, please. Palin and her quotes are so famous now, she honestly believes her popularity is a good thing. Seeing McCain backpeddling from giving her the podium in the first place, is a sure sign he realizes the mistake he made. He opened Pandora's box, and now Pandora Palin won't go back into her box.

    December 15, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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