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. Simplelife4ever

    My favorite was from John McCain....."My fellow prisoners" when he was doing a rally.

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

    sarah rules she is more popular than barack obama. i love her.

    December 15, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  3. Mike Mundy, Houston, TX

    Palin 2012 !!! I'm behind her 1000% !!

    For all you Palin bashers out there, why can't you THINK for yourselves?? Must you go along with what the media tells you? You are too pathetic!

    Sarah Palin IS A GENUINE LEADER! It was unfortunate that the McCain advisors, who only later blamed her for his loss and trashed her, programmed Palin to say this or to say that. This is why she seemed too often, caught up with her answers. They should have NEVER tied her hands. Sarah Palin is BEST when she is unleased! NEVER forget that! She is going to come out swinging in the future. You watch! Then we can see the fools you Palin Bashers really are!

    December 15, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. Pat F

    @Beth – Geez, being mean to a newborn. Doesn't get much lower.

    December 15, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. sheep Mirror

    to Dan and all others like him.... How in the BLANK can a Lemming or little lamb like yourself call any Conservative or Republican a Sheep.

    Give me a BREAK!

    December 15, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. Red, Red WHINE!!

    @LIP December 15th, 2008 3:54 pm ET
    1) McCain was at the top of the such, HE recieved the 53 mil votes
    2) In a sense you could say that Palin on the ticket was the DIFFERENCE between McCain and Obama. In essence, she COST McCain the election (thank god)
    3) The difference of a general election vote and a primary vote (your 18 mil compared to 56 mil) is comparing apple to oranges. The 18 mil votes that Hillary recieved was in a PRIMARY, in which the norm is for only democrats to vote for democrat and republicans to vote for republican.

    You really are a dillusional freak of nature. Empty minds and ridiculous comparisons! I bet you voted for Palin!

    December 15, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. Bruce Parsons

    Of course, this proves again that the media has no liberal bias. It was just Republicans that made comments worthy of the top ten.

    It's no wonder no one takes the "Big 3-1/2" seriously.

    December 15, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Cristine C.

    Thank you, Betty the Maid at 4:19! We need Americans to be MORE intelligent from now on, not less. And Palin and her followers fall into the "less" category...

    December 15, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. Lauren the Designer

    The Apostle Barack December 15th, 2008 4:10 pm ET
    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?


    You know...I've never heard one Obama supporter in my life refer to him as a god...only the Republicans. I guess they just don't understand what it's like to really get behind a candidate so they make fun of it. I suppose I can understand that considering the caliber of candidates they've had to choose from in pretty much every election since I've been alive.

    December 15, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. Rob

    Well, 5 years from now, provided we make it that long, we'll have an even longer list of gaffes, gaffaws, foot-in-mouths, and other examples of idiocy and stupidity courtesy of the Obama administration and the Democrat controlled Congress (that is unless Obama can't keep his skeletons in check).

    Oh, and to all you libs, fems, and others kooks who can't see what obivous when it's right in front of your faces, the first female president will be Sarah Palin, and not Hillary Clinton.

    December 15, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. KampBell_BrOwn SUx

    of course it tops the list. Palin is the joke of the century. She will be remembered everytime there's an General election.

    December 15, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. Your Conscience

    I wonder how many of these hypercritical bloggers voted for GWB twice?

    And now you want us to believe that you're all some sort of astute and enlightened political thinkers all of a sudden? Please!

    Can Obama be sworn in first? I mean, before you try to tear down his entire political career?

    Get a grip

    December 15, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  13. KampBell_BrOwn SUx

    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)

    To Jeff who said this, are u kidding? this is nothing compared to the so-called "when Putin rears his head into Alaska's airspace".

    U guys lost it big time. Stop cryin

    December 15, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. Salt

    rodlang December 15th, 2008 3:38 pm ET
    No you didn't hear those words come out of Palin's mouth because she didn't say it. Tina Fey said those words.


    Right...what she actually said was, ""They're our next-door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska."

    Which is equally if not more stupid.

    December 15, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. KampBell_BrOwn SUx

    NEWSFLASH: GOP cry babies Obama won! get over it. Get back to your party of racists!

    December 15, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. m. mckenzie

    Let's face it -PALIN is just plain ignorant !!!

    December 15, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. Peter (CA)

    jim--57 islamic states? Where did you get that Kool-Aid?

    Obama had campaigned in 47 states, he was thinking 50 states, and it came out "57 states". No big deal here, it is just a cognitive slip-up.
    Frankly, if this is the best you right wingers have, then the next four years should be pretty great.

    December 15, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  18. Matt

    @ beth

    No no've got it all wrong. Think garden tools or something. She apparently insists on naming her male children nouns.

    December 15, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. Phil in KC

    You have to admit, that Tina Fey line was priceless. She did such a great lampoon of Palin.

    December 15, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. DX in TX

    Let's face people, Sarah Palin is funny, no one will ever take her seriously. Heck Republican men don't even take her serious. The best they could say about her is that "she's pretty!" The only reason she got the nod for VP is because McCain thought he could snag Hillary supporters and when that didn't work they made the mistake of letting her run rampant which gave us more things to laugh about.
    Sarah Palin is SNL, Comedy Network and every comedian's dream come true...she's a punchline.
    God Bless Sarah Palin.

    December 15, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. Matt

    @ Betty the Maid and CNN

    TWAT? Really? That's ok in a post? HAHAHAHA


    TWAT do I owe this humorous good fortune?

    December 15, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. Texas Teacher

    You know.... I saw one of those scandal sheets and right on front was the lie that I have heard over and over hear.... As Creator is my witness I almost spit up in my mouth right there in the grocery store.

    I am horrified that people are still saying that Obama is not an American Citizen because he was not born in the U.S. As well that he has a forged Birth Certificate!


    So I would like to say that the quote I would add to the list is that ignorant fear or threat that Barack Obama is NOT a citizen of this country and has a forged birth certificate! I am so tired of the Fear Mongering! 🙂

    December 15, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. Doug, New Jersey

    I admit that I or no man or woman on this planet can come close to being as funny as a liberal Democrat using the words honesty and integrity, that's priceless!!!

    The lib-bot dishonest lie of a so called defense of Biden saying that he meant that FDR said it while governor of New York is typical left wing lying and defense of their owners at all costs. Osama wishes his idiots had the loyalty of Obamas.

    Hey at least with Obama as president 100% of this country is now behind the president, which was never the case over the last 8 years. In my state some libs were celebrating on 9/11 as their neighbors had lost loved ones, they are that sick. However if you read this blog or many others on the net, then you already know who the lib really is by now anyway.

    December 15, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |


    That was the best one in my opinion.

    December 15, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. Nate

    Wow...I think it says a lot about the stories CNN chooses to run when Tina Fey has the top spot while Obama's gaffe about "guns and religion" didn't even make the list. While Obama is an incredibly talented speaker, he admited that that was his biggest "bone-head" move. This is consistent with the stories and even the comments CNN has chosen to run during this election cycle. It's amazing to see the difference in reporting. All I can say is, get your news from as many different sources as you can. Don't go to just CNN, or just Fox news. Go to all of them, both left-leaning (CNN) and right-leaning (Fox News). the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

    December 15, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13