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. Texas Teacher

    If Sarah Palin is the first woman president, I will absolutely KNOW that the American Public has LOST its Collective MIND!

    Get over it, Repubs.... you lost! Suck it up.... the Right Wing Fundamentalists have lost their hold over the majority of the American Public! You are on your way out.... you are NOT the majority, but the Minority.... and grow more so daily!


    December 15, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. JL

    I like the quotes chosen. I can't wait to hear the entire list.

    It amazes me how some people take a simple (non-partisan) article like this one and use it to trash the other side. If you are one of those people, I think you need to take a break from politics for a while. Seriously, behaving this way can't be healthy. Take a deep breath and come back in a month or two when you can express your views without all of the un-healthy and un-helpful negativity.

    December 15, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. bibi

    we are mavericks, should be number 1

    December 15, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. Ralph

    @ LIP –

    Sarah Palin was the VP pick. McCain, not Palin, received about 57 million votes to Obam's 65 million (53-46, which is pretty large in today's politics).

    Clinton received 18 million votes – a record number – in the primaries where only limited numbers can vote due to party affiliation. You can't compare the two.

    Nice try though.
    "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 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. Joe the Troll

    "I can see everything Obama says will become Bible, just like The Apsotle Paul's. "

    Obama's might have something in it that's actually VERIFIABLE, unlike Paul's.

    December 15, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  6. B

    Ha ha, even John McCain said he wouldn't vote for Palin if she runs next time! That has got to be the worst VP pick ever! Cheney, while being pure evil, at least wasn't totally stupid.

    December 15, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  7. Rob

    But, of course, I am dumber than a pocketful of rocks and about as usefull.

    December 15, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. KG, Twin Cities

    As much as I loved Fey's impression and loathed Palin herself, it did bother me that people confused Fey's Russia spoof as being an actual quote. But, as the campaign went on, I valued it being mistaken as a real quote more and more. There was another skit that was almost verbatim to the Palin/Couric innterview. "It's all about job security."

    December 15, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  9. LM75

    What a poetic way to end 8 sorry years of leadership. Ducking flying shoes. File that under you ego Bush. They probably won't publish this but I don't care. I had the fun of writting it.

    December 15, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  10. Rob

    Who will SNL get to portray Obama once he starts screwing up? Oh wait, that's right, SNL and the rest of the libs will never admit to him screwing up. Besides, wouldn't it be blasphemy to ridicule the Messiah?

    December 15, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  11. William

    Missing – Tina Fey saying, "Are we not doin' the talent portion?" then playing the flute.

    December 15, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. A Canuck

    You have to include "that was a size 10 shoe" LOL !!!!!!!

    December 15, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. Chi Town


    Just quoting the Chicago Tribune, not the x-files... and the only fabrication that concerns me is Axlerod saying one thing and changing after the arrest... that and a half million in property

    Time will tell

    December 15, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  14. Tony

    They couldn't use quotes from Biden, because he's prone to plagiarizing them. 😉

    Ollama couldn't be quoted because he kept changing his quotes to match whatever people wanted.

    And Fey, well we all know that her 15 minutes of fame is finally over. Anyone who thought she was even remotely funny has the same sort of taste that pushes movies like Beethoven 3 to the top of the box office.

    December 15, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  15. Gawd

    How about Nobama and his 57 states? oh yeah I forgot, shhhh. Might be called a racist if I talk about him............want some media bias with that?

    December 15, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  16. bob in LA

    I didn't support McCain but when is his quote on being in Iraq for 100 years goignt o be said correctly?
    He was asked how long he thought we would be ther and said as long as it takes, evne 1 00years. Look how long we have been in Germany and Japan.
    The implication that he menat fighting for 100 years is absurd.

    December 15, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  17. KG, Twin Cities

    Doc– your $100k in monopoly money is no good here. But Madoff can get you a sweet return on it.

    December 15, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. Six Pack

    Palin can.... now go back her favorite trailer park...and

    have her "Six Pack" of kids...!!!

    December 15, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. LindaA1

    Okay. So we've got the liberal Democrat's biased list, when do we see the conservative biased list – or, be still my heart, an objective list?

    December 15, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. Steph

    Still waiting for the clothing auction for charity...

    December 15, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. redhead from Toronto

    To Rob – Never, never never in a TRILLION years will she be president of anything, You can go back to your fantasy now.

    December 15, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. Nutmegger

    What about the promise that daughter Bristol will marry her baby-daddy? Is that still in the works?

    December 15, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  23. BobC

    When asked yesterday on ABC-TV's "This Week" whether he would support Palin for prez in 2012, John McCain said, "Oh no. There are so many other wonderful young governors." Even tho McCain said she energized his campaign, he knows (finally) what a mistake he made in choosing her for a running mate. No one could take her seriously.

    December 15, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  24. H

    I THINK FEY SHOULD GET LOST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 15, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  25. KG

    Lots of republicans whining, huh?

    December 15, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13