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. mike

    "Inflate your tires."-B. Obama

    December 15, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  2. MikeH

    All the Republican whack-jobs out there making comments here are just too ignorant to understand scientific methods of study and drawing conclusions. No Republican theo-psycho will ever get a Science-based position in Obama's cabinet.

    None of you gun-hugging bible-thumpers believe in principles like habitat carrying capacity, finite resource management, or the second law of thermodynamics. All you think you need to know is in the bible, and since the second coming is at hand there's no need to protect the environment.

    You are all quite mad.

    It is good to hear Obama state that he will use the best available science on which to base his decisions. I hope he does.

    December 15, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  3. Peter (CA)

    Gosh Mark, what Kool-Aid did you have to drink to go to that side?
    Decency? Yes, the lefties on these blogs go overboard here but not to the level of hate I saw on here from the right wingers, especially during the election.

    Just read the comment from "Keep your change" under yours.

    December 15, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  4. Darth Vadik, CA

    Just goes to show Republicans have no sense of humor (without gore), or sense at all, or the idea of freedom of speech, or....

    ....heck, you pick it.

    December 15, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  5. Diana

    To Mike in Syracuse:

    It appears one of your like-minded Palin supporters (Mark who posted at 6:30 EST) believes that it was the governor who first said "I can see Russia from my house!" not Tina Fey. As an Obama supporter – and someone absolutely appalled by Palin – I can tell you that I paid close attention to the governor's actual quotes – some of which were used in subsequent SNL skits.

    And as far as Mark's comment re: Palin's inability to name the papers or magazines she reads – you consider a public servant keeping herself informed on current events and issues to be a frivolity? After the past nearly 8 years, we need a whole lot more of that kind of frivolity!

    December 15, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  6. Howie

    Why are the democrats so afraid of Palin. I think they are afraid they may to contend with her in the future. I think she is attractive, smart, and willing to take on all challenges. Palin iin 2012

    December 15, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  7. yellow dog democrat

    Nobody said that anyone else didn't make any mistaken quotes or gaffs – the article is talking about the top 10 – and if your folks are in the top ten – well then – facts is facts – Right!??

    December 15, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  8. Mike in PA

    Say it ain't so joe!

    December 15, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  9. Peter (CA)


    ..."and did I mention he's black"?

    Hmm, when I saw the news clip it was "and he doesn't look like the rest of the Presidents"...

    But I guess your version makes it a little more titillating, doesn't it?

    December 15, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  10. marcus2

    Sister Sarah needs to reimburse the RNC for the Victoria's Secret goods and Todd needs to do the same with $600 worth of silk boxer shorts. Down-home folks? Right!!!!

    December 15, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  11. Midnight

    Is Obamo even an American? Where is his B.C.? What is it about Chicago and corrupt politics? Why does half of America want the USA to cease to exist? This is all NOT funny stuff. And all the Obamo voter can think about is what kind of doggy the king is going to choose. America is in a sad state of affairs......can she recover?

    December 15, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. Karen

    Yea, Len, BHObama was the height of intellect when he thought there were 58 states. LOL. He and Biden are as dim-witted as you are.

    December 15, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. Jeff

    My 9 year old granddaughter doesn't whine near as much as you conservative buttheads. You lost. Get over it.

    And to Gerty (or whatever her name is) who put together a list of verbal miscues by Obama and Biden, you're kidding, right?? So you found eight or ten gaffes between the two of them. Congrats. LOL!! Have you ever HEARD bush speak? Did you watch the Couric interview?? Neither Palin nor bush are able to string together a coherent sentence unless it's written down for them, and even then it's hit or miss. Obama has more intellegence in his left pinky than these two idiots combined.

    Your "leaders" had an 8-year run, during which they ran our precious USA into the toilet. Only thing left to say is GOOD RIDDANCE!!!!!!

    Now go back to the Faux News boards where you belong.

    December 15, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  14. Anthony

    To "Anonymous";

    You said:

    "My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of this planet. I hope you will join me as we try to change it."–B Obama.

    Uhhh, change it to what?"

    So let me see if I understand you correctly; in your opinion, being the greatest nation on Earth means we shouldn't try to make it better still??

    No wonder you lost.

    December 15, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  15. Superman

    6:42pm post NAILED it in so many ways. We bees gettin dat change yoyo! HELP HELP!

    December 15, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  16. Betty the maid

    pssst......hey repubes, YOU LOST!!! deal with it.
    It's our world now!!!

    Bravo to the shoe thrower too bad you missed and too bad the shoes were not bricks

    Obama rocks!!!!!

    December 15, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  17. To be Fair....

    Both parties made some pretty good gaffes this election cycle. It's just a widely accepted fact that Republicans ALWAYS say stupid things (just look at this blog for example), so we pay attention to them more!

    December 15, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    LIP December 15th, 2008 3:54 pm ET

    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.

    first of all, you're comparing apples to oranges. second, you're still in a delusional state of mind. Palin was not running for president.

    December 15, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  19. Still has it together.

    meow. It astounds me how this article turned into such a cat fight, lacking any coherency or intelligence whatsoever.

    December 15, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  20. peace love and understanding

    Jeez, did any of you Republican whiners even read the whole list? They're not ALL about Palin and McCain. And they're not all "dumb things people said this year." I agree that both Obama and Biden had some gaffes during the campaign. But as the article said, they just weren't memorable enough to make the top ten.

    I would have put in the top 10 some of Sarah Palin's race-baiting comments that led to the resurgence of white supremacist groups in the US and the greatest number of death threats against a president or president-elect in history. In my opinion, it was her hateful, snarky words–delivered in her "ya hey dere" folksy accent–that stirred up all the vitriol we now see in these posts.

    December 15, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  21. Susan

    Serious question - as an Obama supporter, I'm truly curious where all this "messiah", etc. stuff came from? I support him for many good reasons and I won't list them all, but I most certainly do not consider him the "messiah" or god-like or any such - where'd that come from?

    December 15, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  22. Al, Southern California

    Now we have also great quote from the Iraqi journalist throwing his shoes into criminals. By the way, where we can email him our thanks?

    December 15, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  23. Roberta

    To Gerda Edwards:

    Georgia is in Europe.

    and to this: “They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?“ (Never materialized) – Obama

    Never materialized? Do you mean to tell me you totally missed folks from the republican party saying Barack HUSSEIN Obama, giving heavy emphasis to the Hussein part? You totally missed people at McCains rally yelling "kill him" and no one telling those folks to quiet down or behave? You actually, somehow, managed to miss every instance of McCain and Palin both calling Mr Obama inexperienced? Do you watch TV or read newspapers?

    December 15, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  24. chris

    How come Palins rambling rollercoaster comment about everything didnt make the list? That one was pretty stupid.

    December 15, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  25. Dave, Illinois

    Wow "Len", you must be a product of Liberal public education – your remarks say it all: "oh- and there are no obama or biden quotes because they are actually educated and know what they're talking about."

    So, according to Biden "FDR had his fireside chats on TV in 1929". Not to be outdone, Obama campaigned in all 57 states. I can't stop laughing....

    December 15, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
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