Most Notable Quotations of 2008

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Thu Dec 4 20:58:16 UTC 2008

I'm working on my list for the Associated Press of the top 10 most notable quotations of the year.  By "notable" I mean "important" or "famous" or "particularly revealing of the spirit of our times" rather than necessarily being eloquent or admirable.

Below are ones I am considering.  I would welcome suggestions of additional quotes from 2008, particularly ones from popular culture or entertainment or sports or business or technology.  Many of the political quotes below are anti-Republican in nature (to some extent this is inevitable, I can't distort reality in the interest of balance, i.e., if you nominate people like Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin, you're going to have a lot of notable quotes that make you look foolish), so I would also welcome suggestions of particularly notable anti-Democratic quotes, so I can have some balance.

Also, if anyone cares to take the time to tell me which of the ones below they think deserve to be in the top 10, that would be extremely helpful.

Fred Shapiro

I think the Straight Talk Express just lost a wheel.
Barack Obama

That one.
John McCain

I am not President Bush.  If you want to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago.
John McCain, 3rd presidential debate

The fundamentals of America's economy are strong.
John McCain, Interview with Peter Cook on Bloomberg TV, Apr. 17, 2008

If a company is too big to fail, it is too big to exit.
Bernie Sanders

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this President are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and many not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
Hank Paulson

Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are no libertarians in a financial crisis.
Paul Krugman

It's not based on any particular data point, we just wanted to choose a really large number.
Treasury spokeswoman to, explaining how the $700 million number was chosen for the initial bailout

Privatize the profits, socialize the losses.
Popular recent maxim

I can see Russia from my house.
Tina Fey, satirizing Sarah Palin

Make it a hundred [more years of having U.S. troops in Iraq]!
John McCain

[Sarah Palin] is not any smarter than I am and that's not nearly smart enough.
Tina Fey on Letterman show

I've never been a part of a tie.  I never even knew that that was in the rule book.
Donovan McNabb

A man has a right to defend himself, even against his own leg.
Posting on Freakonomics blog about Plaxico Burress

You betcha!
Sarah Palin

Yes, we can!
Barack Obama campaign slogan

I remember landing under sniper fire [while visiting Bosnia in 1996].
Hillary Clinton

We have sort of become a nation of whiners.
Phil Gramm

What's the difference between a pitbull and a hockey mom?  Lipstick.
Sarah Palin

I drink your milkshake.
There Will Be Blood

Why so serious?
The Dark Knight

Drill, baby, drill!
Slogan of Palin supporters

Who would you have picking up the phone at 3 a.m.?
Hillary Clinton Campaign ad

Change you can believe in.
Obama campaign slogan

For the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback
Michelle Obama

I didn't major in math, I majored in miracles.
Mike Huckabee

As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where -- where do they go?  It's Alaska.  It's just right over the border.
Sarah Palin

[Response when asked to name a single newspaper or magazine she reads:]  All of 'em, any of 'em that have been in front of me over all these years.
Sarah Palin, Katie Courc CBS News interview, Oct. 1, 2008

[Response when asked how many houses he and his wife own:]  I think -- I'll have my staff get to you.  It's condominiums where -- I'll have them get to you.
John McCain, Interview with Politico, Las Cruces, N.M., Aug. 20, 2008

It's not surprising, then, that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to capture their frustrations.
Barack Obama

The American Dialect Society -

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