Foolish Democratic Quotations of 2009

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sun Nov 29 06:28:37 UTC 2009

On Sat, Nov 28, 2009 at 9:27 PM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at> wrote:
> Thanks to everyone who answered my previous post asking for notable
> quotations of 2009.  As usual, the list I am compiling has more foolish
> quotations by Republicans than by Democrats.  Yes, I know, some will
> say this is terrible of me, but as long as people like Dan Quayle and
> George W. Bush and Sarah Palin are Republicans, Republicans will
> dominate foolish-quotations compilations.  However, I do strive as much
> as I can for balance, so I am pleading for suggestions of foolish
> quotations by Democrats.  I would welcome any suggestions of such
> quotes from 2009.

A "Bidenism" might do the trick. Jeremy Stahl on Slate has documented
some choice examples, e.g.:

"I wouldn't go anywhere in confined places now… When one person
sneezes it goes all the way through the aircraft. That's me. I would
not be, at this point, if they had another way of transportation, (be)
suggesting they ride the subway."—dispensing handy tips to protect
against the swine flu in interview with NBC's Matt Lauer, April 30,

"What am I going to tell the president when I tell him his
teleprompter's broken? What will he do then?"—mocking Barack Obama's
fabled reliance on teleprompters in a commencement address at the Air
Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo., May 27, 2009

"If it fails, I'm dead."—offering thoughts on his own "self interest"
regarding the success of the stimulus during a conference call with
governors, Sept. 24, 2009

More here:

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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