Sunday, August 24, 2008

Great Slips of the Political Tongue

With Sen. Biden calling Sen. Obama Barack America and Sen. Obama returning the favor with 'the next President.' I thought it was high time to dig out an old book with some interesting political quotes. So here we go, from the Book of Lists 2, 1980:

  • "The United States has much to offer the third world war." Ronald Reagan, speaking in 1975 on third-world countries; he repeated the error nine times.
  • "Thank you Governor Evidence." President Richard Nixon referring to Governor Evans of Washington during the height of the Watergate scandal.
  • "That is a discredited president." Again President Nixon when he meant 'discredited precedence' during Watergate.
  • "I hope that Spiro Agnew will be completely exonerated and found guilty of the charges against him." John Connaly trying to defend the scandal plagued Vice President in 1973.
  • "My heart is as black as yours." Mario Procaccino, Democrat mayoral candidate for New York City in a speech to black voters in 1969.
  • "Frank O'Connor grows on you, like a cancer." Mario Procaccino in 1965 endorsing a fellow Democratic ally.
  • "Get this straight once and for all. The policeman isn't there to create disorder. The policeman is there to preserve disorder." Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago defending his police force cracking heads during the 1968 Democrat convention.
  • "They have vilified me, they have crucified me. Yes, they have even criticized me." Mayor Richard J. Daley attacking his critics.
  • "Many Americans don't like the simple things. That's what they have against we conservatives." Barry Goldwater during his 1964 run for the Presidency.
  • "Why thresh old straw, or beat an old bag of bones?" Sen. Everett Dirksen of Illinois, defending Claire Boothe Luce during her nomination to be the ambassador to Brazil in 1959.
  • "The right to suffer is one of the joys of a free economy." President Eisenhower's advisor Howard Pyle during the 1956 presidential campaign.
  • "The police are fully able to meet and compete with the criminals." John F. Hylan, mayor of New York City, during a crime wave in 1922.

I don't think some of those slips of the tongue will ever be topped. While others in hindsight are obvious truths. Hopefully neither Obama or Biden will intersect the tastelessness of some of these comments, may they never cross paths at the apex of bad timing either. If they do, a new Laugh-In will be saying 'Sock it to me!'

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