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April 11, 2007


Nick Kasoff - The Thug Report

I agree, putting Obama on the list is a joke. Or maybe wishful thinking. There must be a hundred moments more deserving than that.

Nick Kasoff
The Thug Report


Gerald Ford's trying to claim Poland WAS TOO NOT dominated by the Soviet Union in 1976 may have cost him any chance at winning.

Ronald Reagan's question to Jimmy Carter about support of the Kemp-Roth tax cuts; Why is it inflationary for me [Reagan] to let Americans keep more of their money to spend as they want, but not inflationary for him [Carter] to keep it and spend it the way he wants to?

Carter's jaw dropped when he heard it, and the moderator almost couldn't contain his smirk.


Regan's Tear Down This Wall has to hit in there somewhere.


Another important one was the JFK press conference during the Cuban Missle Crisis.


Now that I think about it, Reagan could probably hold all ten:

'I paid for this microphone!'

'These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc...'

'Empire of Evil...dustbin of history'

'I refuse to hold my opponent's youth and inexperience against him.'

'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.'

'They say politics is the world's second oldest profession, and the longer I'm in it I see it has a lot in common with the oldest.'

'My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes.'

'You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness.'


(b) Oliver North reversing the tide of the Iran-Contra hearings ought to crack the top 100 easily.

Brendan Sullivan's (North's lawyer)statement "I am not a potted plant" has stayed with me as the most vivid moment of those hearings.

John Dean's "There is a cancer in the White House" during Watergate was pretty compelling too.

Jeff Dobbs

PatrickR - are you Patrick R Sullivan? I only ask because of the new registration stuff.........(just say Paz if it is you)

And I agree, put up 10 Reagan moments, and I really don't need anything/anyone else.

But what the hell.....since dear Jane mentioned John Dean, can I submit that Howard Dean's Yeeeaaaaaerrrrgggghhhhhh! should at least be mentioned. Not necessarily included...but mentioned, just for the grins.


'just say Paz if it is you'

Picture...thousand">http://msnbcmedia3.msn.com/j/msnbc/Sections/Newsweek/Components/Photos/Mag/122004_Issue/041211_pazvega_vl.widec.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6700296/site/newsweek/&h=463&w=298&sz=22&hl=en&start=16&tbnid=UtZubQR38z_I8M:&tbnh=128&tbnw=82&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dpaz%2Bvega%26gbv%3D2%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26channel%3Ds%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DG">Picture...thousand words.

Jeff Dobbs

Very glad you're here. And not just because you brought Paz with you. Though that's a large part of it ;-)

Other Tom

I wholeheartedly agree that "I'm paying for this microphone" and "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" just have to go in there somewhere.

I still remember exactly where I was when Goldwater said, "And let me remind you, friends, that extremism in defense of liberty is not a vice...[ovation]...and moderation in pursuit of justice is not a virtue." I thought, in the same instant, "he's absolutely right" and "he's doomed."

"Well I am not a crook."

As for "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country," I agree with whoever it was--Milton Friedman, I think--who observed that no self-respecting lover of liberty would ever ask either question.


How about another for laughs: 'Syria is ready to resume peace talks. I'm going to Iran next'

Well, if it hasn't exactly been on TV, it should be. :(

Other Tom

Additional candidates, not necessarily top tenners:

--The Checkers speech (it still turns my stomach)

--I think it was "high-tech lynching"

--Muskie in tears

--Zell Miller in '04, God love him

--Dukakis in the tank, literally and figuratively. As someone said, he looked like Snoopy headed out to meet the Red Baron

--Ronaldus Maximus for Goldwater on the eve of the '64 election--a political career was born



Zell Miller and his spitball comment. Or his wishing for the days of duels when talking to Chris Matthews. Woohoo!


Does it count if it wasn't said in the media, but was reported and recorded to be played in the news, in movies? If so, then I go with the Flight 93, "Let's Roll!"

Rick Ballard

"(f) Walter Cronkite's nightly tally of days in captivity for the Iranian hostages also became a countdown for the Carter Administration."

Tom (Maguire),

Hmm - that wasn't Comrade Uncle Walty - that was the man from TANG. Which means that Rather should have two on the list because the TANG memo idiocy was certainly a memorable moment in US political history. (Perhaps Rather should really take second billing to Charles Johnson at LGF for his exposure of how totally vacuous the MSM propaganda machine has become...)

Jim in Virginia

Any eight sentences by Reagan, plus two lines from Presidential debates that sealed elections:
Jimmy Carter, 1980: "I was talking to my daughter Amy about nuclear disarmaament..."

John Kerry, 2004: "We all married up, me more than anyone."

Rick Ballard

CORRECTION - It was Comrade Uncle Walty - for some reason I had a memory of Rather setting under that graphic "seared" into my mind.

Jeff Dobbs

I apologize, I've said before, I have only been political post 9/11 so my memory is very shallow.

And so, I mention some of my favorites - with no delusions of them being on the "all time" list.

So anyway...

Go balloons! Go balloons! Go balloons! I don't see anything happening... Jesus! We need more balloons. I want all balloons to go, goddammit... There's not enough coming down! All balloons, what the hell! There's nothing falling! What the f@#k are you guys doing up there?" —Democratic Convention producer Don Mischer, overheard on CNN having an apoplectic seizure when the balloons failed to drop from the ceiling of the FleetCenter in Boston

I did not have sex with (fill in the blank)


One for the future.

Other Tom

Actually, the Iranian hostage countdown--or count-up--I remember most was Ted Koppel, who I had never heard of before that. I believe that was the birth of Nightline.

Bush 41, looking at a cue-card during a debate with Clinton: "Message--I care."

Jeanne Kilpatrick: "They always blame America first."

A bit obscure, but priceless. Eldridge Cleaver had just made some ridiculously pretentious statement, like "having previously dabbled in Schopenhauer and Nietzche, I turned next to Emanuel Kant." H. Rap Brown came back with "don't be preevin' de people wit no dabble. Don't be dabbin' de people wit no preevy. Don't be jivin' de people wit no preevy-dabble."

Jeff Dobbs

Sorry, I know "Bushisms" could be less desriable in this context, and obviously less historically impactful, but this one cracks me up EVERY time I read it or even think of it.....


Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country.

Why do mrs hit and run and our long island neighbor keep using the word speculum? I don't want to know that word. blah blah blah I'm not listening.


OT, you're right about Nightline.
The potted plant line was THE sound bite of Iran Contra. I believe it was after the Hawaiian Senator chairman whose name I can't spell made an uncalled-for reference to Nazis following orders and the Nuremberg trials.

Don't forget 9/11, which Clausewitz would say was a political act.

"from Illinois state senator to presidential contender in 20 minutes."
I think this is a valid point, whether we like it or not, unless he self-destructs before the primaries (or Hillary gets the goods on him).

Tom Maguire

The Dean Scream and Go, Balloons are classics - the scream has to be Top 100.

I saw not just the Jimmy Carter "I was talking to my daughter Amy and she is worried about nuclear disarmament" moment but the follow-up on Monday Night Football - the color guy was asked about the Cardinal offense and he said, roughly, "I was talking to my daughter about how to play the Cardinals and she said 'Dad, you have to stop the bomb'".

That caught some flack. I'm afraid to Google it to see what really happened.

As to Reagan - I will accept my beat-down cheerfully, but I was resisting temptation heroically in not giving him the top ten.

FOLLOWING SOME RESEARCH: It was Roger Staubach, probably *not* Monday Night, and when asked about how to stop the Cardinal offense he said "In fact, I talked to my daughter, Amy, this morning about it and she said the No. 1 problem was the bomb."

I get that from the Times archive.


Can you think of anyone else besides Obama who was promoted so far by one short TV appearance? Which is, of course, why it's a joke. No there there.


More nominations, if not necessarily Top 10ers:

Read My Lips...

I voted for it Before I Voted Against It.

Thousand Points of Light

Eisenhower's Military Industrial Complex speech

Hillary's "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" Today show appearance

Strategery (if SNL counts)

I can't belive I'm losing to this guy (ditto)


Can you think of anyone else besides Obama who was promoted so far by one short TV appearance? Which is, of course, why it's a joke. No there there.

Clinton. He gave the introductory speach for Dukakis at the '88 convention and gave the punch line of the speech before he gave the speech and ended up looking like a fool because the floor of the convention wasn't listening while they were so busy cheering and clappiung. No one had ever heard of Clinton at that point, but his gaffe got so much coverage, next thing you know, he is running for Prez.


I'd put up MacArthur's "Old Soldiers fade away" speech which I think was at West Point.


Blast, I was wrong, his speech was in front of Congress.


Sara, If you recall Clinton ran on and on and on in that speech. I turned to my husband and asked who that jerk was.

Other Tom

MacArthur' speech was indeed in front of congress, and it was "old soldiers never die, they just fade away." Somebody wrote a very corny song about it right afterward. Rightwing nutball that I am, I nevertheless always thought MacArthur was a bit too full of himself and a bit too theatrical to be my kind of military leader, and I think Truman did the right thing in canning his ass.


My Uncle served under/with MacArthur in the Phillipines.


I would put the original TANG piece on 60 minutes on the list (as a big negative). Major network tries to take down a President 2 months before the election with manifestly false evidence, in wartime.


Actually, what Clinton gave was the main nominating speech for Dukakis in 1988. Certainly one of the more dreadful speeches of the many I've heard while watching conventions, but only memorable because it didn't end his national career.

My most memorable political moment from television (other than the flash from Dallas when I was 5) is President Nixon's speech to the Cabinet and White House staff on August 9, 1974:

Always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.


Kurt Vonnegut Dead at 84


To my mind - this stands well with some of the speeches Sir Winston Churchill during WWII. I'm not ashamed to admit I was crying my eyes out by the time he finished.

President Reagan's Farewell Address to the Nation - Jan 11, 1989

"And that's about all I have to say tonight. Except for one thng. The past few days when I've been at that window upstairs, I've thought a bit of the "shining city upon a hill." The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we'd call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free.

I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it and see it still.

And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was eight years ago. But more than that; after 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she's still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home."


When Nixon made that victory (or peace sign) when he got on the plane.


Link for that:


Cecil Turner

From this list I would immediately toss out "I have caused pain in our marriage" and substitute "I did not have sexual relations with that woman...".

Better yet, toss both. A few favorites, from Kennedy:

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
And Kennedy again:
All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words "Ich bin ein Berliner."

Jeff Dobbs

Another favorite...

Then Governor Bush, not realizing a mic was within range....

"There's Adam Clymer -- major league asshole -- from the New York Times," Bush said.

"Yeah, big time," returned Cheney.


"I feel your pain"

Jeff Dobbs

It never was a tv or radio moment, but I can't let this go unmentioned....

President Jimmy Carter and the "killer rabbit"

Where will you be on the 28th anniversary of this event, one week from tomorrow?

Lew Clark

How about any of a number of Ted Kennedy's speeches. I can't listen to his beautiful flowing voice saying "ambl gubba delss mana wan um Demercradig Pahddy umma din." without a tear coming to my eye. Although I do think Anna Nicole Smith wrote a lot of his stuff for him.

Jeff Dobbs

Again, very localized to our day and age and no historical importance...but...

Chris Matthews Drooling

While I find it funny to read about, it is absolutely disturbing to me to watch it.

Crunchy Frog

As much as it pains me to mention it...

"Where was George?"

Ann Richards, 1988 Democratic National Convention


Wonder what you get if you open the list up to local and regional levels. Of recent vintage is Cincy Mayor Mark Mallory's Opening Day Pitch that will live in infamy as long as there are Reds' Opening Days.

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