Wisdom From the Dept. of Words Better Left Unsaid
Ten entries from the Department of Words Better Left Unsaid, uttered by recent presidents, vice presidents, spouses and White House wannabes.
—“My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” President Ronald Reagan, joking in 1984 about bombing the Soviet Union, during a sound check on a live microphone.
—“If you want to see a rainbow, you’ve got to stand a little rain.” President George H.W. Bush, talking about the economy in 1991 and paraphrasing ‘’ Stand a Little Rain” by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, which he called the “The Nitty Ditty Gritty Bitty Great Band.”
—“What a terrible thing to have lost one’s mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.” Vice President Dan Quayle, in a 1989 speech.
—“ Who am I? Why am I here?” Vice presidential candidate James Stockdale, running mate to Ross Perot, during a campaign debate in 1992.
—“ You know, I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession.” Hillary Rodham Clinton during her husband’s 1992 presidential campaign.
—“It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” President Bill Clinton, during the Monica Lewinsky scandal in 2007.
—“ I think — I’ll have my staff get to you. It’s condominiums where — I’ll have them get to you.” Republican presidential candidate John McCain, unsure how many houses he owned, during the 2008 campaign.
—”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.” GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin during the 2008 campaign.
—”Look, John’s last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number-one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-OB S, jobs.” Joe Biden, talking about GOP rival McCain during the 2008 campaign.
—“ I’ve now been in 57 states. I think one left to go.” President Barack Obama, at a campaign event in Oregon in 2008.