Dumbest Thing Said By a Politician in 2008

Here is my list of the dumbest things said by a politician in 2008. It doesn’t necessarily have to be wrong, or stupid, what they said (for example the Jesse Jackson remark by Bill Clinton), but even when something is correct or factually accurate, it can be dumb or tone deaf to say it. So when we say “dumbest,” we mean things that are just plain dumb, things that are tone deaf, things that are staggeringly incoherent, and things that are just plain offensive. Some of these I consider dumb simply because they are so revealing, others because they are flat out lies. Or, as is the case with some of these, all of the above. I have excluded Bush from the list to keep the race competitive.

Because there are so many to choose from, you are allowed to vote for up to three. The list:

Barack Obama: “It’s not surprising, then, 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 explain their frustrations.”

***

Barack Obama: “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

***

John McCain: “The fundamentals of our economy are strong.”

***

John McCain: “That one.”

***

John McCain: “I think — I’ll have my staff get to you. It’s condominiums where — I’ll have them get to you.”

***

Hillary Clinton: “No, I really can’t. I think people have short memories. Primary contests used to last a lot longer. We all remember the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in L.A. My husband didn’t wrap up the nomination in 1992 until June. Having a primary contest go through June is nothing particularly unusual.”

***

Hillary Clinton: “I certainly do remember that trip to Bosnia, and as Togo said, there was a saying around the White House that if a place was too small, too poor, or too dangerous, the president couldn’t go, so send the First Lady. That’s where we went. I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”

***

Hillary Clinton: “Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.”

***

Hillary Clinton: “You heard Diana talk about coming from a country where votes don’t count. People go through the motions of an election only to have it discarded and disregarded. We’re seeing that right now in Zimbabwe — tragically an election was held, the president lost, they refused to abide by the will of the people. So we can never take for granted our precious right to vote.”

***

Rudy Giuliani, discussing his Florida strategy: “This is the strategy we chose; this is the one we’re going to use. We believe in it; we believe it’s going to work.”

***

Sarah Palin, on her national security creds: “We have trade missions back and forth, we do. It’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia. As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there, they are right next to our state.”

***

Sarah Palin on the Bush Doctrine: “In what respect, Charlie?”

***

Sarah Palin (multiple variations): “I told Congress, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’ on that bridge to nowhere.”

***

Sarah Palin: “Ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up the economy- Oh, it’s got to be about job creation too. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions.”

***

Bill Clinton: “Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in ‘ 84 and ’88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here.”

***

Geraldine Ferraro: “I really think they’re attacking me because I’m white.”

***

Mike Huckabee: “That was Barack Obama. He just tripped off a chair. He’s getting ready to speak and somebody aimed a gun at him and he — he dove for the floor.”

***

John Boehner, on why Republicans killed the bailout: “I believe we could have gotten there today if it weren’t for Speaker Pelosi’s partisan speech.”

***

Sarah Palin, asked which newspapers she reads: “All of them.”

***

Mitt Romney, explaining the family contribution to the War on Terror: “One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected, because they think I’d be a great president.”

***

Alberto Gonzalez: “For some reason, I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror.”

[poll id = 5]

Have fun. If you find any glaring omissions, throw them in the comments and I will add them.






150 replies
  1. 1
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Jesse Jackson talking off-mic about cutting Obama’s nuts was pretty fucking dumb. And not dumb in the revealing sense or tone-deaf dumb but dumb dumb. And I say that as an admirer of Jackson.

  2. 2

    We can only pick three? Say it ain’t so, John!

  3. 3
    Lola says:

    I had to vote for the Hillary Clinton Zimbabwe comment. That really made me mad. She agreed to the stripping of the delegates from those states and then later tried to bring civil rights into the mix. Hillary Clinton champion of civil rights! Barf! Especially in the context of her campaign’s obsession with white voters and how she dismissed Southern states that went for Obama because of their high black population. That was just disgusting and reminds me of why I could never support her in the first place. Thank God Obama beat her.

  4. 4
    Krista says:

    Now THAT is an embarrassment of riches. How in the hell did you narrow it down to just those 17?

  5. 5
    Iowa housewife says:

    I vote for anything and everthing Sarah Palin said/says.

  6. 6
    Cassidy the Racist White Man says:

    I predict that Team Palin performs a medal sweep.

  7. 7
    Rosali says:

    John Edwards: "I don’t know whose baby that is."

    (Yes, that’s a picture of me in that hotel room at 2:00am but who knows where that baby came from).

  8. 8
    woody says:

    I would say Obama’s "Bitter" remark was as close to telling the truth about the Murkin electorate as is likely to be tolerated…and it wasn’t. Not "dumb,’ per se, except insofar as it is probably ‘dumb’ to tell the Murkin lumpen-proles in the electorate the truth…

  9. 9
    Original Lee says:

    John, I’m sure it was difficult to find the dumbest comments by Sarah Palin to compete in this contest. Can we also have a contest to pick the most incoherent thing she’s said all year?

    IMO, the dumbest thing she said all year was the comment about how many newspapers she reads regularly.

  10. 10
    Laura W says:

    @Iowa housewife: I’m sort of sad to not see the "I’ll get back to ya’" gem.

  11. 11
    Reverend Dennis says:

    Not "dumb,’ per se, except insofar as it is probably ‘dumb’ to tell the Murkin lumpen-proles in the electorate the truth…

    The wisdom of your comment was borne out by the jump in firearms sales post-election.

  12. 12
    jenniebee says:

    I can’t believe you left out "all of them"

    also

  13. 13
    MattF says:

    No love for "Today, we are all Georgians"? Hmm. I guess I’ll go for a mix of Rudy and Sarah…

  14. 14
    TheFountainHead says:

    I would say Obama’s "Bitter" remark was as close to telling the truth about the Murkin electorate as is likely to be tolerated…and it wasn’t.

    I wish when the media was running all those stories about gun sales on a meteoric rise after Obama’s election win they would have said, "Gee, guess Obama was right, they DO cling to their guns."

    EDIT: Ooops, sorry Reverend Dennis, didn’t mean to jump your gun.

  15. 15
    Punchy says:

    I find it improbable that you’ve skipped over anything Larry Craig said in regards to his proclivity for blumpies. This topic alone raised ppGaz’s blood pressure 10 points and probably destroyed your spam/moderation filter, as it tried to simultaneously deal with every gay, Republican, and V**gra euphanism known to man.

  16. 16
    Singularity says:

    The Boner comment seems to be absent from the list of choices when voting and is not included in your post.

    Not that I would have voted for it, just saying…

  17. 17
    John Cole says:

    Now THAT is an embarrassment of riches. How in the hell did you narrow it down to just those 17?

    Just sat down with a cup of coffee and created the list from memory in about an hour this morning. It was really easy- these were so stupid they are etched into my memory.

    I just added “all of them” and John Boehner’s comments about the bailout bill failing due to Nancy Pelosi being mean.

  18. 18
    Singularity says:

    GAH! No fair playing with the list while I’m commenting!

  19. 19
    charles pierce says:

    Not a single one from Mitt Romney?
    Not even the one about how his sons were doing their bit for the war on terror by campaigning for him in Iowa?
    Not even the one about how, when he was on his Mormon mission in Provence, he really wanted to be humping the Central Highlands?
    Pity.

  20. 20
    Rosali says:

    Gramm: We have become a nation of whiners

  21. 21
    Robert Johnston says:

    While one of Palin’s witticisms surely must be the dumbest thing said by a politician in 2008, Ferraro did manage the heroic feat of getting me to believe that Reagan’s reelection may not have been such a bad thing.

  22. 22
    yugan says:

    pretty good collection of dumb quotes. nice work.

  23. 23

    Barack Obama: “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

    Well, this item doesn’t meet the tests you set forth. It is just a figure of speech that was poorly chosen but didn’t mean what it was purported to mean, at all. The better phrase would have been "level the playing field" to convey the real meaning of the conversation he was having with Joe the Fuckstain.

    Obama won the election by nearly ten million votes, the last time I looked at a chart. Even while his adversaries were pounding this so-called "gaffe" along with its cousin, "socialist", and its thuggish companion, "palling around with terrorists." These slams against him didn’t work, never had any air in them, and received attention from blogs and media idiots because this kind of blurb-centric thought process is what drives the blogs and the media idiots.

    The lesson of the thing is that the voters are not quite as dumb as everyone thought, and the ill-chosen figure of speech was just a minor mistake made in a two-year long campaign in which thousands of phrases were used, and some of them used poorly. It didn’t matter when he said it, and it doesn’t matter now, and it’s a dumbass thing to put it on this list.

  24. 24

    And why don’t you fix the goddam moderation filter?

  25. 25
    Tymannosourus says:

    Palin’s economy gibberish, easy.

    Her nonsense brought Tina Fey’s character to life and started the meteoric dive in her approval ratings. Plus, that youtube clip helped me convert two of my republican friends for this election, at least.

  26. 26
    John Cole says:

    The next person who whines about the god damned comment filter is banned. I will pull this fucking car over now.

    The reason your comments are always in moderation is because for some fucking reason every comment you make has the word “s0cialist” in it, which contains the word “ci@lis,” which trips the comment filter. You have been told this 500 times, but still can not clue in.

    As to the filter, it is there for a reason- so I do not have to spend 3 hours every day weeding out everyone’s precious thoughts from spam for ci@lis or Pen1s enlargers. For fucks sake, deal with it. Your comments are never in moderation for too long, 3-4 hours at the maximum.

  27. 27
    Josh Hueco says:

    I voted for two Hillaries and one Sarah…a slap in the face, I tell you.

  28. 28
    Zifnab says:

    Oh, come now John. You’re missing out on a plethora of absolutely fantastic comments made by the quick wits in the US Senate. Can’t give all the love to folks running for the White House.

    "I think the defining issue in ’08 is going to be Hillary Clinton."
    — Senate Min. Leader Mitch McConnell, asked if Iraq would be the defining issue of ’08, Louisville Courier-Journal, 8/5

    In the Senate yesterday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of breaking their promise to confirm a number of presidential judicial nominations. To punish the Dems, McConnell used Senate rules to waste virtually the whole day having the Senate clerk read the bill under consideration, a global warming bill, allowed — all 491 pages of it. Why? A Republican lobbyist leaked an internal GOP strategy memo to the Democrats (quote): "The GOP very much wants to have this fight, engage in it for a prolonged period, and then make it as difficult as possible to move off the bill." Why? (quote) "The focus is much more on making political points than in amending the bill, changing the baseline text for any future debate, or effecting policy."

    "Now, listen, I’ve voted ‘present’ two or three times in my entire 25-year political career, where there might have been a conflict of interest and I didn’t feel like I should vote," Boehner said. "In Congress, we have a red button, a green button and a yellow button, alright. Green means ‘yes,’ red means ‘no,’ and yellow means you’re a chicken s***.
    "And the last thing we need in the White House, in the oval office, behind that big desk, is some chicken who wants to push this yellow button."
    ~John Boehner commenting on Obama’s voting record

    Americans did not vote for higher taxes to fund a redistribution of wealth; drastic cuts in funding for our troops; the end of secret ballots for workers participating in union elections; more costly obstacles to American energy production; or the imposition of government-run health care on employers and working families." – John Boehner Washington Post

    Tennessee Senator Bob Corker said yesterday that a crisis like the U.S. automakers’ fight for survival can create opportunities by forcing people to look at things in new ways.

    Majority Leader Harry Reid seconded McConnell’s assessment. “I’ve been extremely impressed with Bob Corker,” says Reid, a Nevada Democrat. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat, says Corker did a “magnificent job.”

  29. 29
    Punchy says:

    @John Cole: /hands Cole a tissue and a coughdrop

  30. 30

    I don’t mind being put in moderation for spamming my low-cost Canuckistani phallic prosthesis advertisements, reallly. But what’s the reasoning behind the spam filter’s obsession with pedal haberdashery?

  31. 31
    Sam Simple says:

    "You are all Joe the Plumber" – a befuddled John McCain.

    Absolutely retarded.

  32. 32

    The reason your comments are always in moderation is because for some fucking reason every comment you make has the word “s0cialist” in it,

    Really? Every comment? I’ll be darned. That’s just amazing. I think you probably meant 0.0001% but who’s quibbling?

    And if there are these trigger words, then possibly they could be published and we could all save time and aggravation by avoiding their use, and you wouldn’t have to waste time dealing with moderation intercepts all day.

  33. 33
    shortstop says:

    I just added “all of them” and John Boehner’s comments about the bailout bill failing due to Nancy Pelosi being mean.

    Damn! I must revote. Can you put "I have a wide stance" in there, too?

  34. 34

    Oh, and John? I got that last comment through without it going into moderation. So there.

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  35. 35
    John Cole says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat: That is not the only reason. Another reason, I believe, is when someone tries to comment from a new IP but uses a handle they have used before. That trips it sometimes.

    So, if you are traveling or whatnot, that might be an issue.

    But you are missing the point. Your comments are never in moderation for long, they always get posted, so cut me some damned slack. This isn’t my job.

  36. 36
    Josh Hueco says:

    soshulizm, that’s how they say it in Texas.

  37. 37
    Dave S. says:

    I would add McCain’s line about "the health of the mother" during the debate but are we including presentation style (jabbing finger-quotes) in the judging?

  38. 38
    Krista says:

    I voted too early…the updated ones on there are also very worthy of mockery, especially Boehner calling the WAHHHmbulance about Pelosi’s speech.

  39. 39
    shortstop says:

    I would add McCain’s line about "the health of the mother" during the debate but are we including presentation style (jabbing finger-quotes) in the judging?

    Then we’d have to start adding McCain lines that were just garden-variety stupid but notable for ending with a creepy smile, and where would it all end?

  40. 40
    ppcli says:

    Really it’s unfair to have a competition like this without putting Palin quotes in a separate category all by themselves. A bit like bringing NBA teams to a wheelchair basketball tournament. Don’t forget the remarks about "Real America", or the "I’ll have to get back to ya [twinkle, wink]" when pressed to give examples supporting her claim that McCain advocated regulation of Wall Street.
    .
    Also, I fear the list is unacceptably Biden-free. Remember "Obama will be tested right away"? Or Roosevelt going on the radio after the crash of ’29?

  41. 41
    John Cole says:

    @ppcli: I couldn’t remember any Biden ones, to be honest, until you mentioned them. I think that Biden suffered from the soft bigotry of low expectations. I expected him to say a ton of really stupid things during the election, but he really didn’t say anything that gaffetastic, so they didn’t stand out.

    Really, that SNL skit of him at the debate really summed it up:

    “My goal tonight was a simple one. To come up here tonight and at no point seem like a condescending egomaniacal bully. And I got to be honest. I think I nailed it.”

    The same with his gaffes. His only job was to not say something so stupid they would lose the election, and he nailed it.

  42. 42
    ChrisB says:

    Palin’s in a different league. The only way she loses is if her vote gets spread among all the incredibly stupid and nonsensical things she said.

    I thought Palin sounded just as bad just before she came up with the "Putin rearing his head" comment. She couldn’t spit out a response to the ridicule her "Russia’s just across the border" generated and Katie Couric had to finish her sentence for her:

    Sarah Palin: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and, on our other side, the land-boundary that we have with Canada. It’s funny that a comment like that was kinda made to … I don’t know, you know … reporters.

    Couric: Mocked?

    Palin: Yeah, mocked, I guess that’s the word, yeah.

    Remember?

    Meanwhile, some of the stuff Blagojevich said on tape was so dumb it could land him in prison.

  43. 43
    Bad Horse's Filly says:

    I think if you combine Gramm’s nation of whiners with McCain’s I’m suspending my campaign you get the combination that put the final nail in the coffin of McCain’s run for president. The first 100 nails were all put there by anything Sarah Palin said.

  44. 44
    matt says:

    Also dumb: "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

    if ((backslash)bciallis(backslash)b/i) {moderate;}

  45. 45
    Ugh says:

    We have a late entry from Alberto Gonzales in today’s WSJ:

    "What is it that I did that is so fundamentally wrong, that deserves this kind of response to my service?" he said during an interview Tuesday, offering his most extensive comments since leaving government.

    During a lunch meeting two blocks from the White House, where he served under his longtime friend, President George W. Bush, Mr. Gonzales said that "for some reason, I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror."

  46. 46
  47. 47
    ChrisB says:

    @ppcli: Beat me to it about Palin being in a different league.

    Oh, and it was FDR going on television, wasn’t it? Not radio.

  48. 48
    Reverend Dennis says:

    John McCain’s repudiation of John McCain was transcendentally dumb. As was his campaign’s habit of slapping down the POW card in response to every criticism of him.

  49. 49
    The Other Steve says:

    John McCain’s green screen speech, in it’s entirety.

    BTW, the Boehner thing about the partisan speech was pretty dumb, but it was followed up with the funny from Barney Frank offering the Republicans a hug if it’d make ’em feel better.

  50. 50
    sparky says:

    2 small carping complaints: (1) the bitter comment wasn’t made in public unlike the rest of these and IMO remarks made in private don’t count in this kind of a contest. i suppose you could substitute "you’re likeable enough Hillary" if only because it made some PUMA heads explode. (2) sarah p. really is an embarrassment of riches and perhaps should be off the table ala GWB. also.

  51. 51
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole @ Top:

    I have excluded Bush from the list to keep the race competitive.

    On that basis, you should have excluded Sarah Palin too.

    Or better yet, run two dumbest quotes contests:

    1) Showdown Edition, Bush V. Palin
    2) The Rest

    .

  52. 52
    Dreggas says:

    @sparky:

    When was making PUMA heads explode a bad thing?

  53. 53
    WereBear says:

    My fellow prisoners…

    John McCain

  54. 54

    from a new IP but uses a handle they have used before.

    I have pretty much stopped handle-shopping since the new filter, for that reason.

    But anyway, doesn’t this aggressive filter just mean that somebody has to hover over the thing all the time and do the moderation? I don’t see how that serves humanity.

    And if a simple "soc–list" = "c–lis" thing is really that important, that could handled in such a way as to trap it for the commenter and let the commenter fix it, no? Why elevate it to something you guys have to deal with? Besides, now that I know this, I can avoid it myself.

    I mean, really, did demi design this stuff?

  55. 55
    Publicola says:

    Sarah Palin on federal funding for scientific research:

    "Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? […] You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not."

    As a scientist that is one of the dumbest f*cking things I have ever heard from a national ticket candidate; right up there with Palin’s defense of her foreign policy cred.

  56. 56
    Gus says:

    I would say Obama’s "Bitter" remark was as close to telling the truth about the Murkin electorate as is likely to be tolerated…and it wasn’t.

    Exactly. When I heard he said that I thought it was a gaffe in the sense Michael Kinsley once defined it: telling the truth by accident.

  57. 57

    "for some reason, I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror."

    Amazing. You know, Dems may be obnoxious, disagreeable, spineless, and contentious amongst themselves, but they rarely are recorded saying these totally headshaking, jaw-dropping things dripping with self pity and hubris. Republicans continue to raise that bar.

  58. 58
    Rosali says:

    I know that Hillary didn’t say this but she should not have allowed her staff to say that Obama was a liar because he said he wanted to be president when he was in kindergarten. That just smelled of desperation from the Hillary camp.

  59. 59
    sparky says:

    @Dreggas: not me; i thought it was a pretty good example of SNAP, meself. i was just casting around for something Obama said that might have better been left unsaid in public and that one came to mind.

  60. 60

    I would say Obama’s "Bitter" remark was as close to telling the truth about the Murkin electorate as is likely to be tolerated…and it wasn’t.

    I took it a different way. I’d have expressed it in terms of the manipulation of those voters by our opposition, the crass use of deflection and cultural issues in order to paper over the failures of policy that don’t just make voters bitter, but make them desperate.

    It was a truth, but it wasn’t well articulated, and it focussed on the wrong end of the problem. The problem is with the relentless exploitation of voter dissatisfaction by the right, an exploitation that is patently dishonest and cynical.

  61. 61
    C says:

    @Punchy: "I find it improbable that you’ve skipped over anything Larry Craig said in regards to his proclivity for blumpies."

    I am so depressed that I recognized that.

  62. 62
    Tsulagi says:

    Hey, not enough luv for the well-coiffed hockey mom cum oilwoman. Ably demonstrating the deep value brought to the R-ticket while showing she takes no backseat to The Decider in her expertise in oil and energy…

    Oil and coal? Of course, it’s a fungible commodity and they don’t flag, you know, the molecules, where it’s going and where it’s not.

    Don’t even try to flag her molecules, she’ll divaslap your ass.

  63. 63
    The Moar You Know says:

    We have a late entry from Alberto Gonzales in today’s WSJ:

    "What is it that I did that is so fundamentally wrong, that deserves this kind of response to my service?" he said during an interview Tuesday, offering his most extensive comments since leaving government.

    During a lunch meeting two blocks from the White House, where he served under his longtime friend, President George W. Bush, Mr. Gonzales said that "for some reason, I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror."

    @Ugh: The mind reels. Fuck. He reminds me of a four-year old. "What did I do wrong?" Somebody waterboard this sonofabitch until he either dies or figures out just what the fuck it he did that "is so fundamentally wrong".

  64. 64
    JGabriel says:

    @sparky:

    BTW, the Boehner thing about the partisan speech was pretty dumb, but it was followed up with the funny from Barney Frank offering the Republicans a hug if it’d make ‘em feel better.

    Now, now. Let’s not get carried away. Barney Frank didn’t go so far as to offer Boehner his manly physical affection.

    All Frank said was that he’d be "uncharacteristically nice".

    Or something like that.

    .

  65. 65
    Frank Sobotka says:

    Obama’s comments weren’t "dumb," they were tactless.

  66. 66

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    I mean, really, did demi design this stuff?

    I wish. I’ve never written anything which competes with Emacs for it’s incomprehensibility, you know.

  67. 67

    I wish. I’ve never written anything which competes with Emacs for it’s incomprehensibility, you know.

    Dude, you are talking to a vi user. Incomprehensible would be an improvement.

  68. 68
    The Moar You Know says:

    I would say Obama’s "Bitter" remark was as close to telling the truth about the Murkin electorate as is likely to be tolerated…and it wasn’t.

    @woody: I noticed that even the McCain camp didn’t bring that one up too much – it was one of those statements that is so true that even they realized that it wasn’t a good idea to keep it in the public eye.

  69. 69

    But you are missing the point. Your comments are never in moderation for long, they always get posted, so cut me some damned slack. This isn’t my job.

    This is mostly true. You do a good job of taking comments out of moderation, although I had one that was in the bucket for over 2 hours one time.

    By the way, My name will be changing tomorrow, just so you know, I will have to be moderated, should we schedule that puppy now and be ready for it?

  70. 70
    JL says:

    The scene that amused me the most was when McCain wandered around the stage while Obama was speaking. Jon Stewarts take on it was hilarious. (Mr. Puddles)

  71. 71
    Napoleon says:

    @CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMVIII:

    By the way, My name will be changing tomorrow

    Let me guess, CIRCVS MAXIMVS MMIX

  72. 72
    NonyNony says:

    Aren’t you jumping the gun a bit John – 2008 still has between 11 and 14 hours left here in the US (depending on time zone) – plenty of time for a politician to come up with something even stupider than you’ve given us to choose from.

    For example, Illinois Rep Bobby Rush just said this morning that if the Senate didn’t seat Burris, it would be because they’re racist. Just like Bull Connor not letting the children into the school in Little Rock in ’57.

    We have 11 or so hours left. Why not hold out and do the voting on Friday when can be sure that there won’t be any new entries to worry about?

  73. 73
    The Moar You Know says:

    the funny from Barney Frank offering the Republicans a hug if it’d make ‘em feel better.

    Clue to Democrats: this is the kind of thing you do when you’re the party in charge. Please start doing it. All the time.

    -The Moar You Know

  74. 74
    DaveB says:

    I take a backseat to no one in my loathing for Sarah Palin. She’s a pathological liar, a power-hungry politican who’ll say and do anything for more power, and a true know-nothing who appears to be proud of her ignorance. But I believe the Palin saturation factor is biasing the polls. I have to vote for Mitt Romney:

    To somehow equate his sons campaigning for him with military service was a new low. What an insult to all those serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Mitt, I hope you prayed for the safety of your sons while they were roughing it in the jungles of Hyatt and Westin hotels, wondering whether they would even survive each day to eat another room service breakfast.

  75. 75

    Wow, Napoleon knows how to count. I’m impressed (not really).

  76. 76
    Emma Anne says:

    I limited myself to only one Sarah Palin quote. Putin’s head, of course.

  77. 77
    lewp says:

    As others have said, for sheer, unadulterated dumbness, Palin’s a category killer. It’s like Ann Coulter and Sullivan’s "Malkin Award": got to eliminate her to give somebody else a chance.

    And some solid competitors were attempts to defend Palin. Has there ever been a dumber idea pushed repeatedly by a candidate and a campaign then the "proximity to Russia as foreign policy credential" concept? How about making fun of community organizers, as a way to defend her stint as a small-town mayor? How about McCain saying that Palin knows more about energy than anyone in the US?

    And then, of course, she proved it with this quote:

    Of course, it’s a fungible commodity and they don’t flag, you know, the molecules, where it’s going and where it’s not. But in the sense of the Congress today, they know that there are very, very hungry domestic markets that need that oil first. So, I believe that what Congress is going to do, also, is not to allow the export bans to such a degree that it’s Americans who get stuck holding the bag without the energy source that is produced here, pumped here. It’s got to flow into our domestic markets first.

  78. 78
    bago says:

    Visual aid for "Putin rearin his head".

    Visual aid for EMACS.

  79. 79

    “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

    As others have noted, this one doesn’t belong on the list, mainly because it’s exactly true. From 1990 until about 2002 I wrote resumes for over 7000 clients, including salary histories. I will go to my grave bitterly protesting the insanely rigged compensation games that were played under the Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush regimes.

    Spreading the wealth around is what created our post-WWII boom. Fucking over workers and giving all productivity gains to the parasitical owners/top executives was criminal, unAmerican, and profoundly unfair. EVERYTHING that is wrong with America today can be laid at the doorstep of the richest one-tenth of one percent, the greediest few who put themselves ahead of actual workers and in so doing destroyed the world economy.

    Kill the fucking rich before they destroy what’s left of our economy.

  80. 80
    Bill Arnold says:

    I still think Palin’s use of a fib as the top line of her resume ("thanks but no thanks" re Bridge to Nowhere) was the start of the downfall of the McCain/Palin campaign. The continued repeats after debunking annoyed the press to no end and they started fact checking everything, which disrupted the standard Republican political tactic of lying so often that the press can’t be bothered to keep up. (It also kept the Democrats a little more honest.)

  81. 81
    srv says:

    3-4 hours at the maximum.

    That’s a lifetime here. Snark empires have risen and fallen in less time than that.

    BTW, I think TheHatOnMyCat is too close to "I put on my robe and my wizard hat", so you may want to add it to your .emacs file.

  82. 82
    Splitting Image says:

    I voted for Palin (Putin), McCain (fundamentals), and Ferraro (poor little white me).

    I had the same reaction Robert Johnston did to Ferraro this year. It means glossing over Reagan’s many failings to feel this way, but Ferraro’s behaviour made me glad that the ticket with her on it got trounced as thoroughly as it did.

    I also agree with some of the other posters that Obama’s "bitter" comment should be disqualified on the grounds that the Palin campaign proved his point for him.

    Phil Gramm’s "Nation of whiners", on the other hand, definitely ought to be on that list.

    And a write-in vote for Gonzo, too. Just when you think some people can’t sink any lower….

  83. 83
    Krista says:

    The scene that amused me the most was when McCain wandered around the stage while Obama was speaking. Jon Stewarts take on it was hilarious. (Mr. Puddles)

    That WAS beyond entertaining (yet slightly pitiful) to watch. He looked like he’d forgotten his Aricept.

    Of course, it also came off as incredibly disrespectful for him to be roaming the stage like that while his opponent was talking.

    Befuddled and rude….now THAT’s presidential!

  84. 84
    jenniebee says:

    John – I had the same problem re: cia1is, s0ci@1ism, back in the old old old days when I had my own pol blog. Solved it by changing the filter to allow ‘cia1is’, disallow ‘ cia1is’ and ‘cia1is ‘ figuring that anybody posting about the drug would have to put a space on one side or the other of it for it to make any sense. Saved a lot of headaches.

    Your mileage may vary.

  85. 85
    Garrigus Carraig says:

    John, I’ve never asked you for anything. Please add the Gonzalez quote. Please.

  86. 86
    Jay C says:

    I picked the three that I voted for (McCain "condos"; Palin "Putin" and Boehner "mean") based not only just on their content of Teh Stoopid (and the commenters who have pointed out this year’s overabundance of that are quite right) – but on their subsequent (negative) effects on the political scene To wit:

    McCain: "condos": positive, carefully-fostered "regular guy" image with the media shattered with a single gaffe – and since painting ol’ John as the more "in-touch" and "real American" candidate was going to be a fundamental theme of the GOP campaign, a HUGE mistake.

    Palin: "Putin": It’s really hard to pick and choose among Caribou Barbie’s many misspeakings: this one will do as an archetype. When your image as a national candidate is already being mocked for inexperience, opening your yap and reinforcing the mockery really doesn’t help. Nor does doubling down on the campaign trail and trying to paint willful ignorance as some sort of salt-of-the-Earth virtue (*cough* "Joe the Plumber" *cough).

    Boehner: "mean": A Trifecta of Fail! Not only did Larry, Moe and Shemp Boehner, Blunt and Cantor make themselves look stupid, petty and obstructionist; they also managed to tar their own President’s Administration, AND the GOP Presidential candidate with the same Stench-O-Stoopid as well. And got voted down in the end, anyway!

    A vintage year for political idiocy!

  87. 87
    DMan says:

    I know it’s late, but can we vote this one up there?

    John McCain, on Sarah Palin:"I think she’s most qualified of any that has run recently for vice president, tell you the truth."

  88. 88
    jenniebee says:

    @Mark Gisleson:

    Kill the fucking rich before they destroy what’s left of our economy.

    While we’re dealing with the rich, could we take a side trip and give Alberto "casualty" Gonzales a little taste of what it actually means to be a casualty of the war on terror?

    "What is it that I did that is so fundamentally wrong, that deserves this kind of response to my service?" he said during an interview Tuesday, offering his most extensive comments since leaving government.

    During a lunch meeting two blocks from the White House, where he served under his longtime friend, President George W. Bush, Mr. Gonzales said that "for some reason, I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror."

  89. 89
    jenniebee says:

    @John Cole: best comment about Biden in his debate was that he must have studied the tape of Johnny Carson interviewing Charro, because he just nailed the "I am enjoying the presence of a pretty, bubbly woman, thanks to the fact that the porn soundtrack in my head is drowning out the sound of her voice" look.

  90. 90
    Dawn says:

    Being an American that lives in Europe my favorite quote came from Mike Huckabee at the RNC.

    ‘Barack Obama’s excellent adventure to Europe took his campaign for change to hundreds of thousands of people who don’t even vote or pay taxes here.’

    I actually did vote in the election and the IRS still requires me to pay taxes. If that has changed GREAT, I’d like to know.

  91. 91
    Brian J says:

    Wasn’t Steve Doocy of Fox News the one who first started spreading the idea that Palin had foreign policy credentials because Alaska was close to Russia? If so, he deserves the spot, not her. What she said was stupid, of course, but a lot of people repeated the senseless idea, so the original source deserves the infamy.

    Anyway, I think it’s incredible we’re only talking about political figures in this post. Can you imagine the stupidity that would reappear if we included stuff from the wingnuts?

  92. 92
    Rainy says:

    The two comments by Obama were not dumb. Not in the least.

  93. 93
    Brian J says:

    Also, I fear the list is unacceptably Biden-free. Remember "Obama will be tested right away"? Or Roosevelt going on the radio after the crash of ‘29?

    I thought Biden’s comments about FDR and 1929 were stupid, but in different way than most other comments. He fudged up the facts, but his point was still clear. He didn’t make any sort of bizarre judgments, such as Romney claiming his sons volunteering for his campaign was like being in Iraq, or any statements that reflected a disconnect with reality, like what Ferrarro said about being white. He just messed up.

  94. 94
    Brian J says:

    Amazing. You know, Dems may be obnoxious, disagreeable, spineless, and contentious amongst themselves, but they rarely are recorded saying these totally headshaking, jaw-dropping things dripping with self pity and hubris. Republicans continue to raise that bar.

    Wow. If there was ever a succinct reason about why it’s better to be a Democrat than to be a Republican, that may be it. Leaving aside ideology, our side seems to be a little less insane than the other side.

  95. 95
    Surly Duff says:

    What about Michelle Bachmann>

    "That’s not the way that most Americans feel about our country. Most Americans, Chris, are wild about America and they’re very concerned to have a president that does not share those values. …I am very concerned that he may have anti-American views"

    She almost lost her election because of that stupidity. It may not rise to the level of others on the list, but it could be in the running.

  96. 96
    Brian J says:

    Clue to Democrats: this is the kind of thing you do when you’re the party in charge. Please start doing it. All the time.

    Absolutely. When Frank said he would say uncharacteristically nice things about the Republicans if they would stop threatening to harm the economy and the country, he made them look like the fools they are.

  97. 97
    Brian J says:

    @Surly Duff:

    Are you sure she said that? She said she didn’t. Also, are you sure she wasn’t set up by Chris Matthews and other members of the liberal media?

  98. 98

    Oh crud, why’d you have to add Gonzo?

    Without him, Obama saying ‘spread the wealth around’ was literally what people considered the least dumb thing in the list, and it warmed my commie heart to see how comparatively popular that concept was with people :)

    This is America. srsly, spread it around. Go middle class :)

  99. 99
    rawshark says:

    @Brian J:

    Actually Karl Rove started it when he said Bush had foreign policy cred because he was governor of Texas and Texas borders Mexico.

  100. 100
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    For some reason I can’t figure out how to cast a vote (on this computer anyway), but I’d say Palin should win just by virtue of cumulative stupidity.

    I think anyone who said with a straight face that Palin was qualified because of (1) her "executive" experience or (2) Russia being so close to Alaska deserves a special mention.

  101. 101
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Brian J:

    Ah, you were way ahead of me. I agree. These people know better.

    My word, even Cindy McCain said it with a straight face.

  102. 102
    lee says:

    Did voting close?

    I cannot find the link to vote. All I see is the totals.

  103. 103
    rawshark says:

    @Brian J:

    Matthews asked her if she thinks Obama has anti-american views. She said she thinks he does (she didn’t just agree she explained why she thinks so, see above quote). When it blew up in her face she said she only said anti-american because Matthews said it (please) and then blamed the liberal media’s attack style.
    The only thing worse is that the right bought it, but then they are conditioned to.

  104. 104
    lee says:

    ok…wierd. I posted a comment and the vote totals switched to vote.

  105. 105
    iluvsummr says:

    Surly beat me to it but I’d like to add another Bachmannism.

    Michele Bachmann channeling McCarthy: What I would say — what I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think people would love to see an expose like that.

  106. 106
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    Yay, the computer finally showed the voting buttons. At least I’m pretty sure that was the problem.

  107. 107
    Cpl. Cam says:

    If you want to keep the race competitive you should eliminate Palin from the list cause that bitch is crazy stupid. In fact I’m positive she’s personally responsible for the top ten stupidest things I’ve heard all year with the possible exceptions of John McCain’s "the fundamentals… are strong" and "Why not spend the next hundred years in Iraq?" Yeah, sounds like fun, douche-bag. That comment worked out about as well for him as anyone with half a brain could have expected.

  108. 108
    robertdsc says:

    Don’t forget the remarks about "Real America",

    The funny thing is that in the place she said that at, they went for Obama/Biden by a 60/30 (rough estimate) margin.

    No "air quotes for the ‘health’ of the mother" by Johnny Mac? Failing that, I went for "That one."

  109. 109
    MikeJ says:

    Since people seem to agree that Obama’s statements weren’t stupid, I’ll offer up his series of speeches on the wonders of pie. The man likes pie. Pie tastes good. He knows all about pie, and had opportunities to eat a lot of pies on the campaign trail. The only thing he likes more than pie is talking about pie.

    I’d still call it quirky and amusing, not stupid, but opinions could vary I suppose. I think Obama gave more speeches about pie than Palin gave interviews, before the election anyway.

  110. 110

    In regard to Obama’s "bitter" comment, that is the danger of speaking off hand about something contentious, even when you think you’re among friends. How you phrase the truth can have a lot to do with how acceptable it is.

    I stick with Palin’s "no thanks" line as the stupidest possible thing a politician could do. Americans will accept/expect exaggeration and minimization but outright lies piss them off. Defining yourself at the outset as a liar is fatal. Hillary’s "sniper" falls into the same catagory though it was at least, later in the campaign.

    Boehner’s comment defined the Republicans and elevated Pelosi, in the midst of a crisis, wow… If that gem doesn’t show up in House races somebody is dropping the ball.

  111. 111
    Wini says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals: I’m so glad I arrived at home to find voting still open! I read your earlier comment on my Blackberry and was a bit worried I wouldn’t have a chance to vote.

  112. 112
    Zifnab says:

    @Garrigus Carraig:

    John, I’ve never asked you for anything. Please add the Gonzalez quote. Please.

    It’s almost like Gonzo had this knee-jerk reaction to say something stupid in order to round out the year. I almost say pull him, just because he was clearly angling to top the list.

  113. 113
    Downpuppy says:

    Palin’s "All of Them" is not much in itself, but when you take it as everything she said it’s unpossible to top.

  114. 114
    Comrade Desert Hussein Rat says:

    I don’t know which of these was the dumbest, because frankly, when confronted with such an odoriferous shitpile, it’s hard to figure out which particular turd smells the worst. For for the effect it had on politics, there was no dumber line than McCain’s "the fundamentals of our economy are strong."

    Forget Sarah Palin (though choosing her as a running mate certainly helped to sink him), that single line killed McCain’s campaign.

    It was the point of departure from the experience of most Americans that the Dems (and Obama) drove home, and the perception that McCain was clueless about the economy was built on the most solid foundation possible: his own words.

    It gets my vote.

  115. 115
    JGabriel says:

    rawshark:

    When it blew up in [Bachmann’s] face she said she only said "Anti-American" because Matthews said it (please) and then blamed the liberal media’s attack style.

    The only thing worse is that the right bought it, but then they are conditioned to.

    Repeating it is not the same as buying it. Nor were they necessarily conditioned to – some of them just repeated it because they enjoy being obnoxious jackasses.

    .

  116. 116
    justcorbly says:

    We should distinguish the merely dumb remark from the "dumb to say it in public" remark. The latter may be very accurate.

    Obama’s comments about speading wealth were essentially accurate. We would be better off it some of the wealth held by the very rich was transferred to the very poor. Such is the damage done by conservatism that such a notion cannot be voiced aloud.

    While not everyone who owns a gun or attends church does so to fill an emotional void, a lot of people do, in fact, make a fetish out of both.

    Pretty much everything Palin said this year is just plain dumb.

  117. 117
    AttackTribble says:

    I think I’ve got it, and it isn’t on the list. I don’t know who said it, just that it was said. It went something like this: "Mrs. Palin, will you accept the VP nomination?"

  118. 118
    Mark-NC says:

    Why did you pick Sarah Palin? McCain answered that Palin was “…probably one of the most foremost experts in this nation on energy issues.”

    Also:

    Senator John McCain tried to turn Acorn into a mighty oak of evilness, one that’s “maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.”

  119. 119
    Comrade Stuck says:

    George W. Bush

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

    I know it was in 2004, but nothing else uttered by the entire living human race has measured up since.

  120. 120
    lewp says:

    For the record, as bad as the shit pile from this year is, and as much as Palin takes the cake for singular cluelessness, George Allen’s maccacca line is still the single most impactfully stupid line of the last several years: that single line cost him the senate and cost him the nomination this year… I’ll stop there, because I assume he couldn’t have beaten Obama in the general, and no doubt would’ve found another way to self-destruct in the process of showing his true colors (especially if he were facing Obama.. hm, could’ve been interesting).

  121. 121
    bago says:

    We are but a fraction of a dot of a system of a galaxy of a cluster of a quadrant of a universe. We are the only known survivors of all of known existence and creation. To argue that we have no obligation to any of our fellow travelers on this speck of sand in this vast ocean of space is impenetrably short sighted (and that’s using the nice language). It would be like one of a trio of survivors of a plane wreck in the Himalayas arguing not to share their body heat because their fat-ass earned it theirselves. We just now got around to figuring out how to not be complete retards and use electricity to send and store data, instead of traveling from place to place or writing it down like cavemen. IT, the theory of information wasn’t even formalized until my parents were born. If history has shown us anything, it is that this biosphere flying through the universe is unique and god damned lucky. We are all one bad bounce from extinction and permanent silence in the universe. To think that helping your fellow man and intelligent beings from figuring out ways to prevent our extinction is some affront to the grandeur of your personality is not only offensive, but practically deserving of recrimination. A person cannot claim individuality if they are honest. As a human stands right now they are a colony of over 200 species of bacteria (and mitochondria) operating in a communal cluster. Operating upon only the cells that match their DNA (excepting your mitochondrial DNA), you are still a collective of differentiated parts working in harmony to do such simple things such as let you see light, or escape from the womb. If you want to stand alone, go stand alone on mars. Assuming you can get there. See how long you last. Tragedy of the commons includes you motherfucker, you’re a group of common cells.

    I have no idea who that rant was directed towards, other than your typical libertarian individualist, but that felt good.

  122. 122
    ppcli says:

    George Allen’s maccacca line is still the single most impactfully stupid line of the last several years

    True – also I think it was the first stupid moment to reveal the new playing field resulting from the full destructive power of Youtube. I expect that as bad as Palin was, it might have been possible to sell her to 50 % plus one of the public if her most revealing moments (Couric interview, etc.) weren’t endlessly repeated online. Maybe Schmidt was just like the WWI generals who kept ordering infantry charges into the teeth of well-entrenched enemy with machine guns. It used to work, but new technology meant the old strategy was a guarantee of carnage.
    .
    I expect Schmidt thought "Sure, she’s a simpleton, but so were Reagan and Bush Jr. and we sold them to the people. Amirite?"

  123. 123
    alias says:

    mccain: today we are all georgians.

    jesse jackson (not technically a politician, but…): i wanna cut his nuts off.

  124. 124
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @bago:

    Bravo Bago! I love cosmic rants that go where no man has gone before. You took the Blue Pill, didn’t you rascal?

  125. 125
    Laura W says:

    @Comrade Stuck: (pssssssst…..Stuck……have you eaten? slept? I didn’t want to get in the crossfire "over there" and turn into yet more collateral damage, but you’ve been working it hard, like for days, no? Clearly you’re still conscious, since your sense of humor remains. Aren’t you exhausted yet? I don’t care how old you are…you got stamina, man!
    S-T-A-M-I-N-A. Can we get you a cup-a-soup or a handi-wipe or somethin’?)

  126. 126
    bago says:

    It looked purple to me…

  127. 127
    Comrade Stuck says:

    (pssssssst…..Stuck……have you eaten? slept? I didn’t want to get in the crossfire "over there" and turn into yet more collateral damage, but you’ve been working it hard, like for days, no? Clearly you’re still conscious, since your sense of humor remains. Aren’t you exhausted yet? I don’t care how old you are…you got stamina, man!
    S-T-A-M-I-N-A. Can we get you a cup-a-soup or a handi-wipe or somethin’?)

    I am teh Superman of blog. The Batman of Gotham Juice. The Green Lizard Avenger that never sleeps nor eats in service of saving Mankind.

    And Yes Mom, I et and slept and said me prayers. :–)

  128. 128
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @bago: I’m a fan now. Don’t fuck it up.

  129. 129
    Laura W says:

    @Comrade Stuck:

    And Yes Mom

    THAT was uncalled for.
    (OK, so that was a joke referring back to my childless-by-choice issue and because any time I make a joke this late into the night I seem to confuse people. Not you. Just those "other" people. I don’t do emoticons, but if this site forces me to start punctuating my snark with emoticons, I will just have to…um…SOMETHING!)
    ;-)

  130. 130
    tam1MI says:

    Hi, there, folks, I’m a long-time lurker, very infrequent poster.

    I voted for Hillary’s Tuszla comment, because, not only was it a flat lie, it was an easily disprovable flat lie.

  131. 131
    JL says:

    @ppcli: IMO, Sarah Palin would have trouble becoming the mayor of any small town outside of the south. Her real Americans/fake Americans comments would do her in.

  132. 132
    bago says:

    Any town with cities that employ people more skilled than the lunchlady.

  133. 133
    Darkrose says:

    Wow, that was hard! I finally settled on Hillary’s "hard working white Americans", because that pretty much guaranteed she wasn’t going to get black voters behind her, Ferraro’s comment because she’s just a moron, and Putin rearing his head, because that will never be not funny.

    I think we needed a "Palin: Every word out of her mouth" category.

  134. 134
    rachel says:

    I voted for Gonzo’s whine because it shows such an idiotic lack of awareness and because it pleases me so that even one of these criminal is being shunned.

  135. 135
    Rick Taylor says:

    I’d go with Mitt Romney’s null set answer in the debates.

    Governor Romney, I wanted to start by asking you a question on which every American has formed an opinion.

    We have lost 3,400 troops, civilian casualties are even higher, and the Iraqi government does not appear ready to provide for the security of its own country. Knowing everything you know right now, was it a mistake for us to invade Iraq?

    MITT ROMNEY, FORMER GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: Well, the question is, kind of, a non sequitur, if you will. What I mean by that — or a null set — that is that if you’re saying let’s turn back the clock and Saddam Hussein had opening up his country to IAEA inspectors and they’d come in and they’d found that there were no weapons of mass destruction, had Saddam Hussein therefore not violated United Nations resolutions, we wouldn’t be in the conflict we’re in.

  136. 136
    bernarda says:

    Didn’t McCain say something about that he knew how to get Ben Laden, but that he wasn’t telling it?

  137. 137

    […] the way, just want to make sure that all of you remember to vote in the contest to determine what politician said the dumbest thing in 2008 and to make your nominations for comment of the […]

  138. 138
    Rick Taylor says:

    I’d put the following two at the top of the list, except they were said in 2007 rather than 2008. If this were a rational country, they would have disqualified McCain from being a serious contender for the Presidency, especially as they were said on consecutive days..

    "There are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods, today,"

    General Petraeus goes out there almost every day in an unarmed humvee. I think you oughta catch up. You are giving the old line of three months ago. I understand it. We certainly don’t get it through the filter of some of the media.

    I would have put this at the top of the list, only he said it in 2007 rather than 2008. Curiously, it didn’t immediately disqualify him from serious consideration as a Presidential candidate.

  139. 139

    I didn’t see any of Hillary’s pre-election Iran-baiting, tough talk – I would have voted for the one about bombing the shit out of them, I just can’t remember exactly how that went. IMO, that (paired with her voting yes on Kyl-Lieberman) was the worst garbage to come out of Hill’s mouth, imho. Okay, maybe it wasn’t stupid. Everyone else seems to think that kind of talk is smart, shows you’re a tough badass on the world stage for all those still clutching their blankies over 911, the ONLY terrorist attack in the WORLD thathas ever mattered, including Obama at times, but perhaps with more subtlety. I’m sorry, I may be stupid, but I’m just not that kinda stupid.

  140. 140
    jenniebee says:

    @ppcli:

    George Allen’s maccacca line is still the single most impactfully stupid line of the last several years

    true, and doubly true re: the youtube revolucion. But in a way, singling out "macaca" and saying that that one thing doomed his chances ignores the fact that Allen – and I say this as a Virginian, and one who has actually met the man – literally cannot stop stupid shit from pouring out of his mouth. If you took Palin, switched genders, added a whopping big dose of upper class entitlement attitude, traded hockey for football, and threw in romantic notions about the antebellum and Jim Crow south, you’d pretty much have George Allen.

    In other words, "macaca" was George Allen’s idea of the smart thing to say, and he’s just fucking lucky as hell nobody caught him on video in an unguarded moment.

  141. 141
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @jenniebee: I’ve been saying for years George Allen is dumber and meaner than George Bush. The country – no, the world – owes Virginia big-time for dashing his presidential ambitions. He was next.

  142. 142
    Rick Taylor says:

    No support for Romney’s "Null set" answer I listed above? I admit the competition is fierce, but that answer of his was special. It stops my brain when I try to think about it, because it’s dumb in so many ways I don’t know where to start. Is he talking about a null set as in the mathematician’s null set? And wait, how can a question be a non sequitur? And Saddam did let the inspectors in, and they didn’t find anything, we were deriding them at the time. I know, I was there. And so on.

  143. 143
    edverb says:

    "When you get to know her, you’re going to be as impressed as I am…"

    – John McCain announcing his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate.

  144. 144
    JGabriel says:

    @Rick Taylor: While I suspect nominations are not to be re-opened, I second / offer my support for the Romney "Null Set".

    .

  145. 145
    rishathra says:

    More than any of these: Gen. Wesley Clark: "I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president." It was true, but as a political statement, it was dumb. (Which is too bad, because it got him exiled from the Democratic mainstream and seems to have precluded Obama from bringing him into the Cabinet as SecDef, where he belongs.)

    But from the ones above, (1) Palin, "all of them" (2) Clinton on Bosnia (bad idea to lie when it’s inevitable that you’ll be called on it), and (3) McCain, "the fundamentals of the economy are strong."

  146. 146
    MH says:

    Vote #1: Cling to Guns (Obama)
    Vote #2: Palin: All the newspapers
    Vote #3: Mitt Romney: Sons

  147. 147
    pinksmear says:

    oops – forgot McCain: I know how to get Osama bin Laden.

  148. 148
    Mike says:

    Hillary Clinton’s MLK/LBJ comments ("It takes a president…"). Sort of arguably defensible on a purely procedural level, (though I think still profoundly misguided at a fundamental historical level — and a perfect illustration of Clinton’s and Obama’s divergent views of the nature of social change). But in the context of a clash-of-titans presidential primary against the first viable A.A. candidate, it was just classically dumb. She seemed to be letting her ire show at having her pioneering quasi-minority-candidate status trumped and at having to watch a previously solid Clinton demographic slowly be consolidated by her opponent. Instead of doing something to arrest that process, she lashed out in a way that accelerated it and began the spiral that eventually led to President Clinton’s embarrassing performance in South Carolina. This episodedefinitely belongs on the list of dumb quotes.

  149. 149
    goatchowder says:

    I love it! You guys are Unix nerds! Including a minor flamewar between Emacs and Vi users, and a reference to a bash.org classic quote (robe and wizard hat). Beautiful.

  150. 150

    […] Overall, not very surprising results, especially considering the partisan nature of this crowd. Having said that, there really is a reason McCain/Palin lost, and it wasn’t media bias. You can see the entire poll here. […]

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  1. […] Overall, not very surprising results, especially considering the partisan nature of this crowd. Having said that, there really is a reason McCain/Palin lost, and it wasn’t media bias. You can see the entire poll here. […]

  2. […] the way, just want to make sure that all of you remember to vote in the contest to determine what politician said the dumbest thing in 2008 and to make your nominations for comment of the […]

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