As the year comes to an end, we've seen a number of "Best Quotes of 2011" lists online. It's safe to say that all of these quotes don't come anywhere near "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" or "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." But those memorable quotes do have something in common with the ones for 2011: the best are from politicians. That's where the comparison ends, however.
In 2011 we had quotes like these from notable politicos (taken the annual list of Fred Shapiro, Yale Law School's associate librarian):
"I am not a witch." U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell; "I can't say with certitude." Then-U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner on when he was asked whether a lewd photograph was in fact him; "When they ask me, 'Who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan?' I'm going to say, 'You know, I don't know. Do you know?'" Then-presidential candidate Herman Cain in an interview by Christian Broadcasting Network; and "Oops." Presidential candidate Rick Perry after unsuccessfully attempting to remember the third federal agency he would eliminate during a Nov. 9 debate.
Then yesterday there was Wisconsin Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner's below-the-belt comment on First Lady Michelle Obama, which just missed the deadline for Shapiro's list: "She lectures us on eating right while she has a large posterior herself."
In 2011, where were the political media trainers when you needed them?