I’ve got God’s shoulder to cry on. And I cry a lot. I do a lot of crying in this job. I’ll bet I’ve shed more tears than you can count, as president. I’ll shed some tomorrow.

— President Bush in in one of six roughly hourlong interviews with book author Robert Draper.

I made a decision to lead. One, it makes you unpopular; two, it makes people accuse you of unilateral arrogance, and that may be true. But the fundamental question is, is the world better off as a result of your leadership?

— President Bush in in one of six roughly hourlong interviews with book author Robert Draper.

I’ll give some speeches, just to replenish the ol’ coffers. I don’t know what my dad gets — it’s more than 50-75” [thousand dollars a speech] … Clinton’s making a lot of money.

— President Bush, whose personal assets have been estimated at $21 million, in a December 2006 interview with book author Robert Draper on his post-presidency plans.

My Administration continues to improve our Nation’s ability to prepare for emergencies. The Department of Homeland Security is working with other Federal, State, and local government organizations, as well as the private sector, to prevent, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies. Together, Americans can significantly enhance the level of national preparedness to further safeguard our communities and secure our homeland.

— from an Aug. 30 proclamation by President Bush, declaring September as National Preparedness Month.

On the next President’s watch, our country will make decisions that will affect our lives and our families far into the future. We can’t allow ourselves to become a weaker, less prosperous and more divided nation.

— from the first campaign ad for former Sen. Fred Thompson as a candidate for president of the United States.

They’ve been a team since they got married. Husbands and wives can be teams nowadays in politics. There are no more Bess Trumans staying home in Missouri.

— Victoria Toensing, a prominent Republican lawyer who got her start in Washington working for Fred Thompson three decades ago and is now friends with his wife, Jeri, on Aug. 5.

Maybe we’re up past his bedtime.

— Quip from Sen. John McCain on new presidential candidate Fred Thompson’s absence at the Sept. 5 Republican presidential debate in Durham, N.H.

I think Fred is a really, really good man. I think he’s done a pretty good job of playing my part on ‘Law & Order.’

— Rudy Giuliani commenting on new presidential candidate Fred Thompson during the Sept. 5 Republican presidential debate in Durham, N.H.

I’ll do my share [of debates], but I don’t think it’s a very enlightening forum, to tell you the truth.

— Presidential candidate Fred Thompson explaining his absence at the Sept. 5 Republican presidential debate in Durham, N.H.

Q: Can I ask how much progress you’re making in getting the major emerging economies to go along with the idea of international goals for greenhouse gas emissions?
CHAIRMAN CONNAUGHTON: We have received very strong and positive interest in attendance by the 13 invited major economies to the meetings that will start in Washington on September 27th and 28th. At the top of the agenda is work toward achieving consensus on a long-term global goal for reducing emissions. We have received some proposals on what that goal may be. We’ve received a lot of questions about some of those proposals. And we anticipate a full and robust discussion starting on the 27th and 28th, and I think it will take some time beyond that. So it’s on the agenda, there’s support for it being on the agenda, and there’s a lot of now — a lot of conversation going on among the countries as to what the underlying basis for such a goal might be. And I see that as all very positive. So we’ll really be kicking off the multilateral discussion of that in earnest in just a couple of weeks.

— Jim Connaughton, the chairman of the president’s Council on Environmental Quality, during a Sept. 5 press briefing.

The President has always believed, when it comes to climate change, that the best way to achieve reductions is through innovation and to figure out ways to come up with energy sources that are going to meet our economy’s constant demand for energy, and at the same time, do it in a way that’s going to be friendly for the environment.

— White House press secretary Tony Snow on Jan. 23 on the eve of President Bush’s State of the Union address.

We can and must take prompt action to establish a coordinated, economy-wide market-driven approach to climate protection.

— Jeffrey E. Sterba, chairman of PNM Resources, a New Mexico utility, in a letter to President Bush asking for support for “a system that would create a cap on emissions, give allocations to companies based on past emissions and allow firms to trade allocations to meet gradually declining emission targets. … The [utility[ executives’ plan would slow the growth in greenhouse gases over the next five years, then reverse that growth and cut annual emissions by 70 percent to 90 percent of today’s levels in 15 years.”

Q: After all you’ve done to shift the energy debate, why do supply-side questions still dominate the discussion in Congress?
A: Congress is a creature of constituencies, and the money and power of the constituencies are almost all on the supply side. There is not a powerful and organized constituency for efficient use, and there’s a very strong political (but not economic) constituency against distributed power, particularly renewables. So I would not pay too much attention to what Congress is doing. I’m not saying it doesn’t matter, but ultimately economic fundamentals govern what will happen — things that don’t make sense, that don’t make money, cannot attract investment capital.

— Amory Lovins in a July 26 interview with David Roberts at grist.org, a Web site for environmental news and commentary.

We can go out of the city on weekends. We can go fishing, go fly kites.

—Pi Heyang, a Beijing bus driver, on July 6, 2005, as he and his wife, Feng Xiaoe, an accountant, purchased their first-ever car, a $9,000 Chinese-made Tianjin Weizi sedan.

It’s amazing. It’s simply fallen off a cliff and we’re still losing ice. … If you asked me a couple of years ago when the Arctic could lose all of its ice then I would have said 2100, or 2070 maybe. But now I think that 2030 is a reasonable estimate. It seems that the Arctic is going to be a very different place within our lifetimes, and certainly within our childrens’ lifetimes.

— Dr. Mark Serreze, an Arctic specialist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder, on the impact of global warming, Sept. 4.

I’m willing to fight. I’ve got quality people out there fighting in my defense, and that this thing could take a new turn.

— Sen. Larry Craig in a voice-mail message indicating that his “intent” to resign may not lead to his actually resigning from the Senate in the wake of guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct in an airport men’s room.

I write about closeted people whose records are anti-gay. If you’re a closeted Democrat or Republican and you don’t bash gays or vote against gay rights to gain political points, I won’t out you.

— Sept. 5 comment from gay blogger Mike Rogers, who has “outed” about 36 senior political and congressional employees, White House aides and members of Congress on his blog and who described Sen. Larry Craig’s airport bathroom misadventure as “hypocrisy, plain, hate-filled hypocrisy” because Sen. Craig had voted for the failed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Quotabull is a weekly feature of Scholars & Rogues appearing Thursdays.

6 replies »

  1. Did you get St McCain’s replies to the students this past week? Effing hilarious!

    An unflinching John McCain was told Tuesday by New Hampshire high school students that he might be too old to be president and too conservative to be respected.

    “Thanks for the question, you little jerk,” McCain joked back to one student who asked the 71-year-old about his age. “You’re drafted.”

    Another student pushed him on gay rights; McCain repeated his pledge to oppose discrimination but support for traditional marriage.

    “I came here looking to see a good leader,” 16-year-old William Sleaster told McCain, earning boos from his classmates. “I don’t.”

    Gettin old ain’t for sissies.

  2. Dom: I saw the vid of the “little jerk” segment and it was pretty funny. McCain gave as good an answer as was possible, I think, and the zinger at the end got a big laugh from everybody.

    That said, the McCain Train has rounded the bend. Whatever he may once have been, he ain’t anymore.

  3. Dubya said: “I’ll give some speeches, just to replenish the ol’ coffers. I don’t know what my dad gets — it’s more than 50-75” [thousand dollars a speech] … Clinton’s making a lot of money.”

    What a low, pedestrian mind Bush has. With all that he’s done/doing to bring the country to economic and environmental crisis, and the little weenie is worrying about how much money he can make once he’s left office.

    If he were the religious man he claims to be, he should be preparing to walk barefoot, in sack cloth and ashes, from DC to Texas when he leaves office. But his only religion is money….

  4. Well, the responses definitely weren’t of the ‘Andy Griffiths Show’ calibur.

    Remind me not to ask congressmen and government people their age.