And if you stand up for me, I promise you, I will stand up and fight for you every single day that I’m president.

— Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during an Iowa campaign stop.

We are very pleased to have the lowest repair cost within the group of tested minivans.

— statement from Honda Motor Co. after its Odyssey fared best in a 6-mph bumper crash test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety but still needed $5,258 in repairs. The others tested: Dodge Grand Caravan, $5,495; Toyota Sienna, $5,726; Chevrolet Uplander, $5,799; and Kia Sedona, $6,525. (Yes, that’s 6 miles per hour.)

And, therefore, over the course of these inquiries and oversight hearings, I’m going to reserve judgment until I find out the full facts. I know I’m going to be asked about this question a lot as time goes by. I’m just going to prepare you. Until these inquiries are complete, until the oversight’s finished, then I will be rendering no opinion from podium.

— President George W. Bush, responding to a reporter’s question about the destruction of C.I.A. interrogation tapes during a Dec. 20 news conference.

The FTC’s strong support sends a clear message: this acquisition poses no risk to competition and will benefit consumers.

— Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, commenting on Federal Trade Commission approval of Google’s $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick Inc. Dec. 20, which would strengthen Google’s online advertising capabilities; privacy advocates criticized the decision, arguing Google will have access to too much information about individuals’ Web-surfing habits.

J’adore is Ravel-worthy: flower, and fruit, and spring water coming together in unison. It attracts without appearing to try; it’s sweet and yet maintains the proper distance. Forget the ads with Charlize Theron. Some people will buy the first bottle because of a movie star’s face, but it’s the smell that sells the second, and it is only the smell of this thing that has made it a blockbuster.

— from a Dec. 20 New York Times review of the fragrance J’adore, which costs $85 for a 100-milliliter bottle.

[A]t some point, if Nickelodeon keeps Spears on its airwaves, the network will seem to be saying that unmarried teen pregnancy, a major American problem, is negotiable if the unmarried teen is a good earner.

She already is that, and it’s a sure bet the new episodes will be hotter, which is why Nick can make a strong point by shelving them. …

If Nickelodeon keeps Jamie Lynn Spears because her product sells, it runs the risk that a valuable message it has spent years crafting could shift from “trust us” to “whatever.”

— New York Daily News television critic David Hinckley on the pregnancy of 16-year-old Jamie Lynn Spears, Dec. 20.

We are not lawyers, we are just baseball coaches trying to make the right decision. There is no way we are going to turn our backs on him. It’s the thorniest issue we’ve had to tackle.

— Jim Long, president of the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association, on whether Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens, who has volunteered for the association for years, should be permitted to make his scheduled appearance as a speaker at the group’s annual convention in January.

I’m pleased to have reached this amicable settlement, and will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits.

— Harvard undergraduate blogger Nick Ciarelli, whose Web site Think Secret published details about upcoming products from Apple Co., announcing a settlement with Apple in which he agreed to shut down his Web site and Apple agreed to drop its lawsuit and stop trying to determine the identities of Ciarelli’s sources.

We have a tremendous opportunity to take the great brands of Tribune Company, and the enormous talent within the company, to a new level. Tribune, along with the newspaper industry, has been mired in its monopolistic origins, and we intend to create a fresh, entrepreneurial culture that is fast and nimble, and which rewards innovation. [emphasis added]

— from a Dec. 20 prepared statement from Chicago businessman Sam Zell, who took control of the Tribune Co., owner of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, in an $8.2 billion buyout.

Q: … I need to ask why will you only allow the executive branch to investigate itself? Congress wants to investigate this, and the Attorney General is saying, we’re not going to cooperate.
MS. PERINO: That’s a question that — look, I understand the question and I said to you yesterday that General Mukasey and General Hayden have done a — have asked everyone to cooperate in the preliminary inquiry. General Mukasey answered that question to members of Congress, I guess four days ago, and I refer you to him for more.
Q: Do you believe in checks and balances?
MS. PERINO: Of course we do.

— exchange between a reporter and White House spokeswoman Dana Perino during a Dec. 19 press briefing.

If it’s comfortable with the bowl people it’s comfortable for me.

— Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden, on whether his team should play in the New Year’s Eve Music City Bowl after an academic scandal in which as many as 25 of his players were suspended for cheating on an online music history exam; Dec. 19.

My Administration is committed to helping our Nation’s children realize their full potential by expanding opportunities for Americans to mentor. To raise awareness of the challenges facing our youth and encourage adults to connect with young people through family, school, and community, First Lady Laura Bush is leading the Helping America’s Youth initiative. Through the USA Freedom Corps, we are connecting individuals with volunteer opportunities, including mentors who work with young people in schools and community organizations. By encouraging Americans to mentor, we are doing our part to see that more of America’s children grow into strong, confident, and successful adults.

— President Bush, proclaiming January 2008 as “National Mentoring Month”; Dec. 19.

We will be relentless in our disagreement. We are not resigned to anything. We don’t have another year of lives to lose. We don’t have another year of prestige to lose in the world.

— Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, speaking to reporters as Congress adjourned for 2007 after the “House voted 272-142 for a $555 billion spending package Wednesday, including $70 billion in unfettered funding for Iraq.”

If you committed a hot check offense in college, does that impact your ability to teach 20 years later?

— Debbie Ratcliffe, a spokeswoman for the Texas Education Association, on educators’ fears that “a new Texas law requiring nearly all public school employees be fingerprinted as part of an extensive criminal background check may rid schools of otherwise good teachers who committed minor offenses in their youth.”

He just wrote out a thing on a prescription pad saying that he had seen me and examined me and I was alive and well.

— Doris Pennington, 76, a retired schoolteacher in Pasco, Wash., explaining how she had to take a doctor’s note to the local Social Security Administration office to persuade the agency she is very much alive; the agency had declared her dead Nov. 22.

Oh, that’s just evil.

— Meridian, Idaho, resident Brian Bandhauer after a reporter told him his local irrigation district “slapped a lien on his house, for $17.87 in 2006 assessments and the $4.78 in late charges” — even though the district had sent the original bill to the wrong address.

Quotabull is a weekly feature of Scholars & Rogues.

7 replies »

  1. Now Brian,
    She believes in them….Just like any adult believes in Santa Clause and the tooth fairy, for her checks and balances are just as fictional.

  2. I wish the reporter had followed up with this: “Ms. Perino, can you define precisely what you think the phrase ‘checks and balances’ means?”

  3. Sam,

    If you read the transcript, the reporter doing the grilling appears to be Helen Thomas. I haven’t listened to the White House audio yet, but it’s typical Helen. She didn’t get a chance to ask; Ms. Perino turned to another reporter. Helen’s may be the oldest person in the room, but she remains the toughest. We should clone her.

    Thanks for the comments, all. Please continue to support your weekly Quotabull. 🙂

  4. Inigo Montoya to Dana Perino: “I do not think those words mean what you think they mean.”

    Whenever I hear “Pretty Vacant” by the Pistols, someone like Perino comes to mind.