Maybe I have liberated us to actually let women be human beings in public. … There was just a really wonderful moment there when, you know, people I think got a sense of why I do what I do.

— Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in a Jan. 9 interview with CNN.

It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to
You would cry too if it happened to you

— lyrics to “It’s My Party” sung by Leslie Gore, 1963.

My own favorite theory is that this week, Hillary was a stand-in for every woman who’s overdosed on multitasking. They grabbed at the opportunity to have kids/go back to school/start a business/become a lawyer. But there are days when they can’t meet everybody’s needs and the men in their lives — loved ones and otherwise — make them feel like failures or towers of self-involvement. And the deal is that they can either suck it up or look like a baby.

— Gail Collins, op-ed columnist for The New York Times; Jan. 10.

There was a poignancy about the moment, seeing Hillary crack with exhaustion from decades of yearning to be the principal rather than the plus-one. But there was a whiff of Nixonian self-pity about her choking up. What was moving her so deeply was her recognition that the country was failing to grasp how much it needs her. In a weirdly narcissistic way, she was crying for us. But it was grimly typical of her that what finally made her break down was the prospect of losing.

— New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd on the apparent tears of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton; Jan. 9. [emphasis added]

He’s a suicide pill.

— David Frum, author of “Conservatism That Can Win Again” and an adviser to GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, explaining to Daily Show host Jon Stewart why conservatives avoid GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee; Jan. 8.

[W]hat most Americans worry about profoundly is corporations or individuals with huge checks seeking the undue influence on lawmakers that such largesse is intended to purchase. That is why John McCain has fought to enforce long-standing prohibitions on corporate and union contributions to federal political parties, for sensible donation limits, disclosure of how candidates and campaigns are funded, and the diligent enforcement of these common sense rules that promote maximum public participation in the political process and limit opportunities for corruption.

— from the campaign Web site of presidential candidate John McCain. [emphasis added]

We tried to get him around to a lot of those kinds of things. We were very much in the friend-making business. [emphasis added]

— Rick Davis, campaign manager for presidential candidate John McCain, for whom more than 30 lobbyists serve as campaign-finance “bundlers.” According to The Washington Post, Sen. McCain in March attended the annual leadership conference of J.P. Morgan Chase that “put him in a room with the chief executives of companies such as General Electric, Xerox and Sony. It was, [J.P. Morgan Vice Chairman James B.] Lee Jr. said, “a chance for him to let them see him for who he is and possibly decide to support him.” The effort paid off: J.P. Morgan executives have donated $56,250 to McCain’s campaign, two-thirds of which came after his Utah appearance. And his visit there was quickly followed up by dozens of smaller private meetings with corporate executives in New York City arranged by leading Wall Street figures”; Dec. 31.

Sen. Landrieu strongly believes that we should not stop seeking new, innovative approaches to educating our young. She is also proud of her record of integrity in public service.

— Adam Sharp, the communications director for Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), after ethics group “Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington asked the Senate Ethics Committee this week to investigate whether Landrieu acted illegally when she earmarked $2 million for Voyager Expanded Learning four days after receiving $30,000 in campaign contributions from executives with the educational products company”; Jan. 9.

When a program gets to a certain size, in the billions, it employs so many people in so many districts you can’t kill it. It’s kind of like the Titanic. How do you move it five degrees?

— a congressional staffer and former Army officer, who spoke to The Washington Post‘s Alec Klein on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the ongoing review of the Army’s controversial $200 billion Future Combat Systems program that involves more than 550 contractors and subcontractors in 41 states and 220 congressional districts; Dec. 7.

No intelligence organization of Pakistan is capable of indoctrinating a man to blow himself up.

— Pervez Musharraf, president of Pakistan, rejecting any suggestion “that he or any members of the Pakistani military or intelligence agencies played a role in the assassination of the former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, [saying] it was probably carried out by the same extremists responsible for a number of suicide bombings in recent months”; Jan. 3.

Musharraf alone is responsible for the chaos in Pakistan. Over the past eight years he has assiduously worked at demolishing institutions, subverting the constitution, dismantling the judiciary and gagging the media. Pakistan today is a military state in which a former prime minister can be gunned down in broad daylight. One of my own political rallies was fired upon the day Benazir Bhutto was killed. These are the darkest days in Pakistan’s history. And such are the wages of dictatorship.

— Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, head of the Pakistan Muslim League, was twice elected prime minister of Pakistan; Jan. 1.

There’s a freshness and exuberance to our coverage that the others just aren’t matching. Fox almost seems downright despondent in their coverage.

— Jon Klein, the president of CNN/U.S., on its ratings win over Fox News on the evening of the New Hampshire primary; Fox beat CNN on evening coverage of the Iowa caucuses.

If I had my choice, I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast.

— William Tecumseh Sherman, Union Army general in the Civil War.

Q: Do we think that bin Laden is alive or dead?
MS. PERINO: I don’t think we have a reason to believe that he’s dead.

— exchange between reporter and White House press secretary Dana Perino at a Jan. 8 press briefing.

This is the first time I have caucused and I am horrified this is actually what it really is. I wouldn’t trust these results.

— Ryan Six, 22, of Des Moines “who caucused for Republican Ron Paul …, said his precinct voted before every candidate representative spoke and was not allowed to revote. Other Democratic caucus-goers reported flipping coins to determine which candidate got a delegate.”

Leaving your GPS in plain sight could be compared to leaving three $100 bills on your dashboard and daring someone not to break your window to get at them.

— police officer Mike Gilder on the rise in thefts of GPS units; “Boston police have said thefts of the devices have more than quadrupled from 2006 to 2007. In the first 11 months of 2006, police reported 217 GPS devices stolen. During the same period in 2007, the number skyrocketed to 1,009 — an increase so dramatic that it skewed Boston crime statistics, according to the Boston Globe.”

There are perfumes built in the classic French fashion, with shiny exteriors of gold and titanium. Wearing them is like wearing a brilliant Cartier ring inlaid with diamonds. You wear these fragrances to show them off. (The French value: the brilliance and ego of the artist.) There are American perfumes that smell like a handsome, showered baseball player, sporty, young and relaxed, and you wear these to assume that identity, as you might wear a polo shirt with a country club logo. (The American genius: self-invention.) Then there are perfumes in the Italian style — often lemon/bergamot citrus scents — that serve as luxury ID badges, and one wears these as one would a beautifully-made Italian dress shirt, to say, “Admire my level of comfort and elegance.” (The Italian obsession: status and the identification of one’s social group.)

— from Chandler Burr’s New York Times review of the perfume Mandorlo di Sicilia; Jan. 10.

Lately, I have seen men wearing them coming out of the pockets boldly. Almost half out. It’s much more showy.

— John Carroll of Beverly Hills menswear shop Carroll & Co., discussing how men should best use pocket squares.

Music is anti-intellectual. We know the Greeks went into battle listening to music in the Dorian mode. I can only imagine some Greek guy said, ‘This works.’

— Bill Conti, composer of “Gonna Fly Now,” the theme from “Rocky,” on the use of up-tempo playlists for workouts.

It seemed like a good idea, until I went to watch and they set their jockstraps on fire to the tune of ‘Great Balls of Fire.’ I thought to myself: math tutor. I should be a math tutor.

— Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, explaining that as a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, several friends in a student dance troupe he had joined tipped him off about their part-time work at a Chippendales-style club. According to a Washington Post profile of Tyson, “the lighter fluid burned out in an instant and … the jockstraps were lined with asbestos. But still.” [emphasis added]

Quotabull is a weekly feature of Scholars & Rogues.

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