A few pithy remarks and one-liners I heard this morning at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute:
Michael Gerson, now a Wash Post columnist and formerly President Bush’s speechwriter, may know what he’s talking about in judging a political speech. He gave this review of Sarah Palin’s big Wednesday night convention speech:
“They were expecting a female Dan Quayle. What they got was a combination of Annie Oakley and Joan of Arc.”
Palin vs. Pawlenty
Norm Ornstein, comparing the vetting process to which Tim Pawlenty was subjected by the McCain campaign, compared with Palin:
“Pawlenty got a full body-cavity search. Palin got waved around the metal detector after she swore she wasn’t packing a pistol.”
Kissinger on Humphrey
Speakers at this week’s excellent series of symposia put together by the Humphrey Institute to take advantage of GOP convention week often began their remarks with a tribute to Hubert Humphrey, but almost always worked in a wisecrack about Humphrey’s legendary long-windedness. This was true in spades for Henry Kissinger (yes, that Henry Kissinger) who spoke this morning.
He recalled Humphrey fondly as an example of the days when foreign policy was more bipartisan. In 1976, when Kissinger was secretary of state and Humphrey was in the Senate, Humphrey encouraged Kissinger to get out into the country to explain his foreign policy, and promised that if Kissinger came to Minnesota, Humphrey would travel the state with him. Kissinger did. He said that “I sometimes let Hubert introduce me. I say ‘sometimes’ because if Hubert introduces you, you never get to speak.”
Kissinger doubled down with an older one-liner he said came from an Israeli: “We had Hubert Humphrey speak at a tree-planting, and by the time he finished we were standing in shade.”
One more from Ornstein. (Have we mentioned lately that he’s a Minnesota native?) He said the presidential campaign was turning into a battle of movie titles.
The Obama campaign wants the theme to be “No Country for Old Men.” After listening to Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and Palin go after Obama last night, the Republican theme is: “There Will Be Blood.”