Image: Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Pühapäev, 19 August 2012 10:49
Laas Leivat - Estonian Life No. 33 2012
Mid August. Estonians say it's the "hapukurgi aeg" – cucumber pickling time. Olympics are over. No earth-shattering news. Time to preserve pickles for the winter. Let's slow the pace and see what wit and wisdom our western leaders have offered. Politicians have always been a good source of a relentless supply of verbal gaffes and blunders. Indeed, the media's occupation with each clumsily phrased or impolitic remark should not come to define the personality or issue. But once in a while it's refreshing to see that politicians are not boring robots but also sometimes genuinely nervous and tongue-tied who might utter something regretful just like the reader.
"A man I'm proud to call a friend. A man who will be the next President of the United States – Barack America!" – Joe Biden, at his first campaign rally with Barack Obama, 2008. "You know nothing for sure, except the fact that you know nothing for sure." – President John Kennedy. "I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future." – Dan Quayle. "Reader, suppose your were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." – Mark Twain.
"They misunderestimated me." – President George W. Bush. "A zebra does not change its spots." – Al Gore. "Thomas Jefferson once said, 'We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.' And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying." – President Ronald Reagan. "Things are more like they are now than they have ever been." – President Gerald Ford. "My esteem in this country has gone up substantially. It is very nice now when people wave at me, they use all their fingers." – President Jimmy Carter.
"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man." – Joe Biden, referring to Barack Obama at the beginning of the Democratic primary, January 2007. "I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of a national emergency – even if I'm in a cabinet meeting." – President Ronald Reagan. "As long as I am Prime Minister, I remain Prime Minister." – Prime Minister Jean Chretien.
"Your majesty, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and Madame Houde here thanks you from her bottom too." – Montreal Mayor Camillien Houde speaking to King George VI in 1939. "If this thing is going to snowball, it will catch fire right across the country." – Robert Thompson, leader of the Social Credit Part, 1961-1967. "My style of leadership, uh, and in my former role as well, was to state what my idea was but also to encourage, uh, you know, I know what I know and I know what I don't know." - Belinda Stronach, 2004, Conservative Party leader candidate. "I'm not denying anything I didn't say." – Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. "Gentlemen, we all must realize that neither side has any monopoly on sons of bitches." – C.D. Howe, Liberal cabinet minister representing Canada at a Washington DC meeting.
"I just received the following wire from my generous daddy. "Dear Jack. Don't buy a single vote more than is necessary. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for a landslide." – President John Kennedy. "I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born." – President Ronald Reagan. "I Love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix." – Dan Quayle. "A successful dump!" - Joe Biden, explaining his whereabouts (dropping deadwood at the dump) to reporters outside his home, Wilmington, Delaware. "The election is not a time to discuss serious issues." – Prime Minister Kim Campbell.
"What is the difference between a cactus and a conservative caucus? On a cactus, the pricks or on the outside." – Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. "He's the greatest argument for birth control that I've ever run across." – Mel Lastman referring to Toronto city councilor Micheal Walker. "The liberals are a beanbag kind of party that looks like the last person that sat in it." - Bob Rae, NDP premier of Ontario and current Liberal MP. "Paul Turner commits to positions like Brittney Spears commits to marriage." – Stephen Harper, announcing his candidacy for Conservative Party leadership, 2004.
While above has been on public record and is verifiable, it's questionable whether Vladimir Putin would ever answer as follows. Putin is being questioned at Estonian passport control upon entering the country at the Narva border point:
Estonian Border Guard: Last name? Putin: Putin.
Estonian Border Guard: First name? Putin: Vladimir.
Estonian Border Guard: Occupation? Putin: No, just visiting.