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The Political Darwin Awards

By Joyce Marie Pace
On March 6, 2012

This year being a leap year, February had 29 days. It is also an election year, a wonderful time when politicians run around saying nearly anything in an effort to garner votes, which gives journalists something to satirize on slow news days. The following celebrates that time honored tradition of politicians that inadvertently put their foot in their mouth and proceed to swallow their knee.

Economy, Congressional Spending and the Role of Government

"I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself," said former President Ronald Reagan.

"Our intent will not be to create gridlock. Oh, except maybe from time to time," said former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole on working with the Clinton administration.

"There are lots more people in the House. I don't know exactly. I've never counted, but at least a couple hundred," said former Vice President Dan Quayle on the difference between the House and Senate.

"If we took away the minimum wage -- if conceivably it was gone -- we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level," said Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann in January, 2005.

"We've had a Congress that's spent money like John Edwards at a beauty shop," said former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Crime, Law, Justice, and Foreign and

Domestic Policy

"What right does Congress have to go around making laws just because they deem it necessary?" asked Marion Barry, former mayor of Washington D.C.

"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country," also said Barry.

"The Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for centuries," said President Barack Obama in  January, 2010.

"UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? It's the Post Office that's always having problems," said Obama, attempting to make the case for government-run healthcare, while simultaneously undercutting his own argument.

"There are no Palestinians. All the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis. There are no Palestinians. This is Israeli land," said Republican Presidential Candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, falsely claiming that no Palestinians live on the West Bank.

"You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror," said former President George W. Bush in an interview with CBS News' Katie Couric, September, 2006.

Education and Geography

When asked what's wrong with letting local school districts decide how best to spend federal education dollars, former President Clinton replied, "Because it's not their money."

"I don't think the federal government has a role in your children's education," said Texas Gov. Rick Perry at a campaign stop in Iowa, August, 2011.

"We're the country that built the Intercontinental Railroad," said Obama in September, 2011.

"I've now been in 57 states -- I think one left to go," said Obama at a campaign event in Oregon.

"Well, I learned a lot. I went down to (Latin America) to find out…their views. You'd be surprised. They're all individual countries," said Reagan.

"You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test," said G.W. Bush, February, 2001

Sex, Lies and Self-Importance Caught on Video

"I have enormous personal ambition. I want to shift the entire planet. And I'm doing it. I am now a famous person. I represent real power," said 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

"I'm not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president," said Hillary Clinton, commenting on the release of subpoenaed documents.

"During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet," said former Vice President Al Gore, March, 1999.

"My sons are all adults and they've made decisions about their careers and they've chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard. One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president," said 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate and former Gov. of Massachusetts Mitt Romney.

"I've looked on many women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times. God knows I will do this and forgives me," said former President Jimmy Carter, in a Playboy interview one month prior to the 1976 election.

"For seven and a half years I've worked alongside President Reagan. We've had triumphs. Made some mistakes. We've had some sex...uh...setbacks," said former President George H.W. Bush.

"She's a wonderful, wonderful person, and we're looking forward to a happy and wonderful night, ah, life," said Sen. Ted Kennedy, speaking about his then-fiancee, Victoria Reggie.

"I'm just trying to suppress my natural impulses and get back to work," said Clinton of his alleged affair with White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, January, 1998.

"It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is' is," Clinton said during his Grand Jury testimony.

This has been a tribute to America's best and brightest political leaders. Don't be discouraged by these outlandish claims and quotes. Just keep in mind another famous quote by the illustrious Mark Twain.

"Politicians are like diapers. They should be changed often and for the same reason."


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