The Best Quotes From A Year Of Dick Morris Columns — 11/17/02 — 11/17/03

“Fom the out set, the War on Terror was sharply different from other U.S. military actions in the strong support it received from American women. Normally, men back military action by 10 to 20 points more than women do. But, after 9/11, women felt more endangered by terror and backed action against the Taliban and Osama bin Laden as strongly as men did.” — Dick Morris

“In New York,” (Ed Crandall, the former president of American Airlines) elaborated, “they’ll fight you for every last dime and then, afterwards, you’ll go to dinner together and become friends.” But in Washington, “They’ll give you everything you want to your face – and then, as you walk away, they’ll shoot you in the back because it’s fun to watch you die.” — Dick Morris

“As Bob Dole found out, you can’t keep a positive image while being your party’s mouthpiece in Congress. That’s why no legislative leader since James Madison has ever been elected president (except LBJ, who ran as president after succeeding JFK).” — Dick Morris

“Thirty-six million Americans families earning $50,000 to $100,000 own stock – two thirds of them directly through stock purchases, mutual funds or 401(k)s. It is their withdrawal from the stock market that has caused its collapse. They may not be investing, but they sure are voting and they likely comprise a quarter to a third of all voters in presidential elections. By giving them a tax break, Bush stimulates his electoral prospects.” — Dick Morris

“Clinton, battered by leaks to the media, told me that “I have learned never to say anything when there is more than one other person in the room.” On Whitewater, Clinton said, “Hillary and I have decided never to talk about it with anyone other than one another.” This normally extroverted man, accustomed, in Arkansas, to thinking out loud, had altered his usual style to become an introvert, doing his thinking behind a public poker face in the quiet of his own mind – driven there by leaking.” — Dick Morris

“The Democratic Party opposes tax cuts but it cannot say so publicly. Thus, it is forced to support the idea of lowering the tax burden but using class warfare rhetoric to dispute the allocation of the relief.” — Dick Morris

“The Democratic Party knows that it so completely blew the reapportionment sweepstakes, by its excess of caution and refusal to take risks, that the House will remain Republican until the 2010 census, barring a political earthquake. Without hope for power, they are settling for a hassle-free life of comfort, turning the House of Representatives into a body with about as much instability and democracy as the House of Lords.” — Dick Morris

“The Hispanic population grew by 4.7 percent last year, while blacks expanded by 1.5 percent and whites by a paltry 0.3 percent. Hispanics cast 6 percent of the vote in 1990 and 12 percent in 2000. If their numbers expand at the current pace, they will be up to 18 percent in 2010 and 24 percent in 2020. With one-third of Hispanics voting Republican, they are the jump ball in American politics. As this vote goes, so goes the future.” — Dick Morris

“If the United Nations does not approve of the attack and the United States and Britain invade anyway, it will not hurt either of our two nations, but it will destroy the credibility of the United Nations. Countries such as Angola, who have no power except their votes on the Security Council as elected members and nations like France whose sole claim to power is its veto, will suffer far more than we will. For us, going to the U.N. is the price we are paying for British support and for a measure of approval around the world. But for these nations, the U.N. is central to their world position. Anything which demeans it, strips them of their essential power in global affairs.” — Dick Morris

“We in politics are accustomed to seeing reality firsthand and then watching its distant cousin, events as portrayed by the media, unfold on our televisions. We know that what happened in Congress and what is reported to have taken place are two very different things. But that disjuncture, so familiar to politicians, is new to the viewing public. By seeing war and war coverage juxtaposed nightly on their screens, Americans have learned the crucial lesson: not to trust the news anchors.” — Dick Morris

“Nothing works on the campaign trail like attacks on candidates for bad attendance. It alienates people on both sides of every issue and reflects a callous disregard of the work of the people. The feeble argument that “I’m running for president” isn’t much of a rebuttal: George W. Bush finds time to be president, and he’s running too.” — Dick Morris

“Any Democrat who squirms on the tax-cut issue in the primaries has no chance ‘ zero ‘ to win the nomination. Each will have to take the “pledge” to oppose the Bush tax cuts. Thus, Bush will have succeeded in creating a situation where anyone who can win the nomination can’t win the election. Democrats are not about to nominate anyone who backs the tax cut, and Americans are not going to elect anyone who favors a tax increase.” — Dick Morris

“The last man to try to run for president advocating a tax increase was Walter Mondale. He lost 49 states in 1984, and the “I’ll raise your taxes” reputation haunted him all the way to Minnesota last year, where he lost his 50th state in the Senate election.” — Dick Morris

“Passing a tax cut likely draws the active support of 25 to 30 percent of the voters. Canceling one already in place probably gins the number up to the high 40s or low 50s. But opposition to a tax increase, which will be the basis of the Bush campaign, gets your support up into the 70s and 80s.” — Dick Morris

“The Democrats don’t have much chance anyway in 2004. Now would be the perfect time for Sharpton to show how badly they need him. Once Al runs as an independent, he’ll never have to do it again. He can name his price for not jumping ship a second time and not torpedoing Democratic chances of victory.” — Dick Morris

“‘Yes’ is a far more potent word than ‘no’ in American politics. By adopting the positions which animate the political agenda for the other side, one can disarm them and leave them sputtering with nothing to say. When a president exercises his prerogative and passes the proposals of the other side, he takes their best issues out of play and reduces them to name-calling instead of effective rhetoric as the election approaches.” — Dick Morris

“By passing a cut with a sunset provision that kicks in early in his putative second term, Bush has guaranteed that taxes will be front and center in the ’04 campaign. But instead of pushing for tax cuts, a 30-40 percent issue at best, he will be opposing a tax increase, a position that brings him the support of more like 80 percent of the voters.” — Dick Morris

“In forcing the party left, Dean is picking up where Jesse Jackson left off, creating a gantlet of liberal litmus tests that a nominee must pass to win the nomination – locking him into positions that invite certain defeat in November. No candidate can win a presidential race advocating gay marriage and opposing the military action in Iraq.” — Dick Morris

“Idealism that makes no distinction between areas where our national interest lies and those from which it is remote does no good for America. The weariness of the post-Versailles, post-Korea, post-Vietnam eras is never far from the national mood.” — Dick Morris

“Americans will gladly support their president when he attacks nations that sponsor or harbor terrorists. We will even back him in a preemptive war against a country that might attack us. But when we start sending troops around the world to stabilize nations that, if left to disintegrate, might become breeding grounds for terror, it’s a step too far for most Americans.” — Dick Morris

“The larger message of the Dean candidacy is that the era of TV-dominated politics is coming to a close after 30 years. With dwindling audiences and an increasingly sophisticated electorate, the 30-second ad and the seven-second soundbite are losing their power to control the political dialogue. Taking their place is grassroots organizing, made possible by the Internet, in which candidates grow from the outside, mobilizing on the hustings, guerrilla style, before they take their act to the center stage of national politics.” — Dick Morris

“Bill and Hillary Clinton have one central idea in their uncluttered, ambitious minds: Hillary in 2008. Let Bush get re-elected, use the ’04 primaries and general election to clean out the underbrush of competing Democratic candidates, and proceed unimpeded to the ’08 nomination. Use the book tours to build support and popularity, but let somebody else take the fall in 2004.” — Dick Morris

“The Iraq War marked the beginning of the end of network news coverage. Viewers saw the juxtaposition of the embedded correspondents reporting the war as it was actually unfolding and the jaundiced, biased, negative coverage of these same events in the network newsrooms.” — Dick Morris

“Isolationism has always been the hidden force in American politics. Never really defeated in an election, it lingers in both the Democratic and Republican political bases. The casualties and cost of the ongoing occupation of Iraq are tapping into this potent political force (which I once quantified through polling as 35 percent of the electorate.) These voters put aside their isolationism to back the war in Iraq and Afghanistan because of the danger illustrated by Sept. 11. But they are not about to support what Bush once called ‘social work’ in the guise of what he now calls ‘nation building.'” — Dick Morris

“Legislative action will never bring genuine campaign-finance reform. Consultants will prove endlessly inventive in gaming whatever system the reformers can devise so as to give their candidate an edge and allow the power of massive money to be felt. But reform laws will become irrelevant and redundant as the Internet replaces the special-interest fat cats as the best way to raise money and takes the place of TV as the most effective way to get votes.” — Dick Morris

“(Howard Dean) is proving that the Internet is a better, cheaper, and faster way to raise money than the old glad-handing of special interests and fat cat donors. He’s also about to demonstrate that the Internet is a better place to spend campaign dollars than are TV stations and media time buys. The fact that Internet communications is free makes one-on-one retail politics more effective, more rapid, and less costly than mass communication.” — Dick Morris

“The cost of campaigning has skyrocketed in recent years because of the falloff in TV viewership. With only one-third as many people watching TV as did 20 years ago, politicians have responded by buying three times as many ads, driving the cost of campaigning to levels which only favored candidates can afford.” — Dick Morris

“The reapportionment of 2002 designed congressional districts that favored incumbents of both parties, leaving virtually no room for challengers to be elected. Of 435 members of the House of Representatives, only four incumbents lost to nonincumbents of the other party. In all, 96 percent of incumbents were re-elected. (It was only 90 percent in 1992 and 1982 after the previous reapportionments.)” — Dick Morris

“The centralization of fund-raising in national party committees has virtually obviated the selection of candidates in direct primaries, returning us to the days when party bosses made the choices in smoke-filled rooms. By dominating and channeling the flow of funds, our modern bosses have virtually stripped us of the powers won in the political reforms of 1972.” — Dick Morris

“(Dean) has also proposed repealing most if not all of Bush’s tax cuts. Again, polls indicate that Americans break about 50-50 on this issue. But Bush will say that Dean wants to raise taxes – a 2-to-1 no-no in public-opinion polls.” — Dick Morris

“Public-opinion polls show that Americans split about evenly on civil unions. But when the words “gay marriage” are presented, they break 3-to-1 against it.” — Dick Morris

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