Fred Shapiro, associate librarian and lecturer in legal research at the Yale Law School, compiles a list of the top 10 quotes each year. Shapiro released his Yale Book of Quotations with about 13,000 quotes two years ago after six years of research.
The Top 10 quotes of 2008, as compiled by the editor of the Yale Book of Quotations:
- "I can see Russia from my house!" -- Comedian Tina Fey, while impersonating Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live," broadcast Sept. 13
- "All of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years." -- Palin, responding to a request by CBS anchor Katie Couric to name the newspapers or magazines she reads, broadcast Oct. 1
- "We have sort of become a nation of whiners." -- former Sen. Phil Gramm, an economic adviser to Sen. John McCain, quoted in The Washington Times, July 10
- "It's not based on any particular data point, we just wanted to choose a really large number." -- a Treasury Department spokeswoman explaining how the $700 billion number was chosen for the initial bailout, quoted on Forbes.com Sept. 23
- "The fundamentals of America's economy are strong." -- McCain, in an interview with Bloomberg TV, April 17
- "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency." -- the Treasury Department's proposed Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, September 2008
- "Maybe 100." -- McCain, discussing in a town hall meeting in Derry, N.H., how many years U.S. troops could remain in Iraq, Jan. 3
- "I'll see you at the debates, bitches." -- Paris Hilton in a video responding to a McCain television ad, August 2008
- "Barack, he's talking down to black people. ... I want to cut his ... off." -- Rev. Jesse Jackson, overheard over a live microphone before a Fox News interview, July 6
- (tie) "Cash for trash." -- Paul Krugman discussing the financial bailout, New York Times, Sept. 22.
- (tie) "There are no atheists in foxholes and there are no libertarians in financial crises." -- Krugman, in an interview with Bill Maher on HBO's "Real Time," broadcast Sept. 19
- (tie) "Anyone who says we're in a recession, or heading into one -- especially the worst one since the Great Depression -- is making up his own private definition of "recession." -- commentator Donald Luskin, the day before Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, The Washington Post, Sept. 14