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Joe Klein's Quotes

Joe Klein profile photo

Born: 1946-09-07
Profession: Journalist
Nation: American
Biography of Joe Klein

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If every American automatically has health coverage, the age at which Medicare kicks in becomes a less fraught issue. We could gradually raise the age of Medicare eligibility a bit, according to income, and save money.

Tags: Age, Health, Money

If he'd been negotiating Obamacare, Lincoln would have made the infamous 'Cornhusker Kickback' deal - $100 million in Medicaid funds for Nebraska to secure a Senator's vote - in a heartbeat, even if the press howled as it did when Barack Obama agreed to it, forcing its cancellation.

Tags: Deal, Million, Vote

If there was one fact that sent me hurtling off to write 'Politics Lost,' it was when I learned that John Kerry had focus-grouped Abu Ghraib. We knew about the Justice Department memo in June of 2004, and Kerry didn't raise that in any one of his three debates with George Bush.

Tags: Justice, Lost, Politics

In 2012 there was a megafoolish, if well-funded, effort by a group called Americans Elect to raise an independent Cincinnatus to run for president via an Internet draft. It flopped, spectacularly.

Tags: Effort, Group, President

In point of fact, 'Simpson-Bowles' has become a symbol, or SimBowl, rather than an actual plan, political shorthand for the process of long-term deficit reduction.

Tags: Become, Political, Rather

Previous presidents, including great ones like Roosevelt, have used the IRS against their enemies. But I don't think Barack Obama ever wanted to be on the same page as Richard Nixon.

Tags: Against, Great, Wanted

Republicans should embrace the possibility that Obamacare could pave the way toward lower health care entitlement spending overall. That won't be easy. But it's not unthinkable, either.

Tags: Care, Easy, Health

That was the miracle of Abraham Lincoln, politician. He pursued the high purpose of moving justice forward via the low arts of patronage and patronization. Indeed, in a democracy, it is usually the only way great deeds are done.

Tags: Forward, Great, Moving

There's a basic law, Klein's second, or third, or fourth law of politics in the TV age, which is warm always beats cold, with the exception of Richard Nixon. The nicer guy usually wins.

Tags: Age, Law, Politics

This dilettante notion that the global economy is evil because big corporate leaders make too much money... they do make too much money, but the only way we've figured out how to generate wealth in this world is through the market economy.

Tags: Big, Evil, Money

Throughout history, civilizations have built a common cause through coming-of-age rituals. But we don't do that anymore. Maybe we should think about that.

Tags: Common, History, Maybe

When I started in the press there were really ink-stained wretches. Not everybody went to college. Now, everybody at the New York Times and the Washington Post and Salon and Slate, most of them have Ivy League educations.

Tags: College, Everybody, Times

When politicians began to see that every last thing that they did in public could be broadcast to a mass audience, the fact that the stakes were so much higher now that every moment became fraught caused them to become more cautious, and the consultants very gradually but inevitably became literal reactionaries.

Tags: Become, Fact, Moment

You know that Moses was spinning like crazy in Exodus XIV through XVII when the Jewish people wanted to go back and become a place again because tramping through the desert was a bit too hard.

Tags: Become, Crazy, Hard

You know, when George Bush talks about freedom not being America's gift to world but God's gift to all humankind, it smells like market testing to me.

Tags: America, Freedom, God

Affirmative action was always racial justice on the cheap.

Tags: Action, Cheap, Justice

Diversity has been written into the DNA of American life; any institution that lacks a rainbow array has come to seem diminished, if not diseased.

Tags: American, Life, Seem

Bush promised a foreign policy of humility and a domestic policy of compassion. He has given us a foreign policy of arrogance and a domestic policy that is cynical, myopic and cruel.

Tags: Arrogance, Compassion, Humility

For me, a really radical position for journalism to take is to stop being cynical. Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

Tags: Cynical, Journalism, Stop

For those of us who consider ourselves political moderates, life is a dispiriting slog, a sorry mix of rectitude and ineptitude.

Tags: Life, Political, Sorry

I got into journalism because I came of age in the '60s. It just seemed one way for me to get things done.

Tags: Age, Done, Journalism

I think that if you make a strong statement of principle, even if the folks disagree with you, people will respect you for it.

Tags: Principle, Respect, Strong

I'm in favour of politicians having extra-marital relationships. Oh yeah. It makes them more understanding of the flaws that the rest of us have.

Tags: Makes, Oh, Rest

I've been described as a grizzled political veteran.

Tags: Political, Veteran

Novel writing should never be confused with journalism. Unfortunately, in the case of Primary Colors, a fair number of journalists confused.

Tags: Confused, Fair, Writing

Political courage requires clarity.

Tags: Clarity, Courage, Political
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We journalists are never so idiotic as when we analyze things that we shouldn't be analyzing.

Tags: Analyze, Analyzing, Idiotic

What do you do in a novel? You take recognizable characters from your own life, and you fantasize about what they're really like.

Tags: Characters, Life, Novel

You can't get all of your news from Jon Stewart, especially since it's a comedy show.

Tags: Comedy, Show, Since

You know, larger than life is always better than smaller than life in politicians. And, you know, God save us from mediocrities.

Tags: God, Life, Save

You know, larger-than-life politicians have larger-than-life strengths and larger-than-life weaknesses.

Tags: Strengths, Weaknesses

Anonymous sources are a practice of American journalism in the 20th and 21st century, a relatively recent practice. The literary tradition of anonymity goes back to the Bible.

Tags: American, Bible, Goes

Back in George W. Bush's second term, when diplomatic realism began to overtake foolish bellicosity, the president developed one of his patented nicknames for the two most powerful neoconservative journalists, William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer: he called them 'the Bomber Boys.'

Tags: Powerful, President, Second

Barack Obama's inspirational whoosh to the presidency in 2008 was unusual. Most campaigns are less exhilarating; indeed, they are downright disappointing - until someone wins.

Tags: Less, Someone, Until

Bush the Elder's stature as president grows with every passing year. He was the finest foreign policy president I've ever covered and a man who defied his party on tax increases while imposing budget restrictions on the Democrats.

Tags: President, While, Year

By 2014, we will have no fewer than four health care systems: Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare and private-employer-provided insurance. In the long term, this is probably three too many. There is zero chance that the situation will be rationalized, and united, anytime soon - and it shouldn't be. We should drift into health care rationality over time.

Tags: Care, Health, Time

Ever since John Kennedy, Democrats have had a weakness for dashing younger men like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and, I suppose, Jimmy Carter. They balance their tickets with senior statesmen - Lyndon Johnson, Joe Biden, Walter Mondale. (Al Gore was young but played ancient).

Tags: Balance, Men, Young

I believe that poverty is often the result of inappropriate behavior - out-of-wedlock births, dropping out of school, crime and drugs - which should not be rewarded. But often it isn't, and common decency requires that we take care of the least of these.

Tags: Care, Poverty, School

I came to political consciousness with John F. Kennedy's magnificent 1961 Inaugural Address. It seemed the start of something fresh and exciting, and it was.

Tags: Exciting, Political, Start

I invented the psychological histories and the relationship between Jack and Susan Stanton. I didn't know anything about the Clintons. I don't know more about the Clintons' marriage than you do.

Tags: Between, Invented, Marriage

I'm a big proponent of accountability.

Tags: Big, Proponent

The good thing about TV is that you can still watch the product, even if you're not in charge of it anymore.

Tags: Anymore, Good, Watch

The people you're friends with on Facebook or the people you follow on Twitter are trusted sources of information.

Tags: Facebook, Follow, Friends

There will always be a certain element of extremists on either side, left or right, who no mainstream news outlet is going to satisfy.

Tags: Either, Left, Side

We report the news. Fox talks about the news.

Tags: Fox, News, Talks

We were able to flood the zone immediately.

Tags: Able, Flood, Zone
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