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Joe Klein quotes

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.

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.

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.

Affirmative action was always racial justice on the cheap.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

I've been described as a grizzled political veteran.

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

Political courage requires clarity.

We journalists are never so idiotic as when we analyze things that we shouldn't be analyzing.

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

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

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

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