Photo by Jim WashburnArt Pedroza Jr., a onetime Weekly advertising salesman turned Republican Hispanic outreach worker turned—last we heard—Libertarian who's disgruntled with the GOP, recently e-mailed us "Pearls of Wisdom From Our Vice President," ostensibly a compilation of 26 stupid quotes by Al Gore. "Gore is obviously not a good choice for U.S. president," recipients were told. "For several other choices, please see the Web sites listed below." Links to presidential-campaign sites for Pat Buchanan, Alan Keyes, Gary Bauer, Dan Quayle, Steve Forbes, Bob Smith and George W. Bush followed.
Pedroza's email Dan Quayle at the Nixon Library The first quote ("If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure") sounded familiar but un-Gore-like. You can kick Gore around the block till Tuesday for a host of reasons, but that sort of arrant stupidity ain't one of them. The second quote ("Democrats understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child") was equally knuckleheaded—and equally familiar. By the time we got to the third quote ("Welcome to President Clinton, Mrs. Clinton and my fellow astronauts"), it hit us: Gore never said this shit—Dan Quayle did. Obviously, someone got hold of one of the many lists floating around the Internet of wacky J. Danforth Quayle quotes, doctored some of them slightly, and was now passing them off as having come out of Gore's mouth. Only the final quote really originated with Gore: "As many of you know," the walking totem pole told the Today Show's Katie Couric, "I was very instrumental in the founding of the Internet."
Dirty politicking pretty much comes with the territory in Orange County. Clockwork is convinced GOP candidates here are generally fine folks—wrong, but fine—who every campaign season come under the spell of a weird gas emanating from the tomb of Richard Nixon. It certainly enters the realm of being Tricky Dicked to have Quayle's brain farts used against you—and on behalf of Quayle.
Speaking (or misspeaking) of which, Danny Boy rolls into the Nixon Library and Taco Stand in Yorba Linda on Friday. He'll say more stupid shit and sign copies of his new book, Worth Fighting For. It's doubtful the tome mentions the then-Indiana senator, on the campaign trail in Irvine in 1988, describing his relationship with then-Vice President George Bush as "intrapersonal." Ouch! Got photos?
Republican activist Dana Reed was quoted in a July 1992 Orange County Register article as being amused after having just received an unsolicited certificate of commendation signed by then-Vice President Quayle. The honor was bestowed upon Reed as "a champion of the traditional American values of family, faith, hard work and morality." Quipped Reed: "I'm twice-divorced, and Murphy Brown is my favorite TV show."
A month later, at a Huntington Beach news conference, Quayle defended Bush against marital-infidelity charges. "There's good journalism, and there's bad journalism. And I want to say something to you good journalists: you are being overwhelmed by the bad journalism and the bad journalists of America. Good journalism is taking a rumor, taking gossip, and going out and investigating it and finding out if it's true, and if there's any credibility at all. And when you find something like this that was investigated and was totally false, you don't print it," Quayle told the reporters . . . who were taking a rumor about Bush's infidelity and going out and investigating it to test its truth.
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Ah, those were the days, my friend. Lampooners thought they'd never end. But they did . . . and soon they will again. Much more money and media attention are going to George W. Bush. On top of being a dolt, Quayle's got this nepotism thing working against him.
Then there's Kirk Fordice, the Mississippi governor who served as Quayle's national co-chairman. Quayle and Fordice took great joy in slamming Clinton over the Lewinsky mess. But Fordice—who got the keys to the governor's mansion by running family-values campaigns in '91 and '95—quit Camp Danny last month amid the controversy surrounding his messy divorce and plans to marry his mistress.
Pinning all that on Gore's gonna be a bitch.
For the complete list of numb-nutted quotes—properly attributed to Quayle—see the Politics listings in Calendar.