Quote of the Decade

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I'm going to be honest with you—I don't know a lot about Cuba's healthcare system. Is it a government-run system?

– former Sen. John Edwards

Backstory here. Edwards was asked in Oskaloosa, Iowa if the U.S. should adopt a Cuba-style health care system and that was his answer. ABC has a gotcha of sorts, noting that he'd previously told a frog-throated supporter that he'd watched Sicko. But he added that he didn't get "all the way to the end," and the end of the movie is the Cuban part. And really, how are you supposed to know that Cuba has state-run services until you've seen Sicko?

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  1. Cuba’s off the coast of Japaneseland, right?

  2. Oh my God.

    Say goodnight, Gracie.

  3. These are the sophisticated moral philosophers that want to rule over 300 million people. Clearly, he was being facetious, right?

  4. Thanks for playing, Mr. Edwards. Johnny, tell him about his parting gifts.

    “It’s gonna be a coupon good for 10% off a haircut. At only $360, it’s a real bargain!”

  5. If you put your head next to his left ear you can hear the ocean.

  6. I made a mistake a mistake, because I was distracted, thinking about the death of my son. And my momma. Did I ever tell you about how mah momma died…?

  7. Give it a rest, people. I’m running for President of America, not trying to replace Pat Sajack on Jeopardy!

  8. Cuba doesn’t have a government run system. It’s a system run by human beings who work for the government. Silly people.

  9. Bill Richardson needs to put an ad titled “Lightweight” on the air tomorrow, leading off with this footage.

    Finish off this pathetic campaign once and for all.

  10. You just don’t have the time to learn about the fancy practices of people all the way across the sea when you’re working in a mill, I suppose.

  11. Edwards had an obvious brain fart, and of course the media is all over it. Of course he knows that Cuba has a government-run health care system.

    I find it ironic that Americans complain so much about politicians being scripted, pre-packaged repeaters of sound bites and talking points, but when one of them dares to go off script and says something dumb, the public jumps all over it – as if none of us haven’t said dumb things when speaking off-the-cuff.

    Then we wonder why politicans would rather stick with cliches and empty rhectoric.

  12. “Holy fucking shit” is about all you can say to that.

  13. Dan, that wasn’t a Freudian slip or the verbal equivalent of a typo. That was unmitigated dumbassery.

  14. Dan, nice try at a troll, but this one’s indefensible. If he was generally considered a smart guy maybe he could recover from this*, but he was already considered a lightweight. Now he’s a fucking moron.

    * I’m just kidding. Who could recover from this?

  15. “Then we wonder why politicans would rather stick with cliches and empty rhectoric.”

    Yer got-dam right, boy, we don want no thinkin’ fellers!

  16. This may be the funniest quote from a politician in the history of the entire universe.

  17. Dan, that wasn’t a Freudian slip or the verbal equivalent of a typo. That was unmitigated dumbassery.

    Really? You seriously believe that John Edwards is not aware that Cuba is a communist country?

    I mean, we’ve gotten plenty of laughs over the years at George W. Bush’s verbal snafus but I don’t think he really believes that people want to put food on their families.

  18. You seriously believe that John Edwards is not aware that Cuba is a communist country?

    In light of this quote, and with no additional evidence forthcoming, I can easily picture a situation where Edwards knows that “CubaisaCommunistcountry” without having the slightest idea what that actually means.

    Oh and “Sartre” has something to do with “existentialism.” But don’t ask for any more details than that.

  19. So he had a brainSarte, then?

  20. Ah guess ah never learned about Cuba in my school…you know, the one next to the coalmine.

  21. You sure it wasn’t under a rock?

  22. Funny stuff, but Edwards might have been asking if it was the government run aspect of Cuba’s system (rather than the public health data or education process) that the questioner was interested in. I mean, maybe.

  23. The whole issue is certainly entertaining! I’d rather read about this than about HillaryDuff or something.

    But, even more, I’d rather the MSM actually did some real reporting and asked Edwards about his own policies. And, not just asked him to state what they are, but brought in experts to ask him about flaws in his stated positions.

    Would that be too much to ask for instead of crap like this?

  24. TLB

    You know what’s really really cool about the internets? You can read, from the comfort of your own home, all about: 1) Edwards’s stupidity AND 2) HillaryDuff AND 3) Edwards’s policies AND 4) Expert opinions about said policies.

    It’s free too!

  25. So John, have you given any thought about what you’d like to do after public service?

  26. Cuba’s ruled by a dictator, Fulgencio Batista, right? How likely is it that country ruled by a right-wing dictator would have a government-run health system?

  27. Gerald Ford’s comment about Poland not being under Soviet influence was a bit funnier. After all, Ford was actually President at the time he said it.

  28. I’m going to be honest with you-I don’t know a lot about Cuba’s healthcare system.

    There, fixed that up for you. You might consider making this your boilerplate on all issues for the rest of the campaign. Which should be wrapping up in 5… 4…

  29. You mean a major candidate for President of the United States knows nothing of how our glorious People’s Revolutionary Government works??

    I guess I have to execute my PR team again and get a new one.

  30. I predict, err, Ah predict nothing will come of this. It’s like losing a game early in college football. You still have a shot as long as you don’t lose again (not that I thought Edwards had much of a chance to begin with). He’ll rebound at the next debate – say something like it doesn’t matter what Cuba has, but we need universal health care here in these United States, etc. ad naseum.

  31. ad nauseum
    yeah, I spelt it wrong, but I never did take no latin in high school

  32. Well, you smart-asses, is it?

  33. This is why politicians aren’t honest — they don’t want us to know they’re dumbass twits.

    The Democratic Dan Quayle.

  34. OTOH, he couldn’t have given a more reassuring “No” to the question of “whether the United States should follow the Cuban healthcare model.”

  35. Bill Richardson needs to put an ad titled “Lightweight” on the air tomorrow, leading off with this footage.

    I think Richardson needs to conserve his cash, and let the frontrunners savage Edwards. Though, it might be a good contrast to use this in a piece where Richardson says something thoughtful, then shows the Edwards clip — kinda like a pretty women going out for a night on the town with an ugly friend, so by contrast the good-looking one appears even more beautiful.

  36. to me this is the same as a coffee shop liberal who wears a Che Guavera t-shirt but has no idea who the guy was.

  37. this is bad but it’s not campaign destroying. it will blow over. only hardcore politics junkies that post on sites like this and write blogs will care for about 48 hours, then they will find something else to blow out of proportion.

  38. I eagerly await Edward’s explanation that we need socialized medicine, and that we should also have the government run it.

  39. Political blogging is now running on fumes.

  40. stephen the goldburger,

    Events like this blow over when they don’t feed into some larger narrative.

    What I’m saying is, Bill Richardson can fit this into his narrative.

    jh,

    I hear you, but I don’t think either of the biggies is going to do the job. Obama doesn’t want to talk about somebody being a lightweight, and Clinton is so far ahead that she had nothing to gain by giving a competitor a forum to go one-on-one with her.

  41. …and we junkies are huffing them, ed.

  42. Why isn’t Edwards tanking in Iowa yet like he is in the national polls?

  43. Dear gods. The Republicans at least have the excuse that they don’t care whether people live or die. To have a front-running Democratic candidate espouse such ignorance is inexecusable.

    Ralph Nader, where are you when we need you?

  44. the guy who lost faith ,

    Still wrong. Try ad nauseam.

  45. When a politician prefaces a statement with I’m going to be honest with you, that means that what follows is a lie.

    So of course he knows about Cuba. He was just blowing off a question he found annoying. There were no TV cameras, right?

  46. Hypothetically, if I ever invited Edwards over to watch The Hunt for Red October, I can imagine him asking me all kinds of stupid questions:

    “Does the Soviet submarine have anything to do with the government?”

    “Is Sean Connery a good guy or bad guy for killing the political officer?”

    “When the bad guy from Ferris Bueller talks about helping his dad build a bomb shelter many years ago, what’s he talking about?”

  47. Pinette | August 21, 2007, 12:42pm | #
    to me this is the same as a coffee shop liberal who wears a Che Guavera t-shirt but has no idea who the guy was.

    And clearly you DO know who “Che Guavera” was.

  48. Eric S. says You can read, from the comfort of your own home, all about: 1) Edwards’s stupidity AND 2) HillaryDuff AND 3) Edwards’s policies AND 4) Expert opinions about said policies.

    That’s certainly cute. Now, direct me to an instance of someone in the MSM actually “CrossExamining” Edwards about his policies. That’s the point I was trying to make, perhaps you should read it again.

  49. Edwards had an obvious brain fart, and of course the media is all over it. Of course he knows that Cuba has a government-run health care system.

    I find it ironic that Americans complain so much about politicians being scripted, pre-packaged repeaters of sound bites and talking points, but when one of them dares to go off script and says something dumb, the public jumps all over it – as if none of us haven’t said dumb things when speaking off-the-cuff.

    Then we wonder why politicans would rather stick with cliches and empty rhectoric.

    So I take it you gave Jerry Ford a pass for that lame statement about Poland not being under Soviet domination, and lamented the way the Carter campaign exploited it?

  50. This thread wins all H&R threads.

  51. I am happy to say i knew this guy was stupid in 2004….now i am just like everyone else.

  52. Beyond knowing that Cuba’s is a government run system, what do any of us know about it?

    This really isn’t that big of a deal. Cuba’s healthcare policy is, or should be, of exactly no interest to an American politician or an American voter.

    As for him being objectively “stupid”, that’s just silliness.

  53. If this quote was shown in a television ad without specific commentary how many of Edwards’ supporters would know that it’s embarrassing?

  54. This really isn’t that big of a deal. Cuba’s healthcare policy is, or should be, of exactly no interest to an American politician or an American voter.

    Right, Matt. Who cares about the useful knowledge to be gained from studying health care around the world? There aren’t any bad consequences of failing to study history, are there?

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