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Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy
May 23, 2006 8:21 AM   Subscribe

Lloyd Bentsen dead at 85. He was a renouned senator and vice presidential candidate on the Dukakis ticket, whom you may know better for his famous quote in this debate.
posted by rollbiz (49 comments total)

 
"Senator, I served with It's Raining Florence Henderson. I knew It's Raining Florence Henderson. It's Raining Florence Henderson was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no It's Raining Florence Henderson."

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posted by Doohickie at 8:32 AM on May 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


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He was a good guy.
posted by amberglow at 8:33 AM on May 23, 2006


noun and renoun were in a boat. noun fell out. who was left?
posted by 1-2punch at 8:36 AM on May 23, 2006


What happened is that Dan Quayle became president after all, under another name. Replacing the index cards with an in-the-ear monitor turned out to be quite effective.
posted by digaman at 8:38 AM on May 23, 2006


Call Lloyd Bensten, get the motherfucker crunk!

Oh, sorry, Lloyd Banks. . .
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 8:49 AM on May 23, 2006


Weird. I see Dukakis several times a week on my walk to work. Toady I said "Good morning, Governor" and he didn't smile quite as broadly as before.
posted by mds35 at 8:49 AM on May 23, 2006


renouned? so he used to be a She?
posted by pmbuko at 8:54 AM on May 23, 2006


Forgot to mention that he was Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton.

When Clinton autographed a photo of himself for Bentsen, it was signed "To my friend Lloyd Bentsen, who makes me study things until I get it right."
posted by rollbiz at 8:56 AM on May 23, 2006


Bentsen advocated nuking N. Korea to end the Korean War.
posted by planetkyoto at 9:06 AM on May 23, 2006


"To my friend Lloyd Bentsen, who makes me study things until I get it right."

I miss having an eloquent and charming president.
posted by JekPorkins at 9:16 AM on May 23, 2006


mds35: He'd smile more if you didn't call him a toady.
posted by The Bellman at 9:23 AM on May 23, 2006


"Bentsen advocated nuking N. Korea to end the Korean War"

Interesting. Yet another reason to like the guy.

GLORIOUS FIRE FROM THE SKY!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:27 AM on May 23, 2006


Wasn't he a big part of the 80's S&L debacle?
posted by basicchannel at 9:27 AM on May 23, 2006


"You're no more like Jack Kennedy than George Bush is like Ronald Reagan."
Probably a more salient quote today.
But beating Dan Quayle in a battle of wits, I mean c’mon...that’s Mike Tyson vs. Woody Allen.


You know who else was no Jack Kennedy? Hitler.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:29 AM on May 23, 2006


Wasn't he a big part of the 80's S&L debacle?

The one that involved Anthony Michael Hall?
posted by NationalKato at 9:30 AM on May 23, 2006


HIYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
posted by basicchannel at 9:31 AM on May 23, 2006


"To my friend Lloyd Bentsen, who makes me study things until I get it them right."
I'm taking over for Lloyd, Bill.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:36 AM on May 23, 2006


But beating Dan Quayle in a battle of wits, I mean c’mon...that’s Mike Tyson vs. Woody Allen.

In a battle of wits, I think I'll take Woody Allen.
posted by alidarbac at 9:39 AM on May 23, 2006


...and so you should.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:45 AM on May 23, 2006


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posted by Jikido at 10:23 AM on May 23, 2006


I've been listening to Bill Clinton's My Life on long car rides and plane trips. Lloyd Bentsen's input and impact early on in Clinton's presidency is certainly evident. His argument for pushing down the debt by raising taxes on the wealthy essentially boiled down to the opposite of trickle down economics. I'm paraphrasing here but he said something along the lines of:

"Don't worry about taxing the wealthy like me, once the debt comes down we will more than make the money back in investments."

By the late nineties Bentsen's prediction had more than come true. By the early nineties trickle-down economics was again being tried out and now the debt is even bigger.

Bentsen is a man who deserves great respect.

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posted by DragonBoy at 10:26 AM on May 23, 2006


Toady I said "Good morning, Governor" and he didn't smile quite as broadly as before.

You just had to be toady to him on a day like today.
posted by three blind mice at 10:26 AM on May 23, 2006


I read he's had a rough twilight, he suffered strokes and other health problems -- I am sorry for that. and he kicked GHW Bush's ass, once upon a time, so that's a big A+ in his column. but I've always thought Bentsen was the kind of Democrat who simply didn't switch to the GOP to avoid becoming an embarrassment to Republicans because of his shameless Big Oil connections. but politics were not as savage a business, then

and yes, the Clinton quote is a little gem
posted by matteo at 10:28 AM on May 23, 2006


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posted by bshort at 10:32 AM on May 23, 2006


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(God help me, I can't resist the John Cusack reference. Lloyd, Lloyd all null and void!)
posted by Feral at 10:51 AM on May 23, 2006


Bentsen recorded an oral history with the University of Texas which cannot be opened until five years after his death.

Looking forward to that.
posted by russilwvong at 11:17 AM on May 23, 2006


Loved his TV Show!
posted by shoepal at 11:30 AM on May 23, 2006


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posted by eriko at 11:53 AM on May 23, 2006


"After a week working for Bentsen you understand why he is the Treasury Secretary and you are not, and you are happy that that is the way it is." (via Brad DeLong)

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posted by alms at 11:54 AM on May 23, 2006


Relive the "no Jack Kennedy" moment. Here's a video clip from MSNBC (edited for length) and full audio from the History Channel. Full-length but lower quality video available here.
posted by punishinglemur at 1:06 PM on May 23, 2006


He was one of the original DINOs.

For a time, you could have breakfast with him for a mere $10,000 fee. He saw nothing wrong with that, although he quit doing it once it was reported in the papers.

He was useless, best remembered for a one-liner written by his debate coach.

I'm sure his family will miss him, but politically, I can't see that his career benefited anyone but himself.
posted by Jatayu das at 1:47 PM on May 23, 2006


The second link, to the cnn story, is a little bit odd.
Part of Dukakis' "packagers" series in which five crafty imagemakers plot how best to deceive the American public about Bush, the commercial depicts the cynical image-manipulators in a smoke-filled room
Is this acceptable language for a news story? Was it acceptable in 1988?
posted by allan at 1:48 PM on May 23, 2006


I will freely admit that I only clicked on this article to read the renouned jokes.

But seriously, Washington and Texas are morning.
posted by scottj at 2:06 PM on May 23, 2006


For a time, you could have breakfast with him for a mere $10,000 fee. He saw nothing wrong with that, although he quit doing it once it was reported in the papers.

From the Times: ...In 1987, with Senator Long's retirement, Mr. Bentsen became the committee's chairman. Soon after he took the seat, he was embarrassed by the disclosure that he had invited lobbyists to breakfasts in exchange for $10,000 campaign contributions. Rather than make excuses, he admitted to a "doozy" of a mistake and refunded the $92,500 he had collected. ...

Compare that to other lawmakers' behavior during his tenure and especially since then (i'd point you especially to Gingrich and Delay and all of Abramoff's friends and clients, etc). It's ok that he was a conservative Democrat--we, unlike the other party, and unlike the media's depiction of ours, have room. The Republicans controlled Congress for most of his tenure too, but didn't practice the kind of scorched earth politics they do now--there was still some level of bipartisanship practiced to get real things done, as opposed to nonsense like Schiavo and the recent English bill and the upcoming FMA, etc. Speaking of DINOs, compare him also to Lieberman--but Lieberman comes off as way way way worse, in my estimation.
posted by amberglow at 3:13 PM on May 23, 2006


and allan--that language is typically used for Democrat campaign ads and not at all when it comes to Republicans. The Willie Horton ads are a perfect example of that--no one said "deceived" about those at all.
posted by amberglow at 3:15 PM on May 23, 2006


For a time, you could have breakfast with him for a mere $10,000 fee.

I only charge $20 bucks to share a pez with me.
posted by tkchrist at 3:43 PM on May 23, 2006


Never do anything you wouldn’t want on the front page of the papers (sex, et. al excluded of course).

/‘for a mere $10,000 fee’ - I would do an interpretive dance on the Greco-Persian wars including Darius' invasions, the Aftermath of the Ionian Rebellion, Mardonius's campaign (a crowd pleaser), Datis and Artafernes's campaign, the third Messenian War up to and including the peace at Callias. The battle of Marathon is the real show stopper (goes on for 24 miles). I’m available for weddings, parties, bar mitzvahs...
posted by Smedleyman at 4:29 PM on May 23, 2006


"To my friend Lloyd Bentsen, who makes me study things until I get it right."

I miss having an eloquent and charming president.
posted by JekPorkins


That sounds much more like something bush would write, though I doubt you'd be calling it 'eloquent and charming' if he had.

For a time, you could have breakfast with him for a mere $10,000 fee. He saw nothing wrong with that, although he quit doing it once it was reported in the papers.

He was a politician. Why would you expect anything less? Dem or repub, not much difference. Don't let the hypocrites fool you.

The whole, 'but he apologized when caught so he's better than republicans' angle sounds like it comes from the mind of a child. "But I just ate one piece of the cake, he ate 3!"

Whatever.
posted by justgary at 5:56 PM on May 23, 2006


Don't let the hypocrites fool you.
Yup--exactly the same:

Bentsen: ... Rather than make excuses, he admitted to a "doozy" of a mistake and refunded the $92,500 he had collected. ...

DeLay: Tom ... DeLay said he was a “target” because he was “effective” and accomplished “some pretty amazing things.” DeLay is especially proud of the K-Street Project, the pay-to-play system where the success of lobbyists would be dictated not by how compelling a case they could make, but rather by how willing they would be to line the pockets of DeLay and his colleagues.

DeLay describes how it works:

TIME: Do you think you did anything that made you more of a target for your critics? Do you think you made it easier for the opponents to —

DeLay: No. The opponents HATE what we do—what we have done in the last 11 years in the majority. We have built the largest political coalition of my adult lifetime. They hate that. We have been effective for 11 years going now, doing some pretty amazing things. They hate that. The reason we’ve been effective is we’ve tried to change the culture of Washington, D.C. And do it legally and ethically. The Democrats hate the fact that their culture of K Street has been changed from a totally dominated Democrat K Street [lobbying community] to a totally dominated Republican K Street. Nothing illegal about that at all. And we built that. When we took over in 1995, the K Street contributions to elections was 70/30—70 percent Democrat, 30 percent Republican. Today it’s 60/40—60 percent Republican and 40 percent Republican. That’s a change in culture. Democrats and the left hate that, and they have worked very hard to destroy it.

While DeLay is gone, the corrupt system he set up — and is so proud of — remains. It’s that system that allowed people like Jack Abramoff to thrive. ...

posted by amberglow at 6:58 PM on May 23, 2006


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(former Texan)
posted by fungible at 8:28 PM on May 23, 2006


amberglow: "Don't let the hypocrites fool you.
Yup--exactly the same:
....

....

While DeLay is gone, the corrupt system he set up — and is so proud of — remains. It’s that system that allowed people like Jack Abramoff to thrive. ...
"

So Justgary points out that the old "He did it first (or he did it more)" argument is childish, and you respond by showing us that "No, he really *really* did it more, see?"

Wow Amberglow. If you hold your breath long enough, you'll turn as blue as Mefi.
posted by John Smallberries at 8:35 PM on May 23, 2006


He was one of the original DINOs.

Give the U.S. more DINOs and RINOs, if their allegiance to their parties wavers sometimes, if they're criticized by the more extreme elements of their parties, if they have a set of principles but it just isn't good enough for pure progressives or conservatives.

Yeah, I'm not too impressed by $10,000 breakfasts and in general encouraging a system where money gets you increased access and therefore public policy is largely influenced by money. But I don't know how to get around the fact that campaign money is a necessity to be politically competetive, and until someone figures it out, patron-lobbyists are going to be some part of the game, ethically or unethically.
posted by namespan at 9:43 PM on May 23, 2006


These DINOs and RINOs... they vibrate?

(in other words, what does the acronymn mean?)
posted by Doohickie at 2:46 AM on May 24, 2006


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posted by moonbird at 4:05 AM on May 24, 2006


(in other words, what does the acronymn mean?)

Democrats in Name Only, and Republicans in Name Only.

So Justgary points out that the old "He did it first (or he did it more)" argument is childish, and you respond by showing us that "No, he really *really* did it more, see?"
When someone is making false equivalences before they do what you highlight, it needs to be shown that they're not equivalent. This is his statement first: He was a politician. Why would you expect anything less? Dem or repub, not much difference. Don't let the hypocrites fool you.
That's not true, and with all the current scandals and widening investigations and convictions of GOP Congresspeople, false equivalences are even more of a lie. Further, Bentsen's own actions show that he was not the same.
posted by amberglow at 5:52 AM on May 24, 2006


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posted by dog food sugar at 1:47 PM on May 24, 2006


RIP, Senator.

You know, the Jack Kennedy quote was the big zinger in that debate, sure. But it overshadowed one that I liked much better.

When Quayle argued that the Republicans should be kept in office because the economy was doing so well, Bentsen replied:

"You let me write 200 billion in hot checks and I can give you the illusion of prosperity, too!"

That little sound bite, only slightly less snarky than the Jack Kennnedy quote, is seriously damning to the Republicans in general, and has much more relevance to our situation today.

There is no such thing as a growing, healthy economy when your national debt is reaching new record heights. It's like showing off your new Rolex as an example of how wealthy you are, when you had to take out a double mortgage on the farm to buy it.
posted by darkstar at 7:09 PM on May 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


Good call darkstar.
posted by rollbiz at 7:13 PM on May 24, 2006


Thanks for the acronymn, amberglow.
posted by Doohickie at 7:53 PM on May 25, 2006


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