By JOE NEWMAN
From the outrageous to the sublime to the profound, newsmakers had a lot to say in 2011. Here's some of the things said in 2011 that are worth a second take. Please click to the jump to see the "10 Head-Turning Quotes From 2011."
10. Peter Van Buren, former U.S. foreign service officer who was in charge of a group trying to rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure and economy:
“In Iraq, we had money everywhere. It was literally in boxes you had to step over. At one point in time, I had $100,000 in a safe in my office…There was so much money that the Iraqis invented a new slang term in Arabic that means ‘a large pile of hundred dollar bills.' ”
9. Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential hopeful, responding to a heckler:
8. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defending Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in March:
7. U.S. Senator Rand Paul on equating a universal health care system to slavery:
"It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses."
6. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver tweeting his thoughts during the summer on the Congressional deal struck to reduce the defict:
5. Former lobbyist Jack Abramoff on his first impressions of the Casino Jack script:
“I knew they weren’t going to make me a hero but I told them, ‘look make me an interesting villain at least. Make me Gordon Gekko, make me Hannibal Lecter, make me somebody people want to be in a room with for two hours.’ I said, 'I don’t want to be in a room with this guy for two hours and it’s me.' ”
4. Convicted scam artist Bernie Madoff in an email with the New York Times on the effectiveness of the Securities and Exchange Commission:
“It is not that they failed to uncover my fraud. It is the fact that for their entire existence they have spent their time and resources on the petty problems of small firms and refuse to deal with the obvious problems and outright violations of the large investment banks who had free reign to cause the eventual destruction of the financial markets. This mentality is still in evidence today.”
3. U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann implying the East Coast earthquake was a sign that God wants the government to trim the deficit:
"I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here?' Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we've got to rein in the spending."
2. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s hyperbolic comments on what would happen to U.S. military power if there are additional defense spending cuts:
1. Former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner talking about the infamous self photo he sent to a woman via his Twitter account:
"The photo doesn't look familiar to me. But a lot of people who have been looking at this stuff on our behalf are cautioning me that, you know, stuff gets manipulated, stuff gets -- you know, you can change your photograph, you can manipulate a photograph, you can doctor a photograph. And so, I don't want to say with certitude it maybe didn't start out being a photograph of mine, and now, it looks something different or maybe it was something that was from another account that got sent to me. I don’t -- I can't say for sure."
Joe Newman is POGO's Director of Communications.