Here are the answers to the 2010 Quotes Quiz
with details about who said what and why -- plus some information on the people who didn't
say these things, but might have.
1. "There's no one who wants this thing over more than I do. You know, I'd like my life back."
Answer: C. Tony Hayward
All three of the newsmakers we listed surely said this to themselves at some point during this difficult year. In June, Gen. David Petraeus
was suddenly given the thankless task of running the war in Afghanistan after Gen. Stanley McCrystal
got the boot for deriding administration officials in a Rolling Stone article. And Lindsay Lohan's
career melted down in the heat of the tabloid spotlight as the actress bounced between jail
and lost movie roles
. But BP gaffemeister Tony Hayward
was the one who said it out loud, on camera, in the midst of an environmental and economic disaster for which his company had taken "full responsibility." Because of that and many other tin-ear moments, Hayward got his life -- but not his reputation -- back. By October, he was no longer CEO of BP
2. "I will take you out, buddy!"
Answer: A. Carl Paladino
David Duprey, AP
Sharron Angle, the Nevada Republican who tried to unseat the Senate's top Democrat in November's election, spoke of "Second Amendment remedies" and came under fire for saying "the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out
." And tough-talking New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got in the face of a heckler
at a campaign rally for California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. "You want to yell? Yell at me," Christie told the guy during the finger-pointing confrontation. But the correct answer is Carl Paladino, the volatile and ultimately unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor of New York, whose clash with a reporter
in September was caught on video. He claimed the New York Post had tried to take pictures of the daughter Paladino has from a decade-old affair. "You send another goon to my daughter's house and I'll take you out, buddy!" Paladino warned the Post's Fred Dicker before aides could separate the men. The next day, Paladino said he didn't mean it literally
3. "We have, uh, did what was right for Arizona."
Answer: C. Jan Brewer
A crackdown on illegal immigrants, a challenge to the health care reform law and some fierce midterm election battles kept Arizona in the news
this year. Outspoken Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio
continued his running feud with the feds. Sen. John McCain won re-election by running to the right. McCain, once a GOP maverick on immigration reform, said "Complete the dang fence
" in one campaign ad. (He also insisted in a Newsweek interview that he never considered himself a "maverick."
) While both men would no doubt say they've done what's right for their state, it was Gov. Jan Brewer's grammatically (and, critics said, factually
) flawed defense of her record that made headlines. It wasn't as much about what she said as what she didn't say
. During what should have been a no-brainer of an opening statement at the gubernatorial debate in September, Brewer stumbled and froze
. For about 10 agonizing seconds, she said nothing. Alan Colmes hailed Brewer's moment of speechlessness as the quote of the year
. Despite her deer-in-the-headlights episode, Brewer went on to win the election by a comfortable margin.
4. "This is not a bake-off. Get your man-pants on."
Answer: C. Christine O'Donnell
Impugning an opponent's masculinity
Robert Craig, AP
was a popular tactic for female politicians during this midterm campaign season. Democratic Sen. Robin Carnahan of Missouri told Republican Roy Blunt to "man up." In Nevada, Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle taunted her rival: "Man up, Harry Reid!
" The original Mama Grizzly, Sarah Palin, set the tone this summer when she said President Barack Obama lacked the "cojones
" to stop illegal immigration. Georgia gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel landed another below-the-belt punch in August when she told GOP runoff opponent Nathan Deal to "put the big-boy pants on
" and quit "squealing" about her campaign ads. Christine O'Donnell picked up on the theme in a September interview when she blasted Mike Castle, her Republican primary rival in Delaware's Senate race, for accusing her of violating federal election law. "Mike this is not a bake-off. Get your man-pants on
," O'Donnell cracked. She went on to beat the pants off Castle, only to lose big to Democrat Chris Coons
5. "God, what is that hair? Sooo yesterday."
Answer: B. Carly Fiorina
Years come and years go, but some timeless truths endure. Among them: First-time candidates make rookie mistakes, and women criticize other women's hair. Pop superstar Lady Gaga
-- whose styles are always so tomorrow -- waded into the "don't ask, don't tell
" debate this year but didn't ask or tell about anyone's hair. "The View" co-host Joy Behar (whose response to Fiorina's barb was: "What is that dress
?") made plenty of hair-raising remarks this year such as branding Sharron Angle with the B-word
. What Behar and Gaga said was intended for public consumption. Fiorina's critique of Sen. Barbara Boxer's coiffure was not. The first-time Republican Senate candidate in California was scrolling through e-mails on her phone while waiting to start a TV interview and made several unkind comments about Boxer
. "God, what is that hair? Sooo yesterday," Fiorina chuckled -- then suddenly realized she was in front of a camera and open microphone. She later explained that she was just quoting from a friend's message about her opponent, but the incident gave new meaning to the phrase "bad hair day."
6. "This is a big f***ing deal!"
Answer: A. Vice President Joe Biden
J. Scott Applewhite, AP
The two Chicago politicians in this group are notorious for, shall we say, salty language. Tapes of Rod Blagojevich's potty-mouthed conversations were used as evidence in the corruption trial that ended with him being convicted on only one of 23 counts
. And Rahm Emanuel, who resigned as White House chief of staff in October to run for mayor of Chicago
, has a legendary proclivity for profanity. Even so, neither "Blago" nor "Rahmbo" dropped the F-bomb
on live TV during a momentous news event. It was Vice President Joe Biden
who whispered "This is a big f***ing deal!' in the president's ear -- close enough to the open microphone for all to hear -- as Obama was about to sign the health care reform bill into law.
7. "Congress, the White House and Hollywood, Wall Street are owned by the Zionists. No question, in my opinion."
Answer: B. Helen Thomas
Charles Dharapak, AP
These three journalists share the unfortunate distinction of losing their jobs because of controversial comments they made this year. NPR fired Juan Williams in October after he said during an interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that he gets "worried" and "nervous" when he sees people on planes wearing "Muslim garb
... identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims." Fox quickly signed Williams to a three-year, $2 million deal
. Three weeks earlier, CNN canned Rick Sanchez because the often-bombastic, Cuban-born newsman called Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, who's Jewish, a "bigot
." Later in the Sirius XM Radio interview, Sanchez said: "I'm telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they -- the people in this country who are Jewish -- are an oppressed minority? Yeah." Which brings us to Helen Thomas, who made the remark about Zionist control
in early December. But that's not what cost the legendary White House correspondent her job. She'd resigned from Hearst Corp. six months earlier amid an uproar over her remark that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine
." She said that, on video, to a rabbi at the White House's Jewish Heritage Celebration.
8. "The press is our immune system. If it overreacts to everything, we actually get sicker. And perhaps eczema. And yet, with that being said, I feel good. Strangely, calmly good."
Answer: B. Jon Stewart
This was the year that dueling rallies filled opposite ends of the Washington Mall with crowds from opposite ends of the political spectrum. Fox News personalities Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin drew a throng of true believers to the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28 -- the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech -- for the "Restoring Honor
" rally. On Oct. 30 -- three days before the election -- Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, with the Capitol as their backdrop, entertained another enormous audience at the "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear
." (A month earlier, Colbert also caused a stir
on Capitol Hill by testifying
in faux-conservative character at a House committee hearing on farm labor and illegal immigrants.) Stewart cemented his reputation as America's most influential fake newscaster
this year, and his comment about the press wouldn't have sounded out of place at either of the rallies. As the line between political commentary and political comedy gets fuzzier every day, truth often comes from unlikely sources.
9. "I could have found a more productive way to express my frustration."
Answer: A. Steven Slater
Seth Wenig, AP
The Stewart/Colbert rally in Washington gave two of 2010's most famous hotheads an opportunity to atone for their antics. Former JetBlue Flight attendant Steven Slater -- the undisputed winner of this year's award for the most over-the-top way to quit your job -- and profanity-spewing, table-flipping
"real housewife" of New Jersey Teresa Giudice both appeared in "Moments of Unreasonableness
" videos that were played at the rally. After a confrontation with an obnoxious passenger Aug. 9, Slater cussed out the woman over the plane's PA system, inflated the escape chute and, with beer in hand, jumped out -- sliding onto the tarmac at JFK and into disgruntled-employee infamy. Less than two weeks before the rally, he avoided jail time by pleading guilty to charges of criminal mischief
and agreeing to get counseling. "Next time I'll try to work things through before losing my cool," Slater promised in his video. Giudice expressed similar sentiments. Mel Gibson would have been an excellent candidate to complete the unreasonableness trifecta after his latest highly publicized meltdown
. A tape surfaced this summer on which the actor is heard insulting and threatening his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva in the crudest of terms
. Although Gibson was a no-show at the sanity rally, he'll be appearing in March in "The Beaver
" -- in which he plays a deeply troubled man who speaks through a furry hand puppet. Seriously? Watch the trailer
10. "English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too."
Answer: B. Sarah Palin
George W. Bush, Sarah Palin and Snoop Dogg all have made their unique contributions to the evolution of the English language. The former president, who gave us such gems as "misunderestimate" and "the decider," has been promoting his memoir
"Decision Points" lately, but he didn't invent any new words for the book. Snoop Dogg
has a way with words, fo' shizzle. He recently announced via Twitter that he had created "tha anthem 4 Prince William's bachelor party
." The song is called "Wet
." Think of this as the King's English 2.0. It was also on Twitter that Palin unveiled what the New Oxford American Dictionary hailed as the word of the year
. In a tweet about plans to open an Islamic center two blocks from where the World Trade Center once stood, Palin urged "peaceful Muslims" to "refudiate
" the project. Her point about the so-called "ground zero mosque" was drowned out by the buzz about the newly minted word. In a followup tweet, Palin refused to repudiate "refudiate."
She invoked Shakespeare
and called English "a living language." It was classic Palin. No apologies -- in 140 characters or otherwise. Maybe Palin will change her catchphrase -- "Don't retreat. Reload!
" to "Don't Retreat. Retweet!"