Dispatches > Quotables


Issue: "Aging in place," March 31, 2001

The helm is right here-and that means in this chair for now, constitutionally, until the vice president gets here.

Alexander Haig, then-secretary of state, to the Reagan cabinet on March 30, 1981, as the president lay unconscious in a Washington operating room after he was shot. Then-National Security Adviser Richard V. Allen, who had laid a tape recorder on the table at the meeting, made the tape public on the 20th anniversary of the shooting. Mr. Allen's tape provides new details of the chaotic day when Mr. Haig asserted control of the government-even though, constitutionally, he was not "in charge."

I have never thought much about that because I don't attach much importance to what happens after.

Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, in an interview with reporters and executives of the Tribune Co., declining to talk much about what he sees for his country's future, insisting that he does not spend much time pondering his own death. Mr. Castro met with the Tribune employees to mark the formal opening of its Havana news bureau.

He's seen enough cardiologists lately.

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President Bush, on why he and not the vice president was speaking before the American College of Cardiology convention in Orlando, Fla. At the event, Mr. Bush threatened a veto of a Ted Kennedy/John McCain Senate bill that would create a new cause of action for individuals to sue HMOs. The president said the measure would drive up insurance premiums and encourage frivolous lawsuits.

I'm not going to become a human ATM machine for Ms. Patton and her attorney.

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), on news that an airport security guard he shoved less than a year ago plans to sue him-days before the one-year statute of limitations expires. Della Patton claims she suffers from "frozen shoulder syndrome" and has been out of work since the incident in which the 33-year-old congressman shoved and hurt her during a confrontation about his oversized luggage. He has apologized.


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