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09/16/2008 09:56 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

If Shakespeare Covered the 2008 Campaign


On Sen. John McCain:

"Have you not a moist eye, a dry hand, a yellow cheek,
a white beard, a decreasing leg, an increasing belly? Is
not your voice broken, your wind short, your chin
double, you wit single, and every part about you
blasted with antiquity, and will you yet call yourself
young? Fie, fie, fie, Sir John!"
           Henry IV, Part 2


On Sen. McCain's Iraq policy:

"Let me have war, say I; it exceeds peace as far as day does night; it's spritely, waking,
audible, and full of vent. Peace is a very apoplexy, lethargy; mulled, deaf, sleep, insensible; a getter of more bastard children than war's a destroyer of men."
           Coriolanus

On Sen. Barack Obama:

"I would be loath to cast away my speech, for besides
that it is excellently well penned. I have taken great
pains to con it."
           Twelfth Night

On Sen. Obama's healthcare policy:

"Great griefs I see, medicine the less."
          Cymbeline

On Gov. Sarah Palin:

"Oh! I could play the woman with mine eyes,
And braggert with my tongue."
           Macbeth

On Gov. Palin and the media:

"I am not bound to please thee with my answer."
          Merchant of Venice

On Sen. Joe Biden:

"You wit's to hot, it speeds too fast,
'twill tire."
           Love's Labour's Lost

On Sen. Biden's strategy in the vice presidential debate:

"You speak like a green girl,
Unsifted in such perilous circumstance."
           Hamlet

On President Bush's lame duck status:

"O mighty Caesar! Dost thou lie so low?
Are all thy conquests, glories, triumphs, spoils,
Shrunk to this little measure?"
           Julius Caesar

On President Bush's legacy:
"Like a dull actor now,
I have forgot my part, and I am out,
Even to a full disgrace."
           Coriolanus

On Sen. Hillary Clinton:

"O tiger's heart wrapp'd in a woman's hide!"
           Henry VI, Part III

On former President Bill Clinton:

"Alas! Why gnaw you so your nether lip?"
          Othello

On political consultants:

"Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if
you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as life the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor
do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus; but use all gently; for in the very
torrent, tempest, and - as I may say - whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a
temperance, that may give it smoothness."
           Hamlet

On the presidential election process:

"Though this be madness, yet there is method in't."
          Hamlet

On the crisis on Wall Street:

"I can get no remedy against this consumption of the purse;
borrowing only lingers and lingers it out, but the disease is
incurable."
           Henry IV, Part II

On presidential candidates' press conferences:

"Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
Cry 'Caesar". Speak; Caesar is turn'd to hear."
           Julius Caesar

On McCain and Obama campaign strategists Steve Schmidt and David Axelrod:

"I want that glib and oily art
To speak and purpose note; since what I well intend,
I'll do it before I speak."
          King Lear

On the swift boating of Sen. John Kerry:

"The painful warrior famoused for fight,
After a thousand victories once foil'd,
Is from the book of honour razed quite,
And all the rest forgot for which he toil'd."
           Sonnets

On political spinners:

"He hath indeed better bettered expectation than you must
expect of me to tell you how."
           Much Ado About Nothing

On political pundits:

"What's the matter, you dissentious rogues,
That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
Make yourselves scabs?"
           Comedy of Errors

On Bob Schieffer, George Stephanopolous and Tom Brokaw:

"Whose sore task
Does not divide the Sunday from the week."
           Hamlet

On every politician's view of the news media:

"As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport."
           King Lear

On former Sen. Bob Dole's Viagara commercials:

"Is it not so strange that desire should so many years
Outlive performance?"
          Henry IV, Part II

On syndicated columnist Bob Novak, who is suffering from brain cancer:

"The prince of darkness is a gentleman."
          King Lear