Vice President of the USA from 1989-1993 C.E., while George Bush (senior) was President.

Widely known for quotes which make him sound stupid or at least very bad at public speaking.

Removed himself from candidacy in the 2000 Republican primary election due to lack of funds.

See also: potatoe.

J. Danforth Quayle was born in Indianapolis in 1947. He graduated from DePauw University in 1969 with a B.S. in Political Science. After matriculation, he joined the National Guard and attended law school at Indiana University. In 1976, after five years in various public servant positions, he was elected to Congress from Indiana's Fourth Congressional District. Four years later, he was elected to the Senate and became the youngest Senator in the history of the U.S. (he was 33). During his tenure, he wrote the Job Training Partnership Act. At the Republican National Convention in 1988, George Bush, Sr. called upon him to be his running mate. Bush and Quayle won that election, so Quayle served as Vice President from 1989-1993. Afterwards, he took a job as a consultant at an investment firm in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the author of two books: "The American Family: Discovering the Values that Make Us Strong" and "Standing Firm." He has a wife, Marilyn, and three children.


I think Dan Quayle suffered from trying too hard to sound good, similar to Jimmy Carter's ineptitude because he had to think everything out. Nonetheless, Quayle's quotes are some of the funniest lines ever said by any political leader. Here are some.

"The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I mean this century's history. We all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century." -- 09-14-1988

"If we do not succeed, then we run the risk of failure." -- 03-23-1990

"Welcome to President Bush, Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts." -- 07-20-1989 (Speaking during the 20th anniversary of the moon landing.)

"[It's] time for the human race to enter the solar system." -- (Speaking about a manned mission to Mars)

"Are they taking DDT?" -04-30-1992 (Speaking to doctors at an AIDS clinic about their medications of choice)

"Vietnam is a jungle. You had jungle warfare. Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, you have sand. [There is no need to worry about a protracted war because] from a historical basis, Middle East conflicts do not last a long time." -- 10-02-1990

"I was known as the chief grave robber of my state."

"It's wonderful to be here in the great state of Chicago." -- 04-30-1991

"Hawaii is a unique state. It is a small state. It is a state that is by itself. It is a -- it is different than the other 49 states. Well, all states are different, but it's got a particularly unique situation." -- (When a woman at a hospital in Colorado Springs asked Mr. Quayle whether Hawaii's universal health-care plan might serve as a national model.)

"We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a part of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a part of Europe."

"May our nation continue to be the beakon of hope to the world." -- (The Quayles' 1989 Christmas card.)

"What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is." -- (Attempting to quote the United Negro College Fund's well known line, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste.")


The 1988 United States Presidential Election occurred when I was nine years old, and it was one of the first political stories I remember following in the newspapers. And one of the easiest things to understand about that story was the duncishness of the vice presidential nominee, Dan Quayle. He made many gaffes on the campaign trail, and in the ensuing years, he would continue to make a number of statements that were either garbled, factually inaccurate, or silly. Quayle's malpropisms would cease to be a focus, especially as the Bush administration became marked by the first Iraq War and later the deepening recession. Dan Quayle, together with George Bush, would leave office on January 20, 1993.

Getting voted out of office is a normal hazard of political life, but Dan Quayle was still a young man at the time (45 years old, which seems pretty young to me now!), and he had the experience of serving, as the cliches go, a heartbeat away from being the most powerful man in the world. What happened to Dan Quayle after that event?

The updates on Dan Quayle are that there are no updates. He made a desultory attempt in the 2000 Republican Primary and served on some corporate boards. He has not transformed into an elder statesman of the Republican Party. He did not undergo a sudden conversion, or at least transformation, and advocate for any new policies or ideas. He also didn't strengthen his ideology or say or do anything new in it, despite writing a book about family values or something. He didn't even take up a second career or hobby or do something mildly pleasant and apolitical. He hasn't become the spokesperson for a noted charity. He wasn't appointed to anything during the administration of George W Bush, even though he probably would have made a fine Ambassador to the Netherlands. In other words, Dan Quayle has pretty much disappeared from noteworthiness in the 26 years since he left office.

The story about Dan Quayle was never that he didn't know how to spell potato, which is a trivial matter. The story about Dan Quayle is that he just didn't and doesn't really have any substance at all.

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