Important Quotes

In this week’s copy of The Economist, they have quotes from the campaign trail.

“‘I only got three [dollars] in my pocket.’ Multimillionaire Mitt Romney has to borrow from an aide to buy a cup of coffee. ” emphasis my own.

Coffee? Did they say coffee? Mitt the Mormon drinks coffee?

I wonder then if his delinquency in keeping the Word of Wisdom is what spurred this comment: “‘What they have done is, they have totally dismissed that fact that this guy’s influence is going to lead people to hell.’ Televangelist Bill Keller on Christian conservative leaders who endorse Mitt Romney, a Mormon.” (all this on page 37 of the Nov 10th issue of the Economist)

Should I be nervous about a coffee-drinking Mormon too?

My favorite quote however does not concern Mormons in any way whatsoever but it is not to be missed.

“‘I took a city that was known for pornography and licked it to a large extent.’ Rudy Giuliani on how he saved New York.”

You what? Rudy?


  1. Did the Economist mean to out Mitt like this? Terrible.

    Though Ronan, in the UK does coffee really mean hot chocolate or delicious herbal tea?

    I thought so.

  2. Oh I’m sure it wasn’t coffee. It’s just cute that they throw around coffee so breezily. But hello? coffee is a big deal. You can’t just drop that word and not have it mean anything, silly Economist.

  3. It was probably Sanka. Sanka’s okay, right? Mission presidents drink Sanka. I’m sure he said “Sanka” but his people just call it “his coffee.”

  4. Coffee? This is the first positive thing I’ve heard about the Mitt Robot. Don’t spoil it.

  5. Obviously, Mitt should be avoiding the *appearance* of drinking coffee altogether. I don’t believe for a second that someone with his gospel experience would have an issue with coffee. Porn maybe – coffee? No.

  6. a random John says:

    “I only got” ????

    I don’t think that coffee is the worst part of that quote.

  7. The first quote is funny in its ignorance; the second is absolutely hilarious. I share a lot of what I read here with my teenagers, but that one will go only to my son in college.

  8. I like this quote, just for the mangled metaphor:

    “Strong Military. Strong Families. Strong Economy …that’s the position of the Republican party, the conservative [position], and if I’m the candidate, I’m gonna be fighting on all three legs of that Republican stool,” he said.

    (Emphasis added.)

  9. I read that same column in the Economist yesterday as well and was commenting to my husband that it must be the generic no caffeine “coffee” that Mormons might get at Starbucks. What a relief to get the clarification (no doubt to reassure Mormons everywhere) that it was just a vanilla steamer. I was also laughing about the Guiliani quote. I doubt he really was thinking about his word choice there. I can’t imagine being a candidate with all that media coverage and having people record and scrutinize every word that comes out your mouth.

  10. Yeah….the lack of attention to the taboo issue of coffee for the mormon candidate speaks volumes. With all of the press coverage of Mitt’s mormonism (I feel like that’s all the press talks about when it comes to Romney), how could ANYONE not know that Mitt is mormon, and “mormons who know” don’t partake? Any bets that the Deseret News will print this “substantive issue” front page?

  11. Left Field says:

    Back when the Democrats took control of the congress, an article appeared that said the President invited Harry Reid to the White House for coffee. I can’t say what beverage Brother Harry actually imbibed on that occasion, but I’m sure the invitation and the reporting thereof was more about the nature of the meeting than the beverage selection. I doubt the President or the reporter gave a second thought to the implications.

    The source provided by adcama indicates that Mitt’s beverage was not coffee (and gives a more grammatical version of the quote). Buying a cup of coffee is a common metaphor for making a small purchase, so I suspect the Economist reporter just had no idea that the distinction between coffee and a vanilla steamer might be important.

    What do you bet that if Mitt had a Coke, the press would be all over it? In my experience, more people “know” that Mormons don’t drink Coke than know that we don’t drink coffee.

  12. Lucky me, I just had the last piece of leftover cinnamon streusel coffee cake for breakfast.

    I think the funniest malapropism I have ever heard com out of a politician’s mouth was when Jimmy Carter intended to pay tribute to Hubert Horatio Humphrey at the national party convention and introduced him as “Hubert Horatio Hornblower. . .I mean Humphrey!”

  13. What do you bet that if Mitt had a Coke, the press would be all over it? In my experience, more people “know” that Mormons don’t drink Coke than know that we don’t drink coffee.

    Considsering I’ve actually run across press reports (in local and alternative zines, not in mainstream papers) that claim the Church owns Coca-Cola – well, I’ve actually been told by several (non-lds) people that they “know” it’s Pepsi or RC Cola we can’t drink, but Coke is okay, since our church owns it.

    There are some weird theories about us out there.

  14. I don’t know Mitt Romney personally, but I know one of his sons. Based on what I know about them, he’s not drinking coffee.

    I also know enough about news reporting to know that these reporters are almost right most of the time. I’m sure it was a reporter who doesn’t know the significance of his erroneous details.

  15. StillConfused says:

    Isn’t “cup of coffee” just a euphamism

  16. Steve Evans says:

    StillConfused — yes: for CRACK COCAINE. Ol’ Romney is complaining he can’t even afford a dime bag.

  17. You know what bothers me about the implication that a Mormon who drinks coffee isn’t a good Mormon?

    Other Mormons who don’t drink coffee are breaking other commandments that aren’t as easily exposed (I grant you, he probably wasn’t drinking coffee).

    We just hit so hard on the word of wisdom and don’t even know if that totally teetotaler is a jerk to his neighbors.

    Everyone sins. Everyone has flaws. I think we keep score way too much. If I pay my tithing, go to church, read the scriptures, try to serve my fellow man, but have a cup of coffee once in awhile, am I less a “good” Mormon than the jerk down the street who wouldn’t touch coffee if his life depended on it, but whose yard is a mess?

    You guys have a weird comment thing, you can’t see half the screen.

  18. annegb, I usually agree with you, but the Word of Wisdom is a commandment now – keeping a clean yard is not. Now, if you had said the jerk down the street who constantly criticizes his wife and kids, or the jerk down the street who hides his p*rn addiction from everyone else, I would line up to cast my vote for the coffee drinker all day, every day.

    Having said that, I agree completely that we keep score way too much.

  19. No one ever accused the media of performing thorough research and getting stories precisely accurate. Then why should we being to believe the Economist?

    Honestly, this post is much ado about nothing. If Mitt Romney weren’t a faithful member of the church, then why hold him in high regard? Let’s cast stones and rid ourselves of such unworthiness (see John 8:7).

  20. Look Andrew, I am fine if you want to slander the one true and living church in this apostate forum, but I will not allow you to sully the good name of God’s favorite news magazine. If the Economist says that it is so, then it is so. Period. Sheesh! Next thing I know BCC is going to start claiming that the Lexington collumn is only true “in so far as it is translated correctly.”

    Frankly I am outraged — OUTRAGED! — that BCC would even host a thread in which people are able to make cheap, drive by comments attacking the Economist. Have you people no sense of shame at all?!?!?

  21. Steve Evans says:

    Nate, I apologise for Andrew’s ill-suited behavior. I expected more from him.

  22. truebluethru'n'thru says:

    (If Mitt takes, well, “coffee,” vanilla-steamer white; he prefers counter-terrorism advice, J. Coffer Black)

  23. Aaron Brown says:

    Any magazine whose writers are too ashamed of their work to put their names on their articles doesn’t deserve to be trusted.

  24. Well, at least the Economist can be given credit for coverage of areas of the world that rarely make an appearance in Time or Newsweek. But it’s still a rather superficial coverage, sufficient perhaps for the cocktail party circuit. These days when I read it, I get an empty sort of feeling, wondering why I wasted my time learning so little. Apparently, I’m not alone.

  25. Hello? Licking pornography? You can’t dislike anyone who chooses that quote over all other presidential race 08 quotes. Even if they don’t list their names. And even if they are from the UK.

    Steve?! I didn’t know Mitt did cocaine. Does anyone else know? This is delicious, though I bet it could hurt his candidacy. If you want a Mormon in the White House you best keep that one quiet.

  26. Aaron: I assume that there are no bylines in the Economist because all of the content is written by God, or at least published with his approval.

    Bill: Name a single news magazine (as opposed to a policy or academic journal) that provides better all around coverage than the Ecnomist. To read Time, Newsweek, or the rest of the drek put out in the name of news, you would assume that American readers are incabable of making it through a page that is more than fifty percent text, and have absolutely no interest in or knowledge of European, Latin American, African, Asian, or Canadian (I recently discovered that Canada is in fact an independent country with its own politics; sort of) events. And don’t even get me started on the crap that passes for financial or economic coverage in Time or Newsweek…

  27. What the Oman said. I know that the Economist is true. My idea of the best gift ever would be a lifetime subscription.

  28. Steve Evans says:

    Nate: how about Cigar Aficionado?

  29. Of course it’s better than those others, but that’s damning it with faint praise.

  30. Neal Peters says:

    AS long as he’s drinking coffee, he should try the new Coke Black–a newly marketed cola/coffee drink from the American soda giant. As a politician, I feel it’s his duty to add further confusion to the whole, “you guys can drink coke but not coffee?” thing.

  31. Neal Peters says:

    RE: Left Field:

    Since when did Mormons not drink Coke?

  32. Nate, and yet the Economist also does a terrible job with Latin America.

  33. Reading WSJ, Financial Times, Barron’s, New Yorker, and the New York Review of Books, as well as a variety of websites with more interesting analysis, I don’t have time for the Economist any more. I cut out Business Week (which has suffered a similar decline) for the same reasons.

  34. California Condor says:

    I wonder if all of these intellectuals raving about the Economist have a secret stash of People, US Weekly, and Star that they read when no one’s looking.

    And I think it’s Coke “Blak,” not “Black.”

  35. Steve Evans says:

    Bill, the WSJ is not long for pre-eminence. Good call on the FT, but I’d drop Barron’s for The Economist in a heartbeat.

  36. California Condor says:

    And before everyone starts congratulating themselves, Romney was outed as a caffeine-drinking Mormon a long time ago.

  37. CC,
    I read Esquire but only (you won’t believe this) because my dad (65) gives me his copy. When no-one’s looking, I read the UK’s Daily Mirror and the Sun. For anthropological reasons, of course. Plus, you can’t win an election in the UK without getting tabloid support, so, you know, it’s a legitimate activity to see what the British Street is thinking…

  38. The important lesson is that mooching is part of what it takes to become and remain a multimillionaire. There’s probably more to it than that, but I’ll try mooching this week and see how much richer it makes me.

  39. “Bill, the WSJ is not long for pre-eminence.”

    The editorial page is already worthless, but they still have some of the best writing and investigative reporting around. You’re right, however, that all that is likely to soon change.

  40. Obviously my point above was well received. However, I must clarify I did not intend to “slander” any Mormon belief. Being a faithful member myself, why would I want to cast stones at the foundation of my own personal belief system?

    Besides, even if Brother Romney were drinking coffee, would this seemingly insignificant habit really have an impact on his ability to lead the country as president? I’d much rather have as president a faithful Mormon drinking coffee than a certain senior senator from Utah who’s lips are constantly spewing out lies and exhibits the disdainful pleasure of drawing constant, needless attention to himself who hasn’t had an original thought in years!

  41. The New York Review of Books???!!!

  42. JNS: I don’t think that the Economist’s unwillingness to endorse populist strongmen should be held against them…

  43. My question is this…’s he going to stay awake at all of those Kindie’garten book readings drinking turkish delight, or vanilla steamer or whatever it is? I’ll only vote for someone who unabashedly drinks coffee (or Sanka or Pero or at least something that doesn’t sound all Shirley Templeish).

    As for becoming a multi-bizzilionaire, it’s tough to be rich when you’re dropping $6 every other hour on a Starbucks frothy…..

  44. Maybe you’re confusing it with the New York Times Book Review which is at least as glib, shallow, and predictable as the Economist. The NYRB, on the other hand, never fails to nourish.

    Time/Newsweek = McDonalds
    Economist = Sizzler
    NYRB = Smith & Wollensky

  45. #44: Isn’t turkish delight that jelly-reddish dessert/candy that the White Witch feeds Edmund according to C.S. Lewis, the well-respected Christian writer? Are we sure we want someone who might have been eating of the witch’s food as our president?


  46. Jami – that’s the one. Is turkish delight against the word of wisdom…..?

  47. I’d much rather have as president a faithful Mormon drinking coffee than a certain senior senator from Utah who’s lips are constantly spewing out lies and exhibits the disdainful pleasure of drawing constant, needless attention to himself who hasn’t had an original thought in years!

    Aren’t you talking about the senator from Nevada? I’m sure that is what you meant when you typed “senator from Utah.”

  48. 47. Only when it’s not winter. (Darn temperate climate!)

  49. truebluethru'n'thru says:

    A blogger at writes:

    During a recent visit to Indy, I was introduced to a delicious, hot drink at Starbucks. My friend called it a Vanilla Steamer. Simply, steamed milk with vanilla flavoring and whipped creme. But oh so yum, tastes like a warm vanilla milk shake from Sycamores (and I am not kidding). So, I order a “Vanilla Steamer” on the way home. Starbucks calls it a “Vanilla Creme”. I think to myself .. what a great name…steamer. Why don’t they use it? Curiousity gets the best of Hud. So, tonight I Google “Vanilla Steamer” and read the entry from the Urban Dictionary. ‘nuf said. One “Vanilla Creme”, please.

  50. adcama–I think it depends on your recipe. :)

  51. truebluethru'n'thru says:

    And now the Romney campaign waits for yet another shoe to drop. Breaking news:

    ( )

    BOSTON. Reeling from the Larry Craig scandal, the Republican Party is preparing to take another body blow over the weekend as sources close to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney say he will come clean about his decades-long addiction to coke, a habit that puts him at odds with his faith and the GOP’s family-values constituency.

    “I have come to the conclusion that I am addicted to Vanilla Coke,” Romney says.

  52. truebluethru'n'thru says:

    And this from the economist dot com

    ( )

    SIR —

    Even Vanilla Coke would be too strong of a drink for Mr Romney. As a Mormon, he is forbidden from drinking anything with caffeine, which includes Coke. He could have a caffeine-free Coke, but that doesn’t come in vanilla flavor.

    Andrey Utkin

  53. MikeInWeHo says:

    re: 45

    The Economist = Sizzler ???? No way.

    The Economist = Morton’s, at the very least.

  54. It’s funny how a “vanilla steamer” gets reported as either a vanilla Coke or a cup of coffee.

    However, now that I re-read the article, I see that Romney not only bought a vanilla steamer for himself, but also an unspecified drink for the mayor of DeWitt. Quite plausibly, the Economist reference to Romney “buying” (not drinking) coffee is in reference the the drink he bought for the mayor.

  55. Ahhh, so it wasn’t Mitt’s “principal” drink, but it was “among” the drinks he purchased. Now it makes sense.

  56. In reference to my comment #41 above, do I need to be any more direct than to say THIS is the senior senator from UTAH!

  57. #56 – Nice. I wish I had thought of that response.

  58. I have never drank coffee, but I am always meeting with business associates and friends “for a coffee” it has become such a cliche. It in fact means that you are meeting in an establishment that sells food and drink.

  59. The Economist used to be like Morton’s. I’d classify it more like Sizzler now.

  60. Just make sure you don’t order a Cleveland Steamer instead of a vanilla steamer!

  61. California Condor says:

    Just to be clear in case anyone is confused:

    Mitt Romney does not drink coffee. He drinks caffeinated cola beverages.

  62. Maybe he was buying it for someone else. On someone else’s dime. Practicing being president already, I guess.

  63. truebluethru'n'thru says:

    A cultured friend of mine speed dialed the epicure deli on his street corner and, having just read the above thread, was inspired to include in his order a vanilla steamer. However, he got distracted and ended up saying, “Oh, and a Cleveland steamer to go.” My friend continued, “Put it in a bag. I’ll be down in 15 minutes and pick it up.”

  64. #57 Andrew H.

    Oh my mistake. I was sure, from your description, that you were talking about the senator from Nevada. It seems to fit more closely. Are you sure you didn’t miss it by just one state?

  65. #19 But Ray, well that was a bad example. What about the golden rule? I know people who follow the visible commandments to the letter, but treat other people like crap.

    That’s more what I meant. I believe in and follow, to the best of my ability, the word of wisdom (I’m going to turkey burger and canola oil soon), don’t get me wrong.

    But none of us is without sin. And so if we’re all sinners, why should we judge a person who might further along in treating others like themselves, but who drinks coffee?

  66. Cooking-sherry Gate

    [In Hopkinton a little girl wants to know about the governor’s Thanksgiving traditions and Romney’s narrative references]
    “…Ann’s ‘perfectly smooth’ sweet potatoes, which she prepares with lots of butter and a little cooking sherry. (With this detail, an aide rushes to the press corps to explain that the alcohol burns off in the cooking and is therefore not a violation of Mormon law.) Then they all retire to the couches for a post-feast nap.

    –Los Angeles Times,1,556808.story?track=rss

  67. Wait just a darn second are you guys and gals telling me that coffee is against our religion…shoot I’ve been drinking that for years and nobody informed me about this new change..jk

%d bloggers like this: