NPR logo

The Campaign's Rich Cast of Characters

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/91208881/91208853" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
The Campaign's Rich Cast of Characters

Election 2008

The Campaign's Rich Cast of Characters

The Campaign's Rich Cast of Characters

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/91208881/91208853" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The 16-month campaign that has left us with two presumptive presidential nominees featured hard-to-beat reality TV, full of many highlights.

(Soundbite of song, "I Want You to Want Me")

Mr. ROBIN ZANDER (Lead Singer, Cheap Trick): I want you to want me.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

This is a bittersweet week for political junkies. The news that Hillary Clinton will most likely concede to Barack Obama means the end of the longest and one of the most entertaining primary seasons in history. So we've collected some moments that perhaps didn't change the race, but certainly did entertain us along the way.

(Soundbite of song, "I Want You to Want Me")

Mr. ZANDER: (Singing) I want you to want me.

(Soundbite of TV show, "Saturday Night Live")

Senator JOHN McCAIN (Republican, Arizona; Republican Presidential Candidate): What should we be looking for in our next president? Certainly, someone who is very, very, very old.

(Soundbite of song, "I Want You to Want Me")

Mr. ZANDER: (Singing) I need you to need me.

Senator BARACK OBAMA (Democrat, Illinois; Democratic Presidential Candidate): Three words: Vice President Oprah.

(Soundbite of song, "I Want You to Want Me")

Mr. ZANDER: (Singing) I'd love you to love me. I beg you to beg me.

Senator HILLARY CLINTON (Democrat, New York; Democratic Presidential Candidate): Not change you can believe in, it's change you can Xerox. And I just don't think…

Sen. OBAMA: Well, that's not what I…

Sen. CLINTON: Well, but - you know, but Barack, it is, because, if, you know, if you look, if you look, if you…

(Soundbite of song, "I Want You to Want Me")

Mr. ZANDER: (Singing) I want you to want me. I need…

Mr. MIKE HUCKABEE (Former Governor, Arkansas; Former Republican Presidential Candidate): Folks, I didn't major in math. I majored in miracles, and I still believe in those, too.

(Soundbite of cheering)

(Soundbite of song, "I Want You to Want Me")

Mr. ZANDER: (Singing) I'd love you to love me.

Mr. RUDY GIULIANI (Former Mayor, New York City; Former Republican Presidential Candidate): Let's cut back, and we'll be back in our pre-September 11 mentality.

Pre-September 11 mentality.

Before September 11th…

Before September 11th…

A long time before September 11th…

Senator JOE BIDEN (Democrat, Delaware; Former Democratic Presidential Candidate): Rudy Giuliani, there's only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun and a verb and 9-11. I mean, there's nothing else. There's nothing else.

(Soundbite of song, "I Want You to Want Me")

Mr. ZANDER: (Singing) Didn't I, didn't I, didn't I see you crying?

Sen. CLINTON: I don't think I'm that bad.

(Soundbite of song, "I Want You to Want Me")

Mr. ZANDER: (Singing) Oh, didn't I, didn't I, didn't I see you crying?

Sen. OBAMA: You're likable enough, Hillary.

Sen. HILLARY: Thank you so much.

(Soundbite of song, "I Want You to Want Me")

Mr. ZANDER: (Singing) Feelin' all alone without a friend, you know you feel like dyin'.

President BILL CLINTON: Give me a break.

(Soundbite of song, "I Want You to Want Me")

Mr. ZANDER: (Singing) Oh, Didn't I, didn't I, didn't I see you crying?

Pres. CLINTON: This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen.

(Soundbite of song, "I Want You to Want Me")

Mr. ZANDER: (Singing) I want you to want me. I need…

(Soundbite of music)

Unidentified Man #1: (Rapping) Congress approved, Bush dubs, player Cheney, Condoleezza hizz-ice and all the other haters.

Unidentified Man #2: (Rapping) You know what? Anchorage, wire banks, what? MC. Rubella helicopter up in this hizz-house.

Unidentified Man #3: Hello, Democratic candidates. I've been growing concerned that global warming, the single most important issue to the snowmen of this country, is being neglected.

Unidentified Man #4: Did you see a UFO?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Representative DENNIS KUCINICH (Democrat, Ohio; Former Democratic Presidential Candidate): I did. It was an unidentified flying object, okay? It's like - it's unidentified. I saw something. Now…

(Soundbite of song, "I Want You to Want Me")

Mr. ZANDER: (Singing) Didn't I, didn't I, didn't I see you crying?

Sen. McCAIN: Senator Clinton tried to spend $1 million on the Woodstock Concert Museum. I'm sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event…

(Soundbite of laughter, applause)

Sen. McCAIN: I was tied up at the time.

(Soundbite of song, "I Want You to Want Me")

Sen. OBAMA: While I was working on those streets, watching those folks see their jobs shift overseas, you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board of Wal-Mart.

Sen. CLINTON: I was fighting against those ideas when you were practicing law and representing your contributor, Rezko, in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago.

Sen. OBAMA: No, no, no...

Mr. JOHN EDWARDS (Former Senator, Ohio; Former Democratic Presidential Candidate): There's three people in this debate, not two.

(Soundbite of laughter, cheering)

(Soundbite of song, "I Want You to Want Me")

Mr. ZANDER: (Singing) I want you to want me.

(Soundbite of political campaign ad)

Unidentified Man #5: An important policy message from Governor Mike Huckabee.

Mr. HUCKABEE: My plan to secure the border, two words: Chuck Norris.

(Soundbite of music)

(Soundbite of TV show, "The Colbert Report")

Mr. STEPHEN COLBERT (Comedian; Host, "The Colbert Report"): I, Stephen Colbert, am officially announcing that I have decided to officially consider whether or not I will announce that I am running for president of the United States. And I…

(Soundbite of Radio & TV Correspondents Dinner)

Mr. STEVE CHAGGARIS (CBS News): I'm wondering why there's a cardboard cutout of Mitt Romney behind me. But anyway, as I was saying...

Mr. MITT ROMNEY (Former Republican Governor, Massachusetts; Former Republican Presidential Candidate): I just want to reiterate for you the top 10 reasons I decided to get out of the race.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. ROMNEY: Number 10: There weren't as many Osmonds as I had thought.

(Soundbite of laughter, cheering)

(Soundbite of song, "I Want You to Want Me")

Mr. ZANDER: (Singing) …you to need me. I love…

Mr. EDWARDS: I understand what working folks go through. I don't know if I've ever mentioned this before, but my father was a mill worker.

(Soundbite of song, "I Want You to Want Me")

Mr. ZANDER: (Singing) I want you to want me.

(Soundbite of political ad)

Unidentified Man #6: It's three AM.

(Soundbite of song, "I Want You to Want Me")

Mr. ZANDER: (Singing) I want you to want me.

(Soundbite of telephone ringing)

(Soundbite of political ad)

Unidentified Man #6: Something's happening in world.

(Soundbite of song, "I Want You to Want Me")

Mr. ZANDER: (Singing) I want you to want me.

Sen. OBAMA: I'll rename the tenth month of the year Barack-tober.

(Soundbite of song, "I Want You to Want Me")

Mr. ZANDER: (Singing) ...you to want me.

(Soundbite of TV show, "Saturday Night Live")

Sen. McCAIN: It's about being able look your children in the eye - or in my case, my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren and great-great-great grandchildren, the youngest of whom are nearing retirement.

(Soundbite of laughter)

(Soundbite of political ad)

President BILL CLINTON: Everybody in America wants to know how it's going to end.

Sen. CLINTON: Ready?

(Soundbite of coin dropping in jukebox)

Mr. HUCKABEE: Chuck Norris approved.

(Soundbite of music)

SIEGEL: That political cheap trick was produced by NPR's Robert Smith.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.