In case you were wondering, here’s the price of milk

by Andrew Gelman on February 24, 2011 · 7 comments

in Frivolity,Media

Seeing Sarah Palin’s recent witticism:

It’s no wonder Michelle Obama is telling everybody you need to breast feed your babies … the price of milk is so high!

I was reminded of Dan Quayle’s quip during the 1988 campaign:

The governor of Massachusetts, he lost his top naval adviser last week. His rubber ducky drowned in the bathtub.

And this got me wondering: how often do legitimate political figures—not talk show hosts, but actual politicians—communicate via schoolyard-style taunts?

I’m not talking here about dry wit of the Bob Dole or Morris Udall variety, or political gamesmanship such as Ronald Reagan’s “make my day,” or flat-out partisanship like Alan Grayson’s “the Republicans want you to die quickly” or James Watt’s line about “liberals and Americans.” It’s gotta be an actual joke.

There must be some other examples of Palin/Quayle style humor, but I’m not sure where to look.

I keep thinking of Veronica Geng’s hilarious story which includes the line:

In 1950, when Shaw died, his last words were “Don’t tell L.B.J. I don’t want to give him the satisfaction.”

P.S. In case you’re wondering, here’s the price of milk:


The price has declined since 2008 with a slight rebound during the past year. The monthly data stop in Dec 2010 but maybe there’s a big spike during Jan-Feb 2011. I did find this document saying that nonfat dry milk has increased in price by 8% in the past month, so maybe there’s something going on. Although of course this is pretty much irrelevant to choices of how you feed your baby.

P.P.S. The Daily News reports that Palin “made the crack during an appearance at a Long Island country club.” Country club Republicans, indeed.


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