DAN QUAYLE Biography - Polititians


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Name: James Danforth Quayle                                                               
Born: 4 February 1947 Indianapolis, Indiana                                               
James Danforth "Dan" Quayle (born February 4, 1947) is an American                         
politician and a former Senator from the state of Indiana. He was the forty-fourth         
Vice President of the United States under George H. W. Bush (1989–1993).                 
Quayle was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Martha Corinne Pulliam and James C.           
Quayle. He has often been incorrectly referred to as James Danforth Quayle III.           
In his memoirs, he points out that his birth name was simply James Danforth               
Quayle. The name Quayle originates from the Isle of Man.                                   
His maternal grandfather, Eugene C. Pulliam, was a wealthy and influential                 
publishing magnate who founded Central Newspapers, Inc., owner of over a dozen             
major newspapers such as the Arizona Republic and The Indianapolis Star. James C.         
Quayle moved his family to Arizona in 1955 to run a branch of the family's                 
publishing empire. While the Quayle family was very wealthy, Dan Quayle was less           
so; his total net worth by the time of his election in 1988 was less than a               
million dollars.                                                                           
After spending much of his youth in Arizona, he graduated from Huntington High             
School in Huntington, Indiana, in 1965. He then matriculated at DePauw                     
University, where he received his B.A. degree in political science in 1969, and           
where he was a member of the fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon. After receiving his           
degree, Quayle joined the Indiana Army National Guard and served from 1969–1975,         
attaining the rank of Sergeant. While serving in the Guard, he earned a Juris             
Doctor (J.D.) degree in 1974 at Indiana University School of Law Indianapolis.             
It was at law school where Dan met his wife, Marilyn, who was taking night                 
classes at the time. They married ten weeks later on November 18, 1972 and have           
three children: Tucker, Benjamin, and Corinne.                                             
Quayle's public service began in July 1971 when he became an investigator for             
the Consumer Protection Division of the Indiana Attorney General's Office. Later           
that year, he became an administrative assistant to Governor Edgar Whitcomb.               
From 1973 to 1974, he was the Director of the Inheritance Tax Division of the             
Indiana Department of Revenue. Upon receiving his law degree, Quayle worked as             
associate publisher of his family's newspaper, the Huntington Herald-Press, and           
practiced law with his wife in Huntington.                                                 
In 1976, Quayle was elected to the U.S. Congress from Indiana's Fourth                     
Congressional District, defeating eight-term incumbent Democrat J. Edward Roush.           
He won reelection in 1978 by the greatest percentage margin ever achieved to               
that date in the northeast Indiana district. In 1980, at age 33, Quayle became             
the youngest person ever elected to the U.S. Senate from the state of Indiana,             
defeating three-term incumbent Democrat Birch Bayh. Making Indiana political               
history again, Quayle was reelected to the Senate in 1986 with the largest                 
margin ever achieved to that date by a candidate in a statewide Indiana race.             
His 1986 victory was notable because several other Republican Senators elected             
in 1980 were not returned to office.                                                       
In 1986, Quayle received much criticism from his fellow Senators for championing           
the cause of Daniel Manion, a candidate for a federal appellate judgeship, who             
was in law school one year above Quayle. The American Bar Association had                 
evaluated him as qualified, its lowest passing grade. Manion was nominated                 
for U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit by President Ronald Reagan on           
February 21, 1986, and confirmed by the Senate on June 26, 1986. As of 2008,               
Manion continues to serve on the Seventh Circuit.                                         
At the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, George H.           
W. Bush called on Quayle to be his running mate in the general election. Quayle           
was chosen to appeal to a younger generation of Americans and his good looks               
were praised by Senator John McCain, who said "I can't believe a guy that                 
handsome wouldn't have some impact."                                                       
This decision was criticized by many who felt that Quayle did not have enough             
experience to be President should something happen to Bush. Questions were                 
raised about Quayle's use of family connections to get into the Indiana National           
Guard and thus avoid possible combat service in the Vietnam War. Although                 
Republicans were trailing by up to 15 points in public opinion polls taken prior           
to the convention, they received a significant boost that put them in the lead,           
which they did not relinquish for the rest of the campaign.                               
There was much criticism of Quayle after the campaign's televised vice-presidential       
debate, in which he compared his amount of Congressional experience to that of             
John F. Kennedy when he was running for president. Democratic candidate Lloyd             
Bentsen said in rebuttal, "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack               
Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy," to           
which a noticeably surprised and unprepared Quayle replied, "That was really               
uncalled for, Senator," as both applause and boos were heard from the debate               
audience. Bentsen replied that it was Quayle who had made the initial comparison.         
Quayle's reaction to Bentsen's comment was played and replayed by the Democrats           
in their subsequent television ads as an announcer intoned: "Quayle: just a               
heartbeat away." Comedians riffed on the exchange, and an increasing number of             
editorial cartoons depicted Quayle as an infant or child. Though the controversy           
generated much press, public opinion polls did not significantly change, and the           
Republicans maintained a solid lead. Although Quayle was significantly                     
embarrassed by the incident, in his version of events, he contended that he had           
accomplished what he had planned in the debate; which was to scorn the "liberal"           
record of Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis, while avoiding direct           
comparison with the far more accomplished and polished Bentsen.                           
The Bush/Quayle ticket went on to win the November election by a 53-46 margin,             
but sweeping 40 states and capturing 426 electoral votes.                                 
On February 9, 1989 President Bush named Quayle head of the Council on                     
Competitiveness. In contrast with his two immediate successors, Vice Presidents           
Gore and Cheney, Quayle had a limited role in policymaking.                               
Throughout his time as Vice President, Quayle was widely ridiculed in the media           
and by many in the general public, in both the USA and overseas, as an                     
intellectual lightweight. For example, Quayle received the satirical Ig Nobel             
Prize for "demonstrating, better than anyone else, the need for science                   
education" in 1991. Critics facetiously remarked that Quayle was a good reason             
for even Bush's critics to pray for Bush's health and that he was the only Vice           
President who made his President "impeachment-proof."                                     
Contributing greatly to the perception of Quayle's incompetence was his tendency           
to make public statements which were either self-contradictory ("We don't want             
to go back to tomorrow, we want to go forward"), logically redundant ("The                 
future will be better tomorrow"), obvious ("For NASA, space is still a high               
priority"), geographically wrong ("I love California. I practically grew up in             
Phoenix."), fallacious ("It's time for the human race to enter the solar system"),         
or painfully confused and inappropriate, as when he addressed the United Negro             
College Fund, whose slogan is "A mind is a terrible thing to waste," Quayle said           
"You take the United Negro College Fund model that what a waste it is to lose             
one's mind or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is."               
As Vice President, Quayle was the first chairman of the National Space Council,           
a space policy body reestablished by statute in 1988. Shortly after Bush                   
announced the Space Exploration Initiative, which included a manned landing on             
Mars, Quayle was asked his thoughts on sending humans to Mars. His response was           
stunning for the number of errors he made in just a few short sentences. "Mars             
is essentially in the same orbit [as earth]....Mars is somewhat the same                   
distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where               
there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is           
oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe."                                             
His most famous blunder occurred when he corrected a student's correct spelling           
of "potato" to "potatoe" at an elementary school spelling bee in Trenton, New             
Jersey, on June 15, 1992. According to his memoirs, Quayle was uncomfortable               
with the version he gave, but did so because he decided to trust what he                   
described as incorrect written materials provided by the school. He informed               
student William Figueroa that he had misspelled the word "potato", when in fact           
Figueroa had spelled it correctly. Quayle then had Figueroa add an "e", not only           
making it incorrect, but once again making himself a target with this obvious             
misspelling. Quayle was widely lambasted for his apparent inability to spell the           
word "potato." Figueroa was a guest on Late Night with David Letterman and was             
asked to lead the pledge of allegiance at the 1992 Democratic National                     
Convention. The event became a lasting part of Quayle's reputation.                       
On May 19, 1992, Quayle gave a speech to the Commonwealth Club of California on           
the subject of the Los Angeles riots. In this speech Quayle blamed the violence           
on a decay of moral values and family structure in American society. In an aside,         
he cited the fictional title character in the television program Murphy Brown as           
an example of how popular culture contributes to this "poverty of values",                 
saying: "[i]t doesn't help matters when primetime TV has Murphy Brown—a                 
character who supposedly epitomizes today's intelligent, highly paid,                     
professional woman—mocking the importance of fathers, by bearing a child alone,         
and calling it just another 'lifestyle choice.'" Quayle drew a firestorm of               
criticism from feminist and liberal organizations and was widely ridiculed by             
late-night talk-show hosts for this remark. The "Murphy Brown speech" became one           
of the most memorable incidents of the 1992 campaign. Long after the outcry had           
ended, the comment continued to have an effect on U.S. politics. Stephanie                 
Coontz, a professor of family history and the author of several books and essays           
about the history of marriage, says that this brief remark by Quayle about                 
Murphy Brown "kicked off more than a decade of outcries against the 'collapse of           
the family.'" In 2002, Candice Bergen, the actress who played Brown, said "I               
never have really said much about the whole episode, which was endless, but his           
speech was a perfectly intelligent speech about fathers not being dispensable             
and nobody agreed with that more than I did."                                             
However, Bergen's June 23, 1998, response, published in an Op-Ed piece in the             
New York Times, was more direct. The full text of her response read as follows:           
The first time my name appeared in The New York Times linked with Dan Quayle's --         
when he accused the character I played, Murphy Brown, of glamorizing out-of-wedlock       
pregnancy -- I decided not to reply. I had no desire to heap ridicule and scorn           
on the Office of the Vice President, especially when Mr. Quayle seemed to be               
doing a fine job of that all by himself. But this latest broadside from the               
Quayle camp is too much to let pass. Lisa Schiffren (Op-Ed, June 12), a former             
speechwriter for Mr. Quayle, misused several quotes from an interview I did with           
the Los Angeles Times to suggest that I was admitting that Mr. Quayle was a lone           
visionary whose speech had been right all along. She quotes me as saying that             
family values "was the right theme to hammer home," that "I agreed with all of             
it except his references to the show," and that "the body of the speech was               
completely sound." Since that quote serves as the crux of her argument, let me             
print what she left out: "it was an arrogant and uninformed posture, but the               
body of the speech was completely sound." In fact, Mr. Quayle hurled an                   
accusation at a show he had never seen in an effort to turn it into a political           
Monday Night Football. At no point did "Murphy Brown" glamorize single                     
motherhood or disparage the role of a father in raising a child. Ms. Schiffren             
is now a "full-time mother of two and an occasional writer." Not every woman has           
the luxury to make that choice. Perhaps next time she'll put her talent toward a           
candidate who would work to eliminate that problem.