Dan Quayle

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Dan Quayle
Dan Quayle, official DoD photo.JPEG
44th Vice President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by George H. W. Bush
Succeeded by Al Gore
United States Senator
from Indiana
In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1989
Preceded by Birch Bayh
Succeeded by Dan Coats
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1977 – January 3, 1981
Preceded by J. Edward Roush
Succeeded by Dan Coats
Personal details
Born James Danforth Quayle
(1947-02-04) February 4, 1947 (age 75)
Indianapolis, Indiana
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Marilyn Quayle
Children Tucker Quayle
Ben Quayle
Corinne Quayle
Residence Huntington, Indiana (1961–1996)
Paradise Valley, Arizona (1996–present)
Education DePauw University (B.A.)
Indiana University (J.D.)
Profession Lawyer
Religion Presbyterian
Signature Cursive signature in ink
Military service
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Army (National Guard)
Years of service 1969–75
Rank Army-USA-OR-05.svg Sergeant
Unit Indiana National Guard - Emblem.png Indiana Army National Guard

James Danforth "Dan" Quayle (born February 4, 1947) is an American politician.[1][2][3] He was the 44th Vice President of the United States, serving during the term of President George H. W. Bush (1989–93). He was also a U.S. Representative (1977–81) and U.S. Senator (1981–89) from the state of Indiana.

Quayle was born in Indianapolis and spent most of his childhood living in Arizona. He married Marilyn Tucker in 1972 and obtained his J.D. from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1974. He practiced law in Huntington, Indiana, with his wife before his election to the United States House of Representatives in 1976, aged 29. In 1980 Quayle won election to the Senate.

In 1988, Vice President George H. W. Bush, the Republican Party nominee for the presidency, asked his party to nominate Quayle as his vice presidential running mate. The Bush/Quayle ticket won the 1988 election over Democrats Michael Dukakis and Lloyd Bentsen.

As vice president, Quayle made official visits to 47 countries and was appointed chairman of the National Space Council. He secured re-nomination for vice-president in 1992, but Democrat Bill Clinton and his vice presidential running mate, Al Gore defeated the Bush/Quayle ticket.

In 1994 Quayle published his memoir entitled Standing Firm but declined to run for public office in this time period because he was suffering from phlebitis. He sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, but withdrew and supported George W. Bush. As of 2014[needs update] Quayle and his wife reside in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

Quayle currently[needs update] is the chairman of global investments at Cerberus Capital Management. His son Ben Quayle was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2010, but failed to win re-election in 2012.

Early life

Quayle was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Martha Corinne (née Pulliam) and James Cline Quayle. He has often[citation needed] 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, where his great-grandfather was born.[4]

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 his family was very wealthy, Quayle was less affluent; his total net worth by the time of his election in 1988 was less than $1 million.[5]

After spending much of his youth in Arizona,[6] Quayle 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,[7] was a 3-year letterman for the University Golf Team (1967–69) and a member of the fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon (Psi Phi chapter). After receiving his degree, Quayle joined the Indiana Army National Guard and served from 1969–1975, reaching the rank of sergeant. While serving in the Guard, he earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in 1974 at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Hee met his future wife, Marilyn, who was taking night classes at NcKinney at the time.[8]

Early political career

Quayle in 1977, his first term in Congress

Quayle became an investigator for the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Indiana Attorney General in July 1971. 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.

In 1976, Quayle was elected to the House of Representatives from Indiana's 4th congressional district, defeating eight-term incumbent Democrat J. Edward Roush by a 55%-to-45% margin. He won reelection in 1978 by the greatest percentage margin achieved to date in that northeast Indiana district. In 1980, at age 33, Quayle became the youngest person ever elected to the Senate from the state of Indiana, defeating three-term incumbent Democrat Birch Bayh by taking 54% of the votes to Bayh's 46%. Making Indiana political history again, Quayle was re-elected to the Senate in 1986 with the largest margin ever achieved to that date by a candidate in a statewide Indiana race, taking 61% of the vote and defeating his Democratic opponent, Jill Long.

In 1986, Quayle was criticized for championing the cause of Daniel Anthony Manion, a candidate for a federal appellate judgeship, who was in law school one year above Quayle.[9] The American Bar Association had evaluated Manion as "qualified", its lower passing grade.[10] According to the ABA, "the rating of 'qualified' means that the nominee satisfies the committee's very high standards ... [and] is qualified to perform satisfactorily all the duties and responsibilities required of a federal judge."[11] Manion was nominated for the Seventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals by President Ronald Reagan on February 21, 1986, and confirmed by the Senate on June 26, 1986.

In November 1978, Quayle was invited by Congressman Leo Ryan of California to accompany him on a delegation to investigate conditions at the Jonestown settlement in Guyana, but Quayle, as it happened, was unable to participate. Ryan was subsequently murdered in events leading up to the Jonestown massacre.[12]

Vice presidential candidate

On August 17, 1988, at the Republican convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, George H. W. Bush chose Quayle to be his running mate in the 1988 United States presidential election. The choice immediately became controversial.[13] Former President Ronald Reagan praised Quayle for his "energy and enthusiasm".[14] Press coverage of the convention was dominated with questions about "the three Quayle problems", in the phrase of Brent Baker, executive director of the Media Research Center, a conservative group that monitors television coverage.[15] The questions involved his military service, a golf trip to Florida with Paula Parkinson, and whether he had enough experience to be president. Quayle seemed at times rattled and at other times uncertain or evasive as he tried to handle the questions.[15] Delegates to the convention generally blamed television and newspapers for the focus on Quayle's problems, but Bush's staff said they thought Quayle had mishandled the questions about his military record, leaving questions dangling.[13][15][16] Although Republicans were trailing by up to 15 points in public opinion polls taken before the convention, they received a significant boost that put them in the lead,[citation needed] which they did not relinquish for the rest of the campaign.

Quayle participated in the vice presidential debate of October 1988, alongside Democratic candidate Lloyd Bentsen. When the subject of the debate turned to Quayle's relatively limited experience in public life, he compared the length of his congressional service with that of late President John F. Kennedy. Bentsen's response – "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy" – subsequently became a part of the political lexicon.[citation needed]

Vice presidency

The Bush/Quayle ticket won the November election with a 53–46 percent margin by sweeping 40 states and capturing 426 electoral votes.

Bush named Quayle head of the Council on Competitiveness and the first chairman of the National Space Council. As head of the NSC he called for greater efforts to protect Earth against the danger of potential asteroid impacts.[17]

After a briefing by Lt. General Daniel O. Graham, (AUS Ret.), Max Hunter, and Jerry Pournelle, Quayle sponsored the development of an experimental Single Stage to Orbit X-Program, which resulted in the building of the DC/X which was flown and tested at White Sands.

During his vice-presidency, Dan Quayle made official trips to 47 countries.[citation needed]

Throughout his time as vice president, Quayle was widely ridiculed in the media and by many in the general public, both in the U.S. and overseas, as an intellectual lightweight and generally incompetent.[18] Contributing greatly to the perception of Quayle's incompetence was his tendency to make public statements that were either self-contradictory and confused ("The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. ... No, not our nation's, but in World War II. I mean, we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century, but in this century's history"), impossible and confused ("I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future") or just confused, as when he addressed the United Negro College Fund, whose slogan is "A mind is a terrible thing to waste," and said, "You take the UNCF 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."[19][20]

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. In his response he made a series of scientifically erroneous statements: "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."[21]

During the 1992 presidential campaign, Quayle told the news media that he believed homosexuality was a choice, and "the wrong choice."


On June 15, 1992, Quayle altered 12-year-old student William Figueroa's correct spelling of "potato" to "potatoe" at the Muñoz Rivera Elementary School spelling bee in Trenton, New Jersey.[22][23] Quayle was widely lambasted for his error. According to the New York Times[24] and Quayle's memoirs, he was relying on cards provided by the school, which Quayle says included the misspelling. Quayle said he was uncomfortable with the version he gave, but did so because he decided to trust the school's incorrect written materials instead of his own judgment.

Murphy Brown

On May 19, 1992, Quayle gave a speech entitled Reflections on Urban America 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 single mother title character in the television program Murphy Brown as an example of how popular culture contributes to this "poverty of values", saying, "It doesn't help matters when prime time 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'."[25]

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'".[26] 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." Others interpreted it differently; singer Tanya Tucker was widely quoted as saying "Who the hell is Dan Quayle to come after single mothers?"[27]

1992 election

During the 1992 election, Bush and Quayle were challenged in their bid for reelection by the Democratic ticket of Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and Tennessee Senator Al Gore, as well as the independent ticket of Texas businessman Ross Perot and retired Admiral James Stockdale.

As Bush lagged in the polls in the weeks preceding the August 1992 Republican National Convention, some Republican strategists (led by Secretary of State James Baker) viewed Quayle as a liability to the ticket and pushed for his replacement.[28] Quayle survived the challenge and secured renomination.[29]

Quayle faced off against Gore and Stockdale in the vice presidential debate on October 13, 1992. Quayle attempted to avoid the one-sided outcome of his debate with Lloyd Bentsen four years earlier by staying on the offensive. Quayle criticized Gore's book Earth in the Balance with specific page references, though his claims were subsequently criticized by the liberal group FAIR for inaccuracy.[30] Quayle's closing argument sharply asked voters, "Do you really believe Bill Clinton will tell the truth?" and "Do you trust Bill Clinton to be your president?", whereas Gore and Stockdale talked more about the policies and philosophies they espoused.[31] Republican loyalists were largely relieved and pleased with Quayle's performance, and the Vice President's camp attempted to portray it as an upset triumph against a veteran debater. However, post-debate polls were mixed on whether Gore, Stockdale or Quayle had won.[32] It ultimately proved to be a minor factor in the election, which Bush and Quayle subsequently lost.

Post-Vice Presidency politics

Quayle considered but decided against running for Governor of Indiana in 1996. He decided against running for the 1996 Republican presidential nomination, citing health problems related to phlebitis.[33] Quayle moved to Arizona in 1996.[34]

In April 1999, Quayle announced his candidacy for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, attacking front-runner George W. Bush by saying "we do not want another candidate who needs on-the-job training". In the first contest among the Republican candidates, the Ames Straw Poll of August 1999, he finished 8th. He withdrew from the race the following month and supported Bush.[33]

Quayle, then working as an investment banker in Phoenix, was mentioned as a candidate for Governor of Arizona prior to the 2002 election,[35] but eventually declined to run.

Quayle in December 2011.

In a February 2010 interview with Megyn Kelly of Fox News, Quayle announced that his son, Ben Quayle, would be a candidate for the U.S. Congress, running for a seat representing Arizona's 3rd congressional district.[36] Ben Quayle won the election. In his first bid for re-election, due to redistricting, he faced off against fellow Republican Congressman David Schweikert in a primary and narrowly lost.

In December 2011, Quayle endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination.[37]

On January 31, 2011, Dan Quayle wrote a letter to President Obama urging Obama to commute Jonathan Pollard's sentence.[38]

He has signed on the statement of principles of the Project for the New American Century.[39]

The Dan Quayle Center and Museum, located in Huntington, Indiana, features information on Quayle and on all U.S. vice presidents.

Private life

The Quayles live in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

Quayle authored a 1994 memoir, Standing Firm, which became a bestseller. His second book, The American Family: Discovering the Values that Make Us Strong, was published in 1996 and a third book, Worth Fighting For, in 1999. Quayle writes a nationally syndicated newspaper column, serves on a number of corporate boards, chairs several business ventures, and was chairman of Campaign America, a national political action committee.

In 1999, Dan Quayle joined Cerberus Capital Management, a multibillion-dollar private-equity firm, where he serves as chairman of the company's Global Investments division. As chairman of the international advisory board of Cerberus Capital Management, he recruited former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney, who would have been installed as chairman if Cerberus had successfully acquired Air Canada.[40]

Quayle is an Honorary Trustee Emeritus of the Hudson Institute and is president of Quayle and Associates. He has also been a member of the Board of Directors of Heckmann Corporation, a water-sector company, since the company's inception and serves as Chairman of the company's Compensation and Nominating & Governance Committees. Quayle is a director of Aozora Bank, Tokyo, Japan.[41] He's also been on the board of directors of other companies, including K2 Sports, Amtran Inc., Central Newspapers Inc.,[42] and BTC Inc.[43]

Electoral history

Published material


  1. "New York Times, Sept. 13, 1992".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. QUAYLE, James Danforth (Dan) – Biographical Information
  3. "U.S. Senate: Art & History Home > J. Danforth Quayle, 44th Vice President (1989–1993)". Senate.gov. Retrieved January 4, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Ancestry of Dan Quayle (b. 1947)". Wargs.com. Retrieved January 4, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Ramesh Ponnuru, No Joke: Dan Quayle runs to win, National Review, April 5, 1999. Retrieved May 16, 2007.
  6. http://www.vicepresidentdanquayle.com/biography.html
  7. Lawrence, Jill (August 4, 1999). "Quayle on a quest to get the last laugh". USA Today. Retrieved August 6, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Alessandra Stanley, "Marilyn Quayle: A New Second Lady", Time Magazine, January 23, 1989. Accessed September 28, 2014.
  9. http://air.fjc.gov/servlet/tGetInfo?jid=1470
  10. "Squeeze Play: Manion slips by the Senate". Time. August 4, 1986. Retrieved April 30, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "ABANow – ABA Media Relations & Communication Services" (PDF). Abanet.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 6, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2012. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Quayle, Dan (1995). Standing Firm: A Vice-Presidential Memoir. Harpercollins. p. 176. ISBN 0-06-109390-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. 13.0 13.1 Shapiro, Walter (August 29, 1988). "The Republicans: The Quayle Quagmire". Time. p. 32. Retrieved September 1, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Roberts, Steven (August 21, 1988). "Reagan Praises Quayle, Citing 'Enthusiasm'". New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Oreskes, Michael (August 19, 1988). "The Republicans in New Orleans; Convention Message Is Garbled by Quayle Static". The New York Times. Retrieved September 1, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Ander Plattner et al., "Quayle Under Glass", U.S. News & World Report, August 29, 1988, p. 32.
  17. "Quayle Backs Group's Effort To Head Off Asteroid Threat", Seattle Times, May 16, 1990
  18. Lionel Van Deerlin (July 21, 2004). "The value and vitality of V.P.s". San Diego Union-Tribune.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Maureen Dowd (June 25, 1989). "The Education of Dan Quayle". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. William Boot (Christopher Hanson) (September–October 1991). "Dan Quayle: The Sequel". Columbia Journalism Review. Archived from the original on January 22, 2004.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. William E. Burrows, This New Ocean, p. 576. ISBN 0-679-44521-8.
  22. Mickle, Paul. "1992: Gaffe with an 'e' at the end". Capitalcentury.com. Retrieved July 1, 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Fass, Mark (August 29, 2004). "How Do You Spell Regret? One Man's Take on It". The New York Times. Retrieved March 20, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Mr. Quayle's 'e' for Effort". The New York Times. June 17, 1992.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "Dan Quayle vs. Murphy Brown". Time. June 1, 1992. Retrieved June 24, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. Coontz, Stephanie (May 1, 2005). "For Better, For Worse". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 30, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "Candice Bergen agrees with Quayle". CNN. Associated Press. July 11, 2002. Archived from the original on March 28, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. Bumiller, Elisabeth (July 15, 2004). "Rumor has it that Cheney's on way out / Theory appears far-fetched but is making the rounds". The San Francisco Chronicle.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. Time, "Quayle Vs. Gore", October 19, 1992. Retrieved August 29, 2008.
  30. "FAIR MEDIA ADVISORY: Post-Debate Fact-Checking Is Media's Main Job". Fair.org. September 29, 2004.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. "Debate Transcript, Commission on Presidential Debates". Archived from the original on October 9, 2009. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. Columbia Journalism Review, September/October 1993 "http://archives.cjr.org/year/93/5/books-rosensteil.asp
  33. 33.0 33.1 "David Broder on PBS Newshour. September 27, 1999". Pbs.org. Retrieved January 4, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. "Outlook: Dan Quayle on the tea party, Palin and Ross Perot". Washington Post. April 5, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. B. Drummond Ayres Jr. (February 11, 2001). "Political Briefing; From Arizona, Talk Of a Bid by Quayle". The New York Times. Retrieved September 4, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. "Ben Quayle, son of ex-veep, running for Shadegg's seat". Azcentral.com. February 16, 2010. Retrieved April 1, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  37. "Quayle to Endorse Romney". Thepage.time.com. December 5, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. "Dan Quayle Urges Pollard Release", Jweekly, February 10, 2011
  39. Elliott Abrams, et al., "Statement of Principles", June 3, 1997, newamericancentury.org, accessed April 4, 2015.
  40. Konrad, Yakabuski (April 30, 2004). "The prime of Brian Mulroney". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved March 10, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  41. "Board of Directors website". Heckmann corporation. Retrieved March 10, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  42. "RightWeb.com profile for J. Danforth Quayle". Retrieved March 10, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  43. "CampaignMoney.com donation page for Quayle for Congress, 2010 election cycle". Retrieved March 10, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • What a Waste It Is to Lose One's Mind: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Dan Quayle, Quayle Quarterly (published by Rose Communications), April 1992, ISBN 0-9629162-2-6.
  • Joe Queenan, Imperial Caddy: The Rise of Dan Quayle in America and the Decline and Fall of Practically Everything Else, Hyperion Books; October 1992 (1st edition). ISBN 1-56282-939-4.
  • Richard F. Fenno Jr., The Making of a Senator: Dan Quayle, Congressional Quarterly Press, January 1989. ISBN 0-87187-506-3.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
George H. W. Bush
Vice President of the United States
January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
Succeeded by
Al Gore
United States Senate
Preceded by
Birch Bayh
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Indiana
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1989
Served alongside: Richard Lugar
Succeeded by
Dan Coats
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
J. Edward Roush
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
Dan Coats
Party political offices
Preceded by
George H. W. Bush
Republican vice presidential nominee
1988, 1992
Succeeded by
Jack Kemp
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Walter Mondale
United States order of precedence
Former Vice President of the United States
Succeeded by
Al Gore