"Start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating."
U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking to Al Arabiya news channel in his first interview with a foreign news outlet, on his instructions to his new Middle East envoy
"That's cheap for what I do … You've got to whet my appetite to get me onboard."
Thomas Taylor, a member of Britain's House of Lords, caught on tape telling undercover reporters (posing as lobbyists) that companies will pay him more than $140,000 a year to amend legislation
"He's from Hawaii, OK? He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there."
David Axelrod, senior adviser to Barack Obama, on the new leader's predilection for keeping the Oval Office at a balmy temperature
"We haven't had any suicides this time! So, you see: not so bad as '98!"
Hong Kong car salesman Vincent Chan, judging the current downturn so far to be better than the 1997–98 Asian financial crisis
"We had to do something to curb this offensive behavior before it got warm again."
Melchior Looser, head of the justice department of Switzerland's Appenzell Innerrhoden canton, which was besieged by naked German hikers last summer and moved to ban nude walking
"All nations have found themselves in the same boat."
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, exhorting his colleagues at the Davos economic forum not to resort to isolationism or "economic egotism" because of the economic crisis