'I never considered myself a maverick.'
JOHN MCCAIN, rejecting a label on which he campaigned for the presidency in 2008
'He is not of this planet.'
OSVALDO ARDILES, 1970s Argentine soccer star, describing his countryman Lionel Messi, a 22-year-old phenom who plays for Barcelona and scored four goals in an April 6 game
'American politicians are like cowboys. Whenever they have legal shortcomings, their hands go to their guns.'
MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, Iranian President, responding to a new U.S. policy that could mark Iran as a potential nuclear target
'On the pier, I wasn't seeing anything. I could see only a graveyard of ships.'
BAN KI-MOON, U.N. Secretary-General, on touring Central Asia's Aral Sea; once among the world's four largest lakes, it has shrunk 90% since its feeder rivers were diverted as part of a Soviet project to boost cotton production in the arid region
'I'm trying as hard as I possibly can each and every day to get my life better and better and stronger. And if I win championships along the way, so be it.'
TIGER WOODS, in an April 5 news conference at Augusta National; his participation in the Masters tournament marks his return to golf after a five-month hiatus
'We now have proof that Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations.'
RAY LAHOOD, U.S. Transportation Secretary, after the government announced that it would fine Toyota a record $16.4 million for failing to alert regulators to safety problems with gas pedals on popular models such as the Camry and Corolla
'This is an epic moment in the life of the church in the United States.'
ROGER MAHONY, Archbishop of Los Angeles, after the Vatican tapped Mexican-born José Gomez, Archbishop of San Antonio, as his successor; the appointment will make Gomez the highest-ranking Latino in American Catholicism
Decrying the ongoing war in Iraq, in the Christian Science Monitor:
"There's a growing narrative that Iraq's solidifying democracy makes the seven years of U.S. war and occupation a worthy enterprise. Some observers have even spun Iraq's March 7 elections as proof that democracy promotion via military occupation can succeed. Don't believe the hype. The Iraq war remains a mistake of mammoth proportions. And Iraq's election represents a pyrrhic victory, as the ... costs of the occupation far outweigh any benefits."
On the embattled Republican National Committee chairman, in National Review:
"How to put this politely? Michael Steele is ... energetic, personable, and articulate. But those are not the qualities most required of a party chairman. The job demands an administrator, a behind-the-scenes schmoozer, and a tactician. Showboating is a hindrance. It's a job that requires the talents of a stage manager, whereas Steele likes to be the star."