A Comprehensive Investigation of the Phrase 'Man Up'

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Nevada GOP senate nominee Sharron Angle made the least coherent debate of this midterm season briefly watchable last week when she yelled "Man up, Harry Reid!" at the 70-year-old majority leader of the United States Senate. Angle's comment kept people buzzing for days--specifically about the quote's rightful place alongside Madison's "Conscience is the most sacred property of all" and Franklin Roosevelt's "A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough" in the annals of simple and stirring American political quotations. But she was hardly the first politician to go to the "man up" well. Scouring the Internet, we managed to piece together a rich, comprehensive history of the 2010 election cycle's hottest talking point, tracing it all the way back to the bygone days of 2008. It will possibly be the most important piece of historical research you read all day.

  • Roy Herron to Stephen Fincher, 10/19/10 (Tennessee) (He also referred to Fincher as "the fibber from Frog Jump")
  • Rand Paul to Jack Conway, 10/17/10 (Kentucky)
  • Rep. Lee Terry to Tom White, 10/14/10 (Nebraska)
  • New York Tea Party Chairman Mark Barie to Rep. Bill Owens, 10/11/10 (New York)
  • Random audience member to former NFL tight end Jay Riemersma, unsuccessful candidate for the GOP nomination in Michigan's 2nd Congressional District, 7/22/10 (Michigan)
  • Dan Maes to Scott McInnis, 7/13/10 (Colorado)
  • Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox to Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, 3/12/08 (Michigan)
  • Amy-Poehler-as-Hillary-Clinton to Fred Armisen-as-Barack Obama on SNL, 3/8/08 (New York)
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.