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Dan Rather's
Election Night TexSimilies

Dan Rather Everyone is talking about the presidential election and its media coverage. Aside from the serious stuff, the election night commentary offered by Sam Houston State University's favorite son, Dan Rather, has also provided some water cooler conversation material.

Today@Sam compiled some of Dan's most memorable and unusual election night sayings, and have been so besieged by requests for copies that, frankly, we're as tired as a turtle on a treadmill of making copies. So we've decided to post this. In other words, put out the fire, call off the dogs, and go to the house. And if you heard any that we didn't get, please send them to Today@Sam. Also, since we first posted these, we've received a more complete list from Rather's very own office, which is included. Enjoy!

"As cross as a snapping turtle"

"Governor, you didn't just tumble off the turnip truck"

"You can bet the rent money"

"If you're in the kitchen, Mabel, come back in the front room"

"As hot and squalid as a New York elevator in August"

"Like trying to scratch his ear with his elbow"

"This news will have the Bush people in Austin jumping out of their seats like they had been stabbed with a hat pin"

"I'm reminded of the sign in a west Texas saloon that said 'Don't shoot the piano player, he's doing the best job he can'."
(Commenting on the nework's prematurely declaring Gore the winner in Florida)

"Florida has just wobbled into Wierdsville."
(At about 3 a.m. Central time after Florida had been called for Gore, then for Bush, and then too close to call for either.)

(Those were some of the ones we heard and were able to write down, with contributions from Scott Harnsberger and Jane Carlin. From Rather's own office comes a more complete list.)

In Florida, "the heat is hot enough to peel house paint"
(presidential race)

In Virginia, the race is "nasty enough to gag a buzzard"
(Senate race)

"Virginia goes to George Bush -- that's whoopee news down in Texas"

In Florida, "you've got time to put on another pot of coffee and pour it"
(waiting for the Florida presidential race to come in)

"Folks, this thing is getting really interesting"
(right after Gore wins Florida)

"It's sudden-death overtime in Pennsylvania"

"Some people may say that Bush's lead has melted faster than ice-cream in a microwave"

"The presidential race is crackling like a hickory fire"

"Governor Bush will be madder than a rained-on rooster"
(on losing Florida)

"Back here at CBS News' Accuracy Central...."

"This race is the equivalent of hand-to-hand combat...."

"Bush's lead is shakier than cafeteria jello"

"Corzine spent money like he had shorted Microsoft"
(Referring to Jon Corzine running for the Senate in NJ)

"Bush is sweeping through the South like a tornado through a trailer park"

"They'll be doing back-flips in Nashville"
(referring to Gore winning Pennsylvania)

"The flicker -tail state flicks for Bush"
(referring to North Dakota)

"These returns are running faster than a squirrel in a cage"
(referring to all the Senate races coming in during the 9pm / ET hour)

"Bush has run through Dixie like a big wheel through a cotton field"

"They're smiling like cats in a creamery down in Austin"
(referring to Bush winning Ohio and Tennessee)

"You can't get a cigarette paper between them"
(referring to the tightness of the electoral college votes between the two candidates)

"Minnesota goes to Gore. What a heavy-weight match. What a fight!"
(referring to the presidential race)

"It's cardiac-arrest time in this presidential race"

"Close only counts with hand grenades and horse shoes"
(referring to George Bush's lead edging him closer to a win)

"This much tension, you can't cut with a saw...you need a blow torch"

"The word 'goofy' comes to mind, but that might be a tad strong"
(referring to the evening in general -- both presidential and senate races)

"It's a historic night. It's been a ding-dong battle any way you look at it."

"IF a frog had sidepockets, he would carry a handgun"
Rather to Schieffer talking about the IF's of this evening's race

"This (presidential) race must feel like a too small bathing suit on a too long ride back from the beach"

"This is a knock 'em down, get up and come back kind of race."

"As they say in opera, it's not really over until the heavy lady sings."

"The presidential race is hotter than a Laredo parking lot."

"You're more likely to see a hippopotamus come running through this room than George W. offering Ralph Nader a cabinet post!!!"

"Bush and Gore are closer than two pages in a book."

"This race is tighter than the lug-nuts on a '55 Ford."

"Call a doctor, call the police, call a psychic....it's tightened up in Florida. Only 37,000 votes separate Gore and Bush in Florida."

"Al Gore's situation is his back is against the wall, his shirt tail's on fire and the bill collector's at the door."

"If Gore comes back now, it would have to be rated as one of the greatest comebacks since Lazarus."

"In Missouri, dead man walking"
(referring to the Mel Carnahan win in the senate race)

"Sip it, savour it, cup it, underline it, mark it in red, press it in a book, hang it on the wall...George W. Bush is the new president of the United States."

"This is just a wild and woolly night"
(referring to the margin in Florida narrowing so much)

"We don't know what to do here -- wind a watch or bark at the moon!"
(Rather referring to the crazy race in Florida)

"If California is the big burrito and Texas is the big taco, then Florida is the big tamale....and right now, it's the only tamale that counts."

"Ah dee ose!"

- END -
Nov. 9, 2000
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