Best Of Election Night Ratherisms


Dan Rather on Election Night 2004:

  • “This race is hotter than a Times Square Rolex.”
  • “This race is humming along like Ray Charles.”
  • “The presidential race is swinging like Count Basie.”
  • “This race is hotter than the Devil’s anvil.”
  • “Ohio becomes like a sauna for the two candidates. All they can do is wait and sweat.”
  • “One’s reminded of that old saying, ‘Don’t taunt the alligator until after you’ve crossed the creek.'”
  • “This situation in Ohio would give an aspirin a headache.”
  • “Bush is sweeping through the South like a big wheel through a cotton field.”
  • “What Kerry needs at this point is the equivalent of Tom Brady coming off the bench to rescue him. But it’s still too close to call.”
  • “No question now that Kerry’s rapidly reaching the point where he’s got his back to the wall, his shirttails on fire and the bill
    collector’s at the door.”

  • “John Kerry needs something on the order of a 55 or 60-yard field goal to win this.”
  • “This presidential race has been crackling like a hickory fire for at least the last hour and a half.”
  • “Let’s see where it goes from here. Round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows.”
  • “We keep talking about Ohio if you’ve been tuning in and out or you put the baby to bed or you went to pop the cap on an adult, or otherwise, beverage.”
  • “We used to say if a frog had side pockets, he’d carry a handgun.”

  • “No one is saying that George Bush is not going to win the election, and if you had to bet the double-wide, you’d have to bet that he’d win.”
  • “In southern states they beat him like a rented mule.”
  • “If you try to read the tea leaves before the cup is done you can get yourself burned.”
  • “We need Billy Crystal to Analyze This.”
  • “You know that old song, ‘it’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s de-lovely’ for President Bush in most areas of the country.”
  • “We had a slight hitch in our giddy up, but we corrected that.”
  • “In some ways, George Bush’s lead is as thin as November ice.”
  • “Put on a cup of coffee, this race isn’t going to be over for a while.”
  • “You look at the map and say it’s all a big Bush victory. But this is one time when your Mother is right, looks can be deceiving.”
  • “John Kerry’s moon has just moved behind a cloud, as far as Florida is concerned.”
  • “To use a metaphor, he’s gotta draw to an inside straight. But hey, sometimes you get lucky and hit that straight.”
  • “Is it like a swan, with every feather above the water settled, but under the water paddling like crazy?”
  • “What you have here is the football equivalent of a fourth quarter rally by Kerry.”
  • “Keep in mind they are teetotally meetmortally convinced they have Ohio won.”
  • “Vice President Dick Cheney would not have flown all the way out there (Hawaii) overnight and put that lei around his neck and sort of hula-danced, if you will, unless he thought there was a chance of carrying that out there.”
  • “President Bush smiling there with his family. He’s laid down aces so far.”
  • “You can almost hear the GOP. We’re getting within maybe smelling distance.”
  • “We don’t know what to do. We don’t know whether to wind a watch or bark at the moon.”

Election Night 2002:

  • “Could be game set and match Republicans.”
  • “They’re about first and goal from 4 yards out.”
  • “President Bush is hoping to ace his first midterm.”
  • “Crackling like a hickory fire.”
  • “Two hands worth of white knuckle still hanging ten.”
  • “Reminds you of that old Will Rogers line, it takes a lot of money just to get beaten.”
  • “It’s beginning to get exciting as the Democrats’ fingernails are
    starting to sweat”

Election Night 2000:

  • “This race is shakier than cafeteria Jell-O.”
  • “Turn the lights down, the party just got wilder.”
  • “It’s cardiac-arrest time in this presidential campaign.”
  • “He swept through the South like a tornado through a trailer park.”
  • “Don’t bet the trailer money yet.”
  • “It’s too early to say he has the whip hand.”
  • “Now Florida, that race, the heat from it is hot enough to peel house paint.”
  • “It’s a ding dong battle back and forth.”
  • “If he doesn’t carry Florida Slim will have left town.”
  • “They both have champagne on ice, but after the night is over, they might need a pick axe to open them.”
  • “This race is tight like a too-small bathing suit on a too-long ride home from the beach.”
  • Al Gore has his back to the wall, shirt tails on fire with this race in Florida.”
  • “You talk about a ding-dong, knock-down, get-up race.”
  • “When it comes to a race like this, I’m a long distance runner and an all-day hunter.”
  • “It’s the American way: if you don’t vote, you don’t get to whine.”
  • “Smelling salts for all Democrats please.”
  • Tipper is probably telling her husband to hook a U, go back to the house to get a recount.”
  • “It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat, Republican or a mug wamp,
    elected officials play it straight.”

  • “It would be Shakespearean for Al Gore to lose because of his home state.”
  • “I think you would likelier see a hippopotamus run through this room than see George Bush appoint Ralph Nader to the Cabinet.”
  • “None of this television mumbo jumbo, let’s get in there and count the votes.”
  • “Frankly we don’t know whether to wind the watch or to bark at the moon.”
  • “We’ve lived by the crystal ball, we’re eating so much broken glass. We’re in critical condition.”
  • “When the going gets weird, anchor men punt.”

FishbowlNY’s Midterm Media Madness:

  • Brian Williams On Election Night: ‘It’s Catnip, It’s Crack’
  • Rather To Join Comedy Central’s Election Coverage Tonight
  • Let The Midterm Media Madness Begin!
  • Shays, Farrell Meet In Grand Central For Awkward, Late Hour Handshake Campaign
  • Fox News Has Trouble Saying ‘Democrats’