Rather: Race 'Hotter Than Devil's Anvil'

On Tuesday night, CBS anchor Dan Rather peppered his election coverage with  abunch of the folksy characterizations that have become known as "Danisms."

Following are some of them, as proudly distributed by the CBS News press folks:

  • As he wraps up information:  "Let's hit these biscuits with a dab of gravy." 
  • On Joe Lockhart's saying voter turnout will help Kerry:  "Don't taunt the alligator until you cross the creek."
  • On early Bush victories estimated in Southern states:  "Bush is sweeping through the South like a big wheel through a cotton field."
  • On Kerry and Bush's electoral vote counts tightening: "This race is hotter than the devil's anvil." 
  • Before key states had been counted. "In some ways, George Bush's lead is as thin as November ice."
  • On undecided swing states: "It don't mean a thing if they don't get those swings."
     "When John Kerry wrote Santa Claus, he said give me [Kansas], please."
  • On Having been wrong trying to call Florida in the last election: "If you try to read the tea leaves before the cup is done, you can get yourself burned."
  • On Florida presidential contest: "This race is hotter than a Times Square Rolex."
  • Around midnight:  "Bush has the advantage.  Let's see where it goes -- around and around it goes, where it stops, nobody knows."
  • On CBS News' estimated 246 electoral votes for Bush just before 1:00 AM: "If you had to bet the double wide right now, you'd have to bet [Bush] wins."
  • On Iowa presidential count at 12:43AM: "It may yet come down to Iowa and John Kerry has a lead as thin as turnip soup."
  • On the South Dakota contest that went to the Republican challenger Thune and unseated Democratic Senator Tom Daschle after soft money fueled a mud-slinging campaign:  "Tough, rugged race out there, nasty enough to choke a buzzard."
  • On the near dead heat in Iowa: "This race is hot enough to peel the paint off houses."
  • "This situation in Ohio would give an aspirin a headache..."
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.