Dan Rather’s Late Night

Post-Witching Hour One-liners.

The 2000 presidential race was “tight as a tick,” Dan Rather might say.  The Texas native and career CBS reporter was always good for the occasional one-liner. He reported for CBS in the network’s Texas stations. In  the 1960s he was elevated to national reporter after the massive hurricane at Galveston and narrated the JFK assassination live on CBS. After the 2000 election, as the election totals came in, the veteran anchorman Rather was up all night and his sleep deprivation became noticeable in some of his unique one-liners and metaphors.  Here’s a few below. Read these, then answer the questions that follow.


“This race is shakier than cafeteria Jell-O.”

“He swept through the South like a tornado through a trailer park.”

“It’s a ding dong battle back and forth.”

“This race is tight like a too-small bathing suit on a too-long ride home from the beach.”

“This will show you how tight it is — it’s spandex tight.”

“This election swings like one of those pendulum things.”

“None of this television mumbo jumbo, let’s get in there and count the votes.”



1. How tight was the race?

2. How close was the popular vote in Florida?

3. What was the electoral vote differential nationwide?

4. What was the popular vote differential nationwide?


Photo/Image: “110726-F-HS721-133” by NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0