Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dan Rather on the Daily Show

Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather, soon to premiere a new show on HDNet, stopped by Comedy Central during tonight's Daily Show / Colbert Report Midterm Midtacular live broadcast, a little after 11:15 P.M. Eastern.

Read more... Jon Stewart: Joining me right now with further insight into some of these races, our special correspondent for the evening, Mr. Dan Rather. Dan, thank you so much for coming on. Nice to see you. Tonight seems to be trending towards the Democrats; what are your thoughts on this evening so far?

Dan Rather: Well, first of all, the Democrats still have a very good chance to take the House. They're not there yet, at this hour. The chances in the Senate not looking quite as well as earlier in the evening — still have a fighting chance to do it, but I expect on the basis of what we know now that tomorrow's newspaper will read "Democrats take the House, Republicans hold onto the Senate."

Jon: Dan, that was a terrific analysis. That was terrific. (Well, thank you, Jon.) We sort of brought you in here to, you know, give us a little more of that Dan Rather, you know what I'm saying, give us a little more of that homespun kind of ... (How so?) For example, how about Hillary Clinton? We knew she was going to win in a landslide, but how would you, Dan Rather, you know, describe the largeness of her victory?

Dan: It was a healthy margin. [pause, Jon gestures for Dan to continue] Well, how about, "She ran away with it like a hobo with a sweet potato pie"?

Jon: Yeah! That's what I'm talkin' about! The Allen–Webb race in Virginia, it's still too close to call, it's an ugly, ugly race. (Yes, it was.) I'm wondering in your view, the magnitude of the ugliness, is there some way that you might ...

Dan: Well, I'd say it was as ugly as a hog lagoon after a bachelor party.

Jon: All right. That is ugly, I think. Let me give you a couple more results here in the House, a couple of races we're watching. In Florida, Mark Foley's district, the 16th district — although Foley swears it was 18 when he first ran — anyway, this one is closer than expected. It looks like Tim Mahoney might take it; Joe Negron, of course, running for Foley. In Pennsylvania, Democrat Chris Carney who has never been accused of choking his mistress, defeated incumbent Don Sherwood, who has in fact been accused of that. Dan, in your mind, why didn't the Peruvian mistress wife-strangler take that race?

Dan: Jon, let me explain it to you this way: if you ain't got the yolk, you can't emulsify the Hollandaise.

Jon: Now I don't know what you're talking about.

Dan: It's simple, Jon. If you don't eat your meat, how can you have any pudding? How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

Jon: All right, we're going to do one more result. Connecticut — official state motto: "Richer than God" — all right, it was a three-way race, which, like most threeways, ended up with one person watching awkwardly and not really involved. Joe Lieberman opened up an Ark of the Covenant can of Whoop-ass on his foes. Having lost the primary, Lieberman wins the election, saying, quote, [unintelligible]. Can I tell you something? You've wanted to do this for 44 years, haven't you? Is this your — how many years have you been covering elections?

Dan: I've been covering elections for more than 55 years. This is my — well, 44 with CBS and 55 overall.

Jon: So this is 56, or this would be 55? (This would be 56.) So, you are counting this, or you decided not to count it?

Dan: Well, given this experience, I probably won't count it.

Jon: Ahhh! Well, we've enjoyed it. Is it — in your mind, is it the turning point? Is it a national referendum? Are you looking at this as the American people saying, "We don't care about these local races any more, we just want to throw out whoever's in power," or is it not gonna be that audacious?

Dan: No, I don't think it's going to be that definitive. I think Iraq was the overriding issue in the campaign, no question about that, but we want to remember that George Bush will be President for another two years, and given the power of the Presidency, he will have the power, a large measure, to set the agenda. (Still?) Still.

Jon: All right. Well, we want to thank you very much for stopping by there.

Dan: Well, thank you, Jon. I really appreciate being here, it was a real eye-opener for me. I realized pretty early on that I was just a $4 gopher in a $2 pelt.

Jon: Uh — that's an insult, right?

Dan: Uh-huh, I believe it is, Jon.

Jon: All right, Dan Rather's new program Dan Rather Reports — it airs on HDNet, November 14th at 8 P.M.

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