Election Night requires anchors to juggle correspondents, as well as keep a running commentary on which races have been won and which way projections are going. So Watercooler imagines 75-year-old Dan Rather was relieved that all he had to do this year was wait for Jon Stewart to set up his jokes during Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" live one-hour "Midterm Midtacular" special.
Starting with a straight recounting of where the races stood at the top of the hour, Rather summed up his views with: "I expect tomorrow morning we'll read in the paper: Democrats take the House, Republicans hold on to the Senate."
"That was a terrific analysis," Stewart said."But we brought you in here, though, to give us a little of that Dan Rather, you know, little bit more of that homespun kind of ..."
Rather responded with a puzzled, "How so?"
"For instance, Hillary Clinton-we knew she was going to win in a landslide, but how would you, Dan Rather, describe the largeness of that win?" Stewart asked.
"It was a healthy margin," Rather replied, playing it straighter than an ant leading the colony to a picnic.
Stewart prodded him with a pregnant pause.
Rather, giving in, finally delivered: "How about: 'She ran away with it like a hobo with a sweet-potato pie."'
"That's what I'm talking about," Stewart crowed.
Rather told Stewart the interview "was a real eye-opener for me. I realized pretty early on I was just a four-dollar gopher in a two-dollar pelt."
Stewart: That's an insult, right?
Rather: I believe it is, Jon.