Dan Rather has always been about as tightly wound as a coot in a chicken coop, but during a recent MSNBC appearance, his brain appeared to be about as dependable as a Times Square Rolex.

For all those who miss the Danisms from the days when he was on the air and in our face, here are a few from 2 November 2004 —- the last election night he got to cover before his brush with the inconvenient truth regarding George Bush’s National Guard service:

His lead is as thin as turnip soup.

This race is hotter than the Devil’s anvil.

This situation in Ohio would give an aspirin a headache.

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.

I know that you’d rather walk through a furnace in a gasoline suit than consider the possibility that John Kerry would lose Ohio. (To Kerry adviser Joe Lockhart.)

This presidential race has been crackling like a hickory fire for at least the last hour and a half.

We used to say if a frog had side pockets, he’d carry a handgun.

In southern states they beat him like a rented mule.

The election is closer than Lassie and Timmy.

We don’t know whether to wind a watch or bark at the moon.