The Washington Senate office of Fritz Hollings closes Friday for the final time but not without some words of Hollings wisdom.
After 38 years in the Senate, the South Carolina Democrat known for his outspoken ways and sometimes-controversial quotes did not seek re-election. On the eve of its final day of operation Thursday, the Hollings press office in Washington decided to issue a special news release.
As a parting reminder of "the unique wisdom, folksy humor, and biting wit of South Carolina's senior senator," the press office assembled an assortment of 38 classic "Hollings-isms" and memorable lines:
How many have you heard?
1. "There's no education in the second kick of a mule."
2. "The ox is in the ditch."
3. "It's like the fire plug wettin' the dog."
4. "Letting y'all regulate yourselves is like delivering lettuce by way of a rabbit."
5. "Chicken lickin', the sky is falling."
6. "It's like tying two cats by the tail, throwin' 'em over the clothesline and letting them fight it out."
7. "That's just political applesauce."
8. "He's like the cross-eyed archer. He may hit the mark, but he'll scare the hell out of everybody."
9. "Like we learned in the war, if the recoil's gonna kill the gunman, you don't fire the gun."
10. "He graduated magna cum laude. I graduated thank-the-lordy."
11. "Like the monkey making love to the skunk, I can't stand anymore of this."
12. "We can't get this crowd off the deficit barley corn."
13. "Whooopee! Sooey pig! Ya'll come!"
14. "Hu… Hu… Hu… Hu…"
15. "It is almost like working in the CIA here. It is top secret when you talk the truth. I think the axiom of Mark Twain is correct. He said: 'The truth is such a precious thing it should be used very sparingly.'"
16. "The cancer on the body politic is money. Money, money, money."
17. "We are not concerned about the needs of the country. We are concerned only about the needs of the campaign."
18. "The free press is only interested in headlines and throwin' spitballs."
19. "My morals are way better than the greed of that other crowd."
Classic Hollings lines:
20. "People always wonder how Peatsy and I stay together, with so many divorces around us. And a friend of ours used to say, 'It's simple. They have a lot in common. They're both in love with the same fella.'"
21. "I'll take a drug test if you'll take an IQ test." A challenge made to Henry McMaster during the 1986 Senate race.
22. "Sam, if you want to personalize it, I got it right down the street from where you got that wig." On ABC's 'This Week' in 1990, when Sam Donaldson asked him where he got his 'Korean suit.'
23. "But what have you done in this world?" To John Glenn in a 1984 presidential debate, referencing Glenn's accomplishments as an astronaut.
24. "I've never seen a better example of cash-and-carry government than this Bush administration and Enron."
25. "I did not have political relations with that man, Ken Lay." Poking fun at President Bush's effort to distance himself from the Enron scandal.
26. "If you want a lesson in political anonymity, sponsor a bill with Phil Gramm."
27. "He's a G- d- skunk, I can tell you that right now." Comment made during the 1998 Senate race referring to his challenger Bob Inglis.
On the budget:
28. "If anybody can find a surplus in the government account, namely, in the national debt owed by the United States of America, please tell me, and I will be glad to jump off the Capitol dome. But unless and until that happens, Mr. President, old Hollings is going to stand here and berate them and nag them and fuss at them."
29. "Our friend, the famous pitcher, Denny McLain in Detroit. He took over a company when he got out of baseball and paid down the debt with the company's pension fund. He was convicted of a felony. I said: If you can find the jail where he is serving … tell him next time to run for the U.S. Senate. Instead of a jail term, you get the Good Government Award."
30. "You talk about campaign finance, the biggest campaign finance abuse is not soft money. Oh no, the biggest abuse is how the politicians namely we senators and congressmen use the federal budget to get ourselves re-elected. If we can run around and give tax cuts, then, as President Reagan said, 'The government is not the solution to the problem, the government is the problem.' We have had 20 years of that nonsense. We have to sober up, and we have to start paying our bills.'"
On U.S. trade policy:
31. "The security of the United States is like a three-legged stool. The one leg of the nation's values is admired the world around. The second leg of military power is unquestioned. But the third leg of economic strength has been fractured. For 50 years we have been losing production, technology and market share. Today, this threatens a loss of the middle class, the weakening of our democracy - the loss of our security as a nation."
32. "We hear those in the national Congress running around and saying: 'Whoopee, we might start a trade war; free trade, free trade, I am for free trade,' when they know free trade is like dry water. There is no such thing."
33. "That crowd the Chamber of Commerce is no longer interested in Main Street America. They're interested in Main Street Beijing."
34. "What is not producing is not the industrial worker in the United States, it is the U.S. Congress. We haven't produced. We have been running around like lemmings: 'Free trade, free trade, fast track, fast track' having no idea in the Lord's world what we are doing; whereas we are exporting jobs faster than we can create them."
35. "That is what the polls will tell you: Don't say you are 'for' or 'against,' just say you are 'concerned.' So we say we are 'concerned' and we keep getting reelected and the country goes to hell in an economic hand pot."
Classic lines to staff:
36. "You won the argument, but I won the election."
37. "Son, when I was your age, I was governor. What do you know?"
38. "I don't have to get elected to a bloomin' thing. And I don't have to do things that are politically correct. The hell with everybody. I'm free at last." Comments during his 1992 speech following his election to a sixth term. He ran again in 1998 and won.