The 'He-Coon' speaks
"Cracker," Gov. Lawton Chiles once told a Jeb Bush supporter, "is a plain-spoken language of the country, spoken from the heart so anybody can understand."
Some Chiles colloquialisms
"The old he-coon walks just before the light of day."
-- Final debate with Jeb Bush, Nov. 1, 1994, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Bush looked baffled. Chiles was implying he would score a come-from-behind victory, which he did.
"It's sort of like saying, "Don't mess with the Lone Ranger.' "
-- Backstage after the debate, explaining his enigmatic "he-coon" comment.
"You know how a deer looks in headlights? That's the sight I saw last night."
-- The day after the debate.
"Even a blind hog will root out an acorn once in a while."
"A cut dog barks."
"It's a sorry frog who won't holler in his own pond."
On Jeb Bush, 1994
"They tried to put him in a grade he wasn't ready for."
"The state is a 747. It does not fly by itself. Jeb needs to solo before he flies the 747."
"I've been in a lot of fights, but this is the best fight I have ever been in. We whipped them, and we are going to keep them down."
-- Speaking to a group dedicated to nonviolence.
-- Dismissing arguments that the state's tobacco bill was so broad, any business could be sued.
On the campaign trail, 1994
"The hare is young, attractive, fast, quick, strong. The cooter just kind of plods along. The hare gets so far ahead, he stops to take a nap. And when the finish line comes, who's first? The cooter!"
Looking forward to retirement
"There's a place called "the glory hole' down in Central Florida. This fishing hole in an old phosphate pit. I haven't had a chance to go there in a number of years."
1992 State of the State address
"I didn't come here to stay. But I came here to make a difference."