“You gotta throw the corn where the hogs can get it” is a Southern phrase meaning that you have to make things simple and accessible to the general public. U.S. President Bill Clinton used the phrase, saying “You gotta throw the corn where the hogs can get to it” (in 1993) and ““Put the corn where the hogs can get to it” (in 2010)—both times crediting Arkansas poltiician Dale Bumpers.
Arkansas Senator Dale Bumpers said “You’ve got to throw the corn where the hogs can get to it” on the floor of the U.S. Senate in 1998, giving credit to Herman Talmadge (1912-2002), a former senator from Georgia.
“Let’s put the wheat where the goats can eat it” was said by MSNBC Morning Joe television host Joe Scarborough on December 13, 2019.
Wikipedia: Herman Talmadge
Herman Eugene Talmadge (August 9, 1913 – March 21, 2002) was an American politician from the U.S. state of Georgia. He served as governor of Georgia briefly in 1947 and again from 1948 to 1955. His term was marked by his segregationist policies. After leaving office Talmadge was elected to the U.S. Senate, serving from 1957 until 1981.
Wikipedia: Dale Bumpers
Dale Leon Bumpers (August 12, 1925 – January 1, 2016) was an American politician who served as the 38th Governor of Arkansas (1971–1975) and in the United States Senate (1975–1999). He was a member of the Democratic Party. Prior to his death, he was counsel at the Washington, D.C. office of law firm Arent Fox LLP, where his clients included Riceland Foods and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
National Park Service Concessions Policy Reform Act of 1991 : hearings before the Subcommittee on Public Lands, National Parks, and Forests of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, United States Senate, One Hundred Second Congress, second session, on S. 1755 ... March 3 and 5, 1992
By United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Subcommittee on Public Lands, National Parks, and Forests.
Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office: For sale by the U.S. G.P.O., Supt. of Docs., Congressional Sales Office
But one of the things that I guess Herman Talmadge used to say in some of these high-falutin’ speeches, you know, if you want the votes you have to throw the corn where the hogs can get to it.
New York (NY) Times
Of 3 Arkansas Pals and a Raccoon Roast
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN,
Published: March 27, 1993
Besides policy advice, Mr. Clinton has also gleaned some of his best down-home Arkansasisms from his two friends, including these favorites: “He’s squealin’ like a pig stuck under a gate”; “If you don’t want to run with the big dogs, stay on the porch”; and, “You gotta throw the corn where the hogs can get to it,” a Bumpers saying often used in reference to making aid more easily available to the Russians.
Google Groups: gov.us.fed.congress.record.senate
Subject: 1998CRS10145A DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT,, Part 5/5
Mr. BUMPERS. Mr. President, let me just conclude my remarks by reiterating something I said earlier about the issue of free speech.
Herman Talmadge, one of the great Senators who served here, had a lot of sayings in making speeches. He said, “If you want your audience to pay attention, you’ve got to throw the corn where the hogs can get to it.”
Google Groups: gov.us.fed.congress.record.senate
Subject: 1998CRS12594A RETIREMENT OF SENATOR DALE BUMPERS
Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, in these last few days of the 105th Congress, when I come to the floor, I often look wistfully to the aisle just to my left here, where Dale Bumpers has trod up and down yanking the microphone cord and dispensing wisdom for just about twenty-four years now. The other day he gave his last speech here, and it was brilliant—an eloquent and moving reminder of the best purposes of politics. But now I want to look back and pay tribute to my friend Dale Bumpers for what he has done and what he has been for me, for the Senate, for his beloved Arkansas and for our country.
Everybody thinks of Dale Bumpers first and foremost as an orator, a story teller, a raconteur and a dispenser of folk wisdom. He is common sense with a silver tongue and a sense of history. So let me finish my remarks with a tribute to his oratorical style. Dale Bumpers often decried the idea that we could eliminate the deficit by cutting taxes and raising spending, he said “That reminds me of the combination taxidermist/veterinarian in my hometown. His slogan was `Either way you get your dog back.’ ‘’ When he saw a flaw in his opponent’s argument he jumped on it like a duck on a junebug. He might declare. “His argument is as thin as spit on a rock!’’ Why is he such a masterful debater? Because he can explain the complex in a simple way, and expose the truth in uncomplicated language, without demagoguery or distortion. As he would say, “You gotta throw the corn where the hogs can get at it.’’ He hated deficit spending, and when he saw a budget full of red ink, he said, “Well, you pass that and you’ll create deficits big enough to choke a mule. That’s just eating the seed corn!’’
Tributes delivered in Congress: Dale Bumpers, United States Senator, 1974-1998
By United States. Congress. Senate. Office of Printing and Document Services
Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office
As he would say, “You gotta throw the corn where the hogs can get at it.”
Punk Rock Human Resources
Colloquialisms at Work
by Laurie on August 21, 2008
almostgotit August 21, 2008 at 10:47 am
Okay but remember, y’all, that I live in Tennessee now so you have to say em with a drawl:
“Well, THAT dog’ll never hunt!”
and my favorite:
“You gotta put it down where the hogs can get it.”
Prescriptions Blog - NYTimes.com
January 15, 2010, 1:10 pm
Bill Clinton Urges House Democrats Onward
By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN
In a 45-minute speech followed by a 45-minute question-and-answer session, former President Bill Clinton exhorted House Democrats to approve major health care legislation, work closely with the White House and to head into their re-election battles in November with eyes wide open.
At one point, urging lawmakers to make the legislation accessible to constituents by explaining how they would benefit, Mr. Clinton told them: “Put the corn where the hogs can get to it.” On that bit of advice, Mr. Clinton said he was quoting former Senator Dale Bumpers of Arkansas.
New York (NY) Times
Analysis: Democrats’ Health Care Quest Has Soured
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: January 19, 2010
Former President Bill Clinton urged House Democrats last week to do a better job of telling voters how the legislation would help them, such as expanding coverage to the uninsured and establishing networks to offer more insurance options.
‘’Put the corn where the hogs can get it,’’ Clinton said, using a colorful phrase for making something clear and accessible, according to an aide who took notes at the speech.