“Overnight is a long time (in politics) and a week is forever” has been said by television news journalist Dan Rather many times since at least 1983. Some of Rather’s statements refer to the television news business (and not politics), but the statement most frequently includes the word “politics.” The saying means that the news—especially political news—changes quickly.
The saying is also sometimes given as: “A day is a lifetime (in politics) and a week is forever.” Harold Wilson (1916-1995), the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1964 to 1970, is given credit for saying “a week is a long time in politics” by about 1964.
Wikipedia: Dan Rather
Daniel Irvin “Dan” Rather, Jr. (born October 31, 1931) is an American journalist and former news anchor for the CBS Evening News and is now managing editor and anchor of a television news magazine, Dan Rather Reports, on the cable channel HDNet. Rather was anchor of the CBS Evening News for 24 years, from March 9, 1981, to March 9, 2005. He also contributed to CBS’ 60 Minutes. Rather became embroiled in controversy about a disputed news report involving the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election and subsequently left CBS Evening News in 2005 and left the network in 2006.
Google News Archive
8 November 1983, Beaver County (PA) Times, “Dan Rather is still a country boy” by Bob Wisehart (Newhouse News Service), pg. B5, col. 4:
As he says, “In this business, overnight is a long time and a week is forever.”
The Presidential Election Show:
Campaign 84 and beyond on the nightly news
By Keith Blume
South Hadley, MA: Bergin & Garvey
“It’s a week that demonstrates the old axiom that in American politics overnight is a long time and a week is forever.”
(Spoken by political commentator George Will—ed.)
27 July 1988, Atlanta (GA) Journal-Constitution, “Many TV Viewers Tuned Out Convention Coverage,” pg. C7:
But when pressed to think about 1992, Rather said, “Overnight is a long time in politics, and a week is forever. 1992, who knows?”
SHIELDS AND GIGOT
SEPTEMBER 6, 1996
MR. SHIELDS: The only problem is that every survey shows that the tax issue has lost saliency and lost traction as well. And the “USA Today” poll showed support for it fell from 51 percent to 31 percent in just two weeks since the end of the Republican convention. I mean, it’s like nothing Dole is doing is working right now. I’m not saying a day is a lifetime in politics, a week is forever, and anything could happen, but right now, it’s been a bleak for him.
SHIELDS & GIGOT
AUGUST 29, 1997
MARK SHIELDS: I think what happened, the maxim that a day is a lifetime in politics and a week is forever was validated. I mean, we had Bill Weld at 3/4 approval in the state. He’s gone.
New York (NY) Daily News
THINKING RETIREMENT- NAH, HE’D RATHER NOT
BY MITCHELL FINK WITH Lauren Rubin
Friday, June 18th 1999, 2:10AM
Dan Rather knows as well as anyone that America’s hunger for nightly newscasts is not what it once was.
“But then you know what they say about TV,” he added in his best Texas-tinged Ratherese. “Overnight is a long time and a week is forever.”
CBS News - Dan Rather’s Notebook (February 7, 2000)
But overnight is a long time in politics. A week is forever. The election isn’t until November. There is time. But just barely. To win, Hillary Clinton has to get lucky, get moving, and get Giuliani to make some big mistakes.
CNN.com - Transcripts
CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview With Dan Rather, John McCain, Bob Woodward
Aired June 29, 2004 - 21:00 ET
RATHER: Well, it certainly appears that way right now, Larry. But you and I have been around long enough to know that overnight is a long time in politics. A week is forever, and the election is still a long way away.
NEW YORK, Aug. 29, 2004
Dan Rather’s Convention Journal
CBS News Anchor Reports From The Republican Gathering
By Joel Roberts
Having digested all of this, you may want to keep in mind a well-worn reporter’s reminder that “overnight is a long time in politics; a week is forever.” And we’re still dealing with an election that isn’t until November.
The Sidney Hillman Foundation
Winners & Sinners: Health Care Reform Edition
Posted by Charles Kaiser on Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Overnight is a long time in politics; a week is forever.
–FCP’s favorite American Political Proverb
New York City • Government/Law/Military/Religion /Health • Saturday, March 27, 2010 • Permalink