January 8, 2012

“He can run, but he can’t hide.”


“He can run, but he can’t hide.”
Joe Louis (1914-1981)
       American heavyweight boxing champion, nicknamed “The Brown Bomber” 
       This was Joe’s famous comment about boxer
Billy Conn, shortly before their heavyweight title rematch in New York City on June 19, 1946. (Some sources wrongly link it to the first Louis-Conn fight in 1941, which Louis won.) Louis had devastating punches. But Conn was lighter and faster, so there was speculation that “The Pittsburg Kid” could win. When a reporter asked Louis about Conn’s speed, Joe gave his memorable response and it was repeated in news stories throughout the country.   
       Louis ended up winning the fight by a knockout in the eighth round. The next day, a headline in the New York Times said:
“Louis Proves His Own Prediction: Conn Could Run, but Couldn’t Hide.”
       Louis’s quip became a commonly-used taunt in the U.S. and other English-speaking countries. Quotation expert Ralph Keyes speculated in his book The Quote Verifier that Louis may have been repeating a line that was already circulating in street talk. And, language maven Barry Popik recently discovered that Louis
made a similar remark in 1939. However, even if Louis didn’t coin “He can run, but he can’t hide,” he clearly deserves credit for popularizing it and his most famous use of those words was before his 1946 fight with Conn.


“My friends, our message to President Barack Obama is you can run, but you can’t hide from your record of making this country bankrupt, from destroying our national security and for making this nation one that we have to restore with Mitt Romney as president of the United States of America.”
Sen. John McCain
       Republican politician, U.S. Senator for Arizona
Remark made by McCain on January 4, 2012 when he endorsed Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate for the 2012 presidential election.


“McCain can run, but he can’t hide. Well, he can’t so much run as hobble, but he can’t hide. Well, if he ran into a retirement home, he probably could hide among all the octogenarians. But I am sure if we radio tag him, we will be able to find him.”
A reader comment on a news story about McCain’s attempt to pull out of the scheduled presidential debates with Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential election, when he was the Republican presidential nominee. (Posted on the UrbanSwirl.com site.)


“He can’t run, but he can hide.”
Ben Muessig
       Journalist for the Huffington Post and AOL News
       Muessig’s punny opening line in
a news story about a one-legged man who successfully evaded the police in Orange County, Florida on foot (literally one foot in this case) after driving recklessly through a residential community and smashing his car into a power pole.


“I want to teach Gigi my young granddaughter, how to fish...Out on the boat she is captive. She can squirm, but she can’t hide. I will tell her I love her. And when she asks, ‘Are you crying?’ I’ll say, ‘Yes, but these are tears of joy. Older guys do that, Gigi.’ You can do that kind of thing when you go mackerel fishing.”
George H.W. Bush
       Republican politician and 41st President of the United States 
       Excerpt from a letter Bush wrote in September 1998, published in the book
Chicken Soup for the Fisherman’s Soul (2000) by Mark Victor Hansen, Ken McKowen and Dahlynn McKowen

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