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Can the Clintons Still Stop Obama?

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Charlotte, North Carolina. Joe, I'm glad you waited, as we go back to the phones. You're next here on the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Rush, you just don't know how great it is to talk to you after all these years of listening to you. How you doing today, sir?

RUSH: Fine, sir. Thanks very much for that.

CALLER: Hey, bear with me as I try to go from the beginning to the end of this, because I think I listened to every word of the speech today, and I think the bottom line of what Obama did today was he may have dealt a serious blow to Operation Chaos. He could have gone a number of ways, but what he chose to do instead of this post-racial image that he portrayed, he threw a bone to Jesse and Al Sharpton. He got down for the struggle today. And I think what he did by doing that was not only a serious blow to Operation Chaos, and what I mean by that, I don't think it's necessary anymore. I think he dug a hole today that he can't get out of.

RUSH: Really? So you think this has hurt him in terms of his quest for superdelegates to win the nomination?

CALLER: I was chomping at the bit to answer the question that you posed at the end of the first hour, because not only has he probably bothered a lot of the white racists within the Democratic Party, but we've been told over and over again by the talking heads and the Drive-Bys that so many white males that are independents or straddling that fence were going to vote for him, and I gotta tell you, I think he probably put an end to that today.

RUSH: Well, let's just cut to the chase here. You gotta remember we got people in Rio Linda listening. What you're saying is this speech today might have lost him the support of some white liberals who intended to vote for him?

CALLER: That's correct.

RUSH: Because he's now down for the struggle with the likes of Sharpton and Jackson and he's made sure that the racial movement of the left will be no different with his leadership than anyone else's?

CALLER: I'm going to predict that when Pennsylvania happens, we will see it. He's gone.

RUSH: He can't be gone. What you don't understand, he can't be gone after Pennsylvania, neither can she. Neither of these two can win this with pledged delegates even throughout the whole process, which I think ends in Puerto Rico on June 7th.

CALLER: Mathematically you're absolutely right, Rush --

RUSH: Whoops. Whoops, ladies and gentlemen, we lost the caller. So he obviously thinks that the superdelegates are going to be unhappy with this and give them an excuse to go against Obama. Too soon to say about all that, but I do think that he did inadvertently walk into the trap the Clintons have been trying to set for him since South Carolina. In fact, grab number 11, and then we've got 12 and 13. Yes. This is Obama last night on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Gwen Eiffel is filling in. She said, "You talk about polarizing the electorate. I wonder if you worry that the debate that we're in now, including the standoffs over what's going to happen to the delegates and what's going to happen to you and Senator Clinton, all these other issues, I wonder if you worry that it's going to alienate a lot of these new energized voters who have been brought to the campaign for both of you."

OBAMA: Look, there's no doubt that it would be great if we had already wrapped up this nomination and we could have a nice clean, clear debate with John McCain at this stage, but as we travel all across the country, we've seen huge surges in Democrat turnout. We've seen independents and Republicans who were disenchanted, in some cases, opting for a Democratic ballot.

RUSH: That's how he's interpreting Operation Chaos. A bunch of Republicans disaffected with Republicans crossing aisles to vote for Democrats. Now, here's Bill Clinton. This is last night. He was On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. By the way, Clinton's outside here. She said, "The Party almost seems held hostage with the idea of Iowa and New Hampshire go first, a little bit. The people in Florida who are Democrats, even someone who might have lived in Iowa and moved to Florida, suddenly finds their vote might not count."

CLINTON: Republicans were smarter about it; they knew they had no intention of playing games with Florida and dividing it off in the beginning. We got all carried away, our party did, I think, on that. We just need to not do something dumb here that looks like we're ignoring one of the most difficult states in the union, Michigan. It's hard to find a state in America that's suffered more than Michigan in this decade economically, and we certainly can't blow away one of the states that is most emblematic of the future we're trying to build for all Americans in Florida.

RUSH: Well, might be too late. Looks like a do-over in Michigan is very unlikely. That news hit just prior to the program's start today. And of course Florida, they're not going to do it, so they did screw up, but, Bill, you guys screwed this. You didn't think you'd need these states because after Super Tuesday you thought you'd be coronated. It hasn't worked out there. Greta Van Susteren said, "Well, race is a sensitive issue that nobody wants to talk about --" Greta, we've had this conversation. This is another thing about Obama's speech today. We've been having this conversation on race my whole adult life and longer than that. The idea that we have not been having a discussion on race in this country is absurd. Greta says, "Well, race is a sensitive issue, nobody wants to talk about, we're all very careful about it, but now we have the issue of Senator Obama's minister who has now rejected what he has had to say, but is race an issue, President Clinton?"

CLINTON: In every election, identity is a powerful pull. People tend to vote for people they identify with. I had two women lawyers stop me when I was home briefly, when I took my dog out for a walk, one of them came up it me with her 14-year-old son, I would say she was in her mid-to-late forties, the other was in her mid-thirties, they both said, "You tell Hillary to hang in there, we're for her." They identify with her. I think for African-Americans who have been voting for decades for white candidates they think they got an African-American candidate with a legitimate chance to be nominated and elected. The most important thing is to just let it play itself out. I think it's great. Even Puerto Rico gets to vote. Let all the states vote and let it matter and then see where we are at the end.

RUSH: Yeah, okay.

END TRANSCRIPT

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