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The John McCain Legacy Project

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: On Friday, ladies and gentlemen, I was minding my own business. It was 6:30 in the evening. I was in the process of vegging, enjoying a quiet Friday night at home, to indulge my own desires. And Kathryn, the beautiful, incomparable Kathryn Rogers walked in, "What did you do today? I didn't have a chance to listen to you." I said, "What are you talking about?" "They can't stop talking about you on CNN." And I started thinking, what did I do today that would have upset people at CNN? By the way, Kathryn, the beautiful and incomparable, was with me on the sidelines, along with Bridget Rooney Koch, at the Steelers game yesterday, and they started laughing. The first four or five rows they were calling Rush Row because I was called to sign autographs and pose for pictures at a pregame interview on the CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh, and while my back was turned apparently Hines Ward, number 86 for the Steelers left the field and walked over very close to Kathryn and Bridget, so close they could reach out and touch, and Kathryn told me she was just in awe and was unable to say anything because Hines Ward went by. And I said, "Kathryn, that's not like you to be in awe of men in tight pants." But players, they're captivating, so I came back and got the whole lowdown on the story. Anyway, back to Friday night, I said, "What did I say?" She said, "Something about McCain. You said something about McCain and they can't stop talking about you on CNN." She said, "You just have to laugh, no matter what, even when you're not around, they talk about you." Well, here is one example from Friday afternoon, Wolf Blitzed on CNN talking with Paul Begala, the Forehead, in The Situation Room.

BLITZER: Rush Limbaugh today said, you know, he already has 60 because he just assumes John McCain is going to vote with Obama on everything. What do you think about John McCain's role in this new Senate?

BEGALA: John McCain probably not losing a lot of sleep worrying about what Rush Limbaugh thinks about him. The truth is, I think 60 is in many ways an overstated, overanalyzed number. My party has 59. Well, the truth is we have 59 in terms of party, but on issues, things divide very differently. The president-elect is doing a very smart thing in reaching out to Republicans, even if he had 60, even if he had 70 he's going to need bipartisanship.

RUSH: (laughing) These guys don't give a rat's rear end about bipartisanship. John McCain isn't losing any sleep. That's probably true. I think that's something you would expect from somebody who lost a presidential election and didn't care about it. Of course, he's not losing any sleep. But, ladies and gentlemen, let's get to what they were talking about. I had said on Friday that McCain -- Blitzer got it a little bit wrong -- I said McCain will be the one to shepherd Republicans in line for Obama's legislation so he gets the 60 votes and it will be filibuster-proof. I said this is going to be McCain's legacy. McCain wants to erase that he lost an election. McCain wants to get back on the good side of the Drive-By Media. So he will be leading the pack, and it's not going to be hard. In most cases, I think Obama is going to be able to get 60 votes without McCain, but McCain is still going to get the credit for doing it. He's got Olympia Snowe out there, he's got Susan Collins out there, there are a number of Republicans that would eagerly, 'cause they want to show for some strange reason that they are bipartisan.

Anyway, here's the point. New York Times today: "Obama Reaches Out for McCain's Counsel." By the way, look, don't doubt me. Don't doubt me. I know these people. "Not long after Senator John McCain returned last month from an official trip to Iraq and Pakistan, he received a phone call from President-elect Barack Obama. As contenders for the presidency, the two had hammered each other--" Somebody's memory of that campaign is different than mine because I don't remember too much hammering going on, except when Palin got involved. If there was any hammering going on, it was McCain hammering his own people, telling his own people, the North Carolina Republican Party to shut up and pull ads, telling Bill Cunningham in Cincinnati to shut up and get off the stage. The only time McCain hammered anybody was when he hammered people on his own side.

"It was just one step in a post-election courtship that historians say has few modern parallels. Mr. Obama said he wanted Mr. McCain's advice, people in each camp briefed on the conversation said. What did he see on the trip? What did he learn? On Monday night, Mr. McCain will be the guest of honor at a black-tie dinner celebrating Mr. Obama's inauguration," and then Colin Powell will be the guest of honor at another Obama dinner. They may as well throw Chuck Hagel in there, and then there will be another dinner honoring Joe Biden. I tell you, this may be the last time you hear from Biden legally. I don't think they'll be able to shut him up, but they're giving him the chops right now, "Okay, Joe, we're doing a dinner for you and from now on out, shut up buddy, we don't want any more, 'Hey, Chuck, stand up, buddy, oh, God, what did I do? Stand up for Chuck,'" as Biden addressed the St. Louis politician in a wheelchair.

"Over the last three months, Mr. Obama has quietly consulted Mr. McCain about many of the new administration's potential nominees to top national security jobs and about other issues." So there you have it. Depending on how much McCain can screw the Republican Party, he'll get his legacy from the Drive-By Media, that's what this is about. He wants to erase from his legacy that he lost the election. He wants his legacy that he made the greatest concession speech ever, that's something I'd love to be known for, by the way, to make the greatest concession speech in American presidential politics. And then to be the guy that makes sure that bipartisanship works, that Obama gets enough Republican votes to get 60 in there even when there are some Democrats that go off the reservation, McCain can cover it by getting Republicans. The Drive-Bys will love him. The Drive-Bys will love him again because he's going to be out there ripping his own party once again, which got him in good graces with the Drive-Bys in the first place.

On page two of this story, Rahm Emanuel, "whose only previous contact with Mr. Graham was negotiating the terms of the presidential debates, began calling him more than once a week to follow up. 'Constantly,' Mr. Emanuel said. 'There has been a running dialogue.'" So Lindsey Grahamnesty and Rahm Emanuel, Obama's chief of staff, are now phone buddies. Doesn't that just make your day? Anybody surprised? "A spokeswoman for Mr. McCain did not respond to several messages. But Mr. Graham said he and Mr. McCain were convinced that Mr. Obama was genuinely interested in working together with them on both domestic priorities and foreign policy. 'Not only is it good politics,' Mr. Graham said, 'it gives you an insight into who we are dealing with.'" Yes, Lindsey Graham gaining insights on everyone in this love circle, except us here.

END TRANSCRIPT

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