RUSH: John Harwood. This is kinda funny. John Hardwood, the New York Times: "Organizing Now, Democrats Expect Tough Bid in 2012." Just as I've been saying all of last week and the week before, idea that the reelection of Obama is a shoo-in is nothing more than PR. It's nothing more than a strategy. This guy is no more a shoo-in for reelection than Alfred E. Neuman is. Now, Harwood has already gone on television today to disavow his own column. After Bin Laden was killed and the news reached, Harwood's all over TV (impression), "Forget what I wrote! Forget what I wrote! It doesn't matter now! Obama is reelected. It's automatic!" Proving he didn't want to write this piece.
Somebody at the New York Times somewhere realized, "Wait just a second. Are we really gonna go out and make the case that these economic circumstances and the future are the guaranteed way to win reelection in this country?" A couple other things I want to say about that, too. What is Obama's real plan? What are they banking on in order to secure their reelection?
RUSH: Look at it this way, folks. This story about Obama being a shoo-in for reelection, if he was a shoo-in for reelection Osama Bin Laden would still be alive today. There would have been no need to undertake the mission. And Donald Trump would not have had any jokes told about him on Saturday night at the White House Correspondents Dinner, if Obama were such a shoo-in. But he's not.
RUSH: Ronkonkoma in New York. John, hi. Great to have you, sir, on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Mega dittos from a conservative trap in the liberal enclave we call Long Island, New York.
RUSH: Yeah. Yeah. Boy, I feel for you.
CALLER: Hey, listen, first of all I want to say I'm very proud of our military and our country. But I can't help to think that the killing of Bin Laden during the Obama regime's tenure pretty much does make Obama a lock or a shoo-in for reelection.
RUSH: It does?
CALLER: That's what I think. I mean, where am I going wrong?
RUSH: You think he's a shoo-in?
CALLER: Well, after this, you know, he's got the media behind him; the media's gonna keep playing this up; this is gonna be his campaign.
RUSH: Well --
CALLER: He got Bin Laden.
RUSH: Nah, wait just a second. Are you being...? Speaking of "truthers," are you being truthful with me, or are you a seminar caller in disguise?
CALLER: No, I'm not a seminar caller.
RUSH: You are not a seminar caller in disguise?
RUSH: So you are in the throes of depression?
CALLER: Yeah, pretty much. I wanted to take this as good news, but it's good news... It's a good thing to happen but bad timing.
RUSH: Well, I'll go along with that. As I said at the top of the program, I was swelling with pride last night that there's still something about this country that's the best.
CALLER: Oh, yeah, I agree.
RUSH: And it was on display as this happened. This is great. This is achievement. It was the product of a lot of long, committed, hard work. The President deserves to be congratulated for maintaining the Bush plan here that enabled all this to happen, but man, it's only May of 2011. There is so much that's gonna happen between now and November of 2012. What if there's another terrorist attack? What good's this gonna have done that? What if...? Look, you're gonna have news happen. We're in a euphoric moment now, a lot of people are, but this is gonna pass. All these events always do. Do you think...? Let me ask you this. I'm not trying to trick you.
CALLER: Sure. Go ahead.
RUSH: Do you think that it was the Oklahoma City bombing that reelected Bill Clinton in 1996?
RUSH: And the way he reacted to it?
CALLER: Yeah, I mean, he reacted well to it, but I don't think that helped him.
RUSH: Okay. But you do think that killing Osama sealed it; it's over now.
CALLER: That's what it looks like.
RUSH: It's not. This is not gonna have one positive change. It's not gonna change anything about the impact of Obama's economic policies. It's not gonna change what his health care law's gonna do to people. It is not going to change our debt situation. It is not going to change the price of gasoline or energy or its availability. None of the realities that people face each and every day are at all affected by this. In fact, you could say -- and you'd be truthful in saying it -- that as a terror leader and somebody who posed an ongoing threat, Osama has been irrelevant for as many years as he's been forced to hide out with no direct communications.
CALLER: Right, I agree, but now it's relevant and they're relevant.
RUSH: Ah, but the media's always loved him! The media has always... (chuckles) Look at it this way: Obama has just lost something that's pretty important. Remember, now, Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at election time, they put out talking points that sounded just like the Democrat Party. So in a way you could say that Obama has lost a voice for his reelection.
RUSH: Well, folks, look. One thing -- and you have to say this if you're talking about the impact of the Osama assassination on the 2012 election. You have to say that President Obama will no longer have to worry about or fear any endorsement from Osama Bin Laden, as John Kerry was endorsed by Osama in October of 2004. That's something now that won't be a factor. So you have to throw that into the mix.
RUSH: Now, as to this reelection. My friends, get a grip. It is May the 2nd of 2011. George H. W. Bush was at 90% in the polls after the first Gulf War. He was so strong that the Democrats did not even throw their first team at him in terms of opposition. That's why they ended up with Clinton. Clinton was not in the first team. The first team Democrats decided, you know what, incumbents generally win, this guy's got 90% coming out of the war, we don't support war, we can't go out there and be happy about victory we had nothing to do with, so they just basically checked out. Then look what happened. Bush came along and reneged on his promise not to raise taxes. Perot ended up getting in the race. And all this conventional wisdom that George H. W. Bush could not be beat went out the window, and he did not win, he lost, and Clinton did win with 43% of the vote.
So it's not over 'til it's over, and even a guy with 90% approval two years out ends up losing, and Obama's nowhere near 90%. And he's not gonna be after this. And what was the issue that Clinton harped on? It's the economy, stupid. Worst economy in 50 years. And that's going to be doubled down upon in this campaign. So get a grip, folks. Nothing's etched in stone here. To suggest that the capture or the killing of Osama Bin Laden was a major campaign issue, you know, if Bush had done this, they woulda been accusing him, "Bush had to know where he is for ten years. Bush knows where he's been. They just did this because Bush is plummeting in the polls. Bush just did this because whoever would have been his Trump was out there getting too close." Did you happen to notice, folks -- this is not an accident -- all the networks abandon their programming a little after 10:30 last night. What was on MSNBC at 10:30 last night? The Celebrity Apprentice. Guess what got preempted, and who didn't come out for an hour to make the announcement? Obama.
So on Saturday night Trump is the butt of a bunch of jokes by Obama. I woulda told Trump not to even go, but that was so predictable that that was gonna happen. Don't even mess with showing up. I don't care what your ego tells you, you're gonna be the most hated guy in that room, Donald. They don't love you there. They're not mesmerized by you. Don't even mess with it. But he went, Obama tells the jokes, and then the next night, Obama single-handedly gets the last half hour of Trump's show preempted with what? An hour's worth of, "Oh, my God, what's coming? White House says the president is coming out 10:30 with an announcement." The networks, "We gotta honor that." Networks go on the air, "What is it? What is the big announcement? Start speculating." It's an hour before Obama comes out, around 11 o'clock they start leaking that Bin Laden's been killed. Meanwhile, nobody has seen the end of Celebrity Apprentice. It was preempted.
We all know that if Bush had pulled this off, not one aspect of it would be reported as legitimate. The press today won't even be accepting as proof whatever proof had been offered. So get a grip. You all know the way the game's played here, and you also know that this is not a campaign issue. If gasoline is five and a half dollars a gallon in November of 2012, Obama on the campaign, "Yeah, well, so what? I killed Bin Laden." It's not gonna overcome five and a half dollar a gallon gas, or five dollar a gallon gasoline.
Let's go through the stack of other news here, shall we? From the Wall Street Journal. "The job market may be on the mend --" I don't know where they get this news that the economy's recovering. I really don't. Energy prices and food prices are up, the unemployment number is not changing, the gross domestic product was revised downward to 1.8%. I don't know where they get the idea the economy is on the mend. But they say it is.
"The job market may be on the mend, but that’s not much consolation to millions of Americans facing a frightening deadline: the end of their unemployment benefits. The country’s unemployment rolls are shrinking fast, after expanding sharply last year as the government extended benefits to ease the pain of a deep economic slump. As of mid-March, about 8.5 million people were receiving some kind of unemployment payments, down from 11.5 million a year earlier, according to the Labor Department. ... Many Americans, though, are simply running out of time. As of March, about 14 million people were unemployed and looking for work, according to the household survey. At the time the survey was done, about 8.5 million were receiving some kind of unemployment payments, according to the Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration. That leaves about 5.5 million people unemployed without benefits, up 1.4 million from a year earlier."
That 1.4 million change reflects people losing their benefits. So right before your very eyes and not being reported upon in the mainstream -- but here we have it -- millions set to lose unemployment benefits. They're expiring. Will there be an extension? You might say, "Rush, they're gonna extend 'em." Let 'em try. It's not going to be helpful.
John Harwood column, Caucus, New York Times yesterday: "Organizing Now, Democrats Expect Tough Bid in 2012." Go back to last week. I was insistent that all of this conventional wisdom Obama's a shoo-in is nothing but BS. It's an attempt to shape people's thinking. He's not a shoo-in for reelection, he's not now and he wasn't last week. And the New York Times knows it. Mr. Harwood starts his story of this: "Republicans, with justification, shouted 'hypocrisy' last week after former White House aides opened a campaign organization using the sort of anonymous donors condemned by President Obama. But they also understood it as a compliment. That’s because, in another springtime full of political disappointment, Democratic strategists have begun concluding that Mr. Obama faces a tougher-than-anticipated re-election fight." This was in the New York Times yesterday. This story had been in the works. Now, Harwood went on television this morning on Squawk Box on CNBC and basically told everybody to forget his column. Here's what he said.
HARWOOD: I wrote a column, it was in the New York Times today, about the difficulty facing President Obama in his reelection and was quoting a Democratic strategist who said the American people are looking at President Obama and they're still not sure what kind of a leader he is, how effective he is. And that was with reference to the economy. An event of this kind where you had the secrets he maintained, you had the operation go smoothly in a national security area where a lot of people presume the president was inexperienced and might not be as capable, you've gotta say that this is a great assistance to him to be able to answer that question for Americans. People are gonna say, "Wow, he got it done."
RUSH: So Harwood, "Forget it, forget it, he's reelectable now." But he's not. The story stands because every reason given is still valid. There's not one thing about the killing of Osama that changes why people were upset with Obama. Killing Osama is not gonna change one thing about why people are upset with Obama, and I'm telling you there is gonna be an uptick in the polls, get ready for this this week, but it's going to pass. And this story that Harwood wrote for yesterday's New York Times, they understand exactly what they're up against. They're trying to downplay it as much as possible, but they know. And it will remain the case.
Washington Examiner: "This week, the Commerce Department announced that the U.S. economy grew just 1.8% in the first quarter of this year. The same report also found that inflation rose to 3.8%. Meanwhile, the nation’s unemployment rate stands at 8.8% and the Labor Department announced this week that weekly jobless claims increased by 25,000 to 429,000, the highest number since January. Walmart’s CEO told CNN Wednesday the retail giant’s core shoppers are 'running out of money.'" Walmart! Walmart said their core shoppers are running out of money. The slaying of Osama Bin Laden changes none of this. You know, people who are losing their jobs or don't have enough money to shop at Walmart are not going to a year from now say, "Well, I don't really care, you know, because we got Osama." I don't think so.
They probably won't extend unemployment benefits, either. They need that unemployment rate to come down. No president's ever been reelected with an unemployment rate higher than 8%. They need that number to come down, so they may not even extend benefits. They need these slackers to go back to work for at least a year. It's not sweetness and light. It's not all happiness is here again, roses and so forth out there.
"More Democrats Threaten to Vote Against Raising the Borrowing Limit." Washington Post last Thursday. "A growing number of Democrats are threatening to defy the White House over the national debt, joining Republican calls for deficit cuts as a requirement for consenting to lift the country’s borrowing limit. The tension is the latest illustration of how the Tea-Party-infused GOP is driving the debate in Washington over federal spending. ... The push-back has come in recent days from Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a freshman who is running for reelection next year. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) told constituents during the Easter recess that he would not vote to lift the debt limit without a 'real and meaningful commitment to debt reduction.' Even Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), generally a stalwart White House ally, is undecided on the issue and is 'hopeful' that a debt-ceiling bill can be attached to a measure to cut the federal deficit."
So this stuff is all in the pipeline. This news is real. Just like the assassination of Osama is real. But the assassination of Osama is a temporary fleeting, passing moment that is not going to have one substantive change on any of these circumstances that determine the course of people's lives. In fact, what happens if they ramp up security at the airports because of this, what happens if it becomes even more arduous to get on an airplane?