RUSH: You know, Jonathan, I really appreciate the seriousness of your question and I appreciate the sophistication of it. I really, really do. I don’t think it matters, to be honest with you, I think what is animating the Democrat vote is George Bush and the absolute outrageous hatred and contempt that at least the Democrat base seems to have. And I went through the usual show prep routines today, and we’ve got quotes from people who have been interviewed by various wire services. And they all say, “Well, I actually wish Edwards would have been the nominee, but it doesn’t matter to me because really what matters is we’ve got to get rid of Bush.” And I think really the politics of this are what I just said, I think the Kerry people know they’re in trouble. The fact that he’s really gone out — and you just said it in your own way — the fact that he’s picked a candidate who by just showing up is going to upstage him if they appear side by side. Kerry is going to be upstaged. He’s going to be up staged anyway. This guy has got a personality, he’s got energy and he’s got something to say, and he can deliver it in a political stem-winding sort of way in which Kerry can’t. He’s going to have the ability to connect with people. This is going to upstage the nominee. I don’t see how that works.
CALLER: Well, do you think that this was the best choice he could make? In other words, I’m just curious as to whether or not you would think that there was someone else who would have been a better choice if the goal is to beat Bush, which is obviously the goal for Kerry.
RUSH: Well, you know, I’m not trying to evade this. Two answers. One, I haven’t thought about it. I have not been caught up in who his veep is going to be because I really don’t think it matters, because I think they’re going to lose no matter who they pick. I think this team is doomed to Laos lose for a host of reasons. I just can’t believe that when we get down to November the electorate is going to elect people who have campaigned this way. You know, out in California, over the weekend, Kerry was in San Francisco, not over the weekend but the last week or two weeks ago, he was out over the weekend and the vice mayor, assistant mayor of San Francisco, this is almost a Howard Dean-like-moment stood up and said not only is this the man that’s going to replace George Bush, this is the man who’s going to charge George Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, and John Ashcroft. Charge them, as criminals. And the crowd cheered, and Kerry sat there and smiled. And they said later, yeah, the Kerry camp approves everything that’s said.
Now, he’s not saying it himself, but he’s letting this stuff be said. This is irrational stuff. I don’t believe that the American people are going to actually elect this kind of campaign, people from this kind of campaign to run the country given the terror threat that we face and the lack of real policy on it that these two guys can enunciate. But beyond that, the other thing, I don’t think any vice president really matters much, has the potential to harm more than help, because it is the guy at the top of the ticket that gets the vote.
CALLER: I agree. I think that in the long run that is proved to be true but, anyway, you know you drive me nuts a lot of times but I like listen to you every once in a while.
RUSH: Is there somebody you prefer? Let me ask you, I mean you’re the Democrat, is there somebody you prefer besides Edwards? Would Gephardt —
CALLER: Well, yeah, and of course I think I’m probably (unintelligible) because I was supporting him in the primary. I think Edwards, that was the choice I was hoping for, so, you know, I’m looking forward to that decision to see how that plays out and I think there’s a lot of good qualities that Edwards has, and the biggest reason why I think I like Edwards as his choice is because, you know, Kerry has some shortcomings, and particularly when it comes to communications or whatnot, and if he is sort of secure enough in himself as you said to not be threatened by Edwards and they’re together because I think you’re right. Edwards will upstage him. I think that could be a positive. And I think that’s why I am excited about it.
RUSH: You know, I heard Judy Woodruff say that this morning on CNN. She said that this is a testament to Kerry’s — I forget how you just put it. He’s comfortable enough, secure enough with himself to choose somebody that’s going to be a bigger draw. I don’t think that’s what drew — I don’t think this is a testament to Kerry at all. I think it’s a testament to how bad they’re doing and how disappointed they are in where they think they ought to be. I think this is a poll-driven pick. But you said something I wanted to respond, to and I forget it, it was right — well, it will come to me at some point. Wish I could think of this because it was a fundamental point. Gephardt, trying to remind myself what I was going to say to you, other potential vice presidential choice — yep. It’ll come to me. Keep your radio on out there, John, I don’t want to tie you up anymore because hearing me think aloud is not exciting. And I generally do that best in solitude and quiet, and when I think of what it was I was going to say I’ll get back to you on it.
One other thing about this choice that is… not troubling, well, there’s a little bit of me that’s troubled. I look at Edwards, and you know what I see? I see an almost, within certain limits, I see Dan Quayle being chosen in 1988. Except I think Quayle had far more qualifications and far more experience than Edwards has. Edwards has been in the Senate less than six years. He didn’t do well enough there to even get reelected in his own state. He went to the Senate for the express purpose of running for the presidency, he used that as a platform, and John Kerry is not crazy about that. I mentioned this to you last week, and I have this on good authority. Kerry is one of these guys who believes you put in your time, you pay your dues, you get experience and you build up your r?sum?. He looks at Edwards as a guy who hasn’t paid enough of his dues, he hasn’t put in enough time, he hasn’t had enough experience.
Now, all of that’s been cast aside. Now here you’ve got a guy, undoubtedly the choice of Edwards is aimed at women, too. He’s supposedly a young, vivaciously, good-looking, you know, boyishly looking guy that’s supposedly going to be attractive to women voters. Once again, it’s the Democrats appealing to women on the basis of surface things. And yet when Quayle was announced, oh, the press just savaged this guy and made mincemeat of him, he was a mental lightweight and this and that.
Well, here comes John Edwards, who has less experience than Quayle, has offered less serious legislation as a senator than Quayle did. I think what Quayle was done in by was his exuberance and his excitement in New Orleans at the convention when he was announced. He just was over the top there with his excitement. People thought he was acting a little young and immature, but he’s got far more on the ball than Edwards does and yet that comparison is not being drawn by anybody yet that I’ve heard.
RUSH: Two things. I want to mention two things. The previous caller asked me if I thought there was anybody better than Edwards, and I said I don’t think it matters. And let’s take that a little further. Because there might have been somebody that would balance this ticket a little better and actually give it some strength where it is weak. That is, if you believe the idea that the vice presidency is worth a significant number of votes. And that would have been Lieberman. Now, Lieberman was not going to be chosen because he’s a “loser” having lost with Gore. But Lieberman, and he was one of the first guys voted out of the Democratic primaries precisely because he’s out of touch with his own party. He’s for the war in Iraq, he’s for the war on terror, he is for fixing some of the depravity in the culture, he is for certain economic programs of the Bush administration. But that would balance the ticket, if that’s what you’re trying to do, which a lot of people say the vice presidency does.
The second point is this. You have these key states out there, and people say, “Well, the vice president, the main purpose of vice president is to deliver his state to the ticket.” And the last time that really can be said to have happened was when John F. Kennedy chose LBJ which got them Texas. After that, you know, Nixon chose Agnew, Maryland, yip yip, you can go on down the list, George Bush 41 chosen by Reagan not for a state but to bring the moderate wing of the Republican party, the blue-blood country club crowd back into the fold because they hated Reagan, because they didn’t like conservatism back then, and they resented that Reagan had won. So that was a peace offering. If you look, there are some key states here that Kerry needs. He needs Indiana. Well, I mean they very seldom win Indiana, but Evan Bayh was being mentioned as a possible because he can deliver Indiana. Florida is huge! Is there nobody in Florida that Kerry could pick that would deliver that state? Apparently not. Because I’m telling you if there were, he’d have picked them.
So it’s obviously Bob Graham didn’t poll well and Bill Nelson the senator down there didn’t poll well. Beyond that there was nobody to choose there. Pennsylvania, is there nobody in Pennsylvania that he could have chosen to get on the ticket that would deliver that state? No. Or Missouri, Gephardt. Yeah, Gephardt and Missouri. Well, outside of St. Louis, it’s Dick who? You know, Gephardt is not that popular in Missouri outside of his little district in St. Louis. You go to Ohio, is there nobody in Ohio that he could have chosen? Kucinich, yeah, that’s about the biggest name that he could have chosen. So he ends up here with Edwards who is not going to deliver the south, because he couldn’t even win the south in his primaries. Kerry has written off the south. And I just want to tell you, folks, for all this talk of the vice presidency today, can I tell you what this election is going to come back, when all this excitement wears off and all this hubbub about the choice has been made, and it’s going to go on all week, by the way, the media is going to be salivating over this all week and talking about how it makes a difference.
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