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RUSH: We mentioned at the beginning of the program that the Democrats have surrendered from surrender. They got an Iraq funding bill, but they agreed to pull out any timetable for troop withdrawal. It is not sitting well out there with their kook fringe that is also their base. It’s a total sellout. I read to you a post on Democrat Underground where the kooks out there actually think that this is a Rove-Bush plot to throw the November elections. (Laughing.) I can’t do this with a straight face. Bush-Rove decided to throw the congressional elections and put the Democrats in power knowing full well the Democrats wouldn’t withdraw the troops and make ’em look bad with their own people. Anyway, the Breck Girl was on the Today show today with Matt Lauer, and Matt Lauer said, ‘Let’s talk about this deal that was struck in Congress, the supplemental funding bill, 18 benchmarks the Iraqis have to hit but the headline here is ‘No deadline for US troops.’ Why did the Democrats cave in?’

EDWARDS: The Democrats should be standing their ground. I mean, the American people said very clearly in the last election that they wanted to see a different course in Iraq. They sent a mandate by putting the Democrats in charge of the Congress and it’s very clear that George Bush has no intention to compromise. And what the Democrats need to do is be strong, stand their ground, and —

LAUER: Why did they cave in?

EDWARDS: Well, I don’t know. I think what they — what the American people wanted them to do was stand their ground, force this president to start withdrawing troops from Iraq.

RUSH: Really, Breck Girl? Where were all the American people protests? Where were the letters to Congress, where were the e-mails, where were the phones? The phones are being flooded on this immigration bill, Breck Girl, they’re not being flooded on getting out of Iraq. This big myth is that the election of ’06 was about getting out of Iraq. Hell, if it were, the Democrats wouldn’t have to be spending pork to buy the votes that they did get on their first bill that had no chance of being signed, the one President Bush promised to veto. It’s just another myth. They believe it. They’ve fallen into the trap of believing that they had a mandate in last year’s election. They didn’t run on anything except Bush sucks, and Bush should be hated, and Bush is an idiot, America is hated around the world because of Bush. They didn’t run anything. Now they’re claiming a mandate that doesn’t exist. Next question for the Breck Girl from Matt Lauer. ‘There seems to be a bit of a growing PR problem in your campaign, and it’s this idea of two Americas, the haves and the have-nots, and a candidate who is clearly a have who has multimillion-dollar residences; worked as an advisor to a hedge fund; received about a half million dollars in payments; 55 grand from a public university for sharing ideas on poverty; the haircut we’ve all heard about. How, Senator Edwards, are you going to change this perception that you aren’t just a rich guy talking about poverty?’

EDWARDS: Matt, I am a have. There’s no doubt about that. I mean, it’s not where I came from. I came from being a have a-not but I have been lucky in my life and I’m a have now. And if you look at what I spent my life doing, just since the last election, I mean I’ve helped raise the minimum wage in six states, helped organize workers into unions all over this country, started a college program for kids who otherwise couldn’t go to college. I’ve been all over the world doing humanitarian work —

LAUER: So you can relate?

EDWARDS: I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.

RUSH: Okay. The San Francisco Chronicle has another story on this today and they chronicle all of these things that Matt Lauer threw up there at the Breck Girl. What he has to focus on for him is winning Iowa. If he doesn’t come out of Iowa winning it or being very strong, deep, deep doo-doo.

A Baltimore Sun story: ‘Americans will be choosing change in 2008, if a group of Maryland voters are any indication. Whether the next president will be a Democrat is another question, though. Sen. Barack Obama drew the most positive responses…’ Oh! Barack Obama’s wife Michelle has quit that company. She’s quit the board of that company that sells food to Wal-Mart, buckling to pressure. She got out of there, she hightailed it, folks, no longer going to sit on the board. It’s pickles and beets or some such thing that they make and they sell to Wal-Mart, the pickle company she’s quit. She’s resigned. They’re not going to have any phony baloney, plastic banana, good-time rock ‘n’ roller stuff in the Obama household. They’re not going to allow themselves to be Edwardsed, in other words.

Anyway, ‘Sen. Barack Obama drew the most positive responses, while Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton came in for rough treatment, during the first in a national series of focus-group discussions sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania’s non-partisan Annenberg Public Policy Center.’ Who would that be? Kathleen Jamieson is her name, she’s there. But when the voters were asked who would be the safest choice to lead the country, nearly all the people in the focus group, including Democrats and independents, picked Republicans. Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, or Mitt Romney. Only two people in the focus group chose Democrats, Obama and the Breck Girl. Nobody mentioned Clinton. Can you say, ouch? When asked who would be the safest choice, a bunch of Democrats, to lead America, focus group of all party affiliations picked the GOP candidate. There were five Democrats, four Republicans, and three independents in this group. It’s anecdotal. They try to get a cross-section of people in this focus group to be somewhat representative, but you have to take it for what it is. When you’ve got that many Democrats in the focus group, and they’re naming Republicans when it comes to being safe, you know what this means to me. I have told you people, the Democrats are slitting their throats. I don’t know if it’s going to be in ’08, but they are preparing, they’re sowing the seeds for a massive landslide defeat. You cannot actively, eagerly appear to want your country to lose, and they’ve been out there saying we have lost. Dingy Harry’s said as much. You can’t constantly rip the troops, and you can’t constantly talk about taking money away from them and pulling them out of there. The American people do not want to lose. They don’t want America to lose, they don’t want the troops to be underfunded, and the Democrats think just the opposite. They think their mandate from the ’06 election is just that, and they’re blowing it big time.

Here’s the story about Michelle Obama. She has resigned from the board of that pickle food supplier for Wal-Mart stores, been a target of criticism there for Obama, because Obama’s been out there ripping Wal-Mart. The news leaked that his wife worked on the board of a company that sold pickles to Wal-Mart. ‘Michelle Obama cited the increased demands of his campaign for –‘ oh, what was that babe’s name at Salon, Debra Dickerson? She’s going to be fulminating all over again. She’s already upset that Michelle Obama quit the hospital gig to become official hostess and wife and basically a subordinate for his presidential campaign. Now she gives up the position on the board of the pickle company because of the demands of his campaign.

So her husband’s demands have led her to give up board work, which is pretty cushy. You show up anywhere from two to four times a year, your expenses getting to and from it are paid, and the pay can be anywhere from 45,000 to a hundred grand, depending on the company and the board. I think it was 53,000 that she was making on the board. So she was making 217,000 or 230,000 at the pickle company, you add the 53,000, well, 260 grand now not coming into the Obama household. Well, maybe not — she maybe hasn’t lost all that 200 grand plus from the pickle company because she’s still a consultant there. Her position on the board of the pickle company had raised questions because Obama, her husband, had praised the union-led effort to change working conditions at Wal-Mart, which again begs the question. If we can have all kinds of unskilled, uneducated and cheap labor in agriculture and other businesses where it’s the illegal aliens doing it, then what’s wrong with nonunionized work at Wal-Mart? Just another illustration of the political nature of this so-called immigration business. TreeHouse Foods is the name of the pickle company, and they said in a Security and Exchange Commission filing that the resignation of Michelle Obama from the position she has held since 2005 was not due to any disagreement with the company. Yeah, $51,200 in fees from the company last year now missing from the Obama household, bank accounts, dinner table, what have you.

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