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RUSH: Bruce, Fort Wayne, Indiana, you’re next, it’s Open Line Friday on Thursday here. Great to have you with us.

CALLER: Hello, Rush. Mega dittos.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: The last month I’ve noticed you spouting this 80% statistic about Hillary winning the election, and I’ve been listening since ’01. I’ve been kind of a post-September 11th listener, and you kept on saying she wasn’t the smartest woman in the room; the American people would see right through her; that she wasn’t a very appetizing individual, and she had high negatives. How is this product now 80% based entirely on the lack of Republican leadership, or what changed you from you all those comments to now?

RUSH: Well, at the time I made the statement — let me get the statement correct. At the time I made the statement, at that moment in time I said there’s an 80% chance that she’s going to be the next president, and it was based on the fact that there wasn’t a whole lot of excitement in the Republican field, there was more excitement for people that were not in the race. Calculations also of the power of Clinton, Inc. —

CALLER: Yes.

RUSH: — to take out opponents and so forth, the Democrat Party’s sense of inevitability with her, the November elections, we lost the Congress.

CALLER: Yes.

RUSH: What are we doing that looks like it’s going to be won back? Plus you have a historical thing. It’s rare for a party to hold the White House for three consecutive terms. Bush 41 did it after two terms of Reagan but you have to go pretty far back to find out where that’s happened and we’re not coming off a popular Republican presidency particularly among his own party right now. Now, there are so many variables in this. I’ll tell you one thing the Clinton camp probably did not expect. There’s a USA Today/Gallup poll, and Barack Obama is one point ahead of her, it’s 30 to 29. This is the last thing they expected to happen. Now, it’s a statistical tie. But his fundraising is on par with hers, and maybe even exceeding hers in certain categories. Now, I don’t think they ever thought that somebody, particularly somebody that only has been in this game for two years, would come out of the woodwork and so excite people as Barack Obama.

I think they’re going to have to start spending some of their war chest money on television ads and they’re going to have to get in gear here a little sooner, because even though the public image of the Clintons is they didn’t like this notion of inevitability because they wanted to be able to show that Hillary could overcome a challenge and can win a fight in the political arena, they did secretly rely on this inevitability, that she’s it, the smartest woman in the world, Bill Clinton’s wife, she’s owed this, she has put up with so much, and she’s done so much, and she has sacrificed so much. They were relying on that. Obama’s thrown a little monkey wrench here by getting a little bigger and more powerful than they thought. But at the end of the day, I don’t think the Clintons are going to have any trouble dealing with a guy who has only been in his foxhole for a couple months, and he’s really not even been in it that long. He’s been a senator for two months. But in terms of being in a campaign like this — and it really hasn’t ratcheted up yet. The thing about Obama that frightens ’em is that the black vote, they need that, both in the primary and the general. If Obama gets in the way there, that could be a problem. But I haven’t seen anything yet to change this prediction of mine or this assessment that there’s an 80% chance as we sit here today that she’s going to be elected. If that changes, I mean I will be the first to tell you. If I think it’s dropped to 75%, when I think it’s dropped to 75 or 70 I’ll tell you. But right now, I am not ready to change my assessment of the situation.

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