RUSH: Listen to this headline. ‘Clinton a Drag? Dems Fear Her Negatives.’ This is Ron Fournier in the Associated Press yesterday. ‘Looking past the presidential nomination fight, Democratic leaders quietly fret that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton at the top of their 2008 ticket could hurt candidates at the bottom. They say the former first lady may be too polarizing for much of the country. She could jeopardize the party’s standing with independent voters and give Republicans who otherwise might stay home on Election Day a reason to vote, they worry.’ Now, wait a second. I have been saying this for I don’t know how long. I think Mrs. Clinton’s going to redefine negative turnout. But I thought I just heard George Stephanopoulos in audio sound bite seven say that it’s the White House view that Hillary Clinton has lots of negatives and that Hillary Clinton is going to give Republicans a chance to keep the White House, win the House of Representatives back. Stephanopoulos, the brilliant analyst for ABC who came from the Clinton White House, was all over Good Morning America today saying this. Yet here’s Ron Fournier in the AP yesterday saying it’s the Democrats.
‘In more than 40 interviews, Democratic candidates, consultants and party chairs from every region pointed to internal polls that give Clinton strikingly high unfavorable ratings in places with key congressional and state races.’ We’re talking here about the likability factor and the lack of it. ”I’m not sure it would be fatal in Indiana, but she would be a drag’ on many candidates, said Democratic state Rep. Dave Crooks of Washington, Ind. Unlike Crooks, most Democratic leaders agreed to talk frankly about Clinton’s political coattails only if they remained anonymous, fearing reprisals from the New York senator’s campaign.’ Well, they’ve heard about the testicle lockbox on the Democrat side of things, too. ‘They all expressed admiration for Clinton, and some said they would publicly support her fierce fight for the nomination – despite privately held fears.’ Well, this is simple to figure out. They fear reprisals. That fear will trump every thing, ‘Yeah, we’re going to work for her.’ Fear reprisals if they don’t. This is Clinton, Inc. and the Democrats know as well as anybody the power and the reach of Clinton, Inc.
‘The chairman of a Midwest state party called Clinton a nightmare for congressional and state legislative candidates. A Democratic congressman from the West, locked in a close re-election fight, said Clinton is the Democratic candidate most likely to cost him his seat.’ Now, what do you think is going on here? What in the world, why run this story on Sunday? Well, any time. What is the point of this story? This is AP, folks, this is the Drive-By Media. I’ll tell you what I think it is. I think Clinton, Inc., has heard about all this, and I think Clinton, Inc., is behind getting this story out as sort of a warning to these guys. ‘You go ahead and think I might hurt you, you go ahead, but you better be there supporting me in the end or else. Just like poison ivy is going to skyrocket with all the carbon dioxide in the air, if we don’t fix it, you might be joining the carbon dioxide in the air.’ You have a different theory, Mr. Snerdley? Yeah. It’s a very puzzling thing, but the thing that is true… I need to start a new list of Undeniable Truths of Life. Number one on the new list would be nothing that happens with the Clintons is a coincidence. This story is not a coincidence. I’d have to think about this awhile. I sort of reject the idea that the Drive-Bys are turning on Mrs. Clinton, fearing that she can’t win. That’s not what the story is about. They think she can win but she’s going to hurt the rest of the party on down the ticket.
‘A strategist with close ties to leaders in Congress said Democratic Senate candidates in competitive races would be strongly urged to distance themselves from Clinton. ‘The argument with Hillary right now in some of these red states is she’s so damn unpopular,’ said Andy Arnold, chairman of the Greenville, S.C., Democratic Party. ‘I think Hillary is someone who could drive folks on the other side out to vote who otherwise wouldn’t.” Yes, called negative turnout.
”Republicans are upset with their candidates,’ Arnold added, ‘but she will make up for that by essentially scaring folks to the polls.” Now, they went and talked to Mark Penn, the pollster and strategerist for Hillary. He said, ‘All the negatives on her are out. There is a phenomena with Hillary, because she is the front-runner and because she’s been battling Republicans for so long, her unfavorability (rating) looks higher than what they will eventually be after the nomination and through the general election,’ but get this, what Fournier, the writer, adds after that. ‘What the Clinton campaign doesn’t say is that her edge over potential Republican candidates is much smaller than it should be, given the wide lead the Democratic Party holds over the GOP in generic polling.’
Now, something is happening out here, folks. This is just the tail end of the story on Democrats today. I’ve got all these stories in the stack. I’m going to have to figure this out and try to get to the bottom of what this is all about. Obviously if the poll numbers they have is true — this generic ballot thing, though, is worthless. These wonks rely on the generic ballot, but you start attaching names to the generic ballot and the whole generic ballot thing, the result of that poll, go out the window. For those of you in Rio Linda, a generic ballot is the Drive-Bys calling you up and saying, ‘You prefer a Democrat or Republican in the White House next year?’ And the generic polls show Hillary not nearly as — well, generic polls show that the Democrat Party just far and away, but when you attach her name to it, it plummets. So they’re obviously concerned about this, because these are the kind of people that live and die on the basis of polls.