RUSH: I got a note last night from a friend. The friend had just read an LA Times story. The LA Times story was about Barack Obama. The writer of the story, and many of the people interviewed in the story, were having a tough time understanding why Barack’s doing horrible in the polls, but is such a superstar raising money and appears to be such a superstar in person. So this person asked him, ‘What’s your take on this, because I know you are the expert on this and you can explain this.’ This is really simple. By the way, we have a big Democrat debate tonight, folks, and Joe Biden is out there saying, ‘You know what, I’m sick and tired of this campaign being about money.’ Of course you are when you don’t have any. When you don’t have any, you have to make it about something else. Anyway, I wrote back and I said, ‘Barack Obama,’ who, by the way, the latest quest for the Drive-Bys, ‘Will Obama take off the gloves? Will Obama try to gain ground by decking Mrs. Clinton tonight at the Democrat debate on PMSNBC?’ They’re all obsessed with it, every one of them, I don’t care where you go, whatever network, ‘Will Obama take off the gloves?’ Too late to take off the gloves. It doesn’t appear that he’s got the oomph to do it anyway because he’s all tied up in having this new tone, this new way, this getting rid of all this negative partisanship, so to go negative and partisan would be a problem.
Anyway, here’s how to explain why Barack Obama is nowhere in the polls, raising a lot of money, and apparently is a rock star on stage. I’m not sure that that’s true, but that’s the image. It really boils down to something very simple: all hype and no substance. If you look, Barack Obama’s actually said a bunch of stupid things, like he would invade Pakistan, whether they asked us to or not, to go get Bin Laden. He’d meet with the world’s tyrants in the Oval Office to find out why they hate us. Barack Obama is a classic illustration of something. The media have made Obama who he is. Remember all those incessant, never-ending puff pieces, TIME Magazine, Washington Post, New York Times, six, seven months ago? That was done to create an obstacle for Mrs. Clinton. She’s the inevitable candidate. So they had to put somebody out there and then build ’em way up to make it look like Mrs. Clinton could win a fight, that she could overcome some obstacle rather than just sail through as the inevitable candidate. We were all sitting here, said, ‘What the hell is this about?’ He’s been in the Senate less than two years. He’s written two memoirs. He’s not old enough to have written one. What’s the reason for this? This is pure media ‘puff piecery’. It was pure hype, no substance whatsoever. All buzz.
There’s a lesson here, folks. Barack Obama needs to be very careful, because when the media make you, they can destroy you. When you are the result of media buzz, and not substance, and not achievement, and not accomplishment, and yet the media is building you up to be something larger than you’ve achieved on your own, they can destroy you, too — and he’d better be careful. It’s the same thing with Jon Stewart and this Colbert guy. These guys have audiences of maybe a million people each and yet they have all this buzz, they’re huge. If the media ever turns on either of these guys, they’re finished. Why do you think Imus was able to be taken out? Imus was able to be taken out because for the last ten years he really didn’t have any ratings to speak of. He was the product of media buzz because all of his media buddies were guests. There was a lot of bzz bzz bzz talk. When the media turned on Imus and his liberal buddies went for the tall grass, what was there to save him? It’s like live by the sword, die by the sword. Live by the buzz, die by the buzz.
This is the risk that Obama is running into. It’s why the media has not been able to destroy Clarence Thomas. It is why they have not been able to destroy a lot of people, like me, that they haven’t made. All that having been said, though, not one vote has been cast here, and I remember this time in 2003 the Hillary Clinton of that period was Howard Dean. Remember that? John Kerry, the haughty John Kerry, was borrowing money from his wife to stay in the campaign. Now, the difference is, Dean didn’t have a war room that destroys enemies and anyone who gets in their way like the Clintons do. There are some similarities. But the point is that not one vote’s been cast yet. Hillary’s negatives are pretty high.
RUSH: Here’s a story from Jim Geraghty. Actually, it’s got a long thread to it, but it’s from the Townhall.com blog, and it’s about the pollster Scott Rasmussen. He just shared this fascinating observation in an interview: ‘When you average the head-to-head matchups with Hillary Clinton versus any of the Republicans, she is always getting 46 to 49% against any of them,’ including Ron Paul! In a head-to-head matchup against Ron Paul, Mrs. Clinton gets 46 to 49%. ‘When we polled her against Ron Paul, she got 48% of the vote. When we polled on Ron Paul among people who knew Ron Paul is, she got 48% of the vote. Paul got 38% of the vote against her.’ Now, you might interpret this two ways. One is she needs a third-party candidate out there. But here’s the other way to look at this. All of these articles… Here, before I get to the analysis, let me set it up with one more thing. The election of 2004, where, after Kerry won the nomination, for more than 60 days Kerry and Bush remained quite close to each other — and the Swift Boat thing started and Bush started to pull away.
Now, the thrust of the articles here is that Hillary gets a set percentage no matter who her Republican opponent is, anywhere from 46 to 49%. Now, those are the numbers — the way I look at this, 46 to 49% against any Republican — are the numbers of an unpopular incumbent headed for defeat. She is viewed already as the status quo choice. People know her. They’ve already made up their mind on her. Now, of course, the election isn’t next week, and a lot of things can change, but these numbers are not promising for her, and this is something that… You know, when you got 46 to 49% negatives to go along with, you only get 46 to 49% of the vote against any of the Republicans in the field, the point is she can’t say she’s ‘an agent of change.’ Everybody knows who she is. She’s the status quo. It’s almost like she’s an incumbent, because she’s portrayed herself that way as well as the Drive-By Medias have done the same. Now, here’s a story from The Caucus blog. ‘Democrat Target in Tuesday’s Debate.’ This is all about Hillary being the target, and, ‘Unless Barack Obama finally gets tough with the Hilamonster as he has been promising…’ But he won’t. He’s just auditioning for veep. I’ve got some questions that ought to be asked for the Democrats tonight, but will never be asked. We’ve got Tim Russert and Brian Williams doing the moderating on the big debate tonight.
But these are reasonable questions that could be asked, but never will be…
‘Candidate X, Mrs. Clinton, what is your plan to blame George Bush for everything during your four years in office?
‘Senator Edwards, what will you do when Republicans do what Democrats did, go overseas and criticize everything you do, say, or plan to do?’
‘Senator Obama, the tax rate cuts actually increased tax revenues. What did you learn from this?’
‘Mrs. Clinton, when you are president, what will you do to reduce presidential power, as you have promised?’
And then to Senator Biden: ‘Senator Biden, if you’re elected president, how will you cope with Jimmy Carter out there?’
There’s any number of other questions. ‘Rudy Giuliani says that two of the Democrat candidates will change their minds again about the Iraq war and agree that it was the right decision. ‘Victory will do that to you,’ and victory is within our grasp over there. This was at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire. He said, ‘I think a Democrat’s going to change their minds about it again, because victory will do that to you. If you turn around and this thing becomes inalterably successful, there will be a couple of Democrats –as presidential candidates, not as senators — who will all of a sudden turn around and change their minds and say it’s a good thing to do.