RUSH: Anne E. Kornblut and Jon Cohen, Washington Post: ‘For Democrats, Iowa Still up for Grabs.’ This is their take on the ABC poll that shows Hillary at 30 and Obama at 26 and the Breck Girl down there at 22%. The pull quote paragraph here: ‘She appears more vulnerable on questions of character. Thirty-one percent found Obama to be the most honest and trustworthy, about double the percentage who said the same of Clinton.’ As I said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Clinton campaign calls whoever polls for ABC, ‘It’s a personal attack! To put a poll question in there about who’s honest and who has integrity, that’s a personal attack,’ and then warn the ABC pollster against doing this kind of thing in future polls. ‘While about three-quarters credited both Obama and Edwards with speaking their mind on issues, only 50 percent said Clinton is willing enough to say what she really thinks. Forty-five percent said she is not sufficiently candid.’ Folks, this is not good for her. This is the kind of stuff that she had hoped to avoid. She’s in a tough race now. This is a fight. They weren’t expecting this, and these numbers are pretty high. Basically, she’s not authentic; she’s not opening up; she’s not being honest. In fact, audio sound bite No. 5, because it kind of buttresses this. Listen to Tim Russert talk to Matt Lauer about that today on the Today show.
RUSSERT: Matt, what is interesting, the trend lines are definitely towards Obama. But when you push people and say, are you most likely to attend the caucus, the lead is even closer. It’s about two points. But what’s in here, Matt, is what they tell us about the candidates. We asked them, who has the most experience? And overwhelmingly people say Hillary Clinton — look at those numbers — by a margin of three-to-one. And yet who do you trust? Look at this, Matt. By a margin of two-to-one, they say Barack Obama.
RUSH: Yeah, see, so who do you trust? That’s that old question that’s a personal attack. It’s Russert making the point, the author of the original personal attack: ‘Mrs. Clinton, what about driver’s licenses for illegals?’ ‘I’m going to get your testicles, Tim, and put ’em in a lockbox. You’re not supposed to ask these kinds of questions.’ This is a fascinating piece, too. Nicholas Wapshott at the New York Sun: ‘What do these three Americans have in common? John Deutch, the CIA director between May 1995 and December 1996, faced criminal charges for storing state secrets on his home computer. David Herdlinger, a former Arkansas prosecutor and judge, pleaded guilty to mail fraud in 1986, having accepted bribes to waive charges against those accused of drunk driving. Alfredo Luna Pharr Regalado failed to mention to a Customs official that he was smuggling into America more than the $10,000 permitted. If your answer is, ‘They are all free as a bird, having been given a last-minute pardon by President Clinton,’ you are right, though that is not the answer the examiners are looking for.
‘The correct answer is that all three, who were indeed pardoned at the last minute by Mr. Clinton, have made recent financial contributions to the presidential campaign coffers of Senator Clinton. … The news that Mrs. Clinton has accepted money from three criminals who were pardoned by Mr. Clinton in highly contentious circumstances — or, more accurately, two criminals and Mr. Deutch, who was on the point of being charged by the Justice Department when he was let off the hook — is sure to prove hugely embarrassing to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. … As Mr. Clinton argued in a spirited defense of his actions in the New York Times just a month after he left office, presidents are free to pardon whom they wish. ‘There is only one prohibition: There can be no quid pro quo. And there certainly was not in this or any of the other pardons and commutations I granted,’ he wrote.’ And with the Clintons, that might have been true at the time. But now these three, who have been pardoned, have been donating, they have been seen donating to the Clinton campaign.
In Florida, Rudy Giuliani campaigning at NASCAR — shown in a picture there in Florida — is the most popular presidential candidate in Florida. Fifty percent of voters are willing to consider voting for him. This is a Mason-Dixon poll. In a potential matchup with Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton, Giuliani wins 50-43. Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney also beat Hillary in Florida, although their wins are within the margin of error plus or minus four percentage points. Hillary Clinton, the only candidate in Florida polling, Democrat or Republican, with higher unfavorable than favorable rating. This is everywhere. This is what we talk about with the polarization factor. Karl Rove raised that on this very program. The high negatives that she has are not the stuff that presidential candidates win on. That’s way too divisive. So all these polls today from Iowa and Florida, bad news for Hillary. My guess is they have known about these polls for a while. The Clintons are a couple steps ahead because their internal polling showed them these results, and so probably days before the CNN debate, the Clinton camp knew how bad the bleeding was and thus we saw Wolf Blitzer threatened, we saw Obama threatened with that little leak to Robert Novak.
Now, the Clintons are several moves ahead because they have better information than the Drive-By Media does. But I would bet that the level of panic inside Hillary’s war room last week must have sent the campaign on DEFCON 1, maybe to DEFCON 2. The orchestration with CNN, and there can be no doubt that there was orchestration with CNN, is rather remarkable, and the down-and-dirty gutter politics that shoveled up to Novak shows there’s considerable fear inside whatever one believes to be the unflappable Clinton campaign. See, I’m telling you, they’re in a fight. This was not intended. This was not anticipated. It isn’t unflappable. This is interesting. Her Nixonian and her Clintonian dirty politics for the first time may be rebounding right back at her right into her face. This is the first campaign that she’s run where the rules have changed, i.e., the Era of Limbaugh. She doesn’t get a monopolistic blank slate. She can have CNN in the tank for her, and she can have some of the other Drive-Bys in the tank for her, but that’s not enough to get it done. In other words, the sunshine, ladies and gentlemen, shining on the Clinton campaign has never been as bright as it is now.
Hillary may not have calculated the sanitizing effect of the Era of Limbaugh. Actually I think she has and is in full anti-Era of Limbaugh mode. Remember her talking about all the mudslinging at the debate, against her? Scripted. That was a plan. Just like the gender card. The only mud out there comes from her campaign. That’s what I mean. The mud is being slung by her and is now coming back and hitting her. A little bit of a distraction because she knows all the mud she had in her purse and accused her opponents of what she was about to unload. That’s the level of deceit at play here. Fix was in at CNN, she knew Obama would be threatened soon after, and just to tie it all up in a pretty bow, she accuses fellow Democrats of throwing mud at her now when she and her campaign are the ones that are most likely behind it.
RUSH: Let’s go Drums, Pennsylvania. Janet, I’m glad you waited. Welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. Your energy is unstoppable. Thank God.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I’m hoping you can put my mind at ease, actually. I’m just scared to death that we have convinced the powers that be that Hillary does not deserve the nomination, and I’m afraid they’re going to pull a fast one and bring in Algore, and then what do we do?
RUSH: I don’t think Algore has the slightest interest.
CALLER: Yeah, well, I think that’s part of the game plan. I think he’s lurking in the background, and, of course, he doesn’t have any interest —
RUSH: Let me tell you something.
CALLER: — we need him. He’ll come in and he’ll save the day.
RUSH: Let me tell you something. Got a story yesterday, didn’t get to it. It’s in yesterday’s stack — by the way, does my voice sound tired to you?
CALLER: No, it does not.
RUSH: Good, good.
CALLER: Your energy is unstoppable.
RUSH: I appreciate that. Thank you for noticing. We’ve got Algore. It’s a story on his business future, his plans involving the global warming movement, and this story makes it abundantly clear that, like everything — almost in all cases — if you want to get the answer to why something’s happening, follow the money. Algore stands to get filthy wealthy setting up some of these companies to deal with global warming and carbon dioxide, and it’s all a scam. It’s all oriented toward making money for people who invest in these schemes and so forth, and I don’t know. I think Gore is sitting pretty, in his mind. He won the Nobel Peace Prize. Bill Clinton hasn’t.
CALLER: But that’s something — you don’t think he’ll come in and save the day and be president of the United States?
RUSH: Ah, look, anything’s possible, but I don’t see it. I could be dead wrong. Look —
CALLER: I’m just scared, because she’s even bad in the polls now, and how could anyone nominate her, you know what I mean? Even the Democrats, how can they nominate her?
RUSH: Not so fast. Not so fast. This is Clinton, Inc., we’re talking about.
RUSH: Look, Hillary just… I printed this out right as the break was ending. The headline is: ‘Obama: I Tried Drugs as a Teen — Presidential hopeful Barack Obama on Tuesday told high school students that when he was their age he was hardly a model student, experimenting with illegal drugs and’ adult beverages. ‘Obama stopped by a study hall at Manchester Central High School and answered students’ questions about the war in Iraq and his education plan. But when an adult asked about his time as a student, Obama spoke bluntly. ‘I will confess to you that I was kind of a goof-off in high school as my mom reminded me,’ said Obama…’ Now, you know Novak. Novak has this story over the weekend that the Clinton campaign has this scandalous note on Obama, but that they’re not going to release it. Well, by letting Novak have it, somebody just released it, although nobody knows what. Now, a few short days later, Obama admits using illegal drugs and sipping adult beverages while a high school goof-off. Now, people like me who read the stitches on a fastball put two and two together wonder if this is not a preemptive, in case the scandal aside him happens to leak or be leaked or what have you. But it’s still way early. But about Algore, look. Algore had a desire, when he left the White House in 2000. That was to become president. It didn’t happen, and he probably still thinks it was stolen from him by the Supreme Court. But he also blamed the Clintons for being a drag on his campaign, with all the scandals and the blue dress and that sort of stuff. So what’s he done since? He suffered the defeat in 2000. But then, he’s gone and he’s made a movie. He technically doesn’t have an Oscar. The producers got the Oscar, but he’s got an Oscar. Bill Clinton, all he’s got is a room at Ron Burkle’s house in Beverly Hills. He’s got a Nobel Peace Prize. Clinton does not have a Nobel Peace Prize. Iin his mind, he has risen above the Clintons — and I don’t think he wants to put all his money he has in a blind trust and run for president. Do you know what the biggest indication of this is? Hmm? Do you?
CALLER: What would it be?
RUSH: The fact… Don’t laugh. I’m not trying to be funny about this. He hasn’t gone on a diet to lose weight.
CALLER: You’re right. He looks terrible. He doesn’t look presidential.
RUSH: It’s a sad thing, in the television age, and weight is what it is in terms of people having respect for you.
CALLER: Yeah, you’re right. I hope you’re right.
RUSH: Yeah. I usually am. You can bank on it.
RUSH: So Obama — at a Manchester, New Hampshire, high school — in response to a question, admitted to high school students that he had sampled illegal drugs as a high-schooler himself, he was basically a goofball in high school. He sampled adult beverages. In his memoir he said that he had also tried cocaine. He should do one of these anti-drug PSAs. ‘I’m Barack Obama, and my ears got this big after I tried cocaine. These could be your ears on cocaine,’ and just wipe this out.