RUSH: Let’s go to the presidential campaign. Senator Barack Obama confirmed, I think this morning, that The Oprah is going to hit the campaign trail with him. She will join Barack for stops in Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire on December the 8th and December the 9th. (December the 9th, by the way, is the day the Steelers go to New England to play the Patriots.) She will attend two events with him in Iowa and one in each of the other states. The December 8th Iowa stops will be in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. December 9th will be in Columbia, South Carolina, and Manchester, New Hampshire. You just have to wonder what the Clintons are going to do here. Don Vito Clintonleone — will he get on the phone with The Oprah, will Hillary get on the phone with Don Vito Clintonleone, and ask, ‘What is this, Oprah?’ They knew she’s supporting him, but to head out there on the campaign trail? Now ABC News has a story today: ‘A Day on the Trail with Obama — The senator on his hard knocks foreign policy and how he differs from Mrs. Clinton,’ but they missed the lede, and it’s in their own story. ‘There is no doubt,’ he said, ‘that Bill Clinton had faith in her,’ meaning Hillary, ‘and consulted with her on issues in the same way that I would consult with Michelle if there were issues. On the other hand, I don’t think Michelle Obama would claim that she’s the best qualified person to be a US senator, by virtue of me talking to her on occasion about the work that I have done.’
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah! Major goose, ladies and gentlemen, a major goose, because what he’s saying here is that, ‘Okay, fine. She says she’s got experience. Just because she talked to her husband who happened to be the president doesn’t mean she’s qualified, and it certainly doesn’t mean she is the best qualified,’ but this seems to be a theme that the Clintons are trying to pass down. Meanwhile, in Iowa, Obama is saying — and he’s trying to set the table, and this is smart — he’s saying, ‘She’s gotta win. If she doesn’t win Iowa, then all bets are off.’ The Clinton camp is trying to do everything it can to avoid her coming in third in Iowa. That’s their fear. They think she can withstand coming in number two, but not number three, so they are setting the stage. Here’s a Chicago Sun-Times story: ‘Hillary Bracing for Possible Letdown in Iowa — Obama’s narrow lead in polls prompts her to beef up staff.’ The pull quote from this story is from the Clinton campaign spokesman Mark Daley: ‘Our definition of success doesn’t necessarily mean coming in first. As long as we have a strong showing on caucus night, we’ll be fine.’ So this is the old gambit of lowering expectations.
Their internal polling — remember the Clintons are always a week ahead of everybody — they’ve got their internal polls. So it’s apparent that the polling that they have indicates she’s not going to win Iowa, and even last week there were stories out there, ‘Well, she can withstand a loss in Iowa. New Hampshire is really the key.’ If you go back to 1992, Bill Clinton, didn’t even run in Iowa. He pulled out of Iowa because it was looking so bad. Then he finished second in New Hampshire, and then the Drive-Bys just went nuts: ‘Comeback Kid.’ So what they’re trying to do now is create the whole image of her as the ‘Comeback Kidette’ by lowering expectations in Iowa and looking forward to New Hampshire. In fact, we’ve got an audio sound bite on this, if I can find it. Give me time here, folks. Well, I know I saw it here. I guess I’m just overlooking it. Give me time. Be patient here. Let me look at this one more time. Comeback Kidette. Comeback Kidette. I know I saw it here. Ah, here we go! Audio sound bites nine and ten. This is Carville and Matalin on Meet the Press yesterday. Russert goes through the latest poll numbers, and he asks Mary Matalin, ‘What’s your take on Iowa, Democrat side?’
MATALIN: The best thing that can happen to Hillary Clinton is to lose Iowa, and I’m not being a contrarian or a wisenheimer. There’s a fast calendar. It’s a change election but it’s a completely unique and fluid and dynamic situation. If she loses, she gets knocked back; we’ve seen repeatedly this is the Energizer bunny of candidates. She takes a licking and she keeps on ticking. She needs to have some new narrative, ‘the Comeback Kid.’ That’s how you guys did it, and it’s a good narrative, and it’s one that would work for her.
RUSH: The Comeback Kidette. So they’re trying to set this up. Then Carville, Russert says, ‘Do you think that her answer on the driver’s license immigration issue and on other issues or her reluctance to answer, hurt her with honest, trustworthy questions that were asked in this poll?’
CARVILLE: I would say some. Sure, and I said that — I said that I’d love to but I did not think that that was her best performance. She subsequently said the same thing. I think this driver’s license is an idea whose time has not come.
RUSH: Uh-huh, but, you know, the Drive-Bys still don’t get that. There are stories — you can find them all over the place. There’s one in the Boston Globe today that the writer of the story says this is just an unfortunate ‘wedge issue.’ The Republicans are going to use illegal immigration as a ‘wedge issue.’ They don’t have to use it as a wedge issue. It’s a wedge issue only to the Democrats because 72% of the people oppose the Democrat stance on it! Besides, folks, one more thing before we go to the break here — and Mary Matalin, I know you love me for pointing this out: I hate to correct you, but Hillary is not who you’re talking about. It was Bill Clinton that’s the Energizer Bunny that took the licking and kept on ticking.
RUSH: By the way, speaking of this Obama comment, that, ‘Hey, just because Hillary Clinton’s husband was president, and he sometimes talked to her, doesn’t mean she’s qualified,’ I want to take you back to the news archives. This is March 17th of 1994 in the New York Times. Now, this is before, obviously, the ’94 elections in which the Republicans took over, quote, unquote, the House. ‘Tempers flared today when a California Congressman asserted that a Republican Congresswoman had obtained her knowledge of health care through ‘pillow talk’ with her husband, a gynecologist in New Britain, Conn. Representative Pete Stark, a California Democrat who heads the Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Health, made the comment about Representative Nancy L. Johnson, a Connecticut Republican, during a meeting in which the panel was considering proposals to limit drug prices. Mrs. Johnson criticized the proposals as an ‘extraordinary expansion’ of Federal authority. Mr. Stark said: ‘The gentle lady got her medical degree through pillow talk.’ Mrs. Johnson, a Radcliffe College graduate who has been in Congress since 1983, responded: ‘I get my knowledge of the medical system from endless hours as a representative in this Congress, in hospitals and physicians’ offices, talking with patients.’ Mr. Stark apologized later for ‘personal characterizations that were not in order.”
Now, you might say, ‘So what’s the big deal, Rush?’ I know you’re right because the Clintons probably don’t share a bed, so pillow talk is one thing. But it still makes the point that when talking about a Republican, Fortney Pete Stark said, ‘She doesn’t know anything about it. Her husband is a doctor, just because she’s married to a doctor doesn’t make her an expert on health care,’ which is what Obama is saying about Mrs. Clinton and her so-called experience to be president.