RUSH: Everybody’s now debating the value of political endorsements since the schoolmarm at the Des Moines Register has engineered an editorial board endorsement of Mrs. Clinton — and she’s taking that like it’s an endorsement from God in Iowa. It’s something. Bill Clinton is all over the place. Bill Clinton is all over the place, on Charlie Rose on Friday night. He’s all over the place on the weekend, and when I heard him say, ‘You know, I think Hillary may not win Iowa,’ my antenna went up. The red flags went up, and I said, ‘Here it is. They are setting up the comeback kidette story if she does win Iowa.’ We had that piece by Howard Fineman last Friday in which Fineman wrote that she may lose the first four states, or may not win. She’s in a dead heat in these four early states: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada; and then Clinton starts talking about the problems and how much trouble she’s having, and remember I said this. Let’s go back. I’ve said this many times. Let’s go back and listen to me, myself, on this very program on December 10th.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Now, I don’t know. The conventional wisdom is that she’s in trouble. The conventional wisdom is that the campaign’s imploding. But remember what I said at the very outset. This business of inevitability is one thing, and her desire to want to corner the nomination rather than have to capture it. But the fact is, she also needs to show she can overcome a challenge, and what better challenge to overcome than Oprah Winfrey?
RUSH: Can you imagine, folks? What, we’re a little over couple weeks away from the Hawkeye Cauci, and they’re setting the stage: ‘She can’t win.’ Her own campaign, her own husband’s out there saying, ‘It’s a long shot now.’ What if she does win? They’re even trying to set it up now so that she finishes third to Edwards instead of second to Obama. They’re saying they’d much rather if Edwards won Iowa with Hillary in third place. That would make it a much more palatable loss than if she finished second to Obama. I think all this is just setting up this ‘comeback kidette’ stuff. This is what they’re familiar with, this is their track record, and we’ll just have to wait and see. This was discussed on the Sunday morning shows yesterday. Let’s go to Stephanopoulos’ show during the roundtable discussion. He had Claire Shipman and Jay Carney. They are husband and wife. Jay Carney works at TIME. Claire Shipman at ABC. They are husband and wife. They’re on the same roundtable together on the Stephanopoulos show, and also Donna Brazile was there. Stephanopoulos says, ‘Claire, now Hillary’s campaign is forced to run the campaign that was run against Bill Clinton in ’92: Change is risky.’
SHIPMAN: You can’t be the candidate of inevitability and suddenly be the underdog. I’m telling you, George, if you talk — despite this endorsement, which is, has, given everyone a boost — I mean, the Clinton team is demoralized.
SHIPMAN: You can pick it up from everyone whose finger-pointing, backbiting —
RUSH: Right. Right.
SHIPMAN: rumors of wholesale change —
SHIPMAN: — maybe not now, but after New Hampshire.
STEPHANOPOULOS: There’s no question about that. It was rife throughout the campaign this week. But I wonder if actually getting hurt, getting knocked back on her heels is the best thing to happen to Hillary Clinton, if, indeed, she can survive it.
RUSH: Well, depends if she gets knocked back on her heels if she keeps falling. If she keeps falling, gets knocked back on her heels and keeps falling, nobody is going to be interested in that (laughs) in a multitudinous number of ways. Ahem. So here they are. They’re either doing one of two things. You can’t escape the fact that the Drive-Bys are in the tank for Hillary, and so you have to factor that. So this is either genuine and this campaign’s in real trouble, or they’re just setting up this big giant come back. Up next it was Jay Carney. Donna Brazile said, ‘Look, I know for a fact that John Edwards is everybody’s second choice in Iowa. He has a great deal of momentum going into the process.’ Stephanopoulos says, ‘Well, that’s a very, very important point. Second choices count in Iowa,’ and then Jay Carney, the husband of Claire Shipman, says…
CARNEY: The Clintons are now actively trying to — to promote John Edwards, and they’d love to see him win because a few weeks ago, a month ago the Clintons were talking about sweeping the table and rushing to the nomination, now they want to prolong this fight as long as they can.
STEPHANOPOULOS: A third place finish to John Edwards may be better than a second place finish to Barack Obama. Obama wins in Iowa, he go — wins in New Hampshire most likely, and probably moves over South Carolina as well.
RUSH: So it’s up to you and me, together, to figure out what’s really going on here, and time will tell. But I think they’re playing both ends against the middle. I think they’re setting it up for the ‘comeback kidette,’ and they’re also setting it up for a bad showing in Iowa to be able to move on to New Hampshire and other places. One thing else. This continues to happen and yet nobody but me and maybe others on our side of the aisle talking about this. But once Bill Clinton is out there trashing Obama! (summarized) ‘He’s not ready. He doesn’t have the experience. Here’s only got one year of service,’ and Obama says, ‘I’ve been in government ten or 11 years!’ He had a great comeback line for that, which we’ll play in the sound bite roster down the road as the program unfolds today. But here you have the first legitimate, top-tier, black Democrat candidate — and once again, the Clintons are trashing the guy! They’re trashing him as incompetent. They’re trashing him as too young. They’re trashing him as too inexperienced. They’re trashing him as too calculating. They’re trashing him as not authentic. Look at what they did to Carl McCall. He was running for governor of New York. They trashed Carl McCall. We ended up raising funds for Carl McCall, you and I on this program together, because the DNC and Terry McAuliffe hung him out to dry. Maynard Jackson, the mayor of Atlanta, wanted to be chairman of the DNC. The Clintons moved, said, ‘Ain’t no way, pal. Terry McAuliffe’s getting it.’ Whenever blacks get to the point that they’re rising to positions of prominence in the Democrat Party, guess who comes along and slaps them down? Clinton, Inc.! Now, Clinton can get away with this because he was the nation’s ‘first black president,’ and, of course, Andrew Young is out there saying, ‘Yeah, yeah, he’s been with more black women than Obama has,’ and, of course, (clapping) it’s a big applause line. Wowie, what a great recommendation, and nevertheless here’s the first black president — and who’s trashing him? It’s not Republicans. It’s not conservatives. It’s the Clintons!