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RUSH: I predicted yesterday that if Hillary loses, the spin in the Drive-Bys will be, ah, does Iowa really mean anything anymore? This is what I said.

RUSH ARCHIVE: I predict if Hillary does come in third in the Hawkeye Cauci, what we’re going to then hear from the Drive-Bys and other places is this: Stories on Friday, probably in the process of being written right now, ‘Does Iowa really mean anything anymore?’ You wait.

RUSH: Hannity & Colmes last night, Terry McAuliffe, Hillary’s campaign chairman, Alan Colmes says, ‘Terry, does Hillary have to win or come in second?’

MCAULIFFE: We don’t have to win any specific race. We’re up in all these polls. We’ve raised over $100 million. We have the money to take us through February 5th. I remind everybody, they forget, that Bill Clinton didn’t even win a race until Georgia. We’re great on the February 5th states, but I think we’re in great shape here. We are in great shape in New Hampshire. We’re up 25 points in Nevada. We’ve got South Carolina. We’re just starting.

RUSH: So his voice is a little hoarse out there. He’s been out there on the campaign trail. Now here’s the way the cauci work tonight. They basically start 6:30 Central time, 7:30 in the real world — (laughter) — just kidding, just kidding. No East Coast bias here, 6:30 Central time for the Hawkeye Cauci. Now the Republicans are going to finish early. I think we might know by 7:15 or 7:30 Central time, 8:30 Eastern time, because the Republicans just go in there and vote. The Democrats are going to be a little bit later, 10:15, 10:30 Eastern time, 9:15, 9:30 central, because the Democrats go in there, and they talk, and they sit around and then they vote their second choice, and they look for consensus. And, of course, then they jawbone each other, they try to talk each other out of their choices and so forth and all kinds of crazy things can go on when that starts happening. So we’ll know the Democrats a little later. We’ll know the Republicans first tonight. I’m going to be switching back between that and the Orange Bowl, which is taking place down in Miami tonight.


RUSH: This is the latest from The Politico. ‘Former President Bill Clinton tried to lower expectations today for his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, suggesting at a Starbucks here in Des Moines that Iowa was not make-or-break for her presidential campaign.’ In fact, stand by on audio sound bites 14 and 15 on that score, too, Mike. ‘With the Iowa caucus just hours away, there’s little else to do but wait — and speculate. The comments from Bill Clinton are just one piece of a massive pre-spin operation being deployed by all the campaigns to manage expectations. Clinton defended his wife’s decision to compete in Iowa, a question that has been raised with increasing frequency as Sen. Clinton finds herself in a volatile three-way fight with Sen. Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards.’ And, of course, Clinton’s out there saying (doing Clinton impression), ‘You know, I never ran in Iowa. I didn’t need to go to Iowa. Hillary didn’t need to really do it, either, but she did, and it doesn’t mean anything now because I think she needed to show she wasn’t afraid, and I’m pleased that she did.’ That’s his quote.

So Hillary did Iowa just to show that she was fearless. (doing Clinton impression) ‘That’s right, Rush Limbaugh, she was willing to do something you wouldn’t do. You wouldn’t run. I haven’t seen you running for anything. She went up there, and she ran, and she knew she was going to lose, and she went up there, and she showed she wasn’t afraid of losing. And that’s what you gotta have in politics, you gotta show that you’re not afraid to lose, and you don’t know anything about that, Limbaugh. All you’ve ever done is won.’ Well, that’s true, Mr. President, but she was the candidate of inevitability. This was supposed to be coronation. (doing Clinton impression) ‘Ah, you know all that was just a bunch of BS, Limbaugh. We tried to pull that off, but we couldn’t pull it off once Obama got in. Nobody expected him to do so well, not even us. I mean we put him in there in the first place to make it look like she had something to overcome, but hell’s bells, we had no idea he was going to raise that kind of money. We’re going to find out who donated it, too, and they are going to be sorry someday.’ Okay, President Clinton on Obama and Hillary. She just had to show that she wasn’t afraid. Howard Wolfson, Hardball, one of Clinton’s spokesmen last night, Chris Matthews said, ‘I want to ask about change, very important, if it’s change, how’s Hillary going to be different than Bill, what’s the change going to be, Howard?’

WOLFSON: Well, look, the first thing we’re going to do is get us out of Iraq —

MATTHEWS: No, how is she going to be different than Bill? How’s she going to be different than Bill?

WOLFSON: I heard — I heard — I heard your question. I’m gonna give you an answer. We have a different set of challenges in 2008 than we did in 1992. The first one is Iraq, the second one is we’ve got, instead of 37 million Americans without health care, we’ve got 47 million Americans without health care.


RUSH: Yeah. And it goes on. There’s another sound bite we’ll have to squeeze in after the break here. But that is the question. She’s an agent of change, how’s she going to be different from the nineties? Well, the first thing she’s going to do is get us out of Iraq. Well, different set of challenges we had in 1992, first one is Iraq, second one, instead of 37 million Americans insured we gotta get 47 million — yeah, big success story. How’s that going to change, how’s she going to do it when she couldn’t do it then? Anyway, they’re piling on out there, and it’s led now to Mr. Clinton saying that, well, she went up there just to show that she was fearless, that she wasn’t afraid, and Bill Clinton says that he’s glad that she did.


RUSH: Up next, Howard Wolfson with Chris Matthews on PMSNBC’s Hardball last night. Matthews goes after Wolfson here for stealing — Wolfson is one of Hillary’s boys — goes after Wolfson for stealing a phrase from Obama. It seems here like some of the Drive-Bys enjoy seeing Clinton, Inc., squirm. The question from Matthews: ‘Howard, that ad was very indicative of the Hillary you meet in person,’ meaning an ad which had been airbrushed and Vaseline on the lens, you know, the soft focus and all that. ‘That ad was very indicative of the Hillary you meet in person. Why is that so hard to translate in this campaign? It’s been hard for you guys to make her look, whatever.’

WOLFSON: One of the great things about this process in Iowa is that these caucus-goers get to come out, they get to kick the tires, to look under the hood; they get to see who these candidates are. They’re coming out across Iowa time and time again, and I think Hillary is making her case and people are getting it, and people are responding to her, they are getting to know her here.

MATTHEWS: By the way, the kick the tires thing is an Obama line, by the way. You stole that.

WOLFSON: I don’t — I’m not sure that —

MATTHEWS: You stole that directly from the — you stole it directly from —

WOLFSON: Kick the tires was made by Senator Obama?

MATTHEWS: He made —

WOLFSON: You haven’t heard that before?

MATTHEWS: In my life, but not in this campaign.

WOLFSON: Oh, come on.

MATTHEWS: Hey, guys, get a new script writer. You got Obama already.

RUSH: Can you believe that? I don’t even know if this is true, but I do know that in terms of kicking the tires, Obama didn’t invent it. Now, he may have introduced it to the campaign before anybody else. Matthews said, ‘You guys gotta get new script writers.’ Howard Wolfson taken totally off message here. You’ve never heard the phrase kick the tires? And Wolfson, by the way, Matthews really saved him because that was absolute BS what he’s saying there. How many times has Hillary gone to Iowa to help her husband? Was at his side all the time, right? To say that Iowans are finally getting to see her? They’re coming out time and time again? This is so much fluff.

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