RUSH: Now, Mr. Snerdley wanted me to repeat for you what I said on Greta’s show at midnight last night on Fox in analyzing McCain’s speech. I did not have high expectations. McCain’s not a great orator. I was hoping they could do something to keep the momentum from the previous night going, but they didn’t.
Thank God the moderates that spoke last night were on during the football game. Oh, folks. The three of us are watching this, and during commercial breaks, we’d switch around, and I saw Lindsey Grahamnesty, God love him, and the crowd was talking to itself, the same thing with Tom Ridge. I’m thinking thank goodness these guys are on now. Nothing against them, but I mean in terms of a show and so forth, there was tepid little applause. It was a blessing. As far as Senator McCain’s speech, he is who he is. I only got mad one time. I really only got mad one time when he said, ‘I understand who I work for. I don’t work for a party.’ I almost — well, I did. I shouted at the TV. Can I tell you what I shouted? It’s clean. I said, ‘Then why are you a Republican!’ First time I’ve ever seen a party nominee rip his own party. But that’s who McCain is. Some people think, ‘Rush, he had to do it, Bush isn’t popular, Republican Party isn’t popular,’ and I came to the same conclusion. This is Sarah Palin’s party; it’s Sarah Palin’s future. Sarah Palin is the conservative movement. Sarah Palin is the one who unified the party, unified the convention, she’ll keep that up, she’s the reason there’s energy, we know that, everybody knows it, the McCain camp knows it. So she’s free to do what she’s going to do, free as to what she’s going to say, which frees McCain up to be who he is, go out and free up his precious moderates and so forth, so everything is fine. We’re getting genuine. Nobody is acting in ways that they aren’t.
It’s insanity, folks, to expect somebody who’s 72 years old to all of a sudden change and be somebody they’re not going to be. So don’t get frustrated over it. I got e-mails, ‘Rush, it was like somebody threw a wet blanket on the fire.’ Yeah, I know, but it wasn’t, believe me. McCain’s audience is higher. McCain was authentic. You may not like some of the things he said, but he was authentic. When he went off prompter and started talking about his experience in that prison cell, that led to the big crescendo ending that finally got the energy of this place back, and it ended on a bright note, it really did. And I’ll tell you this. There are a lot of points that you could make about McCain’s speech. We got the theme, and the theme was consistent throughout this convention, no matter who the speaker was: ‘Country first. I’ll fight for you.’ They kept that theme going, and it resonated.
Now, one of the points that could be discussed about this is this beautiful explanation of the theme of his campaign, ‘Country First.’ As I said last night on Greta, ‘This could have been a bit of a trap, but only because Obama has not had the same life experiences of McCain.’ The differences in life experiences were laid bare last night. Obama doesn’t have a thimbleful of life experience that he wants to share with us. This whole convention gave us rich, full American lives of meaning, confidence, accomplishment, achievement from both our nominees, McCain and Palin. They let out excerpts of the speech before he gives the speech. It’s traditional. And when his theme of country first became known, this was the brilliant trap. This was the brilliant trap that they set. When the theme of country first became known, some of Obama’s team said it was a slam. They walked right into the quicksand, because they think everything’s about them. And Obama eventually got trapped personally, too. He thought McCain was attacking his patriotism. He was out there last night talking to reporters, saying that, a self-centered guy. This was on full display to me last night.
Obama’s a typical Messiah, a young guy who really has had a pretty cushy, easy life, compared to McCain. He’s a typical Baby Boomer, although he’s not, he’s a typical Boomer in the sense that everything revolves around him, everything is about him. He didn’t stop for one second to think that John McCain wasn’t even thinking about Obama last night. McCain was describing himself to the nation. McCain was telling us who he is. The contrast was so stark that old little Barry thought he was being attacked again. It was fabulous. This whole McCain speech, it had a story arc to it when the whole thing unfolded. It was about the journey of a man who started out as a me-first, totally focused on himself young guy like Obama, but he said this before. I mean, you could say it was to contrast himself with Obama, but you don’t have to try to do that. When you’re John McCain, the contrast is self-evident. It’s stark. So he starts out as a me-first, hotshot fighter pilot, thought he was smarter, better, and tougher than anybody else, and then he learned how insignificant he is.
He learned how insignificant he was, and it was those five-and-a-half years in the prison that insignificance slapped him upside the head and when he really began to appreciate and love what his country was all about. He changed while he was a prisoner of war. He evolved. He went to the Hanoi Hilton as a McCain-first pilot, came out as an American-first man. I don’t care how he delivered it, and I don’t care, the performance aspect might have been low, but the words were penetrating, and they were from the heart and they were from the soul. And I guarantee you, they penetrated a lot of people, and it’s something that just by virtue of fact, the contrast with McCain’s story, as told by him, with Obama, and the story of himself he cannot tell, contrasted with Obama’s selfish orientation, thinking everything is about him. McCain said for him that it started when he refused to go home before more senior prisoners when they offered him up as a PR ploy ’cause his dad was an admiral. So when he refused to play the game, he said, ‘That’s when they broke me.’
Now, forgive me for being ignorant on this, I didn’t know he broke. I thought he held tough for five-and-a-half years. He admitted last night they broke him. He went back to his hut afterwards broken, ashamed, and humbled, and that’s when his fellow prisoners saved his life, he said. They fed him ’cause he couldn’t feed himself. He was no longer McCain-first after that. He was an American first. As the result of his experiences he was humbled, he evolved. His life was changed forever. Now it’s country-first. And this is not a slogan with him. Sometimes the way he puts country first infuriates us, but he puts country first. Obama made the typical, predictable, we’re going to snare you in our little trap here. He made the mistake of a young, immature and arrogant man. Like McCain might have done before his experiences in the war, Obama thought country first was about him. Now, I can understand it because I understand the personality type of Barack Obama. (doing Obama impression) ‘There they go, they’re challenging my patriotism again. I’m Barack Obama, they’re challenging my patriotism.’ Why does he think that?
Let me ask you this. Why does he have to go to VFW conventions and tell them and assure them he loves the country? There must be some doubt. There must be some problem he’s got here. Could it be that he goes to Berlin and criticizes the United States? Could it be that when a seven-year-old little girl asks him why he wants to be president, he criticizes his own country? Could it be he knows damn well he doesn’t like the country as it is? Saul Alinsky didn’t like it, Jeremiah Wright didn’t like it, Bill Ayers didn’t like it, they still don’t like it, and that’s who mentored this guy. So of course he’s on the defensive because he was nailed even when he wasn’t being talked about. He shoulda shut up. He shoulda not said a word. I think he also goofed up going on O’Reilly last night and calling a press conference after. Remember how they just tarred McCain, that would be a sign of such disrespect if he named his running mate before Obama gave his acceptance speech. And there’s Obama last night. We know who this guy is. This whole McCain acceptance speech wasn’t even directed at Obama, except when McCain lavished him with praise. But it does help to bring the differences of these two guys into focus.
When Obama’s people, after they got wind of what McCain was gonna say, when Obama’s people accused McCain of calling Obama’s patriotism into question, using that theme they proved that Obama’s personal journey isn’t complete. He hasn’t done anything. He’s done diddly-squat really. He’s forced now to defend community agitation. (doing Obama impression) ‘I taught law. I taught law at University of Chicago law school, taught law.’ What did you teach? We haven’t heard many of your students come and up say how much they loved you. He still sees himself as first. Not a fatal flaw. McCain found it through important life experience. You can grow beyond that, but I don’t think Obama thinks he needs to grow. See, I think Obama’s it in his mind and in the eyes of his supporters, it’s why he’s it. So it was pretty powerful to me last night in a lot of ways, frustrating in some others. I’m sure it was frustrating to you in obvious ways. The performance was not what you were hoping for. But, again, expectations should have managed that. The words, the sincerity, the genuineness, the authenticity last night, the contrast was just stark, both of our candidates versus these nothing but traditional political hacks on the left.