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RUSH: I’m watching Governor Palin here in the breaks in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The crowd’s going nuts again up there. They just can’t contain ’em. Let’s listen to how two Drive-Bys analyzed Governor Palin’s appearance on this program last hour. Here is Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Washington, with Chris Cillizza from the Washington Post.

MITCHELL: Let’s listen to a second to Rush Limbo (sic) and Sarah Palin.

RUSH ARCHIVE: [A]s I listen to your campaign appearances and Senator McCain’s, it seems that you are the more forceful in speaking out against Obama and his campaign ideas. Are they giving you pretty much free rein to attack this campaign as you wish?

GOVERNOR PALIN: Well, you know, there just aren’t enough hours in the day … (edit) … I’ve got nothing to lose in this, and I think America has everything to gain by understanding the differences, the contrasts here between Obama and McCain. So, you know, I’m going out there and I’m just simply speaking. So be it that I’m a simple talker, but I’m just going out there and letting people know the differences.

RUSH: Now, here is how Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Washington, and Chris Cillizza analyzed that.

CILLIZZA: Well, the truth of the matter is, Andrea, I do still think that Sarah Palin is playing the more conventional role of a vice president, which is to really carry the heavy artillery and the heavy attack.

MITCHELL: Sure.

CILLIZZA: You know, I think what Rush Limbaugh is getting at there, though, is that many conservatives feel as though Sarah Palin is really the candidate making the case against Barack Obama and not John McCain. They want John McCain to do more; and, look, any problem that John McCain has on his right just compounds the problem that he has on the ideological middle right now, and that’s not something he needs to worry about.

RUSH: What is the ‘ideological middle’? Would somebody please help me? Maybe I’m not as politically astute as I thought, but how in the world can you have an ‘ideological middle’? What is it? What do people in the ‘ideological middle believe’? Chris Cillizza just said that if McCain goes out and rallies his Republican base, that he’s going to anger the ‘ideological middle.’ Now, the latest Zogby numbers have it at basically four points, Obama over Racist America. Because if you don’t vote Obama, you’re Racist America. That’s what John Lewis said. So four points, and if you look at the internals of the poll, it points out that the large majority of the margin that Obama leads by is his overwhelming lead in independent voters. It seems to me that McCain has lost the independent voters. He never had them, by the way, because independent voters are Democrats-in-waiting.

What is the ideological middle? There is no ideological middle! This is the point. This is another attempt to get McCain to shut up and to resist the advice to go pedal-to-the-metal on Obama. This is an effort to get McCain to be afraid of rallying his own party. ‘Oh, don’t do that or you’ll lose the independents! You’ll lose the ideological middle.’ There is no ideological middle, unless saying you have no opinion on anything is an ideology. But, of course, the ideological middle does have opinions on things. They just don’t like telling people what they are.

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