Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: When I look at some of this post-debate analysis and when I look at some of these idiots that these focus group people find to play with their little gadgets and meters during the debate, you know what I think? I think there’s so much psychology in this. I think people go in — and this would be true for some of the post-debate media analysts as well — and they think Obama is going to win so he won the debate. The two just naturally flow. ‘Well, I think Obama’s going to win. Yes, he won the debate.’ I think that mind-set is messing with some people’s objectivity. So I think Obama is being judged by where he is in the polls today. I don’t think people want to say McCain did something a little better than his opponent when he’s behind in the polls, especially if you’re a pundit analyst and so forth.

Now, to prove my point, I would give anything to have a focus group being taken into the little room before the debate starts and tell them, ‘McCain is up by ten points. Okay, focus group, you are real Americans. You’re the undecided. You’re the ones on whom this election is going to hinge, and the results as we have them now, according to the latest polling data. It’s McCain 51, Obama 41, and we’re going to watch the debate. You tell us what you think.’ I’d love to know if the results would be, ‘Oh, McCain, he cleaned up. He kicked butt this afternoon, kicked butt tonight. He’s up by ten!’ I wonder. I think that this is a factor in a whole lot of people’s analysis of this. All right, this is Hattie in Lynnwood, Pennsylvania. Hi, Hattie. Nice to have you on the program. Welcome.

CALLER: Thank you, Rush.

RUSH: Hatti, where is Lynnwood? Is it in western Pennsylvania or eastern, or central?

CALLER: It’s eastern, about 45 minutes south of Philadelphia.

RUSH: Okay, so you’re not in the racist part of the state, then?

CALLER: No, I’m not.

RUSH: Just wanted to establish that.

CALLER: That’s correct. (laughs)

RUSH: Okay.

CALLER: I just started listening to you in the summertime, and it was a result of hearing your name mentioned on television on Fox News. And I saw you for the first time on the air. And then people have mentioned about you and said things about you, so that got me interested in your program. I do appreciate you and how informative you are, and I worked for one of the top six banks that are out there now, and I was listening last night, and I was one of the undecideds. And they tried to make us believe that, you know, ‘you are where you are now,’ and the undecideds, they made us seem like we were useless, going nowhere, and if we went anywhere, it’s probably going to go to Obama’s side. But…

RUSH: Wait. Who made you feel that way?

CALLER: On Fox News a couple of times when some of the people talked. The undecideds were the ones that they were weighing everything on.

RUSH: After the debate?

CALLER: After the debate.

RUSH: Their analysis after the debate?


RUSH: So they started telling you…? I just want to understand how you saw this. That you’re undecided, you’re watching it as an undecided voter.


RUSH: They’re talking to you as an undecided voter telling you, ‘Well, there’s no question here, McCain didn’t pull it off. This is Obama’s night’?

CALLER: Exactly.

RUSH: Okay.

CALLER: And see, the thing is, I didn’t vote in the primaries at all because I was just disgusted with the whole mess, you know, between Republicans and Democrats. At that time, you know, I just said, ‘I’m waiting for this bus for a long time.’

RUSH: The Pennsylvania primary was only Democrats. It was Obama-Hillary.

CALLER: That’s right. Well, a long time before McCain finally came out at the end. But the thing is, I listened to the Democrats, and that I went on and on like an old story, like an old lady going down the pike, so to speak. And the thing is the taxes. When I worked for the bank, and I just recently retired two years ago, the thing was, when anything good went along the pike, so to speak, we got rewarded with it. And when things weren’t going so well, we also did not get rewarded. And there were incentives in the company. When the bank was doing well, things were going well. But every time you turned around, check would get smaller with taxes, or the bank would have to up for the insurance. Even though they paid a lot of it, they’d have to up, you’d have to pay more, and the thing with taxes, that’s the thing that got me. When McCain would talk about the taxes, even though he doesn’t seem like he’s real forceful sometimes, I just listened to him like my grandpop when he was in his seventies and all. He was older, filled with a lot of wisdom.

RUSH: You know, McCain was great on taxes last night.

CALLER: Yes, he was!

RUSH: He said, ‘Why would you want to raise taxes on anybody right now?’

CALLER: That’s right, he should not. My mother went through the Depression, and she’s the one who was also talking to me behind the — ’cause I told her I wasn’t going to vote. She said, ‘You gotta vote. I went through the Depression. I was only ten years old,’ and my father-in-law, he ended up losing a job, and then he had to work in gardens and whatever like that, and rent all many, many years before he could even own a house again.

RUSH: So it was the taxes and McCain that forced you to decide last night?

CALLER: Yes, he did, because I kept looking at him. And the other one, he’s good at delivery. He’s good at speaking. He gets an A+ in school for standing up before groups and delivering very well. But it’s the same old routine.

RUSH: Yeah, he didn’t say anything. Now, let me —

CALLER: No, he didn’t.

RUSH: Let me guide you here. You’re watching the debate —


RUSH: — all of a sudden when the tax issue comes up, lights go off, ‘Okay, McCain’s my guy,’ then you turn to the Fox All-Stars afterwards, and they’re trying to tell you, ‘What you saw, you didn’t see.’


RUSH: Did you think about, ‘Oh, maybe I’m wrong here. I’m going to change my mind back to undecided’?

CALLER: Yes, I was thinking that.

RUSH: Okay, well, then what was it that kept you decided for McCain after watching the Fox All-Stars?

CALLER: Because throughout my years of — I started out in a project when I was a young child. I was one of five, and my father worked two full time and two part-time jobs when he came out of the Navy, and I’m so proud that he did serve our country, and he saw a lot of things —

RUSH: Okay, so you just reflected on your own life, and even after your decision that you made last night was — you got a lot soft on it watching the post-debate analysis, you finally realized that you were right and you trusted your own instincts. That’s so, so crucial. I’m glad you did that. I wish more people would trust their instincts instead of trying to imagine what everybody else is thinking and agree with them, especially when you don’t know, and especially… You know, in the old days when I was growing up watching post-debate analysis, my dad, we would watch anything political and here would come the Drive-Bys analyzing it. My dad particularly despised Sander Vanocur who was both NBC and ABC. My dad got close to throwing things at the television, and he would shake his finger at my brother and I.

‘Boys, you are going to be slaves someday if we don’t get a handle on these people in the media and the Democrat Party. You’re going to be slaves,’ and my brother and I would laugh at him. Slaves? I mean, here we were. We had just gotten a new car, I’m angling for a TV set in the room, and he’s telling me we’re going to be slaves! But the point is, we would watch all this political stuff, and here would come the Drive-Bys telling us what we saw, and they tell us what we saw we didn’t see — and they’re always ripping Republicans and always raising up Democrats. My dad said, ‘They ought to be shut down. They ought to be shut down. People ought to not have to put up with what these people have to say after the debate. We saw it. We can make up our own minds.’

I said, ‘Dad, it’s the ‘off’ switch.’ You know, but he loved getting mad at ’em. I would suggest, folks, from now on out, whenever there’s anything like this (and there aren’t any more debates) don’t watch this stuff. Trust your own instincts. You know what you saw last night. You know what you saw, but Fox is your station in many of your cases, you tune it on and you’ve got a 180. You got somebody telling you the exact opposite; you start questioning yourself. Question them! Question them. Why is it we anoint expert status to these people, especially when they haven’t demonstrated any expertise in a long, long time. It’s not just at Fox. It’s all these pundits… See, everybody’s trying to be different. By the way, when you work for two places — when you work for the New York Times and Pinch Sulzberger and you work for Fox News — you’ve got a little balancing act there (ah, ah, ah, ah!) in terms of your on-TV post-debate analysis, if you want to hold onto your New York Times column.

You can’t serve two masters. And we here at the EIB Network, we serve one master, me; and I serve you; and you serve yourselves; and in the process, we make progress. If I could have one debate wish, it would be that nobody would watch this post-debate coverage from ‘the spin room.’ It’s all so damn predictable! ‘Okay, now we’re going to go to our expert panel that watch and we’re going to bluh, bluh, bluh, bluh, bluh. After that we’re going to do the expert panel then we’re going to go to the spin room where another one of our brilliant correspondents is going to talk to representatives from both campaigns,’ and we know we’re going to get spun with lies like, ‘Well, I thought McCain sucked,’ said the Obama people, and the McCain people with, ‘My, Obama is an honorable guy, but we thought our guy really did well tonight,’ blah, blah.

And then we go to the host of the next show who is in the same room telling us the same stuff that happened, and then we’re going to go to some other correspondent somewhere else and we’re going to — and it’s all formula. Every one of these people (I’ve been there, folks; I’ve done it) when you are on one of those shows, the pressure, or the desire is to come up with something nobody else is going to say, to be unique, to stand out. Of course, if you happen to be a conservative elitist media person, one of the greatest ways to stand out is to rip your own party, rip your own candidate, rip your own ideology, and then the Drive-Bys (the majority in town) notice you and so forth. But there’s a lot of pressure to be unique — and look at what that pressure brings gives us! It gives us sameness!

The pressure to be unique gives us 35 journalists all using the word ‘gravitas’ to describe the selection of Cheney as Bush’s VP. All this quest, all this action for individuality results in sameness. If you thought last night Obama was masterful, that’s fine. I didn’t. Before I watched other people’s reactions, who are supposedly much smarter than I am, I had totally different thoughts than they did. But as I say, I looked at Obama, and I thought he was stumbling around. I thought he was defensive. I thought he was getting a little frustrated. When the camera is on him when he’s not speaking, he’s kind of doing an Algore. He’s doing everything but sighing and shaking his head. ‘No, no, no, no, no.’ He starts writing down furiously notes that he wants to make the next time he speaks. I thought McCain, when he was on camera not speaking, was awesome! He was looking at Obama with total disbelief for some of the things he was saying and couldn’t wait to get back in there to correct him. I thought it was McCain’s best night of his political career, and I know that I am not wrong.

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