RUSH: John in Sacramento, my adopted hometown, welcome to the program.
CALLER: Thanks, Rush. Mega dittos.
RUSH: You bet, sir.
CALLER: Hey, I wanted to talk about passion and how you said before that you need passion in order to succeed, and I wanted to talk about it as it relates to the Republican candidates.
CALLER: I was watching the debate Wednesday, and it just seemed like there was a lack of passion. And even to kind of demonstrate, when you were reading Giuliani’s words on Wednesday, you delivered those with two or three times more passion than Giuliani did. I was thinking, I’ve been wondering, you know, how someone like Ron Paul can have the success that he does in raising the money that he has as a Republican when his views can be far out there, and it’s just that he has the passion. I think that someone like Mike Huckabee, whose views I think line up more closer to a lot of more conservative and right-wing evangelical Christians, line up well, but he doesn’t quite have the passion. What does it take for him to succeed?
RUSH: You know, there are a lot of factors at play here. If you’ve been watching these debates, you know that in some of them McCain has come out there really wired up and energized, and he’s been criticized as being over-caffeinated. You’re running for president, there’s a decorum that seems to be required and expected, and having too much energy goes against the notion that presidents are supposed to be deliberative. These guys are all trying to make it sound like they’re being deliberative, and they probably are because they’re focused. One thing, like I said to the speech coach, speech instructor, if you go into a speech or an appearance with fear, you’re dead, because you’re going to be worrying what you shouldn’t say. When you’re worried about what you shouldn’t say, for whatever reason, you’re not going to be able to have passion about what you are saying, because passion, you might think, will lead you into the verbal slip that you don’t want to make.
On the other hand, I think back to Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan had just a warm and magnetic, charismatic personality, but he was never wildly upbeat and passionate except during convention speeches and so forth in front of the party. I was thinking about Clinton when you said this. (doing Clinton impression) ‘Clinton was kind of like this all the time, lackadaisical and so forth.’ But Clinton had the ability to believe the lies he was telling, and that’s where the passion comes in. If you know your subject, then that’s what the confidence is derived from. Now, it’s interesting, however, John, that you mentioned this, because I was on a riff last night in the Rush to Excellence Tour in Philadelphia, and I want you to hear this riff. It’s audio sound bite No. 5, and here it is.
RUSH ARCHIVE: I don’t mean as an ego statement. I sit around and I watch the presidential debates. Why aren’t any of them saying these things? You realize one of them in the pack could run away with the whole thing just to explain this. It’s the reason my show is successful. The Democrats think that I have created a bunch of mind-numbed robots — because that’s what they think of you anyway — you can’t think for yourself, don’t have the brains to, and so I am your Svengali. I’m the pied piper, and you get your marching orders from me every day. That’s how they look at virtually everybody else. But the fact is you’re here tonight because, finally, there’s somebody nationally that says and thinks what you’ve always said and thought. You’ve been validated. (cheers and applause)
RUSH: Standing O. Point was, I was on a riff. I had just gone through a description, much like you hear on radio here today, of these Democrat candidates and what’s in store for the country and what they want to do based on what they say. It was during this riff that a couple of the liberals got up and walked out. When I saw the liberals get up and walk out is when I said, ‘Does it frustrate you like it frustrates me that none of the Republican candidates are actually saying this stuff about the Democrats and what they portend for the future?’ Now, I understand it’s the primaries, and the primaries you run against your opponents. My thinking is, since the Democrats think they’ve got their nominee, and since it doesn’t matter who their nominee is, if somebody in this Republican field wants to jump out and break away from it, they can start running against the Democrats and say what they’re gonna do for the country. This campaign is not going to be about Iraq.
This campaign is going to be about the future of the country. The sooner somebody on our side starts talking about it, particularly from a staunch conservative principled perspective, they’re going to run away with the nomination. They stand a good chance of being elected president. But if you have a fear that what you’re going to say is going to offend or bother a specific constituent group like independents, or minorities or whatever, any time you start speaking defensive, it’s not possible to have passion. Passion is what’s necessary to attract. It’s the magnet. So it’s a fine line between being passionate, and confident, and briefed on the subject, knowing the subject matter, and that’s what gives you the confidence. And being exuberant, because exuberance, as you can see, the way McCain has been treated, a couple times — by the way, another thing that happens with that, McCain has come out, he’s been really exuberant a couple times, other times he’s come out, not been exuberant: ‘What’s wrong with McCain?’
So you gotta be who you are every time you show up. Even at that, they’re going to be nitpicking at you. ‘Didn’t seem quite the same, maybe getting too old, is Alzheimer’s setting in?’ as they tried on Reagan in those debates in 1984. But you gotta forget all that, you just gotta be who you are and connect with the audience. That’s something that, I don’t know, to me it’s not that hard to do, because that’s also done with passion. Because the audience, I don’t care if you’re a person, or if they’re on television, when you’re running for president, you’re telling them why you need to be elected to run the country, it’s that important. That ought to give you enough ego and passion to be able to sell it to people, at least give them a chance to reject it or accept it.