RUSH: Bill Clinton said the most amazing things about what the first thing Hillary will do. She didn’t say what the first thing she will do. He did. He said the first thing that Hillary would do would be to dispatch him and Bush 41 around the world. Get the quote. (Clinton impression) ‘Well, the first thing she intends to do — because she can do this without passing a bill, the first thing she intends to do — is send me and former President Bush and a number of other people around the world and tell ’em that America is open for business and cooperation again.’ So, I don’t know whether he ran this by her, but I have to tell you, I’ll bet he didn’t, and she’s out there thinking, ‘What the hell did he say now? I’m the one that’s going to announce what I’m going to do. He’s not.’ By the way, does anybody really think that Bush 41 would do this, because in so doing he would be acknowledging their claim that his son’s presidency has been a failure, and that the country is despised and hated? If I were the feminists out there, I would be livid at this. This guy won’t let go, this super ego. You’re
If I were the feminists, I’d say, ‘What? How the hell does he get off saying what she’s going to do? She’s the candidate. If she wins, she’s going to be the president. Since we’re discussing Mrs. Clinton, as you may know, yesterday, I delivered quite a lengthy — and brilliant and even sympathetic and compassionate — monologue on the concept of beauty and perfection in this country, as it relates to the fact that I think we have a ‘perfection addiction,’ born of Hollywood and television. I’m not going to go through the monologue again. It’s at RushLimbaugh.com; you can read it. But I made the point that our culture so admires good looks and perfection, that everybody in the world is out there trying to achieve it. You can probably count on one or two hands the number of people who are on television or in movies, who don’t try to alter what they look like, who are thus happy with who they are. Everybody else is trying to squeeze in size one or zero dresses, six-pack abs.
We are a culture that is obsessed with looking good and perfection because it’s seen, we see, that those are the people having a good time. Those are the people that have fame. Those are the people that have wealth. Those are the people that seem to have success. So, people out there trying to emulate it, and I saw this picture on Drudge yesterday of Mrs. Clinton taken in New Hampshire. It’s not a very flattering picture, but it illustrates the toll of the campaign. If she wins the nomination, she still has basically 11 months to go with this, and it takes a strain, and men who have been president have aged more rapidly than others. You can see it! You can see all of this that I’m describing. I just asked the question: Given American culture today, will Americans want to sit around and watch a woman age that rapidly before their very eyes on television every day, as president of the United States? Well, predictably… Because I know how to push the buttons in the Drive-By Media, I even predicted what would happen: They’d take it all out of context. Some actually didn’t. The View, the gals on The View actually got this somewhat right, even though their comments are slightly off the mark. But here’s how the CBS Early Show opened their program this morning. Now, you have to see this. You can. I’m going to describe it. They have a picture. I think it’s a split screen: Mrs. Clinton on the right, me on the left, with this big cigar and the biggest just happy-as-a-clam grin on my face that they could find, and this is what Julie Chen, who is Mrs. Les Moonves — Les Moonves is the CEO at CBS — this is how they opened the program.
MRS. MOONVES: Sexism hits the campaign trail as Rush Limbaugh asks if voters want to stare at an aging woman as president.
RUSH: Yeah, I did ask that — after about seven minutes of a brilliant monologue! Now, here we have this little story to tell you, too. I heard from H.R. H.R. is on vacation, but he has his trusty iPhone with him, and a reporter from Channel 2 in New York, the CBS local, called H.R. and said, ‘Hey, my editor just handed me this thing. What is it that Limbaugh said that voters want to stare at an aging woman as a president? What’s this all about?’ and H.R. said, ‘Look, go to the website. The whole thing is there. The transcript is there. You can read what he said,’ and the reporter said, ‘I thought there had to be more to it. The editor just handed me this stuff and said, ‘Do something with it.” You give ’em the line — the one line, after a brilliant monologue — and I knew what they were going to focus on. It gives me an opportunity, see, to focus on it a second time. So anyway, that guy went to the website. I don’t know what he’s going to do with it for Channel 2 locally. Here is the report on the Early Show, a portion of reporter Meg Oliver’s report on me and my comments yesterday about Mrs. Clinton and American culture.
OLIVER: And now a story that’s expected to reverberate throughout the day —
OLIVER: — the question of sexism in politics. It’s of particular interest in campaign 2008 where a woman has a good chance of becoming a major party nominee. Radio commentator Rush Limbaugh yesterday had some thoughts after seeing this picture of Hillary Clinton posted on the Internet. Limbaugh believes Americans are addicted to physical perfection, and wondered if this country is ready to watch a woman age in the Oval Office.
RUSH ARCHIVE: Will Americans want to watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis? And that woman, by the way, is not going to want to look like she’s getting older, because it’ll impact poll numbers. It’ll impact perceptions.
OLIVER: Limbaugh also says, as people age, no matter who they are, America loses interest.
RUSH: That was their report. I knew it. Don’t get mad at them, folks. They are who they are. I gave ’em the line; that’s what they were going to see. I know the Drive-Bys like the back of my hand. Oh, yeah. (laughing) Right. In Australia, in the Australia newspaper, they call me a ‘misogynist’ and ‘the leading American shock jock.’ Other places are calling me a ‘sexist’ and so forth. Let’s go to PMSNBC and Scarborough’s show this morning, a portion of his exchange with the reporter David Shuster.
SCARBOROUGH: Hillary Clinton took some really tough hits on the cover of the Drudge Report; some people would say very personal sort of attack. Also Rush Limbaugh talking about Hillary Clinton, how she’s aging before our eyes, and also, of course, on the other side, Barack Obama really going after her. Hillary Clinton —
SHUSTER: You’ll recall that, of course, from the Rick Lazio’s Senate race Republicans didn’t sort of know where to draw the line between contrasting their positions with her and outright attacking her — and the more they attacked her, the sort of more sympathy went to Hillary Clinton. And you start to see some of that now, some rumblings that certainly the stuff on the Drudge Report and the stuff that Rush Limbaugh’s been saying, is totally over the line, is sort of generating some sympathy.
RUSH: The whole monologue yesterday was a sympathetic treatment of that picture of Mrs. Clinton, and what it could mean. I’m a cultural analyst, my friends. I am an observer. I am an observer, and I understand where our culture is going, both good and bad. So if it generates some sympathy for her…We still have two more sound bites here from The View babes who also discussed this.
RUSH: Two more audio sound bites here, both from The View. We open up here with Whoopi Goldberg as they discuss my brilliant monologue on the cultural evolutions, addictions to perfection and the impact on Mrs. Clinton.
GOLDBERG: Rush Limbaugh was on the radio, as he always is, and he was commenting on whether we want to watch a woman aging in the White House — and I believe, he said on his radio show — he asked whether America really wants to watch a female president age in office day after day. He explained he knew that was he was going to get into trouble for the comment, but he said, ‘I’m talking about the evolution of American culture here, not so much Mrs. Clinton.’ He also said that presidents ‘age rapidly,’ and added, ‘a woman is not going to want to look like she’s getting older because it will impact poll numbers. In politics, perceptions are reality, so there will have to be steps taken to avoid the appearance of aging.’
BEHAR: I can’t agree with the female part, because I think that, you know, a woman’s gonna age the same as a man. I don’t want to see Mitt Romney’s hair get any darker, frankly.
WALTERS: He says that a man ‘looks authoritative’ and a woman does not. That’s the difference.
BEHAR: Yes, except that I think that he has a point in that people’s looks impact the election.
RUSH: WHAT is going on here? This is two times in a row I have been discussed on The View, and they’re getting it right. It must be a little Christmas kiss (smooch) from the babes at The View. The gloves will come back off after the joyous holiday season comes to a screeching halt the 1st of January. Here’s the next clip.
WALTERS: I like Rush Limbaugh. He’s certainly provocative. Uh, for example, there was a woman named Margaret Thatcher — remember her? — British prime minister? Came in at 53, left at 65. Golda Meir? I mean, hardly a sex symbol —
WALTERS: — took office at 71, left at 76, came back again, and then Indira Gandhi, how she took office at 48, left at 59, took office again at 62.
WALTERS: She was assassinated at 66, maybe because she wasn’t sexy. I don’t know.
BEHAR: Ronald Reagan didn’t look young. He just had the red hair. But his face was old and he —
WALTERS: See, that’s — This is his point, that if a man gets old, he looks authoritative.
WALTERS: If a woman gets old —
BEHAR: I know, but what I’m saying to you, Barbara, is that men are held to a standard also, like, what’s his name? McCain. They’re saying he’s too old to run for president, which I don’t agree with. I happen to think he’s…pretty good.
RUSH: The too old to run for president has nothing to do with looks. It has to do with age and health and how long you’re going to be around. But let’s talk about Margaret Thatcher for just a second. I was first addressing American culture. I think Pamela Anderson would have a better shot at getting elected president of this country with her three marriages, than your average politician’s got three marriages and divorces. I mean, it’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but Margaret Thatcher? I’ll tell you, if Margaret Thatcher were running in this country… Ms. Walters has a point here: If Margaret Thatcher were running, as she was, we wouldn’t be hearing about her husband, and we wouldn’t be hearing about how she’s a woman, and we wouldn’t be hearing about how she’s not likable, and we wouldn’t be hearing about how she has all this experience because she was a first lady. We would be hearing nothing like we are hearing from the Hillary campaign. We would be hearing from Margaret Thatcher on the future of the country and what she intended to do about it and what was important.
We would be hearing broad, defining, tremendously important, soaring issues that the country would face in the future. We wouldn’t be getting all this female pap. We wouldn’t be getting all of this first woman stuff, and all of the trials and tribulations of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, and we wouldn’t be talking about her looks because she would so overpower us with her intellect and with the force of her commitment and her passion. We wouldn’t be listening to a bunch of platitudinous, meaningless phrases, ‘I have worked 35 years for this,’ and gotten nothing done. ‘I’m an agent of change. I’m an agent of friendly change.’ That’s the latest take on the campaign. Now she’s ‘friendly.’ Now she’s ‘likable.’ It is stunning how this campaign changes its focus on a daily basis based on polling data, and that would not be the case with Lady Thatcher. Golda Meir, no question, was great. We’re not talking about Israeli culture here. We’re not talking about Indian culture. (I was not, anyway.) I was talking about American pop culture as it is today.