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RUSH: The ABC Iowa poll. Mentioned this to you yesterday. It’s Obama 30, Hillary 27, and the Breck Girl at 22%. If you look closer, if you look at the internals, you will see that the lead that Obama has is two points, not three. This is margin-of-error stuff, when you ask people who are definitely going to go to the Hawkeye Cauci. Now, there’s some conventional wisdom out there. Scott Rasmussen and his polling data and Dick Morris both say that Iowa only matters. Well, Hillary can lose Iowa and really not be hurt by it, unless she loses by ten points. Rasmussen’s theory is that Iowa only matters if Hillary wins, or else loses by ten points. But you have to wonder, folks, if Obama really does win the Iowa caucuses, the conventional wisdom is that Hillary was never going to run strong there and that she can withstand the loss, but you almost throw that out because the Drive-Bys are already going berserk with this news. They can barely contain themselves. Let’s start at the top of the audio sound bites. They’re acting stunned, they’re acting shocked. This is a montage from last night and tomorrow when the ABC polling data was released.

MAJOR GARRETT: Here are the poll numbers from Iowa. For the very first time, Barack Obama now leads in the state, 30% for Barack Obama, 26% for Hillary Clinton.

MATT LAUER: Barack Obama at 30%. Hillary Clinton 26.

CAROL COSTELLO: Barack Obama with 30% support and Hillary Clinton with 26%, in the make-or-break state of Iowa.

WILLIE GEIST: Barack Obama has a slim lead, 30%, Hillary Clinton at 26.

CHRIS CILLIZZA: Wow, Barack Obama 30, Hillary Clinton 26.

RUSH: Yeah, they’re all stunned by it out there. Why are they so stunned? They have made him. The Drive-Bys have made Obama who he is. But if they’re this stunned over a poll in November, and he actually pulls this out, then they can create the image that this was a huge upset. ‘Why, nobody was expecting this! Why, what happened to the inevitability of Mrs. Clinton?’ Let’s go to this morning’s Good Morning America, Robin Roberts spoke with George ‘Stephy’ Stephanopoulos about these numbers, and the question is this: ‘Along with Obama’s lead, the ABC News poll shows some troubling results when it comes to honesty with Senator Clinton. Only 50% of those polled say she’s willing to say what she really thinks, and when asked who was most trustworthy, Obama beats her two-to-one. So what is it they don’t think she’s being honest about?’

STEPHANOPOULOS: A whole lot of things, Robin. Remember two weeks ago there was this debate where Hillary had some trouble answering those questions on whether or not she would give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. Ever since then, her opponents, both Barack Obama and John Edwards, have been driving this issue of honesty and trustworthiness on every issue. They say that Senator Clinton is not saying that she thinks about Social Security, is not saying what she thinks about what she would dune in Iran or Iraq and it’s starting to take a toll about Senator Clinton now in Iowa.

RUSH: I hate to agree with George ‘Stephy’ Stephanopoulos, but he’s right, she’s in a fight now, whether anybody acknowledges it beyond Stephanopoulos or not, she is — and notice, it didn’t take a whole lot for this to happen. It took one talk show host — me — forcing a question on one debate, on illegal aliens getting driver’s licenses in the state of New York. And that caused fallout on a whole bunch of things. It really didn’t take much to disrupt this notion of inevitability. Let’s go Hardball with Chris Matthews last night, talking to the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza. Question, let’s talk about Barack Obama and the big pop he got out there in Iowa.

CILLIZZA: I think everyone’s going to see this tomorrow and think, wow, Barack Obama 30, Hillary Clinton 26. Now, pollsters will tell you, well, the statistical margin of error, not all that much has changed: baloney. This race is about perception, and if people perceive Barack Obama as surging, that is very important. Remember, the biggest argument in Hillary Clinton’s favor is that she is inevitable, that she’s going to win this nomination no matter what. Well, when polling starts to come out that shows Barack Obama ahead of her, that argument really goes to pieces.

RUSH: You can see the Drive-Bys here are just beside themselves with excitement and glee, because they like covering exciting things, and, of course, they think this was unexpected, and if she actually loses Iowa, why, you can expect this times ten. Like I say, she’s in a fight now whether anybody acknowledges it or not, and it didn’t take much to cause it, didn’t take much more a lot of this to happen. I’m convinced, folks, that her support — outside of a minority of Democrat power brokers — is actually fairly thin. I actually believe this. She’s an un… Well, can’t say ‘unknown.’ There’s nothing real about this. This whole notion of inevitability, it’s gotten its first whack now. I don’t think Democrats really like her. I think there’s more fear of the whole Clinton machine inside the Democrat Party than there is genuine affection for Mrs. Clinton. They don’t like her bullying tactics. They don’t like the minions that she employs, and you watch, all these people care about is winning — and they will drop her like a hot potato if they think she won’t win the Democrat primary or the general election. If that notion gets in enough heads of these shaky little Democrats out there — and I’m talking about the power brokers — they will drop her, and they’ll have hell to pay with Clinton, Bill Clinton, on the other side of this. Now, don’t get ahead of yourselves here. I’m not saying she won’t be nominated, or I’m not saying that she will be. I’m saying this is a potentially tighter battle than the Drive-Bys want it to be and have reported it to be. She’s got to fight for this nomination. That was never the plan. The plan was to make it look like she was in a fight and had beaten Obama, but the actual intention to have a fight was never part of the plan.


RUSH: A little inside radio stuff here for just a brief second. Mike, I have a song I want you to find and edit in the bumper rotation as soon as you can, Shakin’ All Over by The Guess Who. I remember playing that song when I was a kid. I heard it on the radio the other day and I had not heard it in I don’t know how many years, and I’m obsessing over it.

Now, I want to continue this Hillary analysis. She’s in a real fight, and this was never part of the plan. The plan was to make it look like she was in a fight, to counter the inevitability, to show her as having strength, and force, and power, and commitment, and all that rot. But now she’s really, really in a fight, and it didn’t take a lot for it to happen. She’s gotta big problem, folks, she is a bad candidate. Despite all this talk, the Drive-Bys on how disciplined she is, and how on-message she is, she’s a bad candidate, and she’s a bad candidate because she’s not likable. She has a terrible delivery. She is a radical trying to conceal her radicalism, exactly as I told Martha MacCallum yesterday. She’s trying to do everything she can to keep people from finding out what her real agenda is. That makes her appear like a flip-flopper and somebody who’s unsure of herself ? la this driver’s licenses for illegals, and even that Las Vegas debate. The whole thing was a sop to Clinton. You have Carville, who works at CNN, Begala, who works at CNN, you have six Democrat operatives as question plants, while we’re being told that they are undecided, independent voters and so forth. There were no hard questions from the moderators at all.

What Hillary is going for here is her party’s apparatus. She wants to secure the power of the Democrat Party’s apparatus and have that guarantee her the nomination rather than actually winning it in votes. She’s gotta do both but the apparatus is who turns out votes for people. They’re the ones who have the walking-around money. The apparatus is going to make sure that certain cauci caucis go to the cauci, you know, and caucus when they get to the cauci. She and her henchmen control the Democrat Party, Podesta’s group, Media Matters for America, they control the party apparatus. Bill Clinton and Clinton, Inc. She’s a poor candidate, despite the claim that she’s disciplined and all that, and she knows she’s a poor candidate. This is the dirty little secret, which is why she limits press contact. It’s why she’s raising a fortune for propaganda commercials so she doesn’t have to do anything in person that actually reaches out and connects with people.

Obama, let’s talk about him for a second. Obama is full of platitudes and the usual left-wing nonsense, and his inexperience is on display, especially when it comes to policy. But he’s a likable guy and he’s good on the campaign trail. Back in 2004, I have made this analogy repeatedly, and I don’t think it’s a full-fledged good analogy, a total analogy, but back at this time in 2003, who was the presumed nominee? It was Howard Dean. He goes to Iowa and he lost by over 15 points there, and that was it. Then we got the scream, said he was going to go on to New Hampshire, argggghhh! And he was done. Then there came the haughty John Kerry who was borrowing $6 million from his wife about this time in 2003 to be able to stay in the campaign. The Democrats care about winning, and they’re going to flock to whoever they think is electable, which is what happened to Kerry after the Hawkeye Cauci, that gave him momentum going into New Hampshire. (interruption) Yes, Mr. Snerdley, what’s the question? I didn’t say she’s not electable. I said, ‘I’m not saying she’s not electable, I’m not saying she’s going to win or is going to lose. I’m just saying she’s in a fight now and this was not anticipated.’

The idea that she’s running this disciplined campaign and so forth is falling apart. She’s not a good candidate. Look, to understand this — and I hate to be redundant — but you’ve gotta go back and ask yourself a couple of really fundamentally simple questions. If her name were not Clinton would we even be talking about her as a presidential candidate? What in the world has she done, literally? What has she done? What are her qualifications? What has she done to unite the country? What has she done to motivate and inspire the country? What has she done in her career that will lead anybody to believe she’s presidential? Nothing! It’s just her turn. This is nothing more than a sop to her for bucking up Bill all these years and making sure he stayed viable. By the way, it’s Bill’s desire to stay in the White House, too, and get back in there for another eight years. Other than that, there’s nothing. If her last name were Hillary Smith, nobody would even know her. We wouldn’t even know her.

Now, you may think this is a put-down, but she’s out there talking about 35 years of standing up for children, standing up for the poor. Did you ever hear about her before 1992? If she’s got all these years of experience, I want to know how come the reputation didn’t start until Bill starts seeking the White House in 1992. I’m saying that kind of campaign is one built on cards, not legitimacy, and to prop up an illegitimate candidate and candidacy, you need the henchmen who control the Democrat Party. You need a certain way of behaving so that you’re not challenged, so that your inexperience and your unlikability are not on display all the time. That’s why she’s raising all this money to run propaganda commercials, which are going to be full of platitudes. Let me give you a better illustration of this, maybe not better, but a different one, different way of going about this.

Hillary has an op-ed in the Des Moines Register today. Headline: ”Clinton: Restore US leadership; Rebuild Middle Class’ — After eight years of failed leadership under President Bush, the next president will face extraordinary challenges: a war to end; an economy to revive; an energy crisis to solve; 47 million Americans to insure; a homeland to secure; alliances to repair; and a world in need of American leadership.’ Now, I can reread that whole sentence, changing one word, and it would be accurate. After eight years of failed leadership under President Clinton, the next president will face extraordinary challenges: a war to end — Kosovo, Bosnia — an economy to revive — we had a recession, 2001, 2002 — an energy crisis to solve, 47 million Americans to insure, a homeland to secure, alliances to repair, and a world in need of American leadership.

My point is, in eight years of Clinton, they did none of these things, and yet she’s saying, I’ve got the experience to fix these things. You had eight years, Mrs. Clinton, you and your husband, and you did nothing. Every single item here is totally valid if you put the name President Clinton in it instead of President Bush. So you tell me, where is her experience? They were bellyaching over 42 million uninsured back when she wanted to start her health care plan, got nothing done on it. You know, Kucinich actually said something that made sense in the last debate. He said, why in the world do we want people who have failed once and said they can do it? Why give them a second chance, when they haven’t done it the first time? He was really talking about Hillary. By the way, I think the Clintons, if they’re on the ball, they will say that that poll question on honesty is a personal attack on Mrs. Clinton and they will attack ABC and they’ll send a note over to the political director at ABC warning him not to put such questions in polls again or else. That would be typical of the Clintons.

Let’s keep going with this piece. Mrs. Clinton writing in the Des Moines Register: ‘Today, we’re ready for change. But we know that change is just a word without the strength and experience to make it happen. So we need a president who’s been tested – who’s ready to lead on day one and fight for results every day in the White House. That is exactly what I’ve been doing for the past 35 years, standing up for abused and neglected children as a young lawyer, for universal health care as first lady, and for our troops and first responders, family farmers, rural families and others in the Senate.’ Fine. Thirty-five years of standing up and where are the results? If she really had worked wonders in the last 35 years, there wouldn’t be an argument over this. I’ve stood up for a lot of people, too. Stood up for myself a lot of times — that’s nothing! ‘I’ve pointed fingers at people who are the reason children are poor.’ Have you solved child poverty? Well, I’ve called attention to it. I care. This is Mrs. Clinton speaking. She hasn’t done anything. By the way, if she had and all these records in the Clinton library and massage, prove it, they’d get ’em out. I’m telling you they’d get ’em out. There’s nothing there, folks, other than the perceived inevitability and it’s her turn.

Let’s keep going. ‘You know where I stand,’ she writes in the Des Moines Register, ‘And you know that when I stand with you, I never give up, I never back down and I never stop fighting — no matter how tough it gets.’ This may be the most absurd of all. She just gave up and she just backed down on fighting for driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, and she gave up in a matter of two weeks. She did two flip-flops on that. ‘I never give up. I never back down and I never stop fighting.’ And then there’s this final passage that I will share with you from her Des Moines Register column. ‘Third, I’ll reform our government: no more cronyism and no-bid contracts – and we’ll appoint qualified people to positions of power again.’ All right, Web Hubbell, Janet Reno, Henry Cisneros, Jamie Gorelick, Madeleine Albright, Ira Magaziner, Sandy Burglar. She says that she has a record of appointing qualified, corruption-free people to the government? This is why, ladies and gentlemen, I am your host. Others could read this column and just sit there and say, ‘This is BS.’ I have demonstrated it to you as total BS in a way that you will not have demonstrated to you anywhere else, unless, of course, we’re plagiarized, which we expect. It happens.


RUSH: Well, that was fast. Here it is, Shaking All Over by The Guess Who. Let’s grab some phone calls. People have been waiting.

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