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RUSH: I read today a piece written by a friend of mine named Michael Ledeen. I’ve quoted Michael Ledeen on this program before. He’s a noted scholar and think tank thinker, and he’s done a lot of thinking for a lot of different think tanks. He’s been associated with I think Heritage and a number of them. Now, what he’s primarily known for in recent years has been championing the cause of the Iranian people against the oppression that they face each and every day. He’s always been a staunch supporter of the United States military, keen observer, if you will, of the American political scene, and he has a submission here and I happened to receive a copy of it. It’s about this whole notion that Obama is so much smarter than all the rest of us. The reason why this appealed to me is because it’s a question I bring up on this program all the time all the time: What is smart?

I’ve always said that we need to redefine what it is, ’cause I don’t think Obama’s smart. I go totally against the conventional wisdom. I look at his gaffes, I look at his inability to speak without a teleprompter, I say, “Where is this notion that he’s brilliant, where does this come from?” Does it come from his ability to speak or read a teleprompter? It must be. I know that that’s a large part of it, and a lot of people by the same token thought Bush was not particularly smart because he looked like a deer in the headlights reading a teleprompter a lot, like they say Dan Quayle did. In fact, I was at dinner with some friends last night. This is kind of frustrating, too. These people are us, folks. I mean they count themselves as one of us and they’re saying, “You know, it doesn’t matter who we nominate, doesn’t matter. The American voter doesn’t care about substance. All the American voter cares about is what somebody looks like on television and how they sound. If they look good, they sound smart, that’s all it takes to become president.”

So the talk on the Republican side, therefore, centered around Mitt Romney. “Nobody else on our side fits the bill. It doesn’t matter.” I said, “Let me throw some names at you.” “I don’t care. Doesn’t matter.” I said, “Well, what about the elections in November of 2010, the congressional midterms?” There was nobody on the ballot then. I mean that was an election about nothing but substance. And in that election, the Democrats got shellacked. There wasn’t a pretty boy on either ballot. There wasn’t a national race that was being contested. House of Representatives, a bunch of individual races, the Senate, but you go even deep into the state ballots, and you’ll find that the Democrats lost600 to 700 seats in state legislatures.

And so my point to them was that there was a lot of substance on the ballot in November, and what was it? The Republicans didn’t offer any. I mean they basically shut up. The Republicans recognized that the Democrats were committing suicide, so when that happens you get out of the way and let the suicide happen. The precious independents were not voting for looks, they were not voting for articulate intelligence; they were voting against substance. They were voting against Obama. But that didn’t change anybody’s mind. So I’m here, I’m doing a program each and every day devoted to substance, and I’m listening to the fact that that doesn’t matter to a whole lot of people, not everybody, but to a whole lot of people.

“They’re not gonna take the time, Rush, to care about the substance. They’re not that smart anyway, even if they want to know about the substance, they’re not smart enough to get it all. Why do you think Obama got elected? He’s the first black president, he sounded smart, looked pretty good, versus who was our guy,” and I had to admit they had a point there. But I don’t think our guy, even though our guy was leading in the polls before they dredged up the financial collapse, and our guy willingly canceled his own campaign, I still understood what they were saying. I tried every which way I knew to budge ’em off of it, and nope, doesn’t matter. So by extension you could conclude that there’s only a couple Republicans that they think have a prayer, and it has nothing to do with what any of them think.

I said, “Okay, Romney.” “Romney, he’s good-looking, he sounds good.” “Do you realize that Romney just came out and articulated the Obama position on global warming? “I don’t care, Rush, that’s my whole point, it doesn’t matter.” And then they said to me you have to win the election, then after you win the election, then that’s when you really start doing what you believe. But this was stupid because most of the people do not agree with Obama on global warming. “Well, the people that don’t vote Republican do, and that’s why it was smart for Mitt to do it.” So our guy should lie, deceive, and be good-looking. How many of you are nodding your head in agreement right now? Three people I see on my side of the glass here nodding their head in agreement. Yep, our guy should lie and deceive and be good-looking. Or our girl, too.

Oh, and they despise Palin, absolutely despise Palin, and the reason is they don’t think she has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. It wasn’t about specifics, well, in one case it was about specifics of Palin, although I didn’t bother digging deep there, but it was just no chance. You gotta nominate somebody that could win, but not on substance. It’s gotta be looks and perceived intelligence. And I know, I’ll tell you, the Bush years did have that effect on people on our side of the aisle because the Drive-Bys, State-Controlled Media portrayed Bush as a blithering idiot, and Bush never defended himself or responded to it, so he just let it hang out there.

Meanwhile, we have to sit here and listen to how smart Clinton is. We have to sit here and listen to how brilliant Obama is, when in fact Obama isn’t at all. And that takes me back to Michael Ledeen and a piece that he’s written that is a continuation of many other pieces he’s written along the same lines about the same subject. That Obama really is a gaffe machine, a walking embarrassing gaffe machine.


RUSH: “What’s Up With All the Presidential Gaffes, Anyway?” writes Michael Ledeen. “Big Media doesn’t pay much attention to them, even though Obama makes an amazing number of errors in his public statements. And I think it’s easy enough to understand why the BM largely ignores them: to report them all would totally undermine the image of the president to which a surprising number of ‘reporters’ and pundits are wedded: that of an unusually intelligent and well educated man. Yet someone who tells a crowd in Vienna that his ‘Austrian’ isn’t very good, who tells Marines that he’s pleased to speak to the ‘Marine Corpse,’ and who, just [yesterday], said he’d given the Medal of Honor to a survivor from the 10th Mountain Division, when in fact the award was given posthumously, doesn’t fit my definition of a brilliant and cultured man.”

I don’t know if you are aware of this, but this is a mistake that is pretty bad. This is bad. Obama did visit the 10th Mountain Division, and he congratulated them on their service, and he told the soldiers that were all gathered there that he had given the Medal of Honor to Jared Monti. President said: I’ve given this Medal of Honor to Jared Monti, who came back from Iraq alive. But he didn’t. Jared Monti died in Afghansitan. He was killed in 2006. It’s reminiscent of Vice President Bite Me in St. Louis. “Stand up, Chuck! Let ’em see you, Chuck!” He’s in a wheelchair. Bite Me notices he’s in a wheelchair and Bite Me says, “Oh, God bless you. Oh, gee! What I did I say? Everybody, let’s stand up for Chuck! Let’s stand up for Chuck.” But this? Here, we have audio. Here is the president making a mistake about a soldier killed in action in Afghanistan yesterday afternoon, Fort Drum in New York.

OBAMA: I had the great honor of seeing some of you because, uh, a comrade of yours — uh, Jared Monti — was the first person who I was able to award, uh, the Medal of Honor to, uh, who actually came back and wasn’t, uhhh, receiving it posthumously.

RUSH: He did receive it posthumously. He did not come back. Obama had no clue what he was talking about. Whoever put that on his teleprompter had no clue what he was talking about. Nobody in this regime knows what they’re talking about. Now, some people think they do this on purpose, just to insult members of the military. “Yes, there was a Medal of Honor winner who lived to receive it, but it was a different man. The living honoree is named Giunta; the deceased hero from the 10th Mountain Division was named Monti. Both are Italian names. Did a White House speechwriter confuse the two Italians? And if so, what does that tell us about the ship under the command of President Obama? That’s worth pondering for a moment.

“When you add up all the mistakes [Obama has] made — not slips of the tongue, but real errors in statements and speeches he could read from the ubiquitous teleprompter — they make quite a number. So what? you may ask. The answer is that hundreds of people traditionally read the drafts of presidential speeches and statements. That happens for two good reasons. First, presidential utterances are instant policy. It’s hard to walk away from a public statement. Second, the myriad political appointees want their leader to look good, and they strain to ensure the accuracy of his statements,” that they write for him and end up on the teleprompter.

“Or at least they” used to. Ledeen says, “I don’t think that is happening in this administration. A friend said to me earlier today that he was really amazed at the discipline of Obama’s team, specifically in the small number of leaks compared with previous administrations,” and that’s because so few people are in the loop and know anything going on, because nobody trusts anybody in there. But he goes on to point out we’re not dealing with a profound intellect here. Fifty-seven states? We can recount all the faux pas here, and they just laugh and look the other way. “Oh, yeah, it’s just Obama.” But this is major: Announcing somebody as alive who isn’t, at an awards ceremony!


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