RUSH: Do you remember, ladies and gentlemen, when George W. Bush — some of you new to the program, if you’ve not heard this, it’s amazing. When George W. Bush was looking for a vice presidential candidate to run with him he appointed Cheney to head up the search committee, and Cheney said, “I don’t need to look. I’m your guy.” And Bush said, “You know what, you’re right. You don’t need to look. You are my guy.”
So Bush chose Cheney and the media went out, and we had an audio montage put together, had to be 25 different media people all explaining how Bush had chosen Cheney because he needed gravitas. In other words, Bush was a lightweight. Bush was an idiot. Bush was a cowboy from Texas, a pretend, faux Ivy Leaguer. But Cheney, there was some heft. He was gravitas. It was amazing. It’s like a memo went out from some central location to advise every analyst and commentator to refer to this as gravitas. It was uncanny.
So we are on the lookout at all times for repeats of that phenomenon. And we have one. I’ve got more people here than I can count referring to President Obama after his speech last night, some before the speech — listen to this and it will become abundantly clear to you.
ANTONIO MORA: The president has been described as a very reluctant warrior.
JONATHAN KARL: It was a remarkable moment for a reluctant warrior.
ERROL BARNETT: This reluctant war-time president.
JOE KERNEN: A reluctant war president.
CHUCK TODD: This is a president, although a very reluctant warrior.
RICHARD HAASS: A war-weary America, a reluctant president.
ED HENRY: He’s a reluctant warrior.
GEORGE MITCHELL: A reluctant warrior than one who’s seeking combat.
JOHN HEILEMANN: A very reluctant warrior.
AL HUNT: Come across as a reluctant warrior.
HAROLD FORD JR.: Reluctant, as is a reluctant warrior.
JUDY WOODRUFF: This reluctance, that heÂ’s doing this reluctantly.
MARK SHIELDS: I donÂ’t think thereÂ’s any question of his reluctance.
DAVID BROOKS: Reluctant leader whoÂ’s reluctant to go to war.
DAVID GERGEN: He’s a very reluctant warrior.
JOHN HARWOOD: He’s deeply reluctant.
VAN JONES: HeÂ’s gone and turned tonight from being that reluctant warrior to being an actual warrior against ISIS.
RUSH: It’s just uncanny. If I were in that business, I would want to say something unique. I would want to say something different. I would want to come up with a description that nobody else had. Let me give you the names of people associated with what you just heard. Antonio Mora, Jonathan Karl, Errol Barnett, Joe Kernen, F. Chuck Todd, Richard Haass, Ed Henry, George Mitchell, John Heilemann, Al Hunt, Harold Ford Jr., Judy Woodruff. Hers was especially good.
Judy Woodruff said, “This reluctance, that he’s doing this reluctantly.” As though her audience didn’t know what reluctance meant. Jonathan Alter had that role in the gravitas sound bite. Gravitas, he said, to add weight to a thing. As though the audience doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Then there was Mark “Maxi” Shields, David Brooks, David “Rodham” Gergen, John Harwood, and Van Jones. Reluctant warrior. He doesn’t want to do this. No way. He’s being dragged into this.
The reluctant warrior bit, folks, is the subtle way to inform the low-information crowd that this is a leftover mess from George W. Bush. Obama got us out of there. Obama finally got us out of there. He doesn’t want to go back in there. Obama doesn’t want to rekindle, but, damn it, because Bush screwed it up — that’s unstated — he’s gotta go back in and he’s reluctant, but he’s a responsible guy, and he’s a great leader, and he’s gonna do what has to be done. Even though he’s reluctant, even though he’s a warrior, he really doesn’t want to do this, but he’s been dragged back.