Monday, March 02, 2009

Playing the Republicans

Do these guys understand that they're being played?
Observers wondered why Barack Obama evoked the name of Rush Limbaugh back in January when he met with congressional Republicans in one of his high profile bipartisan gestures. The New York Post reported that Obama cited Limbaugh as an example to not follow in his first meeting with GOP leaders after taking office:
"You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package.
As Sam Stein notes, Rahm Emmanuel picked up on the theme on Sunday:
Not missing any opportunity to make Rush Limbaugh the figurehead of the GOP, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel called the brash talk show host the "voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican Party" on Sunday.
In an appearance with D.L. Hughley, GOP chair Michael Steele rose to pointed out that if anyone was the head of the party, it was he and not Limbaugh:
HUGHLEY: Like Rush Limbaugh, who is the de facto leader of the Republican Party.
STEELE: No, he’s not.
HUGHLEY: I will tell you what …
STEELE: I’m the de facto leader of the Republican Party.
Predictably, Steele turned around and tried to patch things up with Limbaugh, as reported in Politico:
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele says he has reached out to Rush Limbaugh to tell him he meant no offense when he referred to the popular conservative radio host as an “entertainer” whose show can be “incendiary.”
“My intent was not to go after Rush – I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh,” Steele said in a telephone interview. “I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. … There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.”
According to a Gallup poll released last month, Limbaugh is viewed favorably by Republicans, but unfavorably by independents by a 25 to 45 percent margin.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good overview. This is just getting better. It is so meta now that if it wasn't Rush we were talking about, it would backfire on the DEMs and their media machinery.

9:07 AM, March 04, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This wouldn't even be a story if the Republicans weren't playing along.

Dems vs Rush = predictable yawn

Repubs vs Rush and losing to Rush = pass the popcorn.

10:11 AM, March 05, 2009  
Blogger Steven H. Newton said...

Why would we expect the GOP to realize it's being played now, when they didn't catch on when Obama neutralized Hannity during the campaign by talking about him?

Between Reagan, Clinton, and Obama, despite policy differences, we have the three politicans who each mastered the state of media in their day to a level not seen in American since FDR, and not really possible before him.

10:16 AM, March 05, 2009  

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