The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

25 August 2008

Obama's VP Pick Energizes Conservative Talk Radio


For Talkers, Biden Pick Provides Unexpected Boost

Though we know he didn't do it intentionally, Barack Obama's weak running mate choice has given conservative talk radio hosts a highly- unexpected shot in the arm. For weeks, if not months, talkers have been praying the left's messiah would choose Biden or another equally-weak VP contender.

Between his troubled political history (including a past plagiarism flap) and entrenched Beltway insider status, Biden has been viewed as the most vulnerable of Obama's potential choices.

But conservative talkers didn't keep this view to themselves. Despite openly wishing for Biden's selection, Barack chose him anyway.

In fact, Rush Limbaugh's past words in "support" of Biden became fodder for Sunday morning political programming, which in turn became a discussion topic on today's show:

Thank You for Giving Us Joe Biden

August 25, 2008


Let's go to the audio sound bites, yesterday CNN Late Edition, Wolf Blitzer had this exchange with Barack Obama advisor Anita Dunn:

BLITZER: I'm going to play a little clip, Anita. I want you to you listen to what Rush Limbaugh said on Wednesday before we knew that Joe Biden was, in fact, the running mate. Listen to what Rush Limbaugh said:

RUSH: I really hope it's Biden. We don't want to say that too loud, but I really do hope that it's Joe Biden 'cause we've got a mountain of archival audio on Joe Biden.

BLITZER: "A mountain of archival audio on Joe Biden." Joe Biden has been on television and on the radio a lot over the years. How worried are you that the McCain campaign, the Republicans, are now going to throw back at you all of the stuff -- a lot of the comments -- that Joe Biden made over the years?

DUNN: Well, you know, Wolf, I think that, Um, Rush Limbaugh doesn't need a lot of help from our campaign with audio from our show. He makes it up if we don't give it to him.

RUSH: (laughing) Let me tell you something, Anita. You guys are giving me problems. I'm on information overload today. I've got more than I can squeeze. I don't know what to do first. I can't decide which of what you people are doing is most newsworthy in terms of incompetence and foolishness and outrageousness. I'm sort of in a paralysis mode here trying to figure it all out. Make it up? You people have been writing my script here -- I'm sorry. Your candidate has been writing my script here for about six months. Make it up? Let's go to the audio sound bites, Anita, and let's listen to this. This is September 1988 on the campaign trail. This is on C-SPAN, it's an exchange between a man identified only as Frank and Biden, and Frank asks Biden a question: "What law school did you attend, and where did you place in that class, and the other question is..."

BIDEN: I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do, I suspect! I went to law school on a full academic scholarship, the only one in my -- in my class, uh, to have a full academic scholarship. And the first year in law school I decided I didn't want to be in law school and ended up in the bottom two-thirds of my class and then decided I wanted to stay, went back to law school and in fact ended up in the top half of my class. I won the international moot court competition. I was the outstanding student in the political science department at the end of my year. I graduated with three degrees from undergraduate school and 165 credits -- I only needed 123 credits -- and I'd be delighted to sit down and compare my IQ to yours, if you'd like, Frank.

RUSH: And it turns out that when you do some research you find out that half of what Biden said there is not true, and he had to later go back and revise his remarks. This is the year that he openly plagiarized Neil Kinnock, Lord Kinnock, the great labor leader from Great Britain. Here's more archival audio on Joe Biden for you, Anita. This is July 23rd, 2007, Charleston, South Carolina, during a YouTube debate. Viewer Jered Townsend said, "Good evening America. I'm Jered Townsend. I'm from Michigan. To all the candidates, tell me your position on gun control, as myself and other Americans really want to know if our babies are safe. This is my baby, purchased under the 1994 gun ban. Please tell me your views. Thank you." Anderson Cooper says, "Senator Biden, are you going to be able to keep his babies safe?"

BIDEN: If that's his baby, he needs help. Uhhh... (mocking laughter) I don't know that he's mentally qualified to own that gun. I'm the guy that wrote the assault weapons ban. Look, we should be working with law enforcement right now to make sure that we protect people against people who don't -- are not capable of knowing what to do with --


BIDEN -- a gun because they're either mentally unbalanced and/or because they have a criminal record.

RUSH: (laughing) So he just insulted the guy in the YouTube question by basically saying he's insane and doesn't have the right to own a gun. Here is something a little bit more serious. This is Meet the Press September 9th of 2007. Tim Russert says to Joe Biden, "General Petraeus said in a letter to his troops, 'My sense is we have achieved tactical momentum and wrested the initiative from our enemies in a number of areas of Iraq. We are, in short, a long way from the goal line, but we do have the ball. We are driving down the field.' Is that what you expect him to say tomorrow?"

There's another point, however, that apparently wasn't made on today's shows: how the odd timing of Obama's 3am announcement seemed designed to circumvent talk radio's weekday schedule.

Think about it: with the news breaking early Saturday morning, Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly and others had to wait two full days to talk about it on the radio. That gave Obama's campaign more than 48 hours in which to spin the decision the way they intended, without much in the way of opposition.

Your Radio Equalizer discussed this at the other site over the weekend.

And what coverage did occur came from the fawning mainstream media (MSM), which couldn't help but heap praise upon their leader for his "wise" decision.

With talk radio so often at the center of this year's political debate, it's not surprising to see a major candidate use a tactical maneuver in an attempt to circumvent its power. In the long run, however, Obama's still on the losing end with this profoundly weak VP choice.

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  • There was one other choice that would have been even better than Slo Joe Bide.

    That would have been John "Did you know I served in Viet Nam" Kerry.

    But "Plugs" will generate just as much fodder. It will be an enjoyable few months.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 26 August, 2008 08:36  

  • I heard Obama has held flat or slightly lower in poll ratings since choosing Biben as his VP.
    Schaenfreude all around!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 26 August, 2008 16:51  

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