Wednesday, March 4, 2009
White House behind making Rush the face of GOP
The White House is part of the strategy to paint Rush Limbaugh as the image and voice of the Republican Party, POLITICO reports. And it seems to be successful, thanks to Rush.
The GOP is hampered by the lack of a leader, a national public voice. And Limbaugh is embracing the White House and Democratic Party effort, POLITICO says.
I don't care for Rush. And the White House thinks most of the American people feel the same.
Here is what POLITICO reports:
Top Democrats believe they have struck political gold by depicting Rush Limbaugh as the new face of the Republican Party, a full-scale effort first hatched by some of the most familiar names in politics and now being guided in part from inside the White House.
The strategy took shape after Democratic strategists Stanley Greenberg and James Carville included Limbaugh’s name in an October poll and learned their longtime tormentor was deeply unpopular with many Americans, especially younger voters. Then the conservative talk-radio host emerged as an unapologetic critic of Barack Obama shortly before his inauguration, when even many Republicans were showering him with praise.
Soon it clicked: Democrats realized they could roll out a new GOP bogeyman for the post-Bush era by turning to an old one in Limbaugh, a polarizing figure since he rose to prominence in the 1990s.
Limbaugh is embracing the line of attack, suggesting a certain symbiosis between him and his political adversaries.
"The administration is enabling me,” he wrote in an e-mail to POLITICO. “They are expanding my profile, expanding my audience and expanding my influence. An ever larger number of people are now being exposed to the antidote to Obamaism: conservatism, as articulated by me. An ever larger number of people are now exposed to substantive warnings, analysis and criticism of Obama's policies and intentions, a ‘story’ I own because the [mainstream media] is largely the Obama Press Office.”
The bigger, the better, agreed Carville. “It’s great for us, great for him, great for the press,” he said of Limbaugh. “The only people he’s not good for are the actual Republicans in Congress.”
If Limbaugh himself were to coin a phrase for it, he might call it Operation Rushbo – an idea that started out simply enough but quickly proved to be deeply resonant by a rapid succession of events, say Democrats inside and outside the West Wing.
There's no doubt that Obama's people know the image game front and back. They elected their man with ease. And now they'll keep the GOP opposition minimized with Rush as its face.