Every Little Kid's Dream: The Hall of Fame
May 15, 2012
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RUSH: Well, folks, I have to tell you, what red-blooded American kid growing up in the Midwest doesn't dream of being in the Hall of Fame someday? And yesterday I made it into the Hall of Fame in the state of Missouri, with a bust and everything. And it's a great bust. It's an awesome-looking bust. What a fun day it was yesterday. And, of course, the libs are deranged. The Democrats are beside themselves. This is not the way this is supposed to be happening.
Anyway, great to have you here as we kick off another partial week of broadcast excellence. I hope now you understand why on Friday I didn't say, "I'll see you Monday." I said "next week." And why I didn't say specifically where I was going. I'll have full details for you about the day and the event that it was. It was a great honor for our family, really, is what this really was, and so many of my family showed up, drove from all over the Midwest to be there for this event. I must have posed for 200 pictures and signed a bunch of autographs. Everybody was just fabulous. It could not have been greater. From the moment we got off the airplane until we left, everybody we ran into was just as sweet, nice, as they could be.
RUSH: You would never make it to any Hall of Fame if you're afraid of failure. I'm next to Harry Truman, Mark Twain -- of course, what's funny is the governor of the state of Missouri is Democrat, Jay Nixon, and honestly there's a statement from the governor's office yesterday, 'cause they run the rotunda. The Speaker, Steve Tilley, is the guy who suggested that I join the Hall of Fame. He's the guy spearheaded it. He's the one who made it happen. He's the one that took the arrows. This guy was being fired on from the moment he suggested this. Never once did he waver.
There's also something that happened yesterday the Democrats don't know about yet. He-he-he-he-he-he-he-he-he. It wasn't part of the ceremony. He-he-he-he-he-he-he. I mean the national Democrats, not just the Missouri Democrats. Anyway, Steve was a real trooper. He loves life. This guy is having fun. He's term limited. He's leaving. He's an eye doctor. This is his last term as a member of the Missouri House of Representatives. This is right there in the House chamber where this happened. So much of my life that has happened, none of it was ever expected. And certainly in my family, this kind of thing, I was the last one anybody thought would receive this kind of accolade or honor.
As I mentioned yesterday in my remarks, you know how after a championship sporting event they talk to the star of the game, inevitably the star of the game says, "Yeah, I'm the first member of my family to go to college." Well, I'm the first member of my family not to. I'm the only member of my family not to, and I didn't follow the family path in life, which was the law. That was the whole point of my remarks. Despite all of that, everybody in the family was always supportive and always has been. In fact, I've got some sound bites, some excerpts of this yesterday, the acceptance.
Peter Kinder, a family friend, is lieutenant governor. He made some introductory remarks and went through all the things that have happened of note in my career, and I heard some of them. It was tough hearing in there with the echo chamber and everything, but I was surprised I had forgotten so much of the stuff that had happened in my career and the way he put it in context. It would be unseemly for me to mention it. It would be bragging, so I'm not going to. Look at Mark Twain: Samuel Clemens was a financial failure all of his life 'cause he took risks. He's in the Missouri Hall of Fame.
The governor of the state, Jay Nixon, his office put out a statement yesterday saying that they're not going to put my bust in the capitol rotunda, or somebody's asking for the bust not to be put there because I say controversial things and don't deserve to be there. Which, fine. That's just the way things are today. They asked me to go eight to ten minutes, and that's a cough for me. I went 14. Nobody complained. So we have three sound bites. Here's the first one starting at the top.
RUSH ARCHIVE: I'm stunned. I'm not speechless, but (laughter) close to it. I'm literally quite unable to comprehend what's happening to me today. This is something that I never, ever considered would happen to me. As I'm listening to this list of qualifications or resume recitation, I'm reminded of why I'm here. You know, we're all the products of our families. Families define us, determine so much about us, and there are so many in my family that far more deserve to be standing up here today than I do. They have been supportive throughout every aspect of my life when it veered away from what the family direction was.
RUSH: The family direction was law. My family had a very, very domineering, positively so, influential patriarch. Our grandfather -- Pop -- Rush H. Limbaugh Sr., everybody wanted to be like him. You know, every family has a mythological character. Every business has a mythological figure about whom the most incredibly positive things are said. Of course, that legend grows and it's expanded in time, but all the things that were said about my grandfather were true. He never smoked, never drank. He was the epitome of dignity and sophistication and so forth. And he was a role model. Everybody wanted to be like him. There was this vision of a giant law firm: Limbaugh, Limbaugh, Limbaugh, Limbaugh, Limbaugh, Limbaugh, and they'd go hire somebody else just to have another name on the door.
A lot of the family went into law. A lot of my cousins and my brother and so forth. But I was never interested. I told them yesterday I hated school. From the time I was eight years old I found out I wanted to be on the radio. School to me was prison. I explained to them, my father reluctantly supported me as I embarked on my radio career only because it was the only thing in my life I'd never quit up 'til that time. He made me join the Boy Scouts. I was a Tenderfoot for a year. You know what you have to do to be a Tenderfoot? Nothing. You just join. Not one merit badge, nothing. Tenderfoot for a year. (laughing) I was doing so many things everybody else wanted me to. I just wasn't interested, 'cause I knew what I wanted to do. And also I knew school couldn't help me. Well, that's the wrong way to put it. What I mean to say is I had a talent and there was no school to go to for talent.
I knew what I wanted to do, and so everything that prevented me from doing it was an obstacle. And school was an obstacle, in my immature view at the time. Here I am playing Donny Osmond records on the radio, and my family is looking at me, "Where is this gonna lead?" And of course nowhere. At age 28, my disc jockey days over, fired for the sixth or seventh time. So I quit and went to work for the Kansas City Royals, went back to work on radio. I mean I've told you all this story, but I spoke of it in brief yesterday as a means of expressing just how much throughout all of this the family, everybody in the family was 100%, totally supportive and have been since day one. Here's the second sound bite.
RUSH ARCHIVE: My family has supported me through every up and down. You know, through no fault of their own, I have brought all kinds of attention to them, that I'm sure they never intended or planned on. And it's not enough that I know how to put up with it. It's not something they bargained for but they've been right there supporting me throughout all of this. Never once have I heard one critical thing asking me to stop or change what I'm doing because of any damage I might be incurring to the family. My family is singularly responsible for me being here today, being so honored, as I am today. And I really -- my hope, my dream's always been that throughout my life, that many more members of my family become known, and it's understood about them that they are as deserving, if not more so, than I am of this. You can't replace your family. You can't change them, and my family is the best family. Being from Missouri, somebody once asked me, "What do you think would have happened to you, your radio show, if you'd been born in the Northeast or the West Coast?" I actually think, being born in Missouri, there is something to Midwestern cultural values. There's something to it. Something really substantive about having it.
RUSH: And I went on to point out that I think being from the Midwest with those particular values, at the time I was born and growing up, was instrumental in helping me be able to acquire a national audience on radio, not just a regional one. And I can't emphasize enough how much the support of everybody in my family has meant throughout this. Not one of them ever has sent a note or made a phone call, "Do you think you could maybe tone it down a little?" That's never, ever, happened. It's been just the exact opposite. And that you can't replace. That kind of love, you can't replace, and the gratitude that I feel is practically impossible to express. Now, at the end -- this is by no means all of it, these two sound bites synthesize it. But at the end, I remembered that I had forgotten to expressly thank the Speaker, Steve Tilley, for singularly making this happen. Well, and the Republican caucus, for making this happen. And, by the way, it would have been easy, Tilley coulda done this without me being there. I mean there was opposition to it.http://www.rushimg.com/cimages//media/images/tilley/960167-1-eng-GB/Tilley_large.jpg
The moment it was announced, it happened to coincide with something in the news about free contraceptives, and so there was all kinds of opposition to it, and Tilley, if he wanted to, could have done this without me being there. I didn't have to be there. They coulda done this with just a short little ceremony in his office, in the chambers and so forth, "Okay, Limbaugh is now a member of the hall of famous Missourians," and so forth. But he wasn't gonna do it until I could be there, whenever that was, and knowing full well that he was inviting all kinds of flak and attention. So I thanked him at the end of my remarks this way. And this is why, folks, if you've read some of the media and think the comments are somewhat snarky, this is what did it.
RUSH ARCHIVE: The Speaker himself has been under assault for wanting to do this. And, believe me, it's easy to say, "You know what, Rush, we'd be better off if we try this some other --" He didn't do that. He hung in. It was tough. He did not give them any quarter. Laughed at them when they called his office, which is what you have to do, cause they're deranged. (laughter)
RUSH: Well, that's now why the governor's office is suggesting the bust not be put in the rotunda and all that because I characterized them as deranged. In their singular opposition to me, they're deranged. I don't think there's any question about it. But he was getting phone calls in his office from not just the general public -- most of the general public was supportive of this -- but elected Democrats were trying to hassle him and so forth. Essentially, folks, I fought the law, the law lost on this, and now I'm in the hall of famous Missourians, and I'm deeply gratified for the honor. I wish everybody coulda seen this. I had no idea what a big deal it was gonna be. I really didn't.
RUSH: I say this a lot. My parents would not believe my life. My mother and dad would not believe it. Well, my mom might because she saw enough of what happened to me before she passed away. My father saw very little. He wouldn't believe it. He didn't think it was possible without going to college. I mean his formative years were the Great Depression. If you didn't get a college degree, you didn't have a chance. That was it, no choice, no prayer whatsoever. You were forever going to be an outcast in every which way, socially, intellectually, employment-wise, you didn't have a chance.
My dad thought he was a failure his whole life because he couldn't convince me to go to college. He tried everything. I mean, he even took away my car and my mother was driving me to school, to college. How many college students, their parents take them to make sure they get there? They found out I was skipping ballroom dance. So it was a really momentous day, as I say, for our entire family, not just for me. And again, I really don't have the words, which is a strange circumstance for me, to adequately express my appreciation and gratitude to Steve Tilley and all of the Republicans in the Missouri House of Representatives for hanging tough. I mean they brought a lot of controversy. Well, not controversy, they brought a lot of attention to themselves that normally politicians don't like. It's like I told them, you know, I can survive being hated. In fact, I can even thrive being hated. But you can't. There's a big difference in getting votes and getting an audience. And I was truly humbled and gratified by what they did for me yesterday and how they stood behind it from the first moment they were attacked.
RUSH: Snerdley wants to know if we had a party yesterday. We flew to St. Louis. A lot of my family lives in St. Louis. We to Mike Shannon's steakhouse. He's the play-by-play for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball. He used to play third base. He's got a great restaurant, and we went there, and I forgot something that was very important. My driver, a great guy named Victor, went all the way back to the airport to get it for me. And Victor's a -- (laughing) -- you get off the plane and there's your driver, and Victor is almost a dead ringer for Warren Sapp. He's got a James Earl Jones voice. He's got a great set of pipes. I got off the plane, introduced myself, "Rush Limbaugh."
"Oh, I know. I know who you are, sir."
And I said, "Okay, cool." Victor knows who I am. That's good.
Anyway, we had a caravan. We had three SUVs. It was just a hoot. That's where we went, and everybody went their own separate ways. Kathryn and I flew home and got in about midnight, and it was time for show prep, and here we are.