Archives (Dec 20, 2012) > TIME: Obama Appealed to Low-Information Morons by Losing First Debate to Romney
TIME: Obama Appealed to Low-Information Morons by Losing First Debate to Romney
December 20, 2012
RUSH: You gotta hear this. Richard Stengel. You thought it was gonna be your story on the castration guy, right? That's coming up. You gotta hear this. Richard Stengel, the TIME Magazine guy, the editor. You know, yesterday he was on Today show, announced Obama as the Person of the Year. He said the reason why they named Obama Person of the of Year is because the no-information voters love the guy. They're transforming America. They actually said this. TIME magazine said it's remarkable he's worth being Person of the Year, 'cause he's the guy that ended up being able, the first politician to get votes from people who don't care about anything and who aren't paying attention. That is worth honoring in 2012, almost 2013 America.
That's what the guy said. I'm not putting words in his mouth. I mean, I'm paraphrasing, but it's what he said. It's noteworthy that finally we have a politician who is able to get votes from people who don't pay attention to anything. If only we had more people who could get the votes of people who don't know anything, who don't care about anything, who aren't involved, the morons, the low-information voter. This guy's not through. Stengel was on Charlie Rose last night. The more this guy talks, the better it gets. Now, the reason why the first debate actually did not help Romney is because the low-information voters loved Obama appearing out-of-it. That meant, to the low-information voters, that Obama is not a typical Washington politician, that he doesn't play the game. The fact that he acted like he wasn't there and couldn'ta cared less whether he was there was an attractive thing to the low-information voter, and that's why the TIME magazine guy said these are the people that inspired us to name Obama the Person of the Year. Charlie Rose says, "Obama, Person of the Year, what about this can you tell us?"
STENGEL: The Obama campaign discovered that these people who say they're not interested in politics who do not like the Republicans who do not like the democrats, who do not like Washington, you know what they do like? They like Barack Obama because they sense something about him that he's not really a part of it. So even that first debate, which we all thought was a debacle, a lot of those people thought "Well, I liked that because he's not playing that game. He's not playing gotcha. He's not saying nasty things." That helped tip the balance for him.
RUSH: You know, I don't know, folks. I mean, it's gotta be over, doesn't it? Either that or they only can say that Obama's a cult figure and all this insanity will end when his second term ends. Let's parse this 'cause you did hear what you just heard. The Obama campaign discovered that these people who say they're not interested in politics, who don't like Republicans, don't like the Democrats, don't like Washington, like Obama. He is Washington. He's more Washington than any president has ever been. This guy is government. He is Mr. Insider. But remember the exit polls. He didn't get blamed for the economy; Bush did.
It was as though Obama was in the office for four years but nothing attached to him. And now TIME Magazine says that the first debate was not a debacle. It actually helped Obama win, because the low-information voters determined the outcome, and they liked seeing a guy disengaged. They like seeing a guy not interested in what's going on in Washington. That's cool, 'cause they don't like Washington, they don't like Democrats, don't like Republicans. And Obama acted like he didn't want to be there, either. That's our guy. That's what the TIME magazine editor is saying. I like that. He's not playing that game. He's not playing gotcha. He's not saying nasty things. That helped tip the balance for him.
Now, folks, I hate to tell you this, there may be something to it because The Politico has a story today -- how do I set this up? The Politico has a story today about how independents no longer determine the outcome of elections. If that is true, I have to tell you, in terms of the campaign consultant class, the inside the Beltway class, if independents no longer determine the election, and instead, by the way, what determines electoral outcomes today is who gets their base out best. And in this election, I have to tell you, Romney killed. I mean, he won Ohio's independents by a vast majority. He won the independents in three of the five swing states, double digits, and lost the election.
Now, these consultants, for my entire life, and you've heard this, too, that the model for electoral victory is based on this belief that the Democrat candidate's gonna get his 40% of his base and the Republicans gonna get his 40. That's a wash. The 20% undecided, independent, in the middle, that's where you win or lose the election. And every campaign consultant tells every candidate, "I'm the guy that can get you those voters. I know how to get the independents." And the Republicans, whoever, I don't care Romney, McCain, they all hire these consultants who claim to be experts in getting the independents. And the Romney campaign got them. And the Romney campaign lost. Because Obama did turn out his base better than Romney turned out his base. And the reason Romney didn't turn out his base as well is because the Republicans did not go for --
The Republican establishment, as you and I've discussed, are largely embarrassed of some elements of their base. They're embarrassed of the pro-life, religious right crowd, as you well know, and some of them are very embarrassed of the NRA crowd. And so the Romney campaign bought the belief the election's won with the independents, and that's what they aimed for, and they got 'em, and they still lost. And so now the uninformed, the low-information voter, the unengaged, or disengaged, the voter not paying attention to anything but still shows up to vote, that is who determined this election's winner.
Now, let me ask you this: If that's true, and it's your job to get those people's votes, how would you do it? By definition, they don't care. By definition, they don’t pay attention. By definition, they hate Washington. They hate Democrats; they hate Republicans. So how do you get them? I think this explains that Obama is a cult figure. He has an appeal that goes beyond politics (to these people, anyway) and I think that the only reason this is reality is because the media's never vetted him, and the Republicans didn't either.
The Republicans were afraid to. The charges of racism, all the criticism. So these low-information voters genuinely are low-information. They don't know a thing about Obama. They don't know anything. The media hasn't vetted him. By definition, they're not listening to this show. I mean, you cannot listen to this show and not care. You cannot listen to this show and be disengaged.
So they aren't here. So they're not gonna hear about Obama. They're not gonna learn about him. You know, we vetted him. We spent four years informing people about who he is, where he comes from, the things that determine who he is and animate him. They don't know. They didn't care. He's something entirely different to them. Now, I'm gonna go back to October 4th, 2012, and I want to replay some of my analysis after that first debate.
All the smart people said that independents were the key, and independents went for Romney big time. But he still lost because the low-information voters actually preferred the zonked-out, uninterested Obama spouting cliches. They didn't like Romney because he was aggressive and focused and looked successful. That's what TIME magazine is telling us. That's what TIME magazine's editor is telling us. (interruption) Snerdley, you can frown at me all you want.
The fact of the matter is Romney won enough... If the standard formula that has been in play for 50,000 god-awful years had worked this election, Romney woulda won this thing in a landslide. The rule of thumb is, "You win the independents in double digits, and you are being coronated not just inaugurated." And he won independents with big margins in three-of-five swing states, and lost. I don't care what Stengel is saying.
I don't care what these wackos are saying about the disengaged, uninformed, low-information voter. That fact alone, the fact that the independents no longer (at least in this election) were irrelevant? Do you realize how monumental that is? Do you realize what a shakeup that is to professional campaign consultants whose job it is to get candidates elected? I'm serious. If future elections...
If they're gonna take from this election that the way you win future elections is win the votes of people that don't care and aren't paying attention, how the hell do you do that? By definition, how do you reach people who don't like you? How do you reach people who aren't paying attention to you? How do you reach people who don't know anything? And then once you reach 'em, what do you do when you reach 'em? Act stupid? (laughing)
It's just fascinating to me. Here's what I said.
This is my on-the-spot analysis after the first debate...
RUSH ARCHIVE: An independent or a moderate who doesn't listen to partisan media, radio, TV, talk shows, or whatever, but watched the debate last night? He or she only knows Mitt Romney by virtue of the TV ads he or she has seen? You understand their head's swimming last night trying to figure out, "What -- what -- what -- what -- what? Wait a minute now! Where's the War on Women? Where's this guy that wants to....?" It wasn't there.
Not for one second last night was Mitt Romney even close to the way he has been portrayed by the Democrats, the media, and Barack Obama for the past two years. Or even six years. In fact, it was Obama near the end of the debate who finally, after wandering in vain for a cogent thought all night, finally had no recourse but to descend to his own cliches. "Billionaires! Millionaires! Tax cuts for the rich!" All the vacuous, empty nothingness that has defined Obama and the left for so long all condensed into 90 minutes last night.
It looked pathetic.
It looked old and tired and worn out just as Obama did.
RUSH: And that is what looked attractive to the low-information voter. That's what looked attractive. "Obama, he's so disinterested. He didn't want to be there! That's our guy. We're so fed up with Washington." Now, of course, the irony here is that if these low-information people who are so fed up with Washington had the slightest clue what was going on (chuckling), they wouldn't be anywhere near the Democrat Party or Obama. That's the irony of this.
You know it and I know it.
RUSH: By the way, folks, it wasn't just three-of-five battleground states that Romney cleaned up in independents. It was five of the eight. It was in five-of-eight battleground states that Romney won huge. I mean, he didn't just win independents; he trounced President Obama in independents. But Romney didn't get his base out, and that's all Obama focused on.
Now, Snerdley -- and I'm sure many of you -- are in a panic. Some of you may be thinking, "What the hell? The world is ending Friday? It already did. We just don't know it yet." Snerdley said, "This is depressing. I mean, is this the future: Independents no longer mattering?" I don't think so. Folks, I could be wrong, but I think this is all confirming that Obama's a cult figure.
To a lot of people, he's still whatever they want him to be 'cause they don't know who he is. By definition, "low-information" means that they're ignorant. They don't know anything, and they don't care to know. And there are enough of them to offset traditional voting patterns, apparently. You know it. You look at election returns in every election. We have country of 300 people and 200 million adults. Look at the number of adults who vote.
Every four years we get inside the Beltway people wringing their hands over the lack of participation in our democracy and how people don't care. You know there are a lot of people that don't vote, a lot of people that don't care. They did this time. Obama's vote totals were down three to four million from 2008 to 2012. But look who made up the difference. The morons! (I think I'm actually being charitable with that term.)
Now, I know. I know it's TIME magazine saying this. I'm not agreeing with this because TIME is saying this. I happen to think there's something to this because the law forever -- the political law of winning elections -- really has been that whoever wins independents wins the election. It didn't work out that way this time, and there's a reason why. I think the low-information voter is a relatively new phenomena, at least in being so labeled.
It adds even more insult to the injury we're already facing. We already have a debacle. Do you know what the real worry here is given this? If you don't feel bad enough yet (chuckles), let me add this. Ronald Reagan -- and Obama knows this, by the way. Ronald Reagan was the last transformative president we had, a man who genuinely changed the direction the country was going. He substantively, genuinely changed it.
He was not a caretaker president; he was transformative.
That's what Obama wants to be, and here's the danger. The danger is -- and we're already on this road. Obama is a socialist. Obama is a liberal. If that ends up being seen as Reaganesque, not ideologically but in the sense that he's a transformative president... The Democrats hate Reagan, but the country doesn't. The country loves Ronald Reagan. His funeral was populated by millions. I mean, you saw it if you paid any attention.
The country loves Ronald Reagan, and in many ways it's not simply because of his politics or his ideology. He just was that big, that important. That's what Obama is angling for, and if Obama's politics -- socialism, redistributionism, big government expansion, all this -- become seen by a lot of people as transformative and good, then we're gonna lose the country for a generation or two. We're in the process of... Well, we're at risk of that anyway. But this further, I think, illustrates how the low-information voter phenomenon is something serious to be dealt with.
RUSH: Let me tell you, folks, it isn't all bad. There are positives to be gleaned from what we think we've learned here. Well, we know that independents, for the first time in many, many moons, were of no relevance to an election outcome in 2012. Romney won huge in independents, five out of eight swing states. And therein lies what is intriguing to me. Now, Romney may not have been Reagan. Romney may not have been articulating the full-bore conservative message. But, Romney was clearly an alternative to Obama. Would you agree with that? I mean, he may not have been as pedal-to-the-metal conservative as you and I would like, but he clearly was an alternative to Obama, and where did the independents go?
Maybe you don't want to say they went to Romney, but they certainly abandoned Obama. From 2008 to 2012, they abandoned Obama. So a message, and maybe it wasn't even a message. Maybe it was that the independents just wanted no more of Obama, like the rest of us didn't. Maybe Romney didn't attract them. Maybe it was just anybody but Obama to them. But regardless, that's still good news. The good news here is that the independents, in striking numbers, wanted no more of this. And here is more good news, but it's challenging good news. It means that either a conservative message, a watered down conservative message, or simply no desire for socialism led independents to the Republican Party.
However, the problem now turns out to be -- and we know that between three and four million white Americans who voted in '08 for McCain did not vote in 2012. We have to assume that many of those are conservatives. We know that some conservatives didn't vote for whatever reasons. And what that means is the Republican Party did not get out its base. This is the good news. Had the Republican Party, had Romney torn off the blinders, gotten rid of the boundaries, had the Republican Party run a cheerful, informative, conservative, unabated, undiluted conservative campaign, Obama would have lost. I think it's safe to say, knowing what we know now, the independents abandoning Obama, for whatever reason, and for whatever reason it's good news.
Also the good news, the Republican Party knows what they've gotta do now. The question is -- and this is the big question. The big question, does the Republican Party have the slightest clue? You and I know what they have to do, you and I know what would have won this election, and that's exactly what the Republican Party is afraid of. And, by the way, every damn one of their consultants is afraid of it. The Republican consultant class, I mean, these people hate conservatism. Well, hate is a strong word. They're embarrassed by certain elements of people who call themselves conservative. But I think now it's crystal clear, had the Republican Party, had Romney run a full-fledged conservative campaign, it would not have scared the independents off. They were already repelled by Obama.
You see, the Democrat trick worked. The Democrat media trick is do not criticize Obama, the independents don't like that. You'll force the independents right back into Obama's arms if you do that. And of course the wizards of smart in the Republican Party said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, can't criticize Obama. He's a nice guy, just in over his head. He's a wonderful family man, just in over his head. He's trying really hard, just doesn't know what he's doing." And so because we were afraid -- not you and me, but the party was afraid to tell this country who Obama is because they were afraid of losing independents. This whole Republican campaign was based on fear of losing the independents. They were so hell-bent on getting the independents, and they had them. They had them starting in 2010 without doing anything.
They were afraid they were gonna lose them if they sounded at all conservative. They bought hook, line, and sinker this stupid idea that independents will not tolerate criticism or partisanship. What a crock. So the Republican Party shackles itself, puts itself in a straitjacket, believes all this BS and ends up losing elections. Now it's clear what could have happened. So here we are, ladies and gentlemen, in what appears to many to be dark days. And it is I, El Rushbo, bringing a glimmer of light here, because actually it's a little maddening and frustrating. We coulda won this and we coulda won this big with conservatism. We could have won this with the independents that Romney got, if we'da just pulled out our base, like Obama got his, this wouldn't even have been close.
So, in a real sense, we haven't lost the country, but Obama won, and so we got big problems now. Because the low-information voters are now the new kings. The morons, the people that don't pay attention. They're being honored today because they voted for Obama. They're being celebrated. They are the reason Obama's Person of the Year. Obama's the magician, the brilliant guy who found a way to reach out to the low-information, uninformed, don't care, apathetic voters and turn 'em out. And so, politics is gonna be made up of campaigning to those people.
What did Obama do? Obama offered a government safety net, as a safety net. He's Santa Claus for unemployment. He offered himself as a sympathetic, understanding guy to the slackers. And so these low-information, nonparticipating people in this country were allowed to feel good about themselves and their situation. So now basement dwellers are the new welfare queens. That may not be the right phrase, but you know what I mean. So it is. There's a little glimmer of hope. Now what we have to do, now the real task at hand, and the Republicans had better get a grip and man up here and stop thinking that what they have to do is go along with Obama and go along with the Democrats if they're to survive.
The biggest mistake they could make is thinking that they've got to cave to the Democrats because the people want the Democrats, the people want the liberal way. The Republican Party's problem is that its own supporters won't turn out for it, at least in presidential races. If Obama, as a quasi-socialist, certainly a liberal, if Obama is allowed to be seen as transformative, as Reagan was, not ideologically, but in terms of greatness and changing the trajectory and changing the direction of the country for what people think is good, and don't discount that. Remember, now, the exit poll, 54% -- no, it was higher than that -- blame Bush for the economy.
People aren't blaming Obama for any of this mess yet. Obama's getting credit for trying to fix it, folks. Obama's getting credit for trying to deal with it. That's got to change. He's gotta own this stuff. We haven't been able to make him own the last four years. I don't know how you make him own the fiscal cliff, for example, but that's the challenge here. Otherwise, we're looking at a generation lost, as we've been talking all week, and the last two weeks. What's Obama selling? Obama is selling the country was founded unfairly and unjustly. The country was founded as a rigged game, a stacked deck. And the people who founded it -- we all know who they were -- arranged it so that the country was always gonna be theirs. And then what did they do? They ran around the world, and they took from that country and they took from that country and stole this resource and monopolized that resource, and tortured their opponents in war.
That's how we became a superpower and we don't deserve that, and these people who benefited from this unfair founding, it's time they paid their fair share now. Look at all the people signing up for that. Look at the polling data. It's time to make the rich pay their fair share. It's clear that Obama selling the notion that what's wrong in this country is that one to 2% of the people have always had all the money. It's time to take it back from 'em. And that'll fix everything. That's transformative. If somebody's able to sell that, if somebody's able to convince hundreds of millions of Americans that the problem is that 1%, 2% of people have all the money and now we gotta go get it from 'em... I don't know if you've noticed, but in terms of matters of race, we're heading back to the pre-Civil Rights Act days.
Jamie Foxx is joking about how much fun it was to kill white people in the movie. I mean, this represents something. I mean, it is an example of a cultural societal shift and change. It's almost as though the grievances that have existed since the founding never have been dealt with. It was all phony, all the Civil Rights Act, nobody really meant that, nothing really ever changed. We never did really get rid of slavery. I mean, that's what's being sold now. Only now are we really dealing with the mistakes that were made when this country was founded, only now. That is what Obama is selling, and he's selling himself as the transformative politician that's finally going to get this country right.
RUSH: You remember, for example, when Obama went on a radio show hosted by somebody called "The Pimp with a Limp." When Obama did that, we had a number of reactions to it, and they were all understandable. "What's he doing going on low-rent, guttural stuff like that for?" You know, you and I remember when the president of the United States wouldn't dare go on late night TV.
It was unseemly. It was unpresidential. It was undignified of the office. Now we've got a president who lives in these places. Late night TV, multiple times. Wife, late night TV. The Pimp with a Limp-type shows. And it worked! It did not hurt Obama's chances. Just the exact opposite. Now, there's no way Mitt Romney coulda gone on The Pimp with a Limp's show and triumphed. It wouldn't work. Bill Clinton could. Hillary Clinton could.
John Kerry couldn't. McCain couldn't. Bite Me couldn't. There are very few of these Democrats that can. Clinton still, with his resume and the shame that he has experienced, the shame he's put himself through, is doing great. The being disbarred, lying under oath, all these things. You would never, ever accept this kind of stuff in a president in my lifetime. Today Bill Clinton's a hero.
And to the people we're talking about, he's a hero because he got away with it. To these low-information voters, Clinton's a hero. "'Cause these mean, establishment people, all these stuffed shirts are going after him. He outfoxed 'em. That's our guy." I don't know whether Democrats strategized this or they swerved into it, but all these things are factors. (laughing)
Meanwhile, we got people on TV talking about the gross negative GDP as opposed to the seasonal-adjusted GDP, based on what the BLS is saying about last month's unemployment numbers for one-armed amputees on 58th and Sixth in Manhattan. And when we finish with that, we then get into the negative growth rate brought on by the manufacturing deficiency in the inventory sector.
And after we finish telling everybody what's gone wrong with inventories and why that economic growth is not really because of growth but it's really because people are restocking inventories, we think we're scoring points. And the low-information voters say, "What is an inventory? What is unemployment?" In fact, low-information voters? Low-information voters don't even know what a weekend is, 'cause every day is one.
RUSH: So what does all this mean for me going forward, ladies and gentlemen, as your host? What does it mean for me? One thing it might mean that for an hour or two a week I become a low-information guy myself to appeal to them. I mean, just an hour or two a week I'll become a moron. I don't know anything. I may even go up to Port St. Lucie and stop into the McDonald's and ask for some McNuggets, and when they don't have any, I'll call 911 -- and then I'll call the newspaper so they found out that I did it.
There gotta be some way to relate to these people.
Maybe it's something besides McNuggets, but you know the drift.
I mean, you get the point.