At the beginning of his 25-minute radio interview with Karl Rove this afternoon, Rush Limbaugh said that he was "delighted" to have the president's outgoing deputy chief of staff on his show. At the end of the interview, Limbaugh told Rove that he'd received "a bunch of e-mails" from listeners who wanted Rove to know that they love him.
"We all do," Limbaugh added.
In between, Limbaugh asked Rove how he and George W. Bush survive all the negativity from Democrats and the press; whether there's anything we really ought to know about the president; how the Bush-Rove book-reading contest is going; and why Rove thinks that Hillary Clinton is "fatally flawed" as a presidential candidate.
The Clinton question was the only one to get much of a rise out of Rove. "She is who she is," he said of Clinton, then went on to note that "no front-runner" in the history of modern polling has "entered the primary season with negatives as high as she has."
Although Rove may be right about that, the man for whom he works can only dream of having "unfavorable" numbers like Clinton's. In the Quinnipiac University poll released this morning, 43 percent of the respondents said they had an "unfavorable" view of Clinton. In the same poll, 64 percent of the respondents said they disapprove of the job Bush is doing as president.
Continuing the assault Dana Perino began yesterday, Rove did what he could on Limbaugh's show to drive Clinton's numbers down further. Asked about the new TV ad Clinton is running in Iowa -- one in which she says a lot of everyday Americans are "invisible" to Bush -- Rove offered chapter and verse on Clinton's voting record with respect to everything from healthcare to the war in Iraq to domestic spying. "Look," Rove said of the ad, "it was so over the top that, frankly, an ordinary cat listening to that on the street would say, 'Wait a minute, that's not true.'"
An "ordinary cat"?
Limbaugh piled on, saying he couldn't understand how Clinton could come out with "something like this" after Bush was "as gracious as anyone could be" when the Clintons visited the White House for the unveiling of their official portraits in 2004.