Tuesday night was a good night for Rush Limbaugh. "I want Hillary to stay in this," he said on Fox News, because "I want the Democrats to lose. They're in the midst of tearing themselves apart right now. It is fascinating to watch, and it's all going to stop if Hillary loses."
Limbaugh was interviewed Feb. 29 by Laura Ingraham, guest-hosting on the Bill O'Reilly show on the Fox News Channel.
"If Obama is the nominee, we are doomed, " Limbaugh said on Feb. 6 to a Republican caller to his radio program.
On Fox News, Limbaugh listed "another reason why we need Hillary to stay in:" the Clinton campaign can attack Obama in ways the Republicans cannot. "Who was it that first used Obama's middle name of Hussein? It was not us. It was [Clinton supporter] Bob Kerrey, over and over again, former Democrat Senator of Nebraska."
"Who was it that talked about Obama not just using drugs, as he admitted in his book, but maybe even selling them and dealing them? It was [Bill] Shaheen, Clinton's co-chair in New Hampshire."
Limbaugh's assumption here is that Obama will be the Democratic nominee.
"We want the Clinton campaign to keep pumping out these pictures of Obama dressed up as Bin Laden," he said on Feb. 26. "If Hillary loses this thing, all of that's going to come to a screeching halt. We want all the disruption in that party as possible. . . . We need to keep chaos alive."
Limbaugh concluded that "We need Barack Obama bloodied up politically, and it's obvious that the Republicans are not going to do it and don't have the stomach for it."
Limbaugh was not alone among Republican pundits hoping Clinton would remain in the race. At the National Review Online, Jim Geraghty wrote, "the bottom line is that the longer the Democratic primary goes on, the more Hillary and Obama spend their resources hitting each other instead of McCain."
Hugh Hewitt declared, "the GOP will be popping corks all night long as the inevitability of a long, drawn out and increasingly bitter fight becomes obvious."
Limbaugh summed it up: "The longer Hillary can stay in this, the better for us, is the bottom line."