Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Romney-Rush Limbaugh Connection

There have been less than six degrees of separation between the Republican's richest candidate and the Masters of the Talk Radio Universe since Mitt Romney's former partners at Bain Capital took over Clear Channel Communications, owner of 1,000 radio stations and home to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and other ornaments of the right-wing enlightenment.

Blind trusts insulate Romney from any direct connection, but it's hard to imagine what the Javerts of Whitewater would have made of it if the Clintons were this closely tied to a mass media empire.

A headline this month reads, "Limbaugh 'non-endorses' Mitt after the Speech!!" leading to Rush's "I want to start with Mitt Romney today, Mitt Romney’s speech. Frankly, I thought what we saw today, folks, was a Republican candidate for president giving an inspiring speech. It was an inspiring speech about American values."

As far back as February, Limbaugh was defending Romney from "drive-by media attacks" against his Mormon faith. In his usual elegant style, he drew parallels with the Kennedys:

"Let me explain the difference in this Mitt Romney business and the way Democrats are treated in this regard. Ted Kennedy’s father...was a Third Reich sympathizer. Franklin Delano Roosevelt had to pull him as ambassador of the Court of Saint James...Now we don’t hold this against Teddy. Teddy had nothing to do with that. Just as we don’t hold Mitt Romney’s grandfather, or great-grandfather, against him. But the lib media, the Drive-Bys, are definitely trying to do that."

Limbaugh, of course, is not a drive-by kind of guy, so if he seems to be steering in the direction of his new bosses' former partner, we will have to take it on faith that nothing venal is involved.

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