It was a rare public appearance for Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday night. But on a rain-soaked evening in New York City, the conservative media idol didn't disappoint his audience, or the protesters who showed up to rattle him. His message? For the most part it was this: four more years of Barack Obama will be detrimental to the country.
That message was punctuated with plenty of personal anecdotes, told in the gruff, almost sing-songy way that has come to define Limbaugh. His main story focused on a visit from a friend last Saturday who encouraged Limbaugh to urge compromise with Democrats.
Limbaugh's response was simple: "I want to cream them," he said of the Democrats.
"I don't want to compromise," he explained, later adding, "I see only something that needs to be defeated."
The message resonated with the crowd, which took on an almost stadium feel. There was raucous applause throughout, people who randomly shouted out their thoughts, and even boos directed toward the liberals Limbaugh -- clad in black and standing in front of a simple 77WABC backdrop -- mentioned.
It was the type of speech that was "red meat" for conservatives (plenty of shots at Obama and hat tips to conservatives being the majority in the country), and would likely have turned the protesters who showed up outside the venue red hot.
About 20 protesters eventually showed up in the intermittent rain to "flush Rush Limbaugh," as one of their chants went. They held signs calling him homophobic, fascist and a "tool of the 1%:"
While vocal, though, they may have been disappointed in their numbers. When I asked the gentleman who appeared to be the organizer how many people he expected to show up, he responded "100:"
That estimate was in stark contrast to the about seven to 10 who showed up initially from the socialist Worker's World Party and the International Action Center:
But the sparse group wasn't met without resistance. Audience members who had lined up outside the Time Square-area theater let the protesters know what they thought of the protesters' hygiene, and at one point even broke out into "God Bless America" to drown out the anti-Limbaugh hate:
The protest was short-lived, however. As soon as most people filed into the venue, and the rain started pouring down, the group packed up and left.
Inside, Limbaugh took notice.
"The Occupy people are finally getting a shower."