Rush Limbaugh returned to the air on Friday for the first time after announcing his diagnosis with late-stage lung cancer. His retelling of how President Trump got him to the SOTU is nothing short of amazing and revealed why Limbaugh was so surprised to be receiving the Presidential Medal of Honor that night.
On Tuesday, Limbaugh was with his wife, about to have a medical procedure to begin his treatment for lung cancer.
So we are where I am to have the first procedure that will set up the beginning of treatment. This is Tuesday, and it is scheduled for 5 o’clock in the afternoon. We took no clothes, Kathryn and I. We just… We went Grub City with shorts, T-shirts. I mean, the whole week’s gonna be in the hospital.
There’s no reason to take a coat and tie. There’s no reason to pack a whole bunch of stuff that you’re never gonna use. “Light” was the byword. The procedure was gonna be 5 o’clock in the afternoon. I’d have to show up for it at 12 noon to do the prep, talk to the doctors and so forth. At 9 a.m., the phone rings. I’ve got the number in my address book. So it’s the White House. I answered the phone, and they said, “Can you hold for President Trump?”
The president then told him he needed him at the State of the Union Address that night.
Well, I don’t know what’s up. He told me he wanted me to be his guest at the State of the Union, that he was gonna mention my name, recognize me. I hung up the phone and for the next hour and a half, I agonized — I literally agonized — over what to do. Kathryn and I are both sitting in the hotel room. As time is marching on, we’re faced with the possibility of having to ask an entire medical team to broom their schedule and reschedule to accommodate this.
Limbaugh’s wife Kathryn encouraged him to try. The president said he would arrange everything, even by calling the medical team, and not to worry about a thing. Even so, Limbaugh called him back intending to say no, thinking the medal of honor ceremony was a couple of weeks away in the Oval Office. But this president didn’t take no for an answer.
But in this day, this past Tuesday, there was simply no way it wasn’t going to happen. And he never made a demand. I want to try to be clear about this so that as many of you as possible understand the personality. There was no demanding. There was nothing offensive. There was nothing belittling. It’s a unique person that is able to persuade people to do what they want and make them happy they’re doing it even when they don’t think they can.
There simply is nothing you can’t do. There’s nothing that can’t be done, and there’s not a single obstacle that can’t be dealt with — and it’s not even hard. It’s not even… He didn’t have to stop and think for a moment about this. Now, granted he’s got presidential power. If he wants to clear us into Reagan National, if he wants to send a car for us and get us from the airport to the White House, he can do all of that — and he did, and he was willing.
But the fact was that this is what he wanted, but not for him, you see? It was for me, and he wasn’t going to let me talk myself out of it.
When Limbaugh decided to go, his wife arranged for local clothing shops to deliver several selections of clothes for him to wear since they had not brought anything appropriate with them. By the time they got back from the hospital, their hotel room was basically a clothing store. The White House arranged for their transport to the Washington, D.C. and the Limbaughs were whisked off and soon found themselves in the residence with the Trump family and then getting into the presidential motorcade to go over to Congress.
I’ve never been in the gallery. Oh, I have in the Senate, never in the House. I have seen the House Chamber from floor level. You’re not allowed to go out there if you’re not a member, and it was pretty full by the time we got there at 8:30, and all the Republicans are just… They’re looking up and they’re waving, thumbs up. It was so inspiring and gratifying and there was just a…
If you can imagine an envelope or like a wave of warmth that just swept over me sitting there. Every Republican congressman, every senator, every… I’m looking down there. And then to see the Democrats not doing a thing and they’re dressed in all white and so forth. It was just a moving, moving night, and I’m sitting there. I can’t believe we’re there, can’t believe it happened, can’t believe it all came together — and then, it happened.
But perhaps the biggest coup of the evening was the fact that President Trump made every single elected Democrat sit through Limbaugh’s medal ceremony. What a great troll. And honoring Limbaugh in front of every Republican lawmaker who has relied on him to bring their message to the people, and lobby on their behalf, always defending conservative philosophy year after year. Limbaugh has been the source of so many conversions over the years from leftism into conservatism, he deserved a one of a kind honor and Congress was the perfect and fitting place for the always-optimistic legend to receive it.
Limbaugh has been at the heart of our political battles for over thirty years, bolstering Republican ideology, encouraging us in times of trouble, and always there to make us laugh and know we have a friend behind the golden EIB microphone. We love you Rush.
Megan Fox is the author of “Believe Evidence; The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo,” and host of The Fringe podcast. Follow on Twitter @MeganFoxWriter