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Hannity

Michelle Obama vs. Sarah Palin?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 9, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: A war of words is heating up in Washington after former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, slammed the Obama administration at the national Tea Party convention this weekend.

Now, in case you missed the governor's speech, here are some of the highlights.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA, FEB. 6: Treating this like a mere law-enforcement matter places our country at grave risk. Because that's not how radical Islamic extremists are looking at this. They know we're at war. And to win that war, we need a commander in chief, not a professor of law standing at the lectern.

And our president would do well to take note of an observation John F. Kennedy had made once he was in office. That all of the world's problems aren't his predecessor's fault.

This was all part of that hope and change and transparency. And now a year later, I got to ask the supporters of all that, how is that hopey-changey stuff working out for ya?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right. Earlier this morning on "Good Morning America," it appeared that the governor's speech even caught the attention of first lady Michelle Obama. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: Change ain't easy; and it doesn't happen overnight, and it certainly doesn't happen in a year.

And hope, with that comes faith and consistency and persistence. Perseverance, all of that tough stuff. And we have that in this country.

I think my husband has done a phenomenal job staying on course, looking his critics in the eye, coming up with clear solutions. And again, staying the course. That's what leadership is. But people have a right to criticize the president of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Wow. We do. Well, thank you.

So is the first lady actually responding to Governor Palin? Here with analysis is the president of The Word Doctors, the one and only Frank Luntz.

• Watch Sean's interview

Frank, welcome back. Well, so, is she criticizing Sarah Palin?

FRANK LUNTZ, PRESIDENT, THE WORD DOCTORS: I think she's just reaching out to everyone who has been critical of her husband. And there's a word that I want to focus on with Michelle Obama. And that is when she talks about that he's done a fantastic job of — the danger when you try to articulate a position, particularly when you're related to that individual, is when you go overboard, that he's been fantastic, that he's been perfect.

The American people still like Barack Obama as a person. Over 60 percent of Americans believe that his job — that his personality has been favorable, that they like him. Only 40 percent, Sean, agree with his policies.

HANNITY: Yes.

LUNTZ: Or that he's done a fantastic job. The American people don't agree.

HANNITY: They don't agree, and his numbers are heading into the 30s, if you look at the recent poll numbers out here.

By the way, I want to invite you to a very special club, because I've been attacked by name repeatedly by the president. Apparently, you have caught the president's attention. Let's role that tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Every time somebody speaks in Congress the first thing, they do they stand up, and all the talking points. You know, I think Frank Luntz up here sitting in the front, he's already polled it and he said, "You know, the way you're really going to — I've done a focus group, and you know, the way we're going to really box in Obama on this one or make Pelosi look bad on that one."

I know. I like Frank. We've had conversations — between Frank and I.

But that's how we operate. It's all tactics. And it's not solving problems.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Ouch! That's an attack. But I didn't know you had this special relationship with the president, Frank. I can't get him to sit down with me. He's not courageous enough to come on this program. How do you get all these meetings with the president?

LUNTZ: Well, we've had conversations, Sean, and let's just keep it at that.

HANNITY: Well, no, no. Let's not keep it at that. Tell me about the conversations. I think everybody wants to know.

LUNTZ: When I do polling and focus groups that you see on air, I provide that to anybody who wants to see it. So if elected officials in Washington want to know why the dials went up, want to know the reaction to the focus group, at Fox News, unlike any other news source, your stuff is all open for people to take a look at. And so they've expressed an interest in what we find out.

But I want to go back to something that he said. It isn't tactics. Language isn't just about words. It really is about meaning. And what upsets me so much about what's happening in Washington is the demonization by the Obama administration to those who legitimately, as Michelle Obama acknowledges, disagree with that administration.

That they take it personally, that they become overtly and overly political. And they try to undercut the businesses that are the ones that are actually creating jobs in America and would create even more jobs if they had the regulatory freedom, the economic freedom to actually go out and do what they do best.

HANNITY: All right. Let's go back to the issue of Sarah Palin. She was on "Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace" this weekend. And Chris asked, you know, "Why wouldn't you run for president?" Let's roll that tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY": Why wouldn't you run for president?

PALIN: I would. I would if I believed that that is the right thing to do for our country and for the Palin family. Certainly, I would do so.

WALLACE: You're basically saying you will consider it?

PALIN: I think that it would be absurd to not consider what it is that I can potentially do to help our country. I don't know if it's going to be ever seeking a title, though. It may be doing just a darn good job as a reporter or covering some of the current events.

WALLACE: But you're going to consider. You're going to go through the process of thinking?

PALIN: I won't close the door that perhaps could be open for me in the future.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Is this why Democrats are so open and vitriolic in their attacks against her? Do they fear her?

LUNTZ: I think they're nervous about her, not necessarily her candidacy, but those people who support her.

And there's a reason why Virginia happened, New Jersey happened, and Massachusetts happened. We had a huge surge of turnout among self- identified conservatives. They had a reason to vote in the election. They wanted to send a message to Washington. And they found an electoral vehicle to do it.

I think with Sarah Palin, the reason why her book sold so much, the reason why she continues to pack them in, even though the mainstream media doesn't like her, is because they see something in her that makes them want to participate.

The most important trend of 2010 in these first five, six weeks, is that those who disagree with what's happening in Washington are much more energized, much more likely to vote. And every time you study these polling numbers, Sean, it's not the general generic ballot or who you vote for. You have to look among those who are energized.

HANNITY: Yes.

LUNTZ: And among those who are definitely going to vote in November. The Republicans have a significant advantage now.

HANNITY: All right, Frank. Good points. And actually, a poll that we're going to bring up in our panel next. Seventy-five percent of Americans have a positive approval rating of the Tea Party movement. So we'll get to that. I think it dovetails nicely into what you said, Frank.

Welcome to the club, and tell the president I said hi and to come on the show. You can be the ambassador to bring us together, and I'll buy him a beer, and I'll pay for it in the spirit of spreading the wealth.

LUNTZ: Sean, I'm a lot of things, but a diplomat I'm not.

HANNITY: Well, all you have to do is say, "Mr. Hannity extended an invitation" the next time you, quote, chat with him. Anyway, good to see you, Frank.

LUNTZ: You got it, Sean.

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