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Cheap talk 

By invitation only

On Oct. 24, the Bush administration tried to energize its political base by inviting 42 conservative radio talk-show hosts to broadcast live from a tent on the White House lawn. Top administration officials -- including Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Karl Rove -- were paraded out for live interviews, in the hope the gab artists would go forth and sell the Bush agenda. The reaction on whether the gambit worked was mixed.

"You know, what I say is, use me!"

-- Martha Zoller, talk-show host for WDUN-AM in Gainesville

"The Democrats and Nancy Pelosi picked out the drapes and carpet a little too early."

-- Sean Hannity, syndicated talk-show host who got his start in Atlanta

"I've adopted the opinion that maybe I'd like to see the Republicans take it in the teeth in this election, lose the House and lick their wounds. They just haven't done enough to be rewarded with continued control in Washington... I'm just kind of fed up with it at this point. But who cares what I think?"

-- Neal Boortz, WSB-AM

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