The Missouri State Capitol was still buzzing Monday night about the appearance of polarizing talk show host Rush Limbaugh, there earlier in the day.
Limbaugh dropped in to see his bronze likeness unveiled and to be inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians.
The house chamber was crowded with people, most of them republican partisans. Rush Limbaugh was on hand, as were members of his extended family.
"Rush started in radio 45-years ago. You have become the number one voice for conservatism in our country," MO Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder said.
The Limbaugh bust ignited controversy the moment it was announced. The timing coincided with Limbaughâ??s labeling of a female law student who testified before congress on birth control as a slut.
"As a speaker who once said it wouldn't be a bad idea to flood a town in southern Illinois, I know what it's like to say something that I regret," MO House Speaker Steven Tilley said.
Tilley was unapologetic to critics of the Limbaugh bust. Limbaugh was anything but incendiary. Coming from a family of lawyers, he told the audience his father never considered radio a serious career choice. Nevertheless, family members have been unflappable in their support.
"My family is singularly responsible for me being here today,â?? Hall of Famous Missourians Inductee Rush Limbaugh said.
He also credited his success to his upbringing in Cape Girardeau.
"Being born in Missouri, there is something to Midwestern cultural values," Limbaugh said.
The "Radio Rush" did come through as Limbaugh was applauding Tilley for not backing down in the face of pressure from women's groups.
While the speaker was resolute, he did post armed, uniformed highway patrol at all entrances to the house chamber. The chamber itself was kept locked to all but invited guests until moments before the program began.
"I think that's a reasonable thing to today. Ya know, with the controversy surrounding it, I thought it was acceptable to do an invitation-only program. I wanted to make sure my family was there. I wanted to make sure Rush's family was there and they were treated respectfully," Tilley said.
JEFFERSON CITY â?? Rush Limbaugh was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians on Monday.
KRCG 13 received an email from the
Missouri House of Representatives
at 12:36 p.m. for the induction ceremony at 1 p.m.
The conservative talk show host, a native of Cape Girardeau, was honored during a ceremony closed to the public. Limbaugh will have a bronze bust displayed in the Capitol, joining those of Mark Twain, Walt Disney, President Harry Truman and more.
Missouri House Speaker Steven Tilley decided to keep the time of the ceremony secret until just before it began in an effort to avoid a public spectacle after Limbaugh's selection was criticized by Democrats, some women's groups and other political opponents.