The watchdog website reports that conservative radio talkers are engaging in a “mini-love fest” over — ohmigod — Barack Obama:

The fact that Hillary Clinton took something of a pounding last week wasn’t big news. But an examination of the talk outlets revealed an interesting twist to that pattern.

Whatever the motivation, some of those conservative hosts are not only using their microphones to blast away at Clinton. They are also embracing, or at least saying nice things about, Barack Obama, a liberal Democrat whose primary virtue in their eyes may be that he can defeat Clinton for the nomination.

Whether heartfelt, strategic or simply faint praise, this Obama mini-love fest may strike some as sounding strange coming from some icons of conservative talk.

After criticizing Clinton’s March 4 speech in Selma Alabama on his radio show, for instance, Hannity said Obama’s address advocating more personal responsibility “was echoing Bill Cosby…In a call to action, Barack Obama sounded a lot like Cosby.” As the host was quick to note, “I love Bill Cosby.”

On his March 5 show, Limbaugh was also eager to award the battle of Selma to the Illinois Senator. “Obama upstaged Mrs. Clinton yesterday,” he declared firmly. “Drew a larger crowd, didn’t speak with a fake southern accent, didn’t screech.”

Speaking on the March 5 edition of the Fox News Channel’s “Hannity & Colmes,” columnist Robert Novak struck that theme.

“I think [Hillary Clinton] is scared to death of Senator Obama, who is really a very fresh face, and very attractive,” Novak fairly gushed. “He’s a phenomenon.”