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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

January 16, 2008


Chris Matthews: Queen-Maker

I watched the debate from Las Vegas on MSNBC last night. It's just too bad that "Softball's" Chris Matthews didn't watch the same debate that I did.

The evening was anything but controversial and Hillary Clinton did have a good night. (Better than "I was for drivers licenses before I was against it.) But so did both Senator Obama and former Senator Edwards as well. It was a love-fest where the three Democratic front-runners agreed on just about everything with differences that almost seemed procedural.

As another MSNBC talking head, Chuck Todd, put it, "I'm not completely buying your premise that (Senator Clinton) dominated this on some bigger plane."

Todd seemed to also disagree with Matthews when he said about Edwards, By the way, "I thought (Edwards) did a real good job tonight... He was the heart - the gut candidate tonight." And while pointing out Matthews' overactive enthusiasm for the First-Lady-turned-senator-turned-Presidential Candidate, Chuck had good words about Obama as well, saying how well he performed in a civil atmosphere.

Matthews came out of the box screeching about Clinton's dominance. And while many on MSNBC's post-debate party round table wondered just what in the world the "Softball" commentator was yelling about, Matthews attempt at forcing the others to see it- and say it his way went for naught. This of course, won't prevent Matthews from screaming the same thing on his show tonight.

Matthews, who used to work in Jimmy Carter's White House, no doubt has already crowned Mrs. Clinton the nominee. Perhaps he's looking for a repeat performance in another Democratic White House three-plus decades later.

As CNN's David Gergen put it, you could not make a point as to who put it to the who. Anderson Cooper, for his part, called it a "love-fest" and even wondered how long it would last.

I guess no one at CNN wants a seat on Air Force One.

And as Matthews took over after the first commercial break following the debate, his enthusiasm was much greater than the enthusiasm of Clinton's own spokesman when he, and representatives of Edwards and Obama both, were there to spin it for their own candidates.

Matthews lost it when he noted that all of the candidates are running away from lobbyists. When he pointed out that Clinton's spokesman works for a lobbyist and asked him if he actually is a lobbyist, the spokesman's (Rodney Slater) response wasn't even allowed by Matthews to finish. Matthews broke in and said "Who needs to know talk about lobbyists." That's when I knew that Matthews was looking for a job in 2009.

It made me laugh when Andrea Mitchell refused to acknowledge that which Matthews wanted confirmed. And judging by the look on Keith Doberman's face, the Countdown host may have a few questions of Matthews of his own.

It's just too bad that a supposed journalist (Matthews) takes it upon himself to crown a victor in an election that hasn't taken place yet. Maybe he's got a couple of bucks on it and wants to clean up.

Is Matthews a betting man?

-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg