On Hardball Monday night, Chris Matthews showed he just may be losing itâ€”or at least why heâ€™s been steadily losing his audience for quite some time.
For months, Matthews has been playing the race card at every opportunityâ€”or creating his own, even going so far afield as a weird attempt to make Alaskan Sarah Palin some kind of modern Scarlet Oâ€™Hara.
Wrapping up the show with â€œThe Politics Fix,â€ with guests syndicated radio host Michael Smerconish and Dominic Carter, Senior Political Reporter fromÂ New York 1, Matthews proved there is now no situation where Republicans may have an electoral or polling advantage that Chris Matthews canâ€™t allege is a race thing.
Matthews was complaining that his hero, Barack Obama, was actually playing â€œhardball,â€ by keeping his promise to back former Republican Senator Arlen Spectre in his primary against loyal Democrat Joe Sestak, and by trying to ease disastrous New York Democrat Governor David Patterson off to the sidelines.Â Dominic Carter was focused on political reality, but Chris had another agenda:
DOMINIC CARTER, NY1 SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER:â€¦the 800-pound gorilla in the room in all of this is Rudy Giuliani.Â They donâ€˜t want Republican Rudy Giuliani to come in and take over the governorâ€˜s mansion.Â Thatâ€˜s the bottom line.
Handwriting has been on the wall for a while for Governor Paterson.Â This guy is looking at a Marist poll with 70 percent of the stateâ€˜s residents do not want him to run for re-election, bottom line.
MATTHEWS:Â OK.Â Dare Iâ€”dare Iâ€”dare I point to the obvious pattern.Â Hey, Rudy Giuliani ran against David Dinkins, beat him.Â Rudy Giuliani runs against David Paterson, they think heâ€˜ll beat him. Is this Rudy running against an African-American again, exploiting the usual social riffs that come about in these situations in big states?Â Is that whatâ€˜s going on here that theyâ€˜re afraid of?
Yeah, Chris, I spot a “pattern here.” Â Any excuse you can think of, you are going to do backflips to call Republicans racist.
Dominick Carter, did not even take one second to consider Matthewâ€™s outrageous playing of the race card out of suit.Â He jumped on it with both feet and quashed it.Â Maybe Chris got his Carters mixed up.Â This Carter, unlike the race-bating former President stayed focused on the race, not on race.
Not â€œmaybe you have a point, Chris,â€ or even, â€œWell, thatâ€™s something to think about.â€Â Just a guy willing to stand up to a nationally known gabber who is hyperventilating all over the place and might not have you back again if you donâ€™t make him look good,Â and say â€œNo.â€Â Good for you, sir.
CARTER:Â No, I donâ€˜t think thatâ€˜s the case, Chris.Â I think the bottom line is residentsâ€”you know, Iâ€˜m trying to figure out a nice way to say this.Â But David Paterson has not set well in terms of state residents, with the voters of this state.Â And I donâ€˜t think itâ€˜s a racial component in this.Â The Democrats just donâ€˜t want to lose the statehouse.Â And they donâ€˜t want the down-ticket candidates…
MATTHEWS:Â OK.Â Does Rudy have.
CARTER:Â â€¦to go down with him.
After getting shot down hard by the sensible Carter, Matthews then went completely juvenileâ€”and a little bonkers. With sniggering anatomical â€œhumorâ€ but his guests left him out on that limb all by himself, refusing to go there, either.Â Smerconish, who was not involved in the exchange, understandably stayed out.
MATTHEWS:Â Does Rudy have the stones to run against Andrew Cuomo?
CARTER:Â Thatâ€˜s a good question.Â Theâ€¦
MATTHEWS:Â Well, thatâ€˜s why I asked you, Dominic.Â You can answer.
CARTER:Â And thatâ€˜s why youâ€˜re asking me.Â Giuliani is considering it, who knows?Â But if Paterson is the nominee, heâ€˜s probably going to run.
MATTHEWS:Â OK.Â Iâ€˜ll give you a minute to think about it.Â Weâ€˜ll be right back with Michael Smerconish and Dominic Carter, who will tell us when we come back whether Rudy has the …stuff, using a nice word, to take on Andrew Cuomo, oohhooooeeeooooh!
The video above from the MSNBC website fades out before Chrissyâ€™s final girlish exclamation, not the first time that MSNBC has edited videos or transcripts to try and save their hosts some embarrassment.Â Unlike the case of Ed Schultz a few weeks ago, they only faded the video on Matthews, instead of faking the transcript.
One night, while Matthews was bloviating about his Moby Dick, former Vice President Cheney, he muttered under his breath while teasing an upcoming segment, â€œWhatâ€™s THIS guy still doing around?â€Â The next day, it was nowhere to be found in the transcript.
In this case, the transcript reads â€œoooh,â€ but that doesnâ€™t capture the sheer goofiness of Matthewsâ€™s exclamation, which was neither as startlingâ€”or as manlyâ€”as Howard Deanâ€™s famous scream.Â Maybe he felt something on his leg?
Get a grip, Chris, thereâ€™s a lot of time between now and the mid-term elections.Â You might as well get used to it, things arenâ€™t going your way.