Rhonda Robinson

Leg Thrills and Spine Chills with Chris Matthews, Part 1: Blushing Like a Schoolboy

Posted on November 19 2009 12:00 pm
Rhonda Robinson is part of NewsReal's editorial team. As a columnist, Rhonda has provided readers with thoughtful insight into social, political, and parenting issues since 1995.
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Barack Obama may have sent thrills up the leg of Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC Hardball, but Sarah Palin has got him almost giddy and blushing like a schoolboy.

It has become Matthews‘s habit of late, to open and close his show with segments devoted to the former governor of Alaska. With her memoir Going Rogue: An American Life, hitting the shelves this week, Palin is riding a tidal wave of media attention. Matthews who doubles as a White House water boy, has certainly added to the book’s publicity campaign.

Matthews, showing all the signs of a third grade crush, continues to vacillate between insult and adoration. Repeatedly quizzing his guests about Palin’s ability to become the next Republican nominee for President, which he has predicted will be the case.

Chris Matthew’s Hardball guests included talk radio host Michael Smerconish, and Cynthia Tucker, of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to talk about Sarah Palin.

(Click here for video.)

Matthews played a clip from Barbara Walters’ interview with Palin, where Walters wanted a reaction from the former VP candidate.

Palin explained:

“For some people this is a business, and if failure in this business was going to reflect poorly on them; they had to kind of pack their own parachutes and protect themselves and their reputations so they wouldn’t be blamed. I’ll take the blame though. Because I know at the end of the day what the truth is. And if makes them feel better to be able to say, ‘She’s the one who caused the down fall because she had a lousy interview one day.’ Then so be it.”


She really knows how to modulate her voice and when she wants to it’s interesting how she uses her voice. It’s very, very powerful. I think it works myself.

Without paying much attention to his guest’s observations Matthews continued:

I have a theory that the reason we’re talking so much about her is because in the Republican Party right now it’s hard to find a logical replacement, an exciting charismatic replacement, as leader of the party’s a desert and she’s a mirage. Or you could say in that old phrase, She’s the tallest building in Topeka. But clearly, if lighting were to strike the Republican Party the highest peak right now would be Sarah Palin.

When Matthews heads in the right direction, he still is so far left it knocks him off kilter. Palin is exciting, and has energized much of the Republican Party, but not for the reasons he thinks.

Many see her as someone who has the strength to live by her convictions. Convictions shared by more people than the left can imagine. Palin survived the left’s character assassination attempt, and emerged to change the course of the health care debate with one Facebook entry.

To Matthews she may well be a mirage in his desert. A vision of something he can’t quite see clearly, and a concept he can’t grasp. Someone he believes has no substance, but still likes to think about.

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