(Disclaimer: I swear that I had NOTHING to do with the 2001 piece quoted below. Really. I mean it. Just like I had nothing to do with it when it first appeared at Buzzflash (when it was still a safe site…)
If you’re wondering why it’s been awfully quiet on the “Chris Matthews for Senate” campaign front, I think I know the answer.
No, it’s not the holidays or the Caroline Kennedy saga, or the Illinois Senate Show featuring Blago and Burris. (Sounds like a vaudeville team, doesn’t it?)
Nope, ever since Ed Rendell’s brain went into waves of post-election synapse malfunction, it’s been quiet in Tweetie-land for other reasons.
As you will recall, dear reader, Eloquent Ed for Hillary morphed into an Obamacrat and has become a fan of fan, namely Matthews, who felt that tingle up his leg during the primary season. As Politico’s “The Scorecard” blog reported on December 12, 2008, Rendell slobbered:
“I don’t really know if he has made up his own decision…..he would be the strongest Democratic candidate without any doubt because he is so well known, because of his ability to raise money around the nation, he would be a strong candidate but Arlen Specter is very tough to beat in a general election cause he’s had a bond with suburban Democrats, Philadelphia Democrats, and he does very well with independent and those moderate Republicans.”
The above, of course, is true ObamaAnalysis, since it’s all about money and celebrity, with no facts at all about Matthews checkered life as a talk show host or political experience with Tip O’Neill. But Rendell isn’t really just “analyzing”…his “longtime political consultant, Neil Oxman,” has been having little chats with Matthews, so Rendell is knee-deep in this particular Senate seat game.
In the Obama Universe, where there is never any vetting, Matthews seems to fit the bill as a celebrity candidate…he’s sort of like the “Al Franken of Philadephia,” I guess.
Ah, but this quiet time hides something that has been around for years. In fact, I happened to find this obscure piece from 2001 that gives us a hint of something in Matthews’ past that might ordinarily cause concern. But these are not ordinary times; raising questions is so old school! Anyway, here’s the EXCLUSIVE!
CHRIS MATTHEWS TO UNDERGO PSYCHIATRIC TREATMENT
WASHINGTON February 10, 2001 — MSNBC political talk show host and San Franscisco Chronicle columnist Chris Matthews is reportedly preparing to enter a private psychiatric hospital on the advice of close family and friends.
Undisclosed sources report that Matthews, the tow-haired host seen on the hour-long “Hardball” program, has inexplicably started screaming at the top of his lungs.
“We don’t know what’s gotten into him,” one puzzled staffer stated. “With the exit of President Clinton, Chris has just lost it. It’s as if he’s been on drugs and now is being forced to go off them cold turkey. He’s just trying to hold on by digging up anything he can find about Clinton.”
Other sources close to the situation thinks the Clinton departure is only part of the story. “Chris is facing off against Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, who is losing it more and more often,” said a Hardball producer. “Chris feels that to compete, he has to raise the volume and get more into the faces of his guests.”
Matthews, who once worked for Democrat House Leader Tip O’Neill and calls himself a Democrat, seems to have undergone a marked personality change, according to a close family friend. “He seems to have studied the GOP playbook carefully and it’s taken over his brain. And, on top of that, he seems to be echoing the teachings of the Pope a lot more.”
“I’m afraid that if he has Peggy Noonan on as a guest one more time, he will be lost forever.”
Other associates fear that Matthews will have a stroke if his shouting continues unabated. “The blood vessels on his forehead are already bulging in an alarming manner and he’s beginning to stutter. We had hoped that by pitting him against James Carville he would have come to his senses and realized that he couldn’t compete at this level of aggression indefinitely. But it’s apparent that Chris can no longer see reality and we may have to cut the show back to its original half hour in order to control the situation,” commented a MSNBC executive.
Since 2001 there have been some changes, of course. Peggy Noonan concentrates her bloviating elsewhere these days. There’s a new Pope. And Matthews is no longer up against O’Reilly; he’s onfor an hour at 5 and 7 pm ET now, which is still a high-pressure schedule. Sure, he’s opposite Shepherd Smith on the FOX Report at 5 and Hannity at 7…but at least he’s no longer being clobbered in the ratings by O’Reilly. But showing up to bestow his “deep thoughts” twice a night, all that serious, objective analysis, and taking on all those astute guests can’t help but be stressful. For this sensitive and sincere man, this true patriot…a run for the Senate might bring welcome relief from the rigors of being a political talker.
So, it seems apparent to me that Matthews is guarding his health carefully since the “leak” about his possible Senate run. And now, under the wing of Ed Rendell, OUWT (Obama Under Wraps Team) and the media, which will rally around one of their very own, that 2001 piece will probably be permanently banished down the memory hole. It might take an awful lot of work at MSNBC to destroy the years of video tape of “Hardball” in the vault, but I’m sure the committment is there! OUWT will certainly be out in full force preparing us for the next media creation to hit the Senate!
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