Friday, November 28, 2008

Playing Hardball?

Via Booman Tribune (who says, the Los Angeles Times -- of all places -- has an in-depth piece on Chris Matthews' possible run for Senate in PA, Democrats may play hardball in Pennsylvania, vying for Arlen Specter's seat:

Reporting from Washington -- The Northeast's dwindling cast of Senate Republicans has Democrats circling Arlen Specter's seat in Pennsylvania, convinced the party is well-positioned to make a competitive race out of the 2010 election.

Leading the pack of prospects -- at least in celebrity -- is Chris Matthews, the MSNBC "Hardball" host and a former Capitol Hill Democratic staffer. The Philadelphia native has been toying with a run for months, and this week he sat down with state Democrats to discuss the prospect of taking on the five-term GOP senator.

Others considered in the mix include Rep. Joe Sestak, who is sitting on $3 million in campaign funds; state Rep. Josh Shapiro; and U.S. Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, a two-term Philadelphia area lawmaker who has moved up quickly on the Hill and has a Rolodex full of prospective donors from her unsuccessful 2000 Senate run. "We'll see," she said about a repeat bid.

"There are a lot of compelling reasons why serious Democrats would aspire to run in 2010," said Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman T.J. Rooney, who said Matthews had been in Pennsylvania Monday meeting with other Democratic leaders.
According to, Chris Matthews Staffing Up for Probable Senate Run in 2010:
According to multiple sources, who confirmed the Tip O'Neill staffer-cum-MSNBC host has negotiated with veteran Obama staffers to enlist in his campaign, Chris Matthews is likely to run for United States Senate in Pennsylvania in 2010. Matthews, 62, would run as a Democrat. Arlen Specter, the aging Republican incumbent, will be 80 if he chooses to run for re-election.

Preliminary public polling suggests Matthews would start at a deficit, in part because Matthews' name recognition is lower than Specter's.
See also, Pa. poll: Economy hitting hard; Specter leads Matthews. Political Wire adds: "One other factor suggesting Matthews will run: He doesn't appear to be on the short list to take over hosting of Meet the Press."

Of course, you just had to watch Matthews on the Colbert Report back in April, when he coyly said to Stephen: "Some people growing up, some kids want to be a fireman. I want to be a senator," to know. Or, watch him on Hardball during the campaign, as he fawned over all things Pennsylvania. I remarked to DavePhilly (my husband) on election night that Matthews had all but declared his candidacy that night.

Now, I'm of the Booman Tribune persuasion. Chris Matthews is not my favorite by any means. Progressive he's not. Then there's that sneering, smirky face -- with that laugh! Or, as Wonkette says:
However, Matthews is destined to lose because he is always running off at the mouth, plus he is insane, and nobody wants a spit-speckled maniac for a senator unless they are from Alaska. But that won’t stop Chris Matthews!
On the other hand, there's Arlen. Still wearing, after all these years, a faux moderate label.

Once part of that Dynamic Duo -- Frick & Frack. Otherwise known as Mutt & Jeff. Of course, I'm speaking of PA's finest -- Santorum and Specter. However, as I noted last year upon the defeat of Rick Santorum, One Down, One to Go:
As for the other Pennsylvania Senator -- Arlen Specter -- it is only because Santorum was such a reactionary that Specter was not considered the worst of the two. Well, with Santorum gone, he now holds the #1 spot. He hasn't been called Chameleon, The Manchurian Senator, A Gutless Republican Worm and Wafflin' Arlen for nothing.

When he was reelected in 2004, he promised to maintain his "moderate, independent" position. See Did Arlen Specter lie in 2004 or is he just weak?. Right.
I'm sure, now that the conservative faction of the GOP is in disarray that Arlen will try to move closer to the middle. After all, he blows with the winds. He's a windbag, after all.


Susan said...

A NYT Sunday Mag piece a while back was a hatchet job,playing up some of the same -- let's say -- presentation issues. But he remains just about the best news interviewer around, imho. Maybe the top, now that Tim Russert is gone. E.g., after Bush gave his speech in Israel with seeming digs at Obama, Matthews asked a Repub parrot a simple question: What were the actual acts of appeasement the appeasing Brits did in WWII. He then let the historically ignorant pol "twist slowly, slowly in the wind" as he tried to give a non-answer answer.

And here's to the pleasures of gettin older: I remember where that lovely phrase came from.

JudiPhilly said...

I agree that there have been times where he asked the question and even followed up when the respondent avoided an answer (like his interview of Rep. Michelle Bachmann), but he has been an apologist for the Bush Administration too many times for my liking.

And his lack of polish is evident in the fact that once he makes the person look like a fool, he has to then give his signature gotcha grin, rather than proving his point & moving on. In my mind, Matthews has to interject himself too much into the process, rather than keeping the focus on the subject.

I didn't see the NYT piece. Also, truthfully, I don't watch him or any of his TV cronies enough to be able to pontificate too much (not that it stops me anyway).