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November 28, 2008

MATTHEWS TAKING SENATE RUN SERIOUSLY.... The LA Times reported the other day that Chris Matthews, the MSNBC "Hardball" host and a former Capitol Hill Democratic staffer, sat down with Democratic leaders in Pennsylvania earlier this week to "discuss the prospect" of a Senate campaign.

This has been the subject of speculation for months -- Matthews even conceded interest during a "Colbert Report" appearance a few months ago -- and FiveThirtyEight reports that the MSNBC host appears to be increasingly serious about challenging Sen. Arlen Specter (R) in 2010.

Chris Matthews, it appears, is in.

FiveThirtyEight has been hearing for some time that Matthews is serious about running for the United States Senate, but it took a trip to Georgia among the Georgia-runoff-congregated and well-connected Obama organizer throng to confirm.

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.

If Matthews runs, it's safe to assume he would have some serious competition for the Democratic Party's nomination. Reps. Allyson Schwartz and Joe Sestak, and state Rep. Josh Shapiro, have all expressed interest in the race, and the field may grow given the fact that Specter is considered one of the Republicans' more vulnerable incumbents.

As for Matthews' chances, your guess is as good as mine. I glanced through Media Matters' recent hits on Matthews' on-air comments, and it's safe to assume the MSNBC host would have a lot of explaining to do before Pennsylvania Democrats gave him the nod.

Steve Benen 10:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (35)

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This has been the subject of speculation for months -- Matthews even conceded interest during a "Colbert Report" appearance a few months ago -- and FiveThirtyEight reports that the MSNBC host appears to be increasingly serious about challenging Sen. Arlen Specter (D) in 2010.

I think Arlen Specter is a Republican.

Posted by: JSmith on November 28, 2008 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Sen. Arlen Specter (D) in 2010.


Posted by: joyzeeboy on November 28, 2008 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

Whatever gets Matthews content-free brain off of MSNBC is great. Ideally he'd be replaced by a reality-based host and not a villager of the scarboroughian or gregorian variety.

But Matthews is a lazy movie critic who talks politics. He sucks.

I hope he quits his show, is replaced by someone decent, is beaten in the D primary, and Specter loses to a good Dem.

That would be ideal.

Posted by: riffle on November 28, 2008 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

I live in the western suburbs of Philly. Joe Sestak's district runs within 3 blocks of my home (we used to be in the 7th and were re-districted after the 2000 census). He is a serious and seriously knowledegable guy who would make a great replacement for Specter. Much better, IMHO, than Chris Matthews, Alison Schwartz or Josh Shapiro.

Posted by: DrDave on November 28, 2008 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

I sincerely hope Pennsylvania Democrats can withstand Mattthews, just as we in Virginia are trying to repel the political invasion of Terry McAuliffe.

But Matthews may already be done in. Remember he wore Phillies stuff on air the day after they won the World Series? Well, that probably lost him the vote from Pirates fans (and despite 16 straight non-winning seasons, some of them still exist!). I'd suggest Mr. Matthews stock up on his black and gold if he wants to make a serious run.

Posted by: Vincent on November 28, 2008 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

I despise Chris Matthews. He looks at politics like a sports pundit. There's no such thing as cheating if the judges (voters) don't see it. The only thing that is important is winning or losing.

Six months ago, I would have wondered if he were going to run as a Dem or Rep. But lately, he has made it clear that he wants to appeal to Dems. Beware PA, he has as few principles as Lieberman.

Posted by: Danp on November 28, 2008 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Matthews is a petulant, mental lightweight.

If he wins the primary, we know voters will hold their nose no matter which button they need to press. Good luck, PA.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on November 28, 2008 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder if the folks at MSNBC are lamenting or celebrating the possibility of Matthews leaving? On the one hand, he's a cable news institution. On the other hand, he's one of those TV institutions that very few folks actually watch. On another hand, he doesn't fit AT ALL with the Olbermann/Maddow sensibilty that's clearly key to the channel's future success. On a fourth hand, MSNBC has an absolutely terrible track record on finding decent talent and putting it on TV, so Matthews replacement could be even worse.

If he does run, I hope one of his Democratic opponents is smart enough to dig up the footage of Matthews obsessing over the color of Al Gore's suits in 2000 and ask Chris if he shouldn't have been a bit more concerned about other stuff at the time.


Posted by: MBunge on November 28, 2008 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder if the folks at MSNBC are lamenting

One of the reasons Matthews is "considering" the Senate run, is that he has a $5 million(?) contract, and doesn't have the ratings to justify it. If you're Chris Matthews, where do you go from there if they drop you?

Posted by: Danp on November 28, 2008 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Hopefully Pennsylvanioids know Matthews is worse than Lieberman.

Posted by: Brojo on November 28, 2008 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

He had this conversation BEFORE resigning from MSNBC? He requested support from an elected official while doing news and commentary on American politics and policy-making?

What's Obama gonna say? Eff you, Chris, and the hour long show you rode in on?

Posted by: jayackroyd on November 28, 2008 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

All common is this fury of leadership in government circles that fury of passion naturally wonders up into the highest levels. Cute women now appearing more and more indulged in political disciplines. Palin chosen as a maverick, not really, more like admired and metered by Joe the Plummer, very enchanting, moreover, easy and likely hot for politics. Marked as the new leadership, while America watches more and more commercials for enhancement drugs. Giggle, giggle.

Watching Chris Mathews referring many times to that theory in politics called Machiavelli adds to the sport spewing and spitting a contextual mix that grips and repels. It fascinates me and we can laugh a lot, the game is on. Chris is going for that leadership role for the Republican party. He has a good chance, if it was not for Obama, or Clinton that will show America how Mathews is bought and paid for. Long time political right huffed horse that will put on a good pony side show, some fun to gear up into his cowboy suit and bring along his Party tent all patched up with American flags…

For me, it is more than a sport, it is real life, good against evil, so looking some of it up to define what the heck is this Machiavelli stuff any way? Check it out


Go to some previous stuff from Aristotle were he endorses the “Peoples Mean”, hopefully meaning the majority or Democracy. Anyway several ideals of Machiavelli jump out to me, especially within leadership qualities, here Niccolo argues

“No matter what idealistic notions are adopted as principles of private morality, he argued, there is no guarantee that other people will follow them, and that puts the honorable or virtuous individual at a distinct disadvantage in the real world. In order to achieve success in public life, the ruler must know precisely when and how to do what no good person would ever do”.

For me that’s something to say, the ruler or Chief Executive must know precisely when and how to do what “no good person” would ever do. Sheesh. Sounds like our banking executives today. But we have to understand this was a social instinct was around 1513. The world was still flat?

So, doing wrong is arguable to doing right. Bad is good, or the other way around, tax and spend is the regular way to run government, but the Republicans now known to barrow and spend are clearly off balance. How about no taxes and just beg the Jekyll Island guys for money? Do you think Chris Mathews can hop on a horse like Ronald Reagan? Or he will be back like Arnold and save us from the predator?

Hey Rachel, this is going to be fun, Mathews knows the ins and out of media smear and contexual treachery now may actually help develope modern illiteracy knowledge of operation behind the shield of free speech.

They are the gift that keeps giving.

Posted by: Megalomania on November 28, 2008 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

I'll stake out the minority position. I think Matthews's show is one of the best cable news programs, better than Keith Olbermann's and Rachel Maddow's. I often find it stimulating.

But he can be frustrating. To borrow a phrase, when he's bad, he's bad, but when he's good, he's really bad. He can come on like Clarence Darrow in a sharp and fierce cross examination as no one else does, demanding answers from his evasive guests, hitting them again and again with, "Answer my question, you haven't answered my question!" And he can wax eloquent on occasion, taking on the Iraq war with a fire and passion that runs against the media grain.

But on the other hand, I've seen him swoon and drool in a pathetic man-crush over Bush and Tom Delay and others until you just want to scream at him for being so foolish and ridiculous.

But on the whole, I think his show is provocative, and I can't think of anyone who would do better as a replacement.

Now, what was this post about again? Oh yeah, Matthews as a senator. I'll leave that up to you Pennsylvanians.

Posted by: hark on November 28, 2008 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Does the U.S. Senate really need another narcissistic buffoon?

Posted by: ed on November 28, 2008 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Just because Chris Matthews is taking a run at the senate seriously doesn't mean we have to...

Thanks, Chris, for giving every GOP demagogue a golden talking point about 'liberal bias in the main stream media.'

I'll second riffle. "I hope he quits his show, is replaced by someone decent, is beaten in the D primary, and Specter loses to a good Dem."

Posted by: danimal on November 28, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

I think Senate already is the home base of narcissistic buffoons. Why not add one more?

Is he really worse than Al Franken?

Posted by: jen f on November 28, 2008 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

tweety's been positioning himself for a few months now. note the routine appearances of one of the state's leading radio personalities that tweets has shown a particular fondness for -- michael schmerconish; and the regular appearances of ed rendell.

it's disgraceful if the pa democratic party entertains supporting this fuckwit. he knows jack shit about policy; what the msnbc fratpac tries to roll out as astute analysis is nothing more than fucking dinner party gossip.

a couple of runs of the clips of him and g gordon drooling over idiot son's mission accomplished package should deep six those senate thoughts once and for all.

Posted by: linda on November 28, 2008 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

If Specter plans to run again, he's undoubtedly praying for Matthews as an opponent. Rendell is smart enough to head off this trainwreck.

Posted by: allbetsareoff on November 28, 2008 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Why isn't anyone mentioning the possibility of Rendell running? He's termed limited out of the governor's office come 2010, and he has shwn he can get elected to state-wide office. Has he come out said that he is not interested?

Posted by: PaminBB on November 28, 2008 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Run, Chris, Run!

Unlike the situation with Al Franken, getting Chris off the air would be a fine result in a case where an on-air personality wants to run for the Senate.

Posted by: Cal Gal on November 28, 2008 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

As to Matthews' replacement, I like David Schuster just fine.

Posted by: Sarah Barracuda on November 28, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Well, you did get one item correct: Sen. Arlen Specter (D) in 2010.

Pat Toomey nearly beat Specter in the last primary for that seat and only the intervention, misguided in many people's opinion, of Bush saved Specter's bacon. Toomey will run for Governor or the Senate, depending on circumstances. He is a very impressive guy with deep understanding of the financial crisis.

Posted by: Mike K on November 28, 2008 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

mathews is despicable. IMO there is not one single person outside the actual campaigns that is more responsible for the fact Bush was elected in 2000. I hope his Dem opponent replays his horrific lying about Al Gore. He was the chief promoter of the "Al Gore is a liar" nonsense. If anyone needs to see for theirself just how disturbed this vile creature is they should Google "Chris Mathews al gore three button suits navy". Then google "Barrack obama chris mathews orange juice" If these stories don't convince you he is a card carrying nut, then go ahead and vote for him.

Posted by: Layne on November 28, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Poor Chris. He thinks that because the politicians & pundits who come on his show kiss his rear end to get a word in edgewise, the rest of us must adore him, too. The Senate has quite enough ecomaniacal windbags, and frankly, I don't think Chris would be happy as a junior egomanical windbag -- though if the leaders let him be their standin for all the filibustering, he might be happy as a clam.

And wouldn't Chris be great at constituent service? The poor Pennsylvanian who came in trying to get help with his back VA benefits or whatever could count on getting a lecture instead.

Matthew for Senate? I hope not.

The Constant Weader at www.RealityChex.com where Steve's commentary is featured today.

Posted by: Constant Weader on November 28, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

If you will remember, it was not long ago that Tweety went on a rant about all things Gore. He blamed Gore for "saying he invented the internet" as well as claiming to "be the inspiration for Love Story" and so on. The man knows how full of shit he is..dump this pig!

Posted by: Richard on November 28, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Matthews for Senate? No thanks. I fear I may have to break down and actually become a Democrat just to vote him down in the primary.

Posted by: Rick on November 28, 2008 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

He just wants to get close to Hilary.

Posted by: BroD on November 28, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Chris Matthews absolutely makes my skin crawl. I stopped watching cable news after the 2004 election largely because of that ass-kissing loser.

If he runs, ALL of my political contributions for that cycle will be going to whoever challenges him -- including Arlen Specter. Specter is a cretin, to be sure, but at least he doesn't pretend he is a Democrat.

I hope Matthews runs and gets spanked hard by the netroots to teach him and all the other Village idiots a lesson.

Posted by: The Fool on November 28, 2008 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

I second the motion for MSNBC to replace Mathews with David Shuster.

Posted by: DOT on November 28, 2008 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

You identify Spector as both a democract and a republican in this article. A simple typo I'm sure, but no doubt confusing to some. For anyone who may be confused, Senator Spector is a Republican.

Posted by: Arthur Chalinsky on November 28, 2008 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

C'mon guys - time to fix the typo. It's been up since 10 am.

Posted by: ignoreland on November 28, 2008 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

arlen used to be a D many years ago, but he's been a total R shill for a long time. Toomy is a right-wing, libertarian nutjob who could never win statewide but came close to killing off Arlen in the R primary. Tweety could never win as a carpetbagging loudmouth! There are too many actual Pa pols who want the job. Sestak is my congressman, and a pretty good one-certainly a huge improvement over our former Curt Weldon R-nepotism. His only problem is a serious case of mush-mouth which makes him only a so-so campaigner

Posted by: sue on November 28, 2008 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

Chris Matthews in the Senate? I am a liberal and have been for years.... but I would not seriously voting for Chris Matthews for anything. We have enough blowhards in the Senate as it is.

Posted by: Claimsman on November 28, 2008 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

I live in Tredyffrin Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania and I would rather throw my vote away by writing in "NOBODY" than casting a vote for Chris Matthews.

Pennsylvanians would be better served by having one of its Senate seats empty for six years than settling for Chris Matthews.

No way, no how! Never.

Posted by: Randy on November 29, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

I'm hoping Chris Matthews does toss his hat in the ring and runs for senate, And when he does, I'll move back to my home state and volunteer for his campaign. Run Chris Run

Posted by: kiki on December 1, 2008 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK



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