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August 26, 2008

Volume 2, Number 17

Matthews: The Thrill Is Back

Co-anchoring MSNBC’s live coverage of Barack Obama’s introduction of Joe Biden as his vice presidential pick on Saturday, Chris Matthews hailed as "profound" Obama’s attacks on John McCain for daring to condemn Russia for invading a neighbor; scoffed at neo-conservatives as warmongers; and even suggested McCain "enjoyed" the Georgia crisis and the Iraq war.

"What I liked about the performance by Barack Obama was this: He finally took on John McCain on the issue of our time, which is Russia, of course, and its invasion of Georgia," Matthews argued. He smeared: "Now, there are a lot of neo-conservatives out there that just love the old black and white Manichaean Cold War feeling again. They’d like to get rid of color television, in fact. Let’s go back to the ’50s and let’s fight with the Russians again." [MP3 audio file, 798 kB, duration = 2:18]

Matthews derided McCain’s denunciation of Russia’s invasion as "bluster" for political gain: "It doesn’t take much brains to put the finger in the eye of Vladimir Putin, if that’s what you want to do, for political gain. Here’s a guy, Barack Obama, who’s not supposed to have a strong suit, in the area of foreign policy, calling it what it is: bluster. It’s just words, just sword-rattling, and he called it today. I thought that was profound."

The Hardball host also loved how Obama used McCain’s military record to jab him, and portrayed the Republican as someone who "enjoys" war: "Barack, sort of, completed the punch by saying, you need to be more than a good soldier today. You need to be a wise leader....Are you going to get us past this fight with Russia or are you just going to enjoy it? Are you going to get past this problem with Iraq or just continue it forever? Are you just going to enjoy this struggle instead of winning it and ending it?"

"When I was watching Barack, I said, ‘There’s the fire I’ve been waiting for,’" Matthews gushed. To him, the candidate’s speech evoked "the actor Denzel Washington, when he’s really sticking it to the bad guys at the end of the movies, when he’s really making his sort of Spencer Tracy moment, there’s something about the face, there’s something about that statement of strength and even anger where you really make your point with dignity and indignation. And I thought he was doing it today for the first time as a candidate: Barack Obama taking the fight to the bluster of the opponent."

For more, see the August 25 CyberAlert.


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