Left-leaning television pundit Chris Matthews sat tall at Nathans Q&A Cafe on Wednesday, March 27. Matthews has lost thirty pounds since his Type II diabetes diagnosis in November, but he has not lost any of his fast-talking proclivities. Nathans Restaurant owner and former television journalist Carol Joynt barely achieved her goal of asking fifteen questions over the course of the roughly one-hour interview.
“Chris? Chris?” she’d ask, often to no avail.
The irony of the situation came to a point when Matthew began to discuss Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. “You gotta be heard because men just keep talking,” he said after he mentioned the “big, deep, green, scaly, horny monster” of misogyny that might rear its head at at the polls.
“Men are all whipped into silence on this topic,” he said. He also noted that women’s voices often scale upwards when they try to be heard in a debate, and he conjectured that men might weary of Mrs. Clinton’s sometimes strident tones. “Not 8 years,” he imagined men thinking.
“When a man yells, it’s entertainment. When a woman yells, it’s Eleanor Clift,” Matthews said.
Jabs aside, Matthews praised Clinton and described her as “physically healthy, physically radiant…. There’s a halo of magic around her.”
Matthews, who might host the first presidential debate, conjectured about several candidates. He named Rudy Giuliani as the likely Republican primary victor and dismissed John McCain on the grounds that, “Republicans don’t like mavericks. They like leaders.”
Matthews used a scene from the the film 1984 that has since been used to plug Apple computers and Obama’s presidency as a lens to describe the Republican/Democrat ideological divide. “Democrats really do like chaos,” he said. “Every Democrat instantly roots for the kid with the hammer,” he claimed, while Republicans side with the large face on the screen. “McCain is the kid with the hammer,” Matthews said.
But when it came to the final word on picking presidents, Matthews advised looking at Irish betting odds before looking at political polls. He read a series of odds aloud, and called for “a new kind of quiz show” where pundits must bet on their opinions and give "something like $1,000" up front for a seat at the table. Matthews believed it would create, “punditry that matters.”
In the meantime, Matthews will talk on, guiding people to the bookies and the polls to put their money where their mouths are.
More sound bites and image after the jump.
- On wife Kathleen Matthews’ salary when she signed on to her new job as Executive Vice President of Global Communications and Public Affairs at Marriott International, Inc.: "No comment."
- On White House press secretary Tony Snow's cancer recurrence: "Can we all say a prayer for Tony [Snow]? He really has a problem now. He’s a great guy, I mean a really great guy.”
- On differences of opinion: "I even find people I disagree with charming. I find Richard Perle charming.”
- On Dick Cheney's power after the Scooter Libby verdict fallout: ”I think he’s in the room.”
- On whether Libby should go to jail:, "I think the jury was really smart…. I’m not God…. [Cheney] and Scooter from what I understand were a pair. On everything.”
- On Defense Secretary Robert Gates: "Could Rumsfeld have cleaned up Walter Reed? No, he would have been loyal. Gates comes in and says, ‘You’re out of there.’ He’s a clean broom…. It’s an indication of what you can get done with a new team."
- On the liberal/conservative divide: "They [Republicans] are much more organized people."
- On Chris Dodd: "One of the funniest people I know. So funny."
- On reacting to repartee from Mary Matalin: "To be honest, I enjoy it all. I don’t enjoy the fact that she exists, necessarily."
- On Starbucks apple fritters, which Matthews can no longer eat: "They’re the greatest tasting rush of sugar in history."