SC Primary Coverage: Chris Matthews Wants To Wrap The Mantle Of Reagan Around McCain

Chris Matthews eats, sleeps and breathes politics, that much is clear. But what bothers me so much is that it's all about the process and attaining th

Chris Matthews eats, sleeps and breathes politics, that much is clear. But what bothers me so much is that it's all about the process and attaining the result, not sticky little details like reality. So, buoyed by John McCain's significantly improved speech last night in South Carolina (as Keith Olbermann states, teleprompters are an excellent investment), Matthews is only too happy to reach for the mantle of the patron saint of the Republican Party, Ronald Reagan

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Matthews thinks that McCain's first step should be asking for the endorsement of Nancy Reagan--the anointment of the successor, as it were, which obviously wraps up the Republican nomination there and then. But Keith Olbermann has to point out that there is a big issue near and dear to Nancy's heart that may not make that endorsement as easy as Matthews thinks.

CM: It’s a heavily invested night. He brought his mother. Cindy looked very much like a first lady. It was a fascinating presentation. It gave me the tableau tonight of a man who believes—he may be wrong, of course—that this is his big night. That this is the night (that) will launch him. I would expect that the next step tomorrow morning, he gets up and calls Nancy Reagan and ask for an endorsement. I think he’s going to try to make himself “the Reagan candidate,” as he did in that speech, try to do it now, go for it, this is his chance, try to bring the party together under him. I think this is it for him and he knows it.

As a side note, I will once again mark my annoyance of Matthews' habit of not letting anyone else finish a sentence, as well as his bizarre tangentials like whether Mitt Romney has a "good story". And does anyone think that as the oldest candidate in the race, the allusions to Reagan may actually be a negative for McCain, especially if you consider that it's likely that Reagan was suffering from Alzheimer's during his second term?

Transcript below the fold.

CM: It’s a heavily invested night. He brought his mother. Cindy looked very much like a first lady. It was a fascinating presentation. It gave me the tableau tonight of a man who believes—he may be wrong, of course—that this is his big night. That this is the night (that) will launch him. I would expect that the next step tomorrow morning, he gets up and calls Nancy Reagan and ask for an endorsement. I think he’s going to try to make himself “the Reagan candidate,” as he did in that speech, try to do it now, go for it, this is his chance, try to bring the party together under him. I think this is it for him and he knows it.


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KO: Is that an expectation for him that you think she would fulfill? I mean, I would just flashback to our day in the Reagan Library months and months ago…

CM: I always figured her out—I mean, I really like her as a friend and I really do believe she likes the man’s…the arc of his career, the patriotism, the fact that he is a conservative, but not a far out conservative. A person who is practical in things like abortion rights. I think he’s…he is a Reagan-like guy in many ways. He has an arc of a story, which the others don’t have. People like Barack Obama have a story, Hillary Clinton has a story, some of them just don’t, you know? Like Romney. Not that interesting a story before he ran for public office. Wealthy. Successful. All the good things by American standards, but not an interesting story…

KO: Those Olympics in which he won so many events, apparently (laughs). Oh, I’m sorry, he was just the organizer.

CM: Oh he loves the, he loves the tokens of winning at least. The bronze…he hasn’t got a bronze yet, by the way.

KO What would the…has Senator McCain spoken…positioned himself on that stem cell research issue that I know is not front of mind still, or at the moment, but is still obviously front of mind for Nancy Reagan? Is that determinable?

CM: Oh I expect that he would be practical on that one.

KO: And would that determine who the final…

CM: I forgot that is to some extent that touched on her personally because her husband died of Alzheimer’s as we all know, and that is of course, one of the many diseases that might benefit from stem cell research. That said, there’s a lot of development going on on what kind of stem cells we’re going to use and whether we get adult stem cells or …all kinds of development in that area on what we can use to harvest

KO: We can go cover that at some other point…

CM: You know what, I don’t know why we went into that whole thing…

KO: I was just asking a quick question because it was such a…

CM: I tell you, my belief is that he tried to tie it up. Joe knows a lot more about the Republican Party and we will soon be hearing a lot from Joe Scarborough.

About Nicole Belle

Nicole Belle's picture
Mom, Wife, Media Critic/Political Analyst, Blogger, Austen Fanatic, Unapologetic Liberal NicoleBelle@crooksandliars.com

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