NBC’s Roker Jabs Matthews’ Obama ‘Tingle’ & Olbermann’s Unusual ‘Voice of Reason’

During Tuesday’s inauguration coverage on MSNBC, the Today show’s Al Roker poked fun at co-anchors Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann as the NBC weather man, on location at the inaugural parade site, appeared with the MSNBC duo and joked that Matthews "got that tingle down his leg" because Obama looks good without a shirt. Discussing the admiration that so many young people feel for Obama, Roker declared: "It doesn’t hurt ... that he’s a good-looking guy! ... This is a guy, this is a President who can take his shirt off, you know. I mean, if I take my shirt off, people are running and screaming. You know, that’s, so I think it’s just an exciting, exciting time. And I know that’s why Chris got that tingle down his leg!"

After Matthews tried to go along with Roker’s jovial mood by quipping that "we tingle up the leg, okay? It is a big freakin’ difference. And don’t you forget about it, buddy," Olbermann set himself up to receive a jab as well, as he joked that "it’s left to me to be the referee." Roker, presumably referring to Olbermann’s penchant for delivering outlandish tirades on his Countdown show, shot back: "And what does that say, if Keith Olbermann is the referee, Keith Olbermann is the voice of reason?" Matthews added: "That is a strange role for Keith Olbermann. Very strange."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, January 20, inauguration coverage on MSNBC from about 2:08 p.m.:

AL ROKER: I was talking to some of these kids. They’ve watched Obama, President Obama, on the Internet, on YouTube. They feel like he is one of them, he understands them. They are all engaged, you know, these are, I mean, look, these were two busloads full of, you know, for the most part, young Caucasian kids, and they were as invested, it seemed, in this inaugural as any group of kids. And yet, you stand here and, looking across at the bleachers over here, young people – black, white, Hispanic – everybody coming together. It really is, it is a moment that I think we, I haven’t seen, I was five years old when President Kennedy was inaugurated, and, you know, I think that was the last time that youth, that young people felt engaged in a presidency.

I got to tell you, I got a 22-year-old daughter, and that’s all she and her friends talk about, is Obama, and it doesn’t help, it doesn’t hurt, I should say, that he’s a good-looking guy! You know. So, I think, you know, look, this is a guy, this is a President who can take his shirt off, you know. I mean, if I take my shirt off, people are running and screaming. You know, that’s, so I think it’s just an exciting, exciting time. And I know that’s why Chris got that tingle down his leg!

[KEITH OLBERMANN, RACHEL MADDOW AND EUGENE ROBINSON LAUGH]

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Hey, Roker, come into the positive stuff. Stay with the positive. Stay off the negative today, will you?

ROKER: That’s positive!

MATTHEWS: And, by the way, we tingle up the leg, okay? It is a big freakin’ difference. And don’t you forget about it, buddy.

ROKER: I said "tingle"! I said "tingle"!

KEITH OLBERMANN: Well, it’s left to me to be the referee. Al Roker on the parade route. Thanks a lot, Al.

ROKER: And what does that say, if Keith Olbermann is the referee, Keith Olbermann is the voice of reason?

MATTHEWS: That is a strange role for Keith Olbermann. Very strange.

OLBERMANN: Yeah, my raison d’etre is right out the freakin’ window. Al Roker, thank you. Chris Matthews, thank you.