Matthews: 'We've Got Too Much Time Between Elections and Taking Over'

MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who conceded the obvious to Jay Leno that “I'm partial” to the “remarkable political reality” of Barack Obama, on Tuesday's Tonight Show regretted Obama cannot be inaugurated sooner than on January 20. “The President looks like he's already in the locker room with a towel around his neck. It looks like he's taken off,” Matthews complained before insisting “we need a President pretty soon.” The host of Hardball fretted about the long wait to get Obama into office, warning:
I'm getting worried because it's about another couple of months before we get a President and I'm worried about this country falling between the cracks because we've got one President who's sort of already retired and we got another President who's politely tip-toeing around the job. Who's leading us right now? It scares me.
After a quip from fellow guest “Larry the Cable Guy,” Matthews reiterated his point: “I think we've got too much time between elections and taking over.”

Matthews made the same case on his syndicated Chris Matthews Show over the weekend, as quoted in a NB item by Lyndsi Thomas:
Okay. We have an interregnum here. We have one President not in office yet, one not still there it seems psychologically. You know, they changed the Constitution back in the '30s to have this shorter lame duck period. But now this lame duck period looks really dangerous for us right now because we've got through the holidays all the way to January 20.
(In his column last Friday, USA Today founder Al Neuharth argued “people who elect a new President are eager for the change to take place. The sooner the better,” so he proposed: “We should move the President's inauguration up to the first Tuesday in December, one month after the election.” My November 15 NB post with more.)

Matthews on the Tuesday, November 18 Tonight Show on NBC:
We will not put up with mediocrity and we've had it for too long. The American people would not put up with this team we've had. This country has not been well served, we've not had good leadership. The President looks like he's already in the locker room with a towel around his neck. It looks like he's taken off and we need a President pretty soon. By the way, I'm getting worried because it's about another couple of months before we get a President and I'm worried about this country falling between the cracks because we've got one President who's sort of already retired and we got another President who's politely tip-toeing around the job. Who's leading us right now? It scares me.

It's a real problem because you know they used to have President sworn in in March and they moved it up to January, but now we got, I think we got too much time between elections and taking over.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center