Sounding like a voice-over on a movie trailer for an upcoming action blockbuster starring Barack Obama, Chris Matthews greeted viewers, on Thursday's "Hardball," with this exclamation: "The excitement begins! Barack Obama makes his first major appointments." Matthews then continued his giddiness, a little later in the show, when he raised up an electoral map, published in the New York Times, that featured a "sea of blue" for Obama and hailed: "This is maybe the best map ever seen!"
The following exchanges occurred on the November 6, "Hardball":
CHRIS MATTHEWS OPENING SHOW: The excitement begins! Barack Obama makes his first major appointments. Let's play "Hardball!" Good evening, I'm Chris Matthews, welcome to "Hardball." Leading off tonight, reconstruction. President-Elect Obama -- first time I ever said that -- is moving fast to build his team to rebuild a national consensus for action.
MATTHEWS HOLDING UP MAP: Let me show you a map that's one of the, I know we've shown a lot of maps. And Chuck [Todd] and his colleagues have shown a lot of great maps.
HOWARD FINEMAN, NEWSWEEK: That's a good one.
MATTHEWS: This is maybe the best map ever seen! If you look at this map, let me hold it up higher. There it is, electronically. Hold that sign up there a bit. This is not a state of where people voted, Mayor [Willie] Brown, this is, this is map that tells you where people voted more for Barack Obama than they did for the Democratic candidate, last time. Everything blue there. That whole sea of blue across the country, with the exception of the mountain areas of Appalachia and the Ozarks, basically down there in that sort of crescent in the middle right there. All voted more for Barack than they did for John Kerry, four years ago.
So you see an amazing sweep toward Barack in the country. Mayor Brown this is amazing! I'm looking at the entire Northwest, entire Midwest, the Big 10 teams, by the way. Every state which there is a Big 10 team all went for Barack Obama. The entire Northeast. The coastal areas of, of, of, the Atlantic coast. All along the coast. In fact all along the Texas coast where Texas either touches Mexico or goes to the, to the Gulf of Mexico. All that. All California, up and down California, up and down Washington, Oregon. Everywhere went more for Barack than it did for John Kerry. What do ya think?