You Could Be a Contenda! Chris Matthews Touts Ed Schultz as Union Boss

Considering how you're on the payroll and all ...

MSNBC's Chris Matthews made an observation to colleague Ed Schultz last night that was presumably intended as a compliment but could easily be seen as passive aggressive (video after page break) --

You may not like me saying this, Ed buddy, but I gotta tell you, if you weren't doing this and you're doing a fabulous job as this colleague, you're doing better than we're doing here at "Hardball," you're getting great numbers, I gotta tell you something -- you could be head of the AFL-CIO and they'd be better off for it. Anyway, thank you, Ed Schultz, out there fighting for the middle class. I know I'm right, or something even bigger, Mr. Schultz.

Beyond laughing in response, Schultz was non-committal about Matthews's remarks.

Which is not to say that Schultz let yesterday pass without novel commentary on the Wisconsin recall election.

There he was, for example, interviewed by Rachel Maddow shortly after NBC News projected Scott Walker to defeat Tom Barrett, Schultz looking like someone who had a toad dropped in his beer (video link) --

MADDOW: We have just been able to characterize this race as a win for Scott Walker, Gov. Walker surviving this recall challenge in Wisconsin. I gotta ask your reaction as somebody who's covered this more closely than anybody else in the national media.

SCHULTZ: Well, in many respects it's to be expected considering how much money was thrown at this race. You know, NBC is calling it for Walker. OK, I think it's, it's awful close and there's a lot of absentee ballots yet that are still out and it's going to be very, very close down to the wire.

All of a minute before Maddow spoke with Schultz, she repeated that NBC was projecting Walker to win and the vote tallies to that point were shown -- 61 percent for Walker and 38 percent for Barrett with 21 percent counted. "Awful close"?

True, Walker's margin narrowed until it finally settled at just under 7 percent. That said -- "very, very close down to the wire"?

Earlier in the day, Schultz appeared on "The Daily Rundown" with Chuck Todd and made another dubious claim, that "independents have broken for Tom Barrett" in the final days before the recall. Not surprisingly, Schultz cited no empirical basis for the claim. The rationale for this omission was provided several hours later -- by the results of the recall.

Schultz as union boss? He already is.

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Liberated ex-liberal from the People's Republic of Massachusetts