Matthews Calls West Point, Site of Obama Speech 'The Enemy Camp,' 'Strange Venue'

Either MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews let one slip tonight, or it was an extremely poor choice of words.

Following President Barack Obama's Dec. 1 speech, which he announced his intentions for increasing troop levels in Afghanistan, MSNBC followed with wrap-up coverage of his speech with arguably three of their most prominent on-air personalities - "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann, "The Rachel Maddow Show" host Rachel Maddow and Matthews.

Matthews referred to a scene from "Gone with the Wind" about the American Civil War as an example of "excitement" going into a war. He said that was lacking in the room during Obama's speech.

"I think it's true of most wars," Matthews said. "They start with a lot of excitement. I remember the scene in ‘Gone with the Wind' where the rebels are so excited about going to war with the North, a country they can't beat because of its industrial advantage and population advantage. They are going to lose that war eventually."

However, Matthews also said he saw a lot of skepticism among some of the older audience members at West Point, which he called "the enemy camp" and "a strange venue." (emphasis added)

"It seems like in this case, there isn't a lot of excitement," Matthews said. "I watched the cadets, they were young kids - men and women who were committed to serving their country professionally it must be said, as officers. And, I didn't see much excitement. But among the older people there, I saw, if not resentment, skepticism. I didn't see a lot of warmth in that crowd out there. The president chose to address tonight and I thought it was interesting. He went to maybe the enemy camp tonight to make his case. I mean, that's where Paul Wolfowitz used to write speeches for, back in the old Bush days. That's where he went to rabble rouse the "we're going to democratize the world" campaign back in '02. So, I thought it was a strange venue."