On his syndicated "Chris Matthews Show" on Sunday, Chris Matthews seemingly sought to do his self-proclaimed "job" of making sure Barack Obama's administration is a success by featuring a panel of guests who praised the incoming team and the President-elect's ability to use his political capital to pass "big packages to avert a depression." There was only twelve seconds of negativity about Obama during the entire hour-long show, and that was when columnist Kathleen Parker noted that some Hispanic organizations are unhappy with Obama because they feel that there is not enough Hispanic representation in his appointments.
The first topic of discussion was the economy and Matthews anxiously wondered whether Obama could "get a big head of steam to save the American economy and keep that head of steam so he can pass all the bills he needs to do the job?"
John Heileman of New York Magazine gave an emphatic "yes" along with four reasons to support his answer including, "I mean, [Obama] won a clear mandate" and "how well [Obama's] done in this transition and the way it's been received by both parties is having been arguably the best transition that anyone in our lifetime has ever seen."
Matthews resoundingly agreed, even going so far to claim, "I don't usually say this on the show but boy, you're smart….He won big, we have a big problem and there is a big consensus, it seems to me, about the need to stimulate this economy through government action."
NBC's Andrea Mitchell agreed and gushed over Obama's rhetoric and the competence of his team:
He has the rhetorical skill to be inspirational. We've seen that throughout the campaign and since. And the competence of the crack team that he's putting together particularly on the economic and foreign policy field. And what you're seeing now, at least in this transition is the competence, the skill of the incoming Obama team. I think that restores a great deal of credibility and gives him a head of steam.On the question of whether Republicans will work with Obama and not oppose his legislation, Mitchell said she believes Republicans will go along with Obama "because they're afraid to be wrong" and because "you've got Rahm Emanuel, Joe Biden whom we can talk about later and a lot of really smart legislative experts in that White House team who are going to be working the Hill, Senate and House."
Later the group discussed what role Biden will take as Vice President, and Mitchell continued praising the incoming team: "Biden's real power will be in not being out there, in being the person that Barack Obama feels comfortable talking to and Biden has a terrific staff, great people around him."
The Biden-loving continued as Mitchell went on to say, "In fact, Joe Biden was really known on the Hill for his domestic, not foreign policy cred. So, this is the guy who was the Judiciary Committee Chairman, who passed the law enforcement assistance and the extra police. He brings so much to the table politically and domestically..."
At the end of the show during the "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" section, Mitchell excitedly reported the potential for Caroline Kennedy to become a Senator: "Caroline Kennedy would be a huge name for the seat once held by her uncle."
And what would the Chris Matthews Show be without making fun of Dick Cheney? When talking about the role Biden will take, Matthews wondered: "So what is it, what will Joe Biden's role be? One thing's for sure it won't be anything like Dick Cheney's fiefdom as VP."