Despite his war wounds, can Bob Kerrey still kick Chris Matthews' butt? We might soon find out, because on this evening's Hardball Matthews lumped Kerrey into a group of Clinton sycophants he derided as "castratos" and a "eunuch chorus."
Chris was kvetching about the way a variety of Hillary Clinton supporters including Kerrey have lined up to take shots at Barack Obama. In endorsing Hillary yesterday, the former Nebraska senator went out of his way to draw attention to Obama's Muslim background.
View video here.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: You know I'm looking at this thing and I'm watching people like Bob Kerrey show up, who you used to think of as kind of an independent force in American politics. You know, he gave up his Senate seat, he dated Debra Winger. A lot of sizes, a lot of things that suggested a really independent guy.Not exactly a ringing endorsement of their masculinity from Chrystia. But better than the gauntlet that Matthews threw down. So how about it, Bob?
JONATHAN ALLEN [the Politico]: An officer and a gentleman, right?
MATTHEWS: An officer and a gentleman. Then he moves to New York and becomes president of the New School, a big school, and now he's out there sort of playing whatever for Hillary. Saying things all about Barack Obama having a Muslim father, having Hussein for a middle name. You gotta wonder if this isn't the Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
ALLEN: Well, what I think you've got going on here is a lot of Democrats who are looking at possible jobs in the Clinton administration potentially. You know, if they're on her side and not on Obama's side, he's going to have to forgive a lot of Democrats anyway. If you get on the wrong side of her and she becomes president, you're out. And also Kerrey's living in New York now. We know he wants to get back in the Senate, maybe he'll run for her Senate seat if she wins.
MATTHEWS: The moral weight; I'm talking about the moral weight on these people who are willing to do anything now. You've got [former Iowa governor] Vilsack out there, [current Ohio governor Ted] Strickland, [Indiana senator] Evan Bayh. Every day I pick up the paper, there's another quote from someone's who's a wannabe saying whatever the Clinton people told them to say, apparently.
CHRIS CILLIZZA [WaPo]: Politics, politics Chris!
MATTHEWS: Well, let me find some outrage here. Can I get some from Chrystia; I'm not getting any from you. Chrystia, aren't you appalled at the willingness of these people to become castratos and the eunuch chorus here? What do you call them? I don't know what they are. What do you think of this people?
CHRYSTIA FREELAND [Financial Times]: Well I'm not going to comment on whether they've been castrated or not.