If Obama wins on Tuesday night, Chris Matthews's mocking this morning of the notion that the polls are tightening will be soon forgotten. But if McCain pulls off the upset, Matthews's smirking triumphalism will take its place in the halls of journalistic hubris near the famous photo of Harry Truman holding up the Dewey Defeats Truman front page.
Just before Matthews came on, Andrea Mitchell ended her set-up segment by mentioning that the McCain campaign had released internal polls showing the race tied in the battleground states. When Meredith Vieira opened the Matthews interview by asking him to comment, the Hardball host went into full mock mode.
MEREDITH VIEIRA: Let's talk of those internal polls that the McCain camp is putting out that say that this race is much closer than being predicted by the independent polls. Is it possible that—you're smirking—is it possible the independent polls are wrong?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I'm laughing.
VIEIRA: They've been wrong before.
MATTHEWS: No, I think the polls are right, I think they're right. There are very close elections in places like North Carolina and Indiana, yeah. If you call those battleground states, it's a close election. If you call Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa—those battleground states—well, they're all for Obama.
So the states that Obama needs to win to win about a 340-vote electoral victory, he's in good shape on. Yes, if he goes beyond that, it will take some victories in those really close states like North Carolina and Indiana.
Question: Had Matthews had seen Drudge before he went on the air?