During live coverage of Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing on Monday, MSNBC's Chris Matthews gushed about the judge's opening statement, saying "Well, I'm getting one of those thrills I get about America. I'm sorry, I'm shouldn't say this. And I'm getting it again." Matthews, who famously proclaimed that Barack Obama gave him a "thrill" up his leg, also offered a fawning aside about what a "genius" the President is.
Responding to a comment the Supreme Court nominee made about working hard to advance herself in school, the "Hardball" host followed-up his "thrill" remark by rhapsodizing, "When she talked about sitting at that table and not being a genius like Barack Obama, not being one of these people that can walk into a college scholarship, who had to sweat for it." [audio available here]
On February 12, 2008, while covering presidential primary results, Matthews cooed, "It's part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama's speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often."
Less than four years earlier, following Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Matthews previewed the feeling that would become common place for him: "I have to tell ya a little chill in my, in my legs now. That is an amazing moment in history right there. It is really an amazing moment. A keynoter like I've never heard."
A transcript of the July 13 exchange follows:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Andrea and Richard, I heard and saw a picture of a family studying at night, sweating over school work, including her mom getting ready for RN. That seemed to be a direct hit at the heart of the Republican members of that committee and their constituents. Andrea?
ANDREA MITCHELL: The face of her mother and her brother and her step-father, but the mother's pride and emotion during her statement, the thank you to her mom. This hard-working family, you know, first generation family, the father with the third grade education who died and the most important comment, I think, politically that she made was "Many senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. It is simple: Fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make the law, it is to apply the law."
MATTHEWS: Well, I'm getting one of those thrills I get about America. I'm sorry, I'm shouldn't say this. And I'm getting it again. When she talked about sitting at that table and not being a genius like Barack Obama, not being one of these people that can walk into a college scholarship, who had to sweat for it. Richard?