Chris Matthews: It's Too Soon For George W. Bush Nostalgia
Chris Matthews believes it's too soon for George W. Bush nostalgia.
Such was discussed during this weekend's syndicated program bearing his name.
In fact, Matthews made this his big question of the day asking his guests, "Will there be George W. Bush nostalgia this November when his book comes out?"
To his discredit, Matthews was the only person of the five in front of the camera that felt the answer was no concluding, "I think he needs a little more time to be away" (video embedded below the fold with transcript):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Welcome back. On Friday, George W. Bush said his memoir comes out November. That'll be two years since Barack Obama's victory, which some say was a repudiation of the Bush years. And that brings us to this week's big question: Will there be George W. Bush nostalgia this November when his book comes out? Kelly.
KELLY O'DONNELL, NBC NEWS: Well, every president gets a bit of that and I think the more George Bush is not visible, not talking now, the more there will be interest in what he had to say.
MATTHEWS: Will there be nostalgia?
O'DONNELL: For some there will be.
MATTHEWS: Okay, David Ignatius.
DAVID IGNATIUS, WASHINGTON POST: It depends in large part on where things are in Iraq. If after the election next month, Iraq looks stable, a lot people are going to say, you know, we weren't comfortable with it at the time but George Bush was right.
MATTHEWS: Kathleen, Bush nostalgia for the young Bush?
KATHLEEN PARKER, WASHINGTON POST: I think David makes an excellent point. That will be the key to whether there's any nostalgia. But, you know, George Bush has conducted himself awfully nobly since he left office in terms of hanging back.
MICHAEL DUFFY, TIME MAGAZINE: Compared to Cheney.
PARKER: Yeah. Compared to Cheeney, as Chris would say.
MATTHEWS: No, that's how his name is pronounced actually.
PARKER: I think people will appreciate that. And they, you know, there's admiration for certain things about him that transcend his accomplishments.
MATTHEWS: So, there will be nostalgia?
PARKER: Some, yes.
DUFFY: Sure, as long as everyone's competing memoirs don't open up all the debates we've been talking about. And they are all coming out. But I think these things get better with time.
MATTHEWS: I think it's too soon. I think he needs a little more time to be away before he gets the David McCullough treatment.
Interesting how even those who disagreed with Matthews did so rather guardedly and with disdain for the former President with the possible exceptions of Ignatius and Parker.
Exit question: Who's right?