Matthews: Obama Should Replace Rahm Emanuel With Bloomberg, Gates With Hillary
Chris Matthews must really be getting tired of watching the man that used to give him tingles up his leg continue to get crushed in the polls, for on Friday he recommended a serious shakeup in the Obama administration.
First, he want's Defense Secretary Robert Gates to be replaced by Hillary Clinton.
"With her at the Pentagon, he would forge confidence in Middle East policy," said the "Hardball" host.
But the real surprise was Matthews calling for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to either replace Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner or Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Let me finish with tonight with a plan to strengthen America's ability to solve its problems. It's tough and it's water tight. President Obama has many strengths as this country's head of state. He's clear minded, gifted in intellect, artful in presenting issues and his vision of leadership. However, these past two years have been a shakedown cruise. We have seen the weaknesses in this ship of state. It's come time to shake up.
This president needs to put a firm Democratic brand on his defense policy. He was smart to keep Robert Gates in the Pentagon, but Gates is a holdover from the Bush era. There's no real connection between what the country voted for in 2008 and what we're getting in terms of security policy. Obama needs to bridge that gap, and he needs to pick a Democratic ally as defense chief. That Democratic ally is Hillary Clinton. With her at the Pentagon, he would forge confidence in Middle East policy. Friends of Israel would know we have someone in charge of America's military forces who has an instinctive concern for the Jewish state. A proven track record of support, it will help get the deal cooked over there and getting that deal is the very stuff of American greatness.
Now to the tough one, the economy. There's one person in this country with a track record, the communications pizzazz to help make, carry out and market the historic recovery program still needed. His name is Michael Bloomberg. Look, you can say this is outlandish that he would never take the job at Treasury or as White House chief of staff, but there is a precedent. James Baker. He made Reagan a success and Barack Obama needs a Jim Baker, someone to focus the energies of this administration on economic reconstruction, period. Someone to lay down the same strong chain of command on domestic policy that Hillary Clinton will define on the national security front. This is the answer. Enough of the solo act. President Obama needs to build a team, a phalanx, a political policy power that takes his idealism and makes it deliver in strength abroad, jobs and renewed economic confidence at home.
Makes you wonder what's happened to Matthews since Tuesday.
After all, on that evening's "Hardball," he called Obama "almost pluperfect."
How can someone so spectacular on Tuesday need a shakeup in his administration three days later?