Just how biased would you have to be to think Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was the strongest Speaker of the House in the last 50 years?
If you're thinking as biased as MSNBC's Chris Matthews, you'd be right (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS: There's never been a stronger speaker, I think, since Sam Rayburn than the speaker -- just recently was speaker. That's Nancy Pelosi.
So said Matthews on Wednesday's "Hardball."
For those unfamiliar, Rayburn was Speaker of the House on and off for many years until his death in November, 1961.
As such, in Matthews' opinion, Pelosi was the strongest Speaker since. Makes you wonder what he uses for qualifications.
Consider that the unemployment rate was 4.4 percent when Pelosi was sworn in back in January 2007. When she gave up the gavel four years later, the rate was a staggering 9.4 percent with over 8.5 million more people out of work.
Let's understand that the economy was booming when the Democrats and Pelosi took over Congress in 2007. By the end of their first year in charge, a recession began that many claim to be the worst since the Great Depression.
But that's not Pelosi's only "accomplishment." The budget deficit before she became Speaker was a mere $160 billion. When she stepped down, the deficit had increased tenfold to an almost unthinkable $1.6 trillion.
The total federal debt when Pelosi was given the gavel was $8.7 trillion. When she handed it over to current Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.), the debt had increased 61 percent to $14 trillion.
So, Pelosi was Speaker when one of the worst recessions in decades hit causing unemployment to more than double, the deficit to rise tenfold, and the debt to increase by 61 percent.
Yet Matthews considers her to be the strongest Speaker since 1961.
And this man doesn't only have one show on television - he's got two.