Substitute hosting for Chris Matthews, NBC's Andrea Mitchell asked the panel of this weekend's syndicated Chris Matthews Show to rate Hillary Clinton's chances for the Democratic nomination. In doing so Mitchell claimed that Hillary "hopes to capitalize on the nostalgia that many Americans have for the Clinton years, the good old days." Mitchell also snidely put down the entire South when she wondered if they would accept a female president: "What about down South?...Does she not fit the traditional model of what a woman should be?" When the panel turned to whether Bill Clinton would be a negative or positive for Hillary Mitchell agreed with New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller, exclaiming, either way, that it would be "Great for journalism!"
The following are the fuller exchanges that occured on the December 3rd edition of The Chris Matthews Show:
Andrea Mitchell: "First up, the restoration. Who is the most likely Democratic nominee for president? Any way you slice it, Hillary Clinton is the one to beat. Right now, she is a stronger candidate in a stronger position than any primary contender since Texas Governor George W. Bush cornered the Republican market in 1999. Some Democrats are getting cold feet though. She doesn't beat John McCain or Rudy Giuliani in trial heats. Hillary hopes to capitalize on the nostalgia that many Americans have for the Clinton years, the good old days."
Andrea Mitchell: "What about down South? Is there a different gender perception, the perception of Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton down South? Does she not fit the traditional model of what a woman should be?"
Mitchell: "Cynthia, quick reality check from outside. Are people willing to accept Bill as first spouse?"
Cynthia Tucker, Atlanta-Journal Constitution: "I think that, that would be a huge change for most Americans, and again, I'm not sure we're quite ready for that yet."
Elisabeth Bumiller, New York Times: "Great for journalism."
Mitchell: "Well when we come back--great for journalism! And it's all about us."