Chris Matthews, on Thursday's Hardball, really laid it on thick in his tease for his upcoming special on Bill Clinton's post presidency as he exalted :"Other American presidents have done things before, after leaving office, but nothing on this level or planetary scope" and glorified: "We've never had a world leader like this before!" The MSNBC ad for the documentary, entitled Bill Clinton: President of the World, already treats the former president as a superhero and Matthews, in this end of show pitch, continued that motif when he promised viewers: "When you see it all put together, you'll believe what a phenomenon, what a story that's here that hasn't been covered in its real dimension, power and positive force."
Of course speaking about the 42nd president in such reverent tones isn't anything new for Matthews as the MSNBC commentator once compared Clinton to Jesus Christ.
(video, audio and transcript after the break)
The following is a transcript of Matthews' hard sell for his documentary as it was aired on the February 9 edition of Hardball:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with our historic documentary on President Clinton. It's been an extraordinary undertaking on our part but, to be honest, no more or less extraordinary than this subject. Other American presidents have done things before after leaving office, but nothing on this level or at this planetary scope. We call this documentary President of the World for a reason. Bill Clinton has taken the prestige of his time in office, his relationships with other heads of state and forged something never known before, a global force for good. He's fighting AIDS in Africa, the devastation of floods and earthquakes, and nearly every other challenge facing mankind on the face of the globe. When you see it all put together, you'll believe what a phenomenon, what a story that's here that hasn't been covered in its real dimension, power and positive force. At a time when U.S. influence is being questioned around the world, he's proving what one person can do - helping people in trouble, showing America our exceptional country at its exceptional best. This is not – and those who watch the night of President's Day will see it – about the usual partisan politics. But it does have a political impact. It's about a leader of our country doing real good in the world and making good for our country in the bargain.
I traveled with former President Clinton to Ireland, for example, joining him on a return to one of his great triumphs in office, the Northern Ireland peace accord. I can't think of a story that means more to me. And I also know firsthand a member of my family was involved in the great work of the Clinton Global Initiative against AIDS in Africa. But what you see in our documentary, President of the World, is the product of a lot of work by our producers. I honestly believe you've never seen anything like it, if for no other reason, we've never had a world leader like this before! Bill Clinton: President of the World, here on MSNBC, the night of President's Day, February 21st at 10pm Eastern. I'm asking ya, don't miss an extraordinary look at a committed, wildly impressive American doing something, living a life no one has before. That's Hardball for now. Thanks for being with us.
—Geoffrey Dickens is the Senior News Analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here