The reviews are in and Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama was a bit hit with the crew over at "Hardball." Chris Matthews compared Kennedy to King Arthur and said of the liberal Senator's speech: "Today we got a glimpse of the early 1960s when politics was alive." The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson admitted it gave him "goose-bumps," and MSNBC's Mike Barnicle called it "electric."
On Monday night's "Hardball" the endorsement of Obama by the brother of John F. Kennedy threw the gang at "Hardball" into a wave of '60s nostalgia as they recalled glory days gone by of liberal legends like JFK and RFK.
The following are just some of the exhortations as they occurred on the January 28 edition of "Hardball":
CHRIS MATTHEWS: But we begin with the box office political story of the day, the Kennedy endorsement of Barack Obama. I know when I look into the eyes of my own children the look of wonder when I speak of life back in the sixties. It's why the Rolling Stones are such a hit even in their sixties. Why Dennis Hopper is so compelling even when he's making pitches for something so unhip as long-term financial planning. But all of that, the hard rock, the hint of the drug culture, all that came later on when the 1960s became "the '60s," that turbulent, wild sometimes dark era of protest that ended when Richard Nixon was forced from the White House. Today we got a glimpse of the early 1960s when politics was alive, so here and now in Washington D.C. The era of serious commitment, of short hair, white shirts, narrow ties and the Peace Corps. Today, for a brief, shining hour the young got to see what we saw. Not the gauzy images of Camelot but the living spirit of the new frontier.
MATTHEWS COUNTING THE NUMBER OF TIMES KENNEDY CRITICIZED THE CLINTONS IN SPEECH: Well that's 16 times he took a direct shot, 16 counterpunches against the Clintons. It was King Arthur coming back from the Crusades to endorse Robin Hood! That's what I said.
MATTHEWS TO GUEST PANEL: Teddy Kennedy's speech. What it'd do to ya?
MIKE BARNICLE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: You know I'll tell you what it did to me. It was such an electric moment for me. I'm listening to Senator Kennedy and in my mind's eye, in the back of my mind's eye I can see Robert Kennedy in a motorcade in Gary, Indiana, whites and blacks merging toward the car, the crush of people just trying to touch him. I could see Robert Kennedy, in my mind's eye, coming down through Stockton, Tulare, Modesto, Delano, Bakersfield, California. I could see the farm workers. I never underestimate the passion and emotion of politics and that's what I saw. That's what I heard today.
EUGENE ROBINSON, WASHINGTON POST: First it was one of those moments when the, makes you remember that politics really is about people's aspirations and hopes and dreams and, and, and you know was one of those goose-bump moments today.