Introducing Howard Dean, on Wednesday night's "Hardball," Chris Matthews indirectly compared Barack Obama to Jesus Christ as he introduced the former head of the DNC and 2004 presidential candidate as "the man who really laid out the path for Barack Obama. He was the St. John the Baptist...leading for that fellow." In the Christian faith St. John the Baptist is considered to be the precursor to Jesus Christ, so in Matthews' metaphor of Democratic presidential politics that would have to make Obama, Jesus. [audio available here]
For his part Dean, justifiably, appeared uncomfortable with the comparison, as he appreciated Matthews' promise to "not make any further reference there to the Deity." After that awkward introduction Matthews, in the ensuing segment, went on to call Republicans like John McCain, Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney "imbeciles" for their various criticisms of Obama, as he continued his "idiot button" routine that he began on Tuesday's show.
The following exchanges were aired on the June 17 edition of "Hardball":
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Joining me now a couple of heavyweights. Howard Dean the man who really laid out the path for Barack Obama. He was the St. John the Baptist, I'd say, leading for that fellow, not to make any further reference there to the Deity.
HOWARD DEAN: Yes, thank you!
MATTHEWS: I don't know what to make of John McCain. He is the most patriotic guy in the world. I’m starting with Governor Dean on this. I want a balanced view on this before I go to P.J. [O'Rourke] I think the guy is great as a person, and I just, he’s beginning to talk like Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney. They’re all hitting the idiot button. They, "Everything is socialist! Everything is, we gotta go to war, we gotta take sides in an [Iran] election we have nothing to do with. They always act like imbeciles lately. They're all talking like this!
PJ O'ROURKE, AUTHOR: Get out of here, get out of here! I mean what’s the downside with supporting the good guys in Iran? Huh? Like Ahmadinejad is gonna hate us more, like how? I mean you know? I mean I think we're seeing, I don’t think we got the first black president. We got the first pink, squishy president is what we've got. He's gonna stop the North Korean ships but not inspect them. Just stop 'em, you know just stop ‘em. We’re not gonna look inside, okay?