Have you noticed that it's suddenly become chic for commentators to ask their Republican guests whether or not Sarah Palin is qualified to be president?
As a number of GOP candidates of late have sidestepped the issue, Chris Matthews must have expected GOP strategist Ron Christie to do the same on Tuesday's "Hardball."
Much to the MSNBC host's surprise, Christie not only said she was, but also pointed out, "She's certainly had a whole heck of a lot more experience than a particular junior senator from Illinois" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Now, Sarah Palin, we have seen across-the-board nationally. She`s got low numbers in the 30s. But you put her in the Republican Party, she is in the 70s. The question is: look at this, she`s going to two rallies in California this Saturday and Florida the following Saturday. She`s sort of doing the weekends. I guess Roger Ailes lets her off for the weekend from FOX.
RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You had to.
MATTHEWS: Well, I think she has a job. I mean, she`s working over there, OK?
CHRISTIE: And she`s doing a fantastic job of going out and mobilizing the base and getting people who are fired up for this election. You talk about her numbers being in the 30s.
MATTHEWS: You think she`s qualified to be president?
CHRISTIE: I do. Of course, I do. She was governor of Alaska. She was mayor of a city. She`s certainly had a whole heck of a lot more experience than a particular junior senator from Illinois.
MATTHEWS: No, I like the way you say that with absolutely no hesitation. She`s qualified to be president of the United States.
CHRISTIE: Of course.
MATTHEWS: Handling our nuclear weapons, handling the world`s population --
CHRISTIE: You mean of course considering the one that we have sitting there now who`s been indecisive on the economy? He's been indecisive on the war...
CHRISTIE: He's been indecisive on every single solitary issue.
So stunned was Matthews he wisely decided to ask his other guest a question:
MATTHEWS: Josh, what`s the role of Sarah Palin going to be?
JOSH MARSHALL, TALKINGPOINTSMEMO.COM: It`s obviously to rally the base. You`ve got, you know, the electorate is much more polarized around her than around Barack Obama, if that is even possible. But I`m curious -- I`m interested to see that that is becoming the sign on the dotted line question for Republicans across the country.
You see Carly Fiorina a few days ago, they each have to eventually answer this question: do you think this woman is qualified to be president of the United States? They tried to duck it and they try to duck it, but a lot of them have to say yes.
MATTHEWS: I love it. I think it`s the litmus test. That`s why Ron Christie is selling books and not running for office. He can say yes.
Isn't it fascinating the way liberal media members think?
All someone needs to be qualified for office in their view is to have a D next to his or her name. By contrast, there appears to be virtually nothing a Republican can have on his or her resume that is considered appropriate experience.
Exit question: Is there enough smelling salts in the world to wake up Matthews if Palin ever does become President?