Here at NewsBusters, we've documented how Chris Matthews has gushed about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and how she could be a "truly great president." We've also noted how Matthews did his best to spin Mrs. Clinton's bumpy book tour, comparing it to a rehearsal run in New Haven before a Broadway production goes live on the Great White Way.
But now it seems the Hardball host has a thrill up his leg for the prospect of Vice President Biden jumping into the ring, perhaps beating Clinton to the punch by declaring his candidacy before she does. Matthews discussed the prospect tonight with Washington Post reporter Perry Bacon and former Biden speechwriter Matthew Littman. When the latter laid out the case for why Biden should "want to run," Matthews interjected:
Are you trying to talk me into this? I'm dyin' for a race like this! What are you, crazy? Every reporter in this town, left, right and center, wants this to happen. You don't have to sell this, right, Perry? I mean, Martin O'Malley against Hillary, er, against Brian Schweitzer is okay, but this is bigtime. This is big casino if they run against each other.
Matthews later pointed out how Vice President Biden's rhetoric about ISIS has been much more strident than President Obama's, with the latter insisting we can make the bloodthirsty Islamist insurgency in Syria and Iraq a "manageable" problem and the former thundering at a rally in New Hampshire today that the United States would change ISIS fighters "to the gates of Hell." As we've noted, Matthews has been critical of Mr. Obama for his dispassionate rhetoric on ISIS.
"If you put the two of them in a debate, face to face," Littman argued, "you have the two big heavyweights in the party" and then Democratic primary voters can make the call. "Hillary shouldn't be coronated, we should have a debate," Littman insisted.
"He'll have one big thing going for him, he'll go in as the underdog," Matthews chimed in. "The underdog is who you root for."
That may be so, but more importantly, Littman argued, if you get Biden and Clinton in a debate and the vice president performs well, "he would be able to start raising money off of that."
"We'll see," Matthews replied, saying that if Clinton comes "out of that gate with a great speech, great momentum and excitement about herself.. she'll be very hard to beat," but "if she comes off as stiff and awkward and makes these mistakes like Biden does, it will be more of a race."
In fact, "This could be the battle of the gaffes!" an excited Matthews gushed. Maybe so, but don't expect the liberal media to hype those gaffes as evidence that neither candidate is well-suited to the Oval Office.