Friday, December 5, 2008

Is Chris Mathews Serious?

Chris Matthews is dead serious about running for the Senate in Pennsylvania - and shopping for a house in the state and privately discussing quitting MSNBC as proof of his intense interest, according to NBC colleagues, political operatives and friends.Even so, some NBC insiders think it’s all simply a negotiating ploy to jack up his contract... As speculation surrounding his potential candidacy heats up, Matthews has also been asking advisers whether to step down from his MSNBC post well before his contract expires in June. At one recent meeting, he was advised that if he truly intends to run, he should resign from the network as soon as possible... Otherwise, his nightly presence on “Hardball” provides easy fodder to critics fueling the narrative that MSNBC is in the tank for the Democratic party. After NBC News was stung by criticism during the presidential campaign—charged with bias resulting from the antics of more outspoken personalities on MSNBC—staffers worry the situation will be repeated over the next six months... On Monday, Matthews met with two Democratic attorneys and the state’s incoming treasurer to discuss the Senate race at the Philadelphia-based law firm Wolf Block, according to Roll Call. That night, “Hardball” broadcast from Philadelphia, ostensibly for the National Governors Association meeting, a gathering that didn’t actually start until Tuesday. Also on Monday night, following “Hardball,” Matthews headed across the river to Camden, New Jersey, where he gave the keynote speech at a hospital fundraiser. So was Matthews in Philadelphia to meet with operatives or to host a cable news show? When asked about the coincidence, an MSNBC spokesperson issued a terse “no comment.”

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