Does Chris Matthews have a new Democrat to give him a "thrill" up his leg? On Monday, the Hardball anchor praised Hillary Clinton's stature leading up to a hypothetical 2016 run as the most impressive since General Eisenhower in 1952. Dwight Eisenhower was the Supreme Allied Commander in World War II, oversaw D-Day and defeated the world-wide threat of the Nazis. Clinton, on the other hand, has been a politician and the Secretary of State during the disaster in Benghazi.
The 67-year-old Matthews reminisced about seeing a newsreel of Eisenhower at a movie theater. His dad informed him that Ike would be president at some point. The MSNBC host compared, "Well, nobody outside of incumbent presidents, and not even some of them, has in all the years since enjoyed such a commanding position going into a presidential cycle as Hillary Clinton." [MP3 audio here.]
Matthews also offered an apology that a woman couldn't be delivering his praise: "There are many women my age and older who have spent their lives voting for men, men of uneven quality, uneven character and uneven greatness.... I know a woman should be saying this, but not me, but politics is my business."
Referring to the chant of "we want Hillary," the anchor swooned, "It's going to be heard forever once it starts and going to come about a lot sooner than 2016."
Will Matthews's devotion to Mrs. Clinton equal his famous fawning from February 12, 2008?
I have to tell you, you know, it's part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama's speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often.
On February 25, 2013, Matthews pledged his devotion to the former first lady: "We'll get you in there [the White House]."
A transcript of the April 1 show open can be found below:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me start tonight with this: I remember when General Eisenhower ran for president. I was sitting in a movie theater. My dad was sitting to my right. "Is he president," I asked, of the general sitting there, about to get on a plane. "No," dad said, "but he will be." Well, nobody outside of incumbent presidents, and not even some of them, has in all the years since enjoyed such a commanding position going into a presidential cycle as Hillary Clinton.
The number one reason is that her candidacy would be not just a campaign, but in a very powerful way, a movement. She is the world's most celebrated woman leader by far. She has made women issues an important part of her agenda and she, Hillary Clinton, came very close to winning the nomination five years ago. Many of her followers are still out there, more committed than ever that she'll win in this time. And let me add an obvious: There are many women my age and older who have spent their lives voting for men, men of uneven quality, uneven character and uneven greatness, that have been waiting all their adult lives to put a woman in the White House, and not as First Lady, but as President of the United States.
For them, after too many delays, after the big delay of 2008, their rallying cry perhaps not even spelled out, but deeply felt, deeply shared, deeply passionate can be summed up if three words: it's about time. I know a woman should be saying this, but not me, but politics is my business. If I didn't know all this in the air right now, I would have to be completely out of it. "We want Hillary" is not going to be a resounding call in this country yet. It's going to be heard forever once it starts and going to come about a lot sooner than 2016.
-- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.