MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is not known for his eloquent choice of words. Wednesday, April 3 proved to be no different than any other day as the liberal Hardball host as he asked, during a discussion on Hillary Clinton’s political future, if domestic violence is “something women really worry about."
The facepalm moment occurred during segment with NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell and Howard Feinman of The Huffington Post. Matthews gleefully admired Hillary Clinton’s appearance at the Vital Voices awards ceremony. Mitchell, who herself attended the ceremony with Clinton, provided another glowing portrayal of Hillary, commenting that:
If you're Hillary Clinton, first of all, she is motivated by her passion for service. There's no question about that. This is not power with her. This is accomplishment. Its policy related. And that's why Vital Voices, the organization she was at last night, is so part of her soul. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Liberal journalist Howard Fineman piled on the Hillary praise, openly pushing her to run for president in 2016:
You had to say to yourself when you're watching Hillary Clinton, there's no way she won't run and there's no way she isn't running, because she owes it to the vision of this organization of these people.
Following the glowing praise for Clinton, Matthews made an odd comment following an observation by Andrea Mitchell that:
The important thing to reflect here is also Joe Biden has street cred with these women. And he walked into her home court advantage and got cheers for his passionate speech about protecting women and girls.
Matthews strangely asked Mitchell, “Is that close to the bone? The idea of wife beating or beaters?... Is that something that women really worry about?”
Mitchell clearly seemed shocked by Matthews’ ridiculous question, surprised that there was any doubt that women being abused by their husbands was a concern to them.
Oddly enough, Matthews continued a bit further down the road, seemingly puzzled that women worry about being the victims of spousal violence "in the home."
Yes, Chris, generally victims of spousal abuse are not beaten in public where other people can stop the violence and summon the cops.
You'd think someone who works for the "war on women" network would know that, right?!
See relevant transcript below.
Hardball w/ Chris Matthews
April 3, 2013
5:17 p.m. EDT
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Welcome back to "Hardball." Last night was the Hillary and Joe show, some say. The former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden shared the stage at an event for the global women's organization Hillary Clinton herself founded when she was First Lady back in '97. The appearance of the two Democratic heavyweights at the Vital Voices awards ceremony is fueling speculation about 2016, obviously. And they each had some kind words to say about one another. This is a little love here if you like it. Let's watch.
HILLARY CLINTON: Vice President Biden and I have worked together on so many important issues. And I know what a personal victory it was for him to see the violence against women act reauthorized last month.
JOE BIDEN: There's no woman like Hillary Clinton…Hillary Clinton -- that's a fact.
MATTHEWS: And while many may think this was Hillary's coming out party for 2016, it was Biden who may have stolen the show, many say.
BIDEN: The ultimate abuse of power, as my sister Valerie, who's with me here tonight often heard my father say, the ultimate abuse of power was for a man to raise his hand to a woman or a child.
MATTHEWS: And with me now is NBC's Andrea Mitchell. The great Andrea Mitchell by the way. The host of Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC. And Howard Feinman the also great editorial director of the Huffington Post Media Group. That's right. A little lower. You guys are great friends of mine. And I have to tell you, Andrea, I've watched you since you were in radio in Philly. And I've watched your career. You are a great role model.
ANDREA MITCHELL: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: You are without saying it one of the great feminists of your time. You don't push it but that's what you are. Because you represent fighting for a great job and doing a great job. You got to do both, right? You got to fight for it and then you've got to do it. So it’s not so easy. Hillary Clinton, I thought, should just take a breather. No more awards. No more ceremonies. Go to the Canyon Ranch, some place, and just do what we'd all like to do, we’d all like to do, and we could all use. Just get the wrinkles out. Relax. Stop worrying. Stop sweating.
MITCHELL: What's a breather?
MATTHEWS: What’s a breather? You are the classic Hillary. Type a's don't do that, do they?
MITCHELL: If you're Hillary Clinton, first of all, she is motivated by her passion for service. There's no question about that. This is not power with her. This is accomplishment. Its policy related. And that's why Vital Voices, the organization she was at last night, is so part of her soul.
MATTHEWS: You were there, right?
MITCHELL: I was there.
MATTHEWS: My wife was there, she’s just like that too.
MITCHELL: I know your wife.
MATTHEWS: You were there.
MITCHELL: You go back to the Peace Corps days, you and your wife. That's exactly what motivates Hillary Clinton.
MATTHEWS: Remember the great line in Downton Abbey? What's a weekend? Can't she take a couple of weeks off? Anyway, I just think she's starting already. I think she’s starting. Your thoughts?
HOWARD FEINMAN: I agree with what Andrea says. It is service. And this is her organization. And Hillary was there giving an award to [unknown] who has been her help mate for 30 years. So in that sense it was not political. And by the way the women that they honor there every year are always so inspiring. Their stories are amazing. I think it's the best event in Washington every year. It's the most inspiring event. But there's the service part of it, but there's inexorably the political part of it. And what I thought sitting there…
MATTHEWS: I don't think I've heard that word before on this show. Inexorably.
FINEMAN: I used to work in a news magazine. We got paid by the fancy word. Sitting there in the audience, listening to the story of this organization and these women and how they learned to assert themselves and tap into power in the world, you had to say to yourself when you're watching Hillary Clinton, there's no way she won't run and there's no way she isn't running, because she owes it to the vision of this organization of these people.
MATTHEWS: Okay, without endorsing her, you're a straight news person. But the thing is, there's something that's discernible out there this time. We saw last time the first African-American president. A lot of us were thrilled by that knowing this country's history. It's about time we did something right we’ve done so many hundreds of years wrong. With women it's just to me, it’s about time. It's not correcting anything. It's just about time. Hillary Clinton is the best bet of all women in this country to be the next president. If she doesn't do it next time she won't do it ever. So -- how do you say that?
MATTHEWS: Is it inevitable?
MITCHELL: I was interviewing Ed Rendell. Our friend, our colleague. The biggest Hillaryite as he described himself to me yesterday. And he said it's time. It's historic. And it's the moment. I can reflect the passion and this isn't politics, this is just my family. My 95-year-old mother, she'll be 95 next week, she wants to see this. And she's waiting for Hillary. There are a lot of women of her generation as well as our generation.
MATTHEWS: Our generation, my generation.
MITCHELL: The important thing to reflect here is also Joe Biden has street creed with these women. And he walked into her home court advantage and got cheers for his passionate speech about protecting women and girls.
MATTHEWS: Is that close to the bone? The idea of wife beating or beaters?
MITCHELL: That was part of it.
MATTHEWS: Is that something that women really worry about?
MATTHEWS: Men being brutal?
MITCHELL: The Violence Against Women Act
MATTHEWS: In the home.
MITCHELL: Yes. Domestic violence. And he was honoring three Indian men who have fought -- brothers who have been -- who were honored by vital voices last night for protecting women and girls in India, where rape is endemic. This was a big deal. And Biden had them.