Chris Matthews: Back With an Obamania Vengeance . . .
If Barack Obama makes it to the White House, perhaps he should appoint Chris Matthews Commissar of Gosplan, the Commission charged with developing the economy's Five Year Plans. The Hardball host, back from vacation, displayed the enthusiasm of a dutiful apparatchik in praising an Obama ad that in turn amounted to a pitch for central planning.
During the "ad wars" segment on this evening's Hardball, Matthews first played a McCain ad that hit Obama over his plans to raise taxes and his lack of readiness to lead. After Andrea Mitchell suggested that the ad is "the wrong tone for the [NBC] Olympics," during which it's playing, Matthews wondered whether McCain is "the Grinch that stole the Olympics," and suggested a "taste test," comparing Obama's ad. Here's the ad's text:
VOICEOVER: The hands that built this nation can build a new economy. The hands that harvest crops can also harvest the wind [images of electricity-generating wind turbines.] The hands that install roofs can also install solar panels. The hands that build today's cars can also build the next generation of fuel-efficient vehicles. Barack Obama: a new vision for our economy. Fast-track alternative fuels. Create five million jobs developing home-grown energy technologies. Because America's future is in our hands.
View video here.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: That's not only cheerful: it's downright windswept. [Laughs heartily.] That ad should be called "Kelly" [someone explain the reference to me, please.]
Andrea Mitchell agreed.
ANDREA MITCHELL: It may be over-promising, but it's upbeat.
Cheerful? Upbeat? I find the ad threatening and sinister as hell. "A new vision for our economy"? Thanks, but I like the old vision. You know, the one based on capitalism and free markets in which millions of consumers, through billions of transactions, decide what goods and services are provided and what price they're willing to pay. "America's future is in our hands"? Translation: in big government's hands. What could be less cheerful than that? But Matthews and Mitchell dug it.
All hail the inevitable triumph of the centrally planned economy!