MSNBC Host Teasingly Asks Chris Matthews About ‘Chills’ During Obama Inauguration

Yesterday was a historic day. Sure we had presidential inauguration but it was also perhaps the first and only day when loudmouth MSNBC host Chris Matthews actually shut his yap for a few seconds.

The cat that got Matthews’s tongue was being reminded by fellow MSNBC host Martin Bashir of his inane 2008 remark that he gets a “thrill going up my leg” when hearing Barack Obama speak. Watch below for the video.

The joke at the former Democratic operative’s expense happened during a post-inaugural panel on MSNBC which was predictably stacked with all liberal participants. Matthews was joined by Bashir, as well as Elijah Cummings, a Democrat representing a congressional district in Maryland.

During his part of the conversation, Cummings referenced a line in Obama’s speech describing how a little girl who grew up poor can now hope to be something in America and said that it gave him “chills” to hear it. Both he and Bashir then burst into laughter after they realized the inadvertent reference to one of the most common political punchlines of the Obama presidency.

“There you go, Chris. Did you get any chills, Chris?” a laughing Bashir inquired. He received no response from Matthews. No one spoke for several seconds. The only sound that could be heard was some awkward coughing. Unfortunately we have no video of what the expression on Matthews’s face was. The photo above, from an earlier time, is perhaps a close approximation.

“Sorry, Chris,” Bashir blurted out a moment later. Classic television moment. Here is the video, courtesy of our friends at Townhall.

This is far from the first time that Matthews has been teased about his tingling leg. Since NewsBusters made that remark famous in 2008, Matthews is continually razzed about it by critics who spot him on the street. Last year, Matthews lashed out at C-SPAN host Steve Scully who had asked him an innocuous question about it during a panel discussion.

“I hope you feel satisfied that you raised the most obvious question that is raised by every horse’s ass right-winger I ever bump into,” Matthews sniped.

During the 2012 Republican National Convention, the teasing was too much for Matthews. He got into a shouting match with several conventiongoers after they reminded him of his profession of love. This came just hours after a Hardball producer allegedly assaulted two men who were ridiculing Matthews inside the convention hall.

Matthews's throbbing leg has been brought up by guests on his shows over the years as well, perhaps most famously by former GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachman after he derisively mocked her as "hypnotized" and "in a trance" during a 2010 interview.

Bachman shot back and referenced Matthews's most famous moment stating, "The American people are the ones [...] coming out of our trance [...] I think people are thrilled tonight. I imagine that thrill is probably maybe quite not so tingly on your leg any more."

After the interview ended, Matthews was razzed by fellow co-host Rachel Maddow who began a quip saying "between the trance and the tingle" before Matthews hastily interrupted her to assert that he had never used the word tingle.

"No, that's not a tingle. That's their [conservatives'] word. I never used that word," he interjected. Video of the earlier exchange is below:


Hat tip: Thomas Stewart

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013