Chris Matthews must be seriously concerned about Barack Obama's reelection chances.
On the syndicated program bearing his name this weekend, the man who used to get a thrill up his leg whenever a certain junior senator from Illinois spoke said that George W. Bush did a better job of using television to convey his message than the current White House resident has (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: I want to pose this again, the Reagan standard. Maybe it's too high a standard. Every cab driver, if you will, in D.C. may not vote for Ronald Reagan, but everyone knew where he stood. “I want to beat the Soviets in the Cold War, I want to reduce the size of government, I want to cut taxes.” Does everybody know in shorthand after all of this television exposure what Obama’s for?
MAJOR GARRETT, NATIONAL JOURNAL: Do they know the 3x5 card Barack Obama as a president? No, they don't. But let's not romanticize Reagan. You go back and look at some of those press conferences. He had some horrific presidential press conference performances. He was not [unintelligible].
MATTHEWS: Okay, Clinton?
JOE KLEIN, TIME MAGAZINE: And they got worse as it went on.
GARRETT: He was a great communicator, but he had fumbles. He dropped the ball.
MATTHEWS: Okay, I’ll lower the bar all the way. George Bush took this country to war, not an ingenious presidency there. He was able to use the tube to convince this country hat to go to war. I would say that’s more successful than Obama’s been.
What makes Matthews' point even more amazing is that no president has probably ever had as much assistance from the media in conveying his message as Obama.
If the people don't understand what it is, that means it just flat doesn't make sense to them.
Unfortunately, Matthews and his panel didn't address that for such an examination would have required them to come to grips with why they not only agree with but also support policies the public doesn't even get.
Methinks that would have been far too close to home.