Still ‘Thrilled!' Chris Matthews Looks Back at ‘Physically Stirring’ Obama

Chris Matthews may have another thrill up his leg. The liberal MSNBC host on Tuesday reminisced about his admiration for Barack Obama.  He looked back: “To see Barack Obama elected president, was, to me, emotionally and physically stirring.” Matthews compared, “I don't think I've been through anything like that since, maybe, the fights over the Vietnam War.” 

Later, the journalist ended the show by playing a clip of the then-2008 presidential candidate attacking “Bush/McCain Republicans.” Matthews marveled, “Looking back and listening to those words, I can see why I was thrilled. Mr. President, thank you for having the courage to stand up for this country.” 

It was on February 12, 2008 that the MSNBC host gushed, “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 July 27, 2004, during Obama’s appearance at the Democratic National Convention, Matthews uttered a little-known variation, saying, “I have to tell ya, a little chill in my legs now.” 

It’s odd that the journalist would mention the "thrill" up the leg as he usually gets angry when it’s highlighted. On May 22, 2012, Matthews ripped “horse’s ass right-wingers” who cite the comment.

In the same show, Tuesday, Matthews smeared Jeff Sessions as a racist, comparing potential Attorney General’s Jeff Sessions confirmation hearing to the Civil War: 

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Call it the latest battle of the Civil War. Historic fighters for civil rights and human rights go to war with the man, the man Donald Trump wants to be our attorney or certainly his attorney general. It's the cause of Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch against the old ways of Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. 

The Hardball host slimed, “There's this sort of old seggie aroma about anybody who was a southerner who lived through that period. He wasn't an active civil rights fighter. Okay?” 

A partial transcript is below:  

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Hardball
1/10/17
7:03

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Call it the latest battle of the Civil War. Historic fighters for civil rights and human rights go to war with the man, the man Donald Trump wants to be our attorney or certainly his attorney general. It’s the cause of Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch against the old ways of Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who faced tough grilling today in Senate confirmation hearings. Sessions is known for his hard-line conservative views on immigration, gay rights, voting rights and other issues. Today he said he would uphold the laws of the country. 

...

EUGENE ROBINSON: To go from Eric Holder, perhaps the most aggressive attorney general on civil rights issues for a little while— 

MATTHEWS: Loretta Lynch. 

ROBINSON: — almost as impressive and then  Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. 

MATTHEWS: Oh, you’re doing this too. You guys — But I know why you do it. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions. It sounds like a Confederate calvary officer. 

....

ROBINSON: In fairness, there's salient issue, which is the issue of voter suppression and that was touched in the hearing today. That was big issue for Eric Holder and it’s unclear whether Jeff Sessions believes it’s an issue at all. 

MATTHEWS: Yeah. There’s this sort of old seggie aroma about anybody who was a southerner who lived through that period. He wasn’t an active civil rights fighter. Okay? He was passive. Let’s put it that way. I’m not knocking the guy. He was a passive person of that era. 

...

MATTHEWS: Let’s get positive now. We gotta think hope now. Let’s get the hope posters up again for a few minutes again. 

ROBINSON: Okay. 

MATTHEWS: Because  I don't mind admitting that I was — and you were because of where you grew up and how you grew up—  to see Barack Obama elected president, was to me, emotionally and physically stirring. I don’t think I’ve been through anything like that since, maybe, the fights over the Vietnam War and stuff, emotionally. 

ROBINSON: Yeah. Know.  I felt the same way. I wrote a column the day after the election in an office in this building because I had been up here that night and I cried through the entire writing of the column. So, it was very emotional for me. It would be fascinating. It's not as if he leaving early, this is end of this era. 

...

7:59

BARACK OBAMA: We have to put an end to the divisions and distractions in Washington so that we can unite this nation around a common purpose. Around a higher purpose. It's a game where the only way for Democrats to look tough on national security is by talking and acting and voting like Bush/McCain Republicans while our troops are sent to fight tour after tour of duty in a war that they should never been authorized and should have never been waged. 

MATTHEWS: Looking back and listening to those words, I can see why I was thrilled. Mr. President, thank you for having the courage to stand up for this country.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org site.