Matthews, Wallace Hail ‘Exquisitely Written’ ‘Masterpiece’ Hillary Speech; She ‘Nailed’ It

Hardball host Chris Matthews received the first take on MSNBC after Hillary Clinton’s Thursday afternoon foreign policy speech and the faithful subject oozed that “it was a masterpiece” that was “very well constructed” and “exquisitely written.”

Minutes later, Matthews received an assist from former McCain/Palin adviser and political analyst Nicolle Wallace as she stated that Clinton “just nailed the performance aspect of this speech” and (falsely) attacked Donald Trump’s vanquished Republican primary opponents for not doing what was necessary “to beat him which was she mocked him.”

Breaking news anchor Brian Williams turned first to Matthews and the cartoonish host went straight to the chase in stating his infatuation with the speech: 

Well, it was a masterpiece. It was a great speech. Very well constructed. Patriotic as hell. Those flags were not there by accident. This was a speech which was nationalistic, just like Trump is with some more sophistication of course. I did think it was a speech that could have been given before the Vietnam War. It was much more in the pre-Vietnam tradition of the Democratic Party. A speech Hubert Humphrey or Scoop Jackson might have given — very strong on defense, no apologies for overreaching and U.S. foreign policy.

Matthews went onto suggest that Clinton was not courting Sanders supporters but instead “neoconservative” writers that should concern Trump “because, as I said, it was patriotic, nationalistic, talked about our country and its values.”

Before tossing back to Williams, Matthews concluded that he foresees “tremendous virgin territory there for a Democratic candidate to reach over, pull over some of that more hawkish people in the center of the country politically, like I mentioned the neocon writers” in what he viewed as a “very powerful speech, exquisitely written.”

As for Wallace, the establishment GOP strategist (even though the term “establishment” seems to now not mean anything) did her part to applaud Clinton’s speech and smear Trump’s primary opponents for supposedly not standing up to him:

I think she just nailed the performance aspect of this speech. I think it's interesting, and if I were a Democrat and a Sanders voter, I might find it perplexing that she was so much more at ease taking on Trump than she is making anywhere close as coherent of a case against Sanders....I mean, she did what the 16 Republicans who lost to Trump needed to do to beat him which was she mocked him and if Jeb Bush wanted to be the nominee or Marco Rubio want to be the nominee and Marco tried it but he didn't do it with a case behind him. I mean, she actually laid out a case against Trump.

Wallace completely ignored the fact that both Bush and Rubio were joined by other opponents like Lindsey Graham and Rick Perry in firmly denouncing Trump, but were either chastised by the media for attacking Trump personally or ignored completely (in favor of Trump).

The relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC Live on June 2 can be found below.

MSNBC Live
June 2, 2016
3:38 p.m. Eastern

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Among our friends watching and listening with us, Chris Matthews in Washington. Chris, what did you make of the speech?

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, it was a masterpiece. It was a great speech. Very well constructed. Patriotic as hell. Those flags were not there by accident. This was a speech which was nationalistic, just like Trump is with some more sophistication of course. I did think it was a speech that could have been given before the Vietnam War. It was much more in the pre-Vietnam tradition of the Democratic Party. A speech Hubert Humphrey or Scoop Jackson might have given — very strong on defense, no apologies for overreaching and U.S. foreign policy. In her case, no apologies for supporting the Iraq War, supporting intervention in Libya and then in Syria, no apologies for that. Certainly a speech that Bernie Sanders would never give in a million years. I think Trump's going to be worried by this speech because, as I said, it was patriotic, nationalistic, talked about our country and it values, but I do think it had a couple interesting salients to it. One was the people in play, people like Bill Kristol for example, the classic neoconservative editor of The Weekly Standard, son of Irving Kristol, there's that whole tradition of very strong Middle East policy, hawkish policy on behalf of Israel, she reached for those voters too, those very smart opinion writers in the newspapers. I think she was going for Charles Krauthammer today. I think she was going for the people who don't like Trump instinctively because he’s anti-intellectualism and they’re going to — she's going to those people today, right now, we just heard it, talking about our moral obligation to Israel, her absolute distrust of Iran, very strong appeal to the neocon movement which is right now, as we know, reaching out for an alternative even to this guy David French as an alternative to Donald Trump. So there is tremendous virgin territory there for a Democratic candidate to reach over, pull over some of that more hawkish people in the center of the country politically, like I mentioned the neocon writers. I think it's very powerful speech, exquisitely written.

(....)

3:44 p.m. Eastern

WILLIAMS: And one final question for Nicole Wallace and that is as someone who's been in the political business a long time, putting speeches in front of candidates and elected officials for delivery, what would you make of the mechanics of her delivery? I ask because it's germane, we end up talking about speaking styles lot during these endless primary nights you and I have been working.

NICOLLE WALLACE: Yeah and listen, we talk about everyone's clothes and the men, we talk about their ties and you know, I think she just nailed the performance aspect of this speech. I think it's interesting, and if I were a Democrat and a Sanders voter, I might find it perplexing that she was so much more at ease taking on Trump than she is making anywhere close as coherent of a case against Sanders. I don't know if it's timidity, I don’t know if it’s the sort of the double-edged sword of taking on people that you ultimately need to bring around, but I haven't seen her go after anyone with this kind of clarity. I mean, she did what the 16 Republicans who lost to Trump needed to do to beat him which was she mocked him and if Jeb Bush wanted to be the nominee or Marco Rubio want to be the nominee and Marco tried it but he didn't do it with a case behind him. I mean, she actually laid out a case against Trump. I agree with Ian. I don't think it will peel off any of the people that already support him. If anything, they'll look at this and it looks so establishmenty. They'll say this is exactly what we want to get rid of. This is all happy talk and the world is on fire and the truth is the last eight years, there are people on both sides of the aisle that would say we're in a more difficult position because of our Syria policy and because of what's happening in the Middle East, but he did not make that case today, so he didn't get in news cycle making the anti-Hillary Clinton case on her foreign policy record which has vulnerabilities. 

Tell the Truth 2016 NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Foreign Policy Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats MSNBC MSNBC Live Video Government & Press Chris Matthews Hillary Clinton Donald Trump Nicolle Wallace
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