Dem Shrum issued his diktat while debating Ed Rogers, a veteran of the Reagan and Bush 41 White Houses, on today's Hardball. Shrum seized on and distorted Rogers' statement, manifestly made in the political sense, that Obama had "never done one hard thing," to play the race card.
View video here.
Matthews lit the fuse with a seemingly innocuous question to Shrum about how Obama would govern.
BOB SHRUM: I think he'll be a pragmatist if he wins. I think he will have Republicans in the cabinet. I think he'll propose national health care reform, and I think he'll give tax cuts to the middle class. And I think people will say "that's pretty much what we want." And then he's going to have to go on and face some of the big challenges that we have, which is how do we prepare to compete with China, India, educate our kids: stuff like that.
ED ROGERS: Everything that's easy to be done in Washington has been done. We need a president who can do hard things. He's never done one hard thing in his life, he's --
SHRUM: Oh, that's not true. Let me tell you something. Somebody from the South [Rogers has Alabama roots] shouldn't say that a black person running for president has never done a hard thing in his life.
ROGERS: Don't you ever go there. Obama's never done one hard thing in his life.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Alright, I'll do this, Bob. Let's drop this.
Even Matthews was evidently abashed by Shrum's crude race baiting, cutting Shrum off as he did. Rogers's statement speaks for itself: it is obvious he was saying that Obama has no history of demonstrating political courage, of bucking his party on anything important. This is a point the McCain campaign has been hammering for months.
Note: This was actually the second run-in between Rogers and Shrum in the course of the segment. Earlier [I've reversed the segments in the video clip to follow the line of discussion here], when Rogers was describing Obama's redistributionist agenda, the suave Shrum accused Rogers of uttering a "lie" no fewer than seven, count 'em, times in eleven seconds.