For the second time in three weeks, a Republican strategist has taught MSNBC's Chris Matthews a lesson about how former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's qualifications for president are just as strong as Barack Obama's when he ran back in 2008.
This time the GOPer educating the "Hardball" host was Todd Harris (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Let`s go to Rudy, guys, because he always runs as a secular Republican. He would be the perfect sort of bete noir (ph) for this. So, let`s take a look at Rudy Giuliani, what he said today. He`s back in the money. I`m not sure what Rudy is doing these days, but he`s always talking around Republican nomination fights without being in one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI (R), FORMER NYC MAYOR: Let her run. If she`s as bad as you think, she will lose. If she can really -- if she can really make her case, she will -- she will win.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": So, do you think she actually has a case?
GIULIANI: Yes, sure she does.
GOLDBERG: I would like to know what it is.
GIULIANI: I don`t want to get you all, you know, down on me. But the reality is, she`s got a hell of a lot more qualifications than Barack Obama did when he ran for president.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: What do you think of that? Do you make that case, Todd, that hell of a lot better qualifications than President Obama when he ran for president two years ago?
TODD HARRIS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Look --
MATTHEWS: You accept that?
HARRIS: Regardless of what anyone thinks of Palin or Obama, if you`re just looking at her resume now and his resume when he started running, they`re not that dissimilar.
MATTHEWS: Yes, he wrote a book and she had showed no evidence of having read one. There is a difference in I.Q. here. I don`t mean an I.Q., but sort of knowledge. And knowledge is relevant, isn`t it Todd? Or is it irrelevant now?
Do the Republicans now contend that being an absolute know-nothing at some qualification for the presidency, if you can prove you don`t know anything, had never been to New York, have never read any magazines, at least not glossy ones, does that sort of automatically establish you as credible, is that the new standard?
HARRIS: Well, first of all, the question was about experience. It wasn`t about whether you`d been to New York or not. And I don`t think that the people who are frustrated with the direction of the country really care one way or the other whether a candidate, you know --
MATTHEWS: Has ever read anything.
HARRIS: -- has read the right books, you know, that people on the East Coast think --
MATTHEWS: You`re are playing this game, too.
STEVE MCMAHON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Todd --
MATTHEWS: The right books, you are playing this same game. You are like -- never mind. This is the game. This is the French fries game George W. taught you guys, make fun of anybody that might know a second language, make fun of anybody that did well in school.
HARRIS: Hold on. No. No. That`s absurd.
MATTHEWS: Of course it s.
HARRIS: No, I`m not making fun of any of those people. What I`m saying is, on a question of experience, her resume and Barack Obama`s resume when he started running are not dissimilar.
HARRIS: So, you know, you can argue whether you think one is smarter than the other or one had written a book, one is not, but on the pure question of elected experience, you know, they are not that far apart.
MATTHEWS: You know, I just love this fact. Let`s get in the airplane with a guy that has never flown a plane. Let`s get in with a doctor that has never done an operation. Let`s go -- geez, the standards right now --
Wait a minute! I thought this was about intellectual capacity and not experience. Why the change, Mr. Matthews?
This flip-flop was even more hypocritical given how little actual experience Obama had when he tossed his named into the presidential ring in February 2007.
As for getting on an airplane with a guy that's never flown before, with unemployment skyrocketing under Obama's watch, and him just suffering one of the biggest midterm election defeats in history, it quite appears the junior senator from Illinois conned millions of Americans into believing he was a much-heralded fighter pilot. But I digress:
HARRIS: Chris, if the American people put such a premium on experience and John McCain would have beaten Barack Obama because he had a hell of a lot more governing experience than Obama did. There are -- there are things that are more important for the average voter.
MATTHEWS: Yes, except he flipped so many times, I didn`t know where he stood.
So which is it, Mr. Matthews? Is it IQ that counts, experience, or being consistent on the issues?
In the end, with folks like Matthews, it's all about the letter after a candidate's name for if it's an "R," the MSNBCer is always going to rationalize exactly why the Democrat is far more qualified.