Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell gave Chris Matthews a glowing endorsement for his potential Senate candidacy today, calling the MSNBC host the “strongest Democratic candidate without any doubt” in an interview on Bloomberg TV.
Rendell added that he doesn’t “really know” if Matthews has made a decision to run yet. And he cautioned that Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) would be a formidable opponent because of his strong ties to independents and moderate Democrats.
Rendell's longtime political consultant, Neil Oxman, has been talking with Matthews about running for Specter's seat and is encouraging him to jump in the race.
His comments come in light of a new poll, conducted by Research 2000, that shows Matthews leading in a Democratic primary field, and would be just one point behind Specter if an election was held today.
The interview will air on Bloomberg TV’s show “Night Talk” this weekend.
I honestly don't know quite how to deal with this. Over the past year I have strained and even broken treasured friendships over the idea that allowing a Republican to win over a Democrat, no matter how bad he or she is, would be to empower the more destructive of the two parties and ultimately enable the kind of horror show we've seen in the past eight years.
Matthews: I've been so impressed by Lincoln's words this week --- government of, by and for the people. It isn't government of, by and for the people. This is being decided, the biggest issue of our time, this economic crisis, the worst, according to the wall Street Journal,since the 1930s, by people so much bigger headed than most voters, than most members of congress, certainly than me. This is being decided by people like Hank Paulson.
THANK GOD this president has this secretary of treasury and not the one other ones he had before, perhaps. But Richard, the people can't vote on things like this.
Wolf: (nods sagely)
Matthews: We can't understand it. I'm one of them. I don't get it. What are all these derivatives and all this short selling and all this complicated financial ... skigamadoo or whatever you call it. What is it?
Wolf: Even the candidates have problem getting through this alphabet soup. I mean, they've both mangled the players and the key terms of those involved here. Are they talking about firing the right person when he talks about Chris Cox? Is it Fannie Mac or Freddie Mae?
Matthews: I'm just wondering if it's above our pay grade? I think Carly Fiorina may have been right. These guys can run for president but they can't be Secretary of the Treasury.
Matthews: Even elected presidents can't master this financial game. It's too complicated. Shouldn't they come out and tell us who their economic team's gonna be? ... The reason I ask is because we saw the president this week and Bush has all the native intelligence you can have. He doesn't want to touch it because for a layman to start talking about the economy right now is very dangerous. Right Lynn?
Lynn Sweet: It's tough. It's interesting because who would have thought that his treasury secretary would emerge from this crisis...
Matthews:the third secretary, two are gone...
Sweet: Right. That he would emerge from this looking as the strong person in the administration, who's pulling it together. And we'll see if the congress gives him the power to run the economy.
Matthews: Is congress willing to make him King Henry as they put on the one of the magazine covers?
Wolf: the cover of Newsweek...
Matthews: Will they let him be King Henry?