Matthews: It seems to me that this president is, and I mean this positively, cold-blooded. I think chief executives of this country who have all the fire power before them have to be willing to use it or they shouldn't take the job. It's very simple. If you not going to be willing to use out military power, if you're not going to be willing to kill people when you have to, you shouldn't take that job.
This president is not a wimp about using power. In fact, I dare say, he's pretty cold blooded. In going after the pirates, he called for the contract he called for the hit. He did it again here.
Jonathan Martin (Politico): Chris, do you remember the speech he gave when he got the Nobel peace prize? That was very telling, I think ...
Matthews: oh yes ...
Martin: He said that he was a lover of peace but as a leader of a country he looks after America's interest and there are times when you have to project American force and, yes, use the weapons of war to protect American lives and that's what he's done here. But this does I think provide a problem for Republicans on the issue of this narrative. It's what you touch on Chris. The notion that he is somehow weak or unwilling to use force, he doesn't like violence, he is sort of the faculty lounge guy who is unfamiliar with the US Military. Uhm, he has a ready response for that now, for the next year and a half: "you can ask Osama bin Laden about how soft I am. You'll find him at the bottom of the Arabian Sea."Right. There's nothing silly in the least about Villagers getting all hot and bothered over a dreamboat presidential cowboy. Remember this one?
Matthews: Yeah, I think he's the man who shot Liberty Valance.
They can hardly contain their swoons when they think a president shows the characteristics of their adolescent fantasy heroes. They just yearn desperately for Real Man to take control.
Mr. Bush, at a rare prime-time press conference, portrayed himself as the protector of the country…" [His] somber new "war is hell" act was much commented upon, without irony, in the post-mortems.
Appearing on Hardball after the press conference, Newsweek’s Howard Fineman (one of the worst monsters of the business) gushed when asked if the Bush we’d just seen was really a "cowboy":
"If he’s a cowboy he’s the reluctant warrior, he’s Shane… because he has to, to protect his family."