Tonight on his show Hardball Chris Matthews clarified what he meant last night when an open mic caught him whispering oh God as Bobby Jindal came out to deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s speech last night.
Here is the clip:
According to the NYT Caucus Blog, Matthews expanded on what he found so distasteful last night, “That scene in the Louisiana governor’s mansion — Governor Bobby Jindal walking from somewhere in the back of this narrow hall, this winding staircase looming there, the odd antebellum look of the scene — some people heard my reaction at the time. What was the message in all this? Was this some mimicking of a president walking along the state floor to East Room? And at the same time the Republicans are so far from Washington they can’t be blamed for anything?”
It think that Jindal was trying to mimic the walk that the president usually makes from the East Room of the White House to the podium when they are about to make an important statement. Although as you can see from the clip, this ended up looking more amateurish than presidential, the lighting was bad, and Jindal’s walk to the podium reminded me more of how a car salesman approaches a browser on the lot than a potential president.
If there is one thing that Chris Matthews hates it is poor political presentation, and there is no doubt that is what he was trying to express here. He was also making a mountain out of a molehill in traditional Matthews fashion. It wasn’t the antebellum scene or any of the other b.s. that he wants to throw out there. It only took a few seconds to see that Jindal was way over matched. What Jindal went through last night reminded me of some of the painful staging that John McCain endured during last year’s campaign. My question is, when did Republicans lose their flare for staging, because for well over a year now the GOP events have looked like public access television.