Matthews: American leadership is ‘holding together, getting stronger’


Let me finish tonight with this.

I think something fine is happening in American leadership. It is holding together, getting stronger. The bonds of our leaders getting warmer, closer.

I watched Bill Clinton give the speech of his life, saw the impact in the new polling that shows greater confidence in the economy—a confidence born of knowing a little more about what’s been happening, what should give hope for improvement. 

I watched Secretary Clinton with President Obama today out at Andrews Air Force Base honoring Ambassador Chris Stevens and the three others killed in Benghazi. That moving scene is America at our best, honoring our fellow citizens, especially those who serve our country, as individuals and public servants worthy of personal reverence. 

What a contrast with the ratty politics being played on the other side: this dirtball attack that never seems to end on the President’s birth in this country, this relentless effort to paint him as “the other”—someone who snuck in the country, someone who “pals around with terrorists,” who “sympathizes” with the attackers, who gets his politics from “overseas.”   

I would like to hope that when they have to judge a president holding up our country’s honor and saluting the troops as individuals, not simply as force levels, they will see the merit there. They will see in contrast the kind of dirtball politics that tarnishes our democracy and is certainly not the kind our uniformed men and women are fighting and risking all to protect.