Matthews to Obama: What will be your ‘monument’?

Updated
Let me finish tonight with the heart of America - the part of this country that built this country since the days of the Pennsylvania rifle. I’m talking about the industrial center of this country - from Eastern Pennsylvania through Ohio and Indiana and Illinois and Wisconsin - from Scranton to Oshkosh. It’s the part of the country where guys root for Da Bears and the Packers, the Eagles, the Steelers, and the Browns - the land that I grew up with watching Van Brocklin and Paul Horning and Jimmy Brown, where men where big heavy jobbers to games and still stand in the snow and wind watching NFL games - and are proud to be be taking the cold. I’m talking Deer Hunter country with its Russian churches all through the American industrial heartland - out past Erie through the great lakes to Chicago, the city Carl Sandburg said had the “big shoulders” to build this country. All that American heart voted against the Democrats this week - in all the Senate and governors races - all those heart breakers that cost Democrats their seats in Congress - a lot of good guys like Iraq vet Patrick Murphy and Chris Carney, another warrior for his country, and gutsy Joe Sestak - who was an admiral in the navy, and young Alexi Giannoulias, all good candidates who went down to defeat. Why? You have ask why? Because the American manufacturing heart has been cut out. We used to build trains and subways and airplanes for the world. Now we read about trains running three hundred miles an hour in France and China and we piddle along on Amtrak like we’re on a frickin’ buckboard. What happened to going north by northwest out of New York on the 20th Century? What happened to discovering America outside your train window? Why can’t we build railroads - rapid-railroads to unite this country instead of making the vast continent between New York and L.A. “fly-over country” for the bi-coastal elite to look down on? Why don’t we build “anything” anymore? Would we build the subway systems of our country today? Would we build the Empire State building or the Golden Gate Bridge? Would be build this beautiful capital of Washington today? You know the answer. And that answers the question of why we’re in trouble - why we’re in this downward trend - because we’ve gotten so global, so sophisticated that we’ve stopped being builders. And being builders is being an American. Yes, Lincoln spoke well, Mr. President, but he also built the intercontinental railways. Ike couldn’t speak as well as you, but he did build the intercontinental highway system. Kennedy spoke well but he also got us to the moon! What are you going to leave as your monument? Health care is great. But we need jobs to pay for health care. There’s still time to get started, Mr. President. We need to build.

Matthews to Obama: What will be your 'monument'?

Updated