Hardball with Chris Matthews, 5/2/13, 5:58 PM ET

Matthews: Hillary’s hard work has proven her presidential potential

Chris Matthews shares his thoughts about why Hillary Clinton has earned the presidency after her time as Secretary of State

Why Hillary’s competitors should jump in NOW!

Updated

Let me finish tonight with this.

The polls show that Hillary Clinton is, by historic standards, the runaway favorite to be the next Democratic candidate for president.

I agree. She’s earned it. Been a good teammate for Obama. Ran a strong enough election to try again. Has a resume like no one’s ever seen, one that is even stronger when you include the years in which she played her role as Bill Clinton’s counselor. She knows very much what it’s like to be president - knows what it’s like to be there when things are going well, when they’re not going well.

But a word to those thinking of running against her -

Do it! Get out there, make your case, make it positively, heroically, proudly. Let people know what you believe, what you think you’re good at, where you want to take the country if you get elected.

Everything I know about politics is that this is the uncanny move and therefore the brilliant one. Put yourself in a place where you can’ lose because no one is expecting you to win. You beat the spread just by jumping in in the first place. You’re ahead from day one.

I’m speaking here to Martin O’Malley, the governor of Maryland, and anyone else contemplating a run - because you never know, and the sidelines is nowhere to stand if you want to really know what your chances are.

I try never in politics to believe in the expected. I believe deeply in a person having the guts to try the hardest road - because it’s those kind of people I want running the country.

Why Hillary's competitors should jump in NOW!

Updated