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Chuck Todd's thoughts on the forum

06/19/07 03:07PM

From NBC's Chuck ToddMy friends at Hardball ask me to keep tabs on the AFSCME forum and share my extraneous thoughts as these folks were speaking. Here you go -- random thoughts from the morning so far. First off, what a great show. Forums are usually a bore but this one was fun to watch and Chris kept it moving. These candidates tried hard not to make news, but they certainly fed off the crowd which also kept the energy level up. Overall, it's a forum format other groups (both left and right) ought to copy. This works. Now, for some candidate-by-candidate chatter ... read more

Betting on Fred Thompson

06/18/07 08:18PM

msnbc will be airing the forum, so be sure to tune in! So as June 19 dawns and we begin all-day coverage starting with "Morning Joe" (I’m on at 7:30 AM), it looks like Fred Thompson of Tennessee is the comer for the Republicans, Hillary Clinton frontrunner for the Democrats.   The big question for the day:  Fred Thompson has picked up 8 points in the Gallup Poll in just a week?  Can this reliable trotter maintain this speed all the way to the finish? read more

Chris revisits his old haunts on Capitol Hill

06/07/07 08:39PM

UPDATEDBy Kate Kauffman, Hardball Intern Today Chris interviewed Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.  Many memories flooded the “ceremonial office” where the interview took place.  Why?  Between 1981 to 1987 Chris worked in the adjoining office, serving as the administrative assistant to Tip O’Neill (Speaker of the House 1977-1987.)  Chris noted his reoccurring nightmare of having to leave this golden job - and who would blame him - he had the highest staff salary on Capitol Hill.  After the interview he wanted to bring back these golden days by bringing some of the Hardball team on his versio read more

Hardball Hosts Reagan Family Reunion

05/24/07 11:23PM

By Roland Woerner, Hardball producerIt was a rare public Reagan family reunion of sorts on Thursday’s edition of Hardball.  Nancy joined son Ron to help Chris report on the release of the new book “The Reagan Diaries." (video)  Joining them was presidential historian and Tulane University professor Douglas Brinkley who painstakingly edited the book over the last 3 years.  Mrs. read more

Hardball Briefing for Tues., May 22

05/22/07 09:34PM

By Tammy Haddad and Shelby PoduchIf you walked by Cafe Milano last night and heard the laughter and saw the women leaning into the center of the table, then you should have leaned in yourself because the information was flying fast and furious.  National Review’s Kate O’Beirne, looking very Italian in chocolate brown and wearing David Yurman jewelry, Meet the Press’ Betsy Fischer, Victoria Toensing and her photog daughter Amy (back from Tonga), Hilary Rosen (wow... read more

It's Friday Night -- Let's play Hardball

05/18/07 08:30PM

He says the difference between the two is that she thought the Iraq war as a good idea; he didn’t.And Fred Thompson takes on movie-maker Michael Moore.  Is Michael the new “Sister Soulja” - someone you whack to win your street cred?  And the sex lives of presidential candidates.  Did Mike Wallace really need to ask Mitt Romney if he had marital relations with his wife before marriage?   Did Mitt really have to answer?And Rosie Scenario.   Why do people who hate the war keep making the anti-war side so hard to take? read more

Chris Matthews on Jerry Falwell's political legacy

05/15/07 06:09PM

Reverend Jerry Falwell was the major political voice of Christian evangelism.  His was the rallying cry heard strongest against those secular forces -- removal of organized prayer from public schools in the 1960s, Supreme Court recognition of a constitutional right to abortion in the 1970s and the current advance of gay marriage and same-sex civil unions -- which have molded Christian conservatives into such an extraordinary voting power.121 million Americans voted in the 2004 election, a dramatic increase in electoral participation. read more

Time 100 party: A killer time was had by all!

05/09/07 07:54PM

Of course, any party with "Meet The Press" topper Betsy Fischer, Condi’s deputy Dina Powell (double kisses from Queen Rania), Phil and CNBC’s Jim Cramer is one you need to attend.NY Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and his wife Veronica could not be talked into moving back to DC, despite all your briefers efforts. A note to bookers, John Mayer is a great talker as well as a terrific entertainer.  read more

All hail the queen

05/07/07 01:34PM

(By Tammy Haddad, Hardball executive producer)Queen of England greets the country and the world at a White House ceremony on the South Lawn. The air is filled with laughter and anticipation as many in hats (mine was so broad I had to tilt my head sideways to get through security) are waving Old Glory and Union Jack flags supplied by the White House. Steve and  Jean Case are here beneath the Truman Balcony, as is Dorothy Height, now 95, who has worked with every president since FDR.   I can see David Gregory in the front of the line with his son Max in jacket and tie. read more

Winners: Romney and McCain

05/04/07 12:45AM

I disagree with 90% of what was said on the stage tonight so take my review with that in mind.  I am judging the performances by who made the best presentation of their beliefs, who looked most presidential and who articulated clear plans for his presidency.I would have thought that Rudy Guliani would have been able to demonstrate more skill in this format. But Romney and McCain were the clear winners tonight.Gov Jim Gilmore beat the pool of second tier candidates.   read more

Chris creates debate

05/04/07 12:27AM

I like how Chris is encouraging people who may disagree with an answer that someone just gave to speak up.  It is a good way to realize that there are differences between these guys.And I like the way he is trying to get them to actually answer questions they want to dodge. A gentler version of Hardball. Because he knows that if they really want to dodge a question, that is something the viewers should see. read more