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Trust but verify Bachmann's slavery statements

01/31/11 05:31PM

Let me finish tonight by putting the cap on a story that was running by us last week.  It concerns the evil of slavery.Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who's making forays into presidential politics, which will definitely add to the color of the competition, told a group in Iowa recently that our country's "founders … worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States. read more

'President of the world: The Bill Clinton phenomenon'

01/31/11 02:26PM

AIRING PRESIDENTS’ DAY: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21 AT 10 PM ET/PT ON msnbc There’s not a single political figure today with the global reach and influence of Bill Clinton—a former U.S. President turned humanitarian and diplomat extraordinaire. No one else in today’s political arena has the ability to command the attention of world leaders and organizations everywhere quite like he does. read more

With Philly pride, Matthews reflects on Comcast deal

01/28/11 05:05PM

Let me finish tonight with the fact that we're now owned by Comcast of Philadelphia.To me, the news here is that after years of domination by New York, my hometown of Philadelphia is now calling the shots.Don't think this is a big deal?  Then you don't know what you're talking about.   Philadelphia didn't start this rivalry.  Before the Declaration of Independence was written and signed in our city, we were the largest city after London in the entire English-speaking world.  It was New York that moved in and grabbed all the noise.I remember growing up and going to St. read more

Matthews on GOP: Where have all the grownups gone?

01/27/11 05:17PM

Let me finish tonight with the tilt on the right.A lot happens in a few months.   This past autumn the trees rustled with word that the Republicans were looking for a solid candidate to run next time.   The president was down in the polls, his party having taken a whuppin at the polls.So, as usually happens when it looks like a good year, the party wanted to run its best - someone who could not just win but be a potentially significant president. read more

Bachmann's post-SOTU address a 'cartoon show'

01/26/11 05:06PM

Let me finish tonight with what we saw last night – millions of us.You know when we were young, dad would take to the Lincoln Drive-In in Bucks County. We'd bring a six-pack of Pepsi to save money. The refreshment stand was for rich people.Anyway, sometimes it was a dollar a carload, a pretty good deal when you've got five brothers packed into a station-wagon. Some nights we'd get dad to turn it around backwards so we could open up the back and look out right at the big movie screen.I remember those nights – a double-feature and an hour of cartoons, sometimes "two" hours of cartoons. read more

Matthews on 2012: All eyes on the economy

01/21/11 05:04PM

Let me finish tonight with one number - 8.It's the number that President Obama's chief economic advisor posted to the world.  It's the jobless rate she said we would reach as a result of his economic program.So this is the nature of American politics and economics between now and the end of next summer. read more

JFK: Inventor of the 'Mad Men' 60s?

01/21/11 08:05AM

Watch Chris' appearance on The Colbert Report, discussing the president's legacy 50 years after his famous inaugural speech. The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30cChris Matthewswww.colbertnation.comColbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive read more

The 'wild, exciting' legacy of JFK

01/20/11 05:09PM

Let me finish tonight with words that matter.  Just a very few words, if you count them, a very short speech if you time it. Let's listen now on the 50th anniversary:"And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."I'm working on a book on Jack Kennedy for Simon & Schuster and I've come across an interesting document that hints at the origin of that historic phrase: "Ask Not." Jack Kennedy attended Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut.  It's now Choate-Rosemary Hall. The headmaster in Kennedy's time was George St. read more

How does JFK's great challenge – 'ask not' – sound 50 years later?

01/20/11 08:07AM

On Wednesday, Chris joined NPR's Tom Ashbrook to discuss the famous address.It’s a big week for presidential speech anniversaries.  On Monday, Martin Luther King Day, we looked back to Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farewell address warning on the “military industrial complex”.Today, we listen back to John F. Kennedy’s “Ask Not” speech.  (See a video of the JFK inaugural address.)  It was his presidential inaugural.  On a bright, cold day, fifty years ago tomorrow – January 20, 1961. read more

Remembering Sargent Shriver

01/18/11 06:03PM

Sargent Shriver died this afternoon. He died of Alzheimer's disease - the same thing that killed my mother.In a way, Sarge Shriver was also a parent of mine so powerfully did he direct my life.Sargent Shriver started the Peace Corps. Yes, Jack Kennedy imagined it, declared it as a chance for well-rounded young men and women to go overseas, do some economic good, let people know about, come back and let us know about them.  I spent two years in Swaziland and I'd like to think I did a decent job working with those small business guys.  I know this. read more

What Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill could teach Washington today

01/18/11 12:35AM

A vigorous debate over the role of government is always at the heart of our democracy. Since the shootings in Arizona, however, many have said that our partisan ferocity is unhealthy.So it seems like a good time to reflect on Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill. It would serve us well to understand how these very different politicians managed to temper their philosophical divide with a public, and sometimes personal, cordiality.Read the rest of Matthews' editorial in the Washington Post. read more

Revisiting African-American history

01/18/11 12:32AM

Let me finish tonight with a correction of history.Remember how we were taught in school about what happened right after the Civil War? Remember the picture we got of the evil "carpetbaggers" who came down from the North to "reconstruct" the defeated South? read more

U.S. inching closer to a post-racial society?

01/14/11 05:10PM

Let me finish today with a man who would be 81 today. That's if he had not been gunned down in the midst of his historic work.Martin Luther King said he looked to the day that a person in this country would be judged not by the color of their skin.That was an extraordinarily deep call on the American conscience. It sure was when he made it. Back then we were a country where a person was "routinely" judged by the color of his or her skin.So here we are living in a century that Martin himself never got to enter. read more