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Hardball With Chris Matthews, Transcript 1/20/2017

Guests: Guest: Heidi Przybyla

Show: HARDBALL Date: January 20, 2017 Guest: Heidi Przybyla

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: -- were hurt, how badly, how many demonstrators were arrested and who are they.

JACOB RASCON, NBC NEWS: So, today, we saw thousands of protesters and it was really just a small number of them who seemed to be here only to cause problems.

Let show you the police lined has moved way up where the want the protesters to stop. These are the protesters right here. Nobody gets further.

Earlier today, though, just on the other side of that, we may have video to show you. This small group, maybe a hundred people who are wearing black, who are covering their faces, didn`t want to idea who they were, where were from, they ran around basically in a circle and back again and they were smashing windows of the Starbucks when hotels this were chased around by police trying to corner them.

And in the end, D.C. police say that they arrested 217 protesters. All of them have been charged with rioting. All of them will appear in court tomorrow. In addition, we saw many people injured, protesters and police. D.C. police say six were injured, three of them by something that hit them in the head.

We saw protesters throwing rocks, ripping bricks off the sidewalk and throwing those. Those officers are expected to survive. None of their injuries are life-threatening. In addition, we saw protesters who are injured as well.

So, mostly, tonight we are seeing several hundreds sticking around. But they probably will be gone tomorrow. Tomorrow, D.C. police though say that they expected the women`s march on Washington to bring out hundreds of thousands of people They are ready for that -- Chris.

MATTHEWS: Do you know what the group is? Is it a group? I heard the phrase from you, anarchist. Do we know what political affiliation if any they have?

RASCON: Yes. So, sometimes we talked to them --



RASCON: They sometimes call themselves anarchist. But there were a number of groups today like refuse fascism and other anti-capitalist groups.

But this group in particular, they didn`t have a name. They didn`t want to idea with a name. Most of them didn`t want to talk to me. So, no, they didn`t have a group name. Sometimes they are proud of their name and they tell everybody their name. Not this group -- Chris.

MATTHEWS: OK, thank you, Jacob Rascon. Great reporting today.

We`re back with "The Washington Post`s" Eugene Robinson, "USA Today`s" Heidi Przybyla. We`re joined by MSNBC political analyst Howard Fineman, global editorial director of "The Huffington Post".

Howard, I don`t want to overstate the effectiveness of the demonstrators today. They seem to me, not to put anybody in a box, but Occupy people. They were anti-corporate, some are anarchists, certainly not from the center left or the left even, as we know it politically.

But I sort of turned off of the fact they`re going around knocking over newspaper racks and stuff. I know, that was sort of anti-free press.

Anyway, your thoughts?

HOWARD FINEMAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, they are not helping the cause. And I was at the capitol and was fairly close to where Donald Trump was getting ready to speak where they`re introducing the dignitaries, and you can hear a separate group of protesters there over by the capitol. And I think what they did besides the pictures that you saw was it they added an atmosphere to me of contention behind the Trump event.

I mean, to some extent, the Trump speech itself felt like a hostile takeover of Washington. That`s what his intent and that`s what he`s sort of neo-Jacksonian thing is all about, that we`re going to take over this city, and it`s contentious and it`s angry.

And I think in the backgrounds, the protesters by their noise, and by the pictures that are shown on television underscored the fact that Donald Trump is coming into a pretty hostile situation politically in America. He`s not that popular, but for his core people, his message is what he repeated today.

MATTHEWS: We`re going to hear from Donald Trump in any minute. By the way, today, we learned the president signed two executive orders. One to ease the burden, that`s the phrase, of the Affordable Care Act, and the other to freeze regulations, no process in either case.

Heidi, today, what`s the impact in the news tomorrow, over the weekend, on Monday, when you guys go back to press? What`s the impact of that protests that got all the 200 arrests involved there?

HEIDI PRZYBYLA, USA TODAY: Well, first of all, that`s going to be washed away by what happens tomorrow, which is going to be a completely organic protests, mostly of women and some men, some women even bringing baby strollers. So, what I`m told is it`s going to be peaceful march. And I think it`s going to take its place in history, alongside other historic resistance marches like in the civil rights era, like around Vietnam.

And I think that what is going to last, because these anarchists or whatever you want to call them, they were a handful of protesters and by the way, I do know what group they`re affiliated. It`s called Disrupt J20. And they had this all planned in advance because they had actual medic teams, they legal teams on hand, because they were planning on doing these stunts and being taken to jail.

But what did just for today`s news cycle was take away from the fact that most of the people coming to Washington are coming here on their own volition, in minivans, in buses and their own cars driving across country because they feel passionately about the direction of the country.

MATTHEWS: Hold on. We`re expecting Donald Trump to make a statement from the Oval Office, any second now.

Not yet. Gene, you got a couple of seconds.

ROBINSON: No, I mean, look, Heidi is right. The big demonstration will be tomorrow. There`s something of an oxymoron about these organized anarchists. I thought they were against that.

But, look, we`re going to see more of this during Donald Trump`s term as president. And he -- and why wouldn`t you, because he said some incredibly strong and offensive things during the campaign in his speech. He will continue doing that and it gets people riled up for good reason. There`s no good reason to go trash his property but --


MATTHEWS: Does this remind you of Nixon and Agnew?

ROBINSON: Well, it does remind --

MATTHEWS: Stirring up opposition --

ROBINSON: It reminds me of the Nixon days. There`s a lot of people I know that`s going to be marching tomorrow who haven`t exercised those muscles --

MATTHEWS: I`ve got relatives --


MATTHEWS: Well, I think you`re right. I think the way that Heidi described it, it`s going to be wholesome rally.

Howard, it seems like it`s going to be one of those -- I remember the early march on the Pentagon against the Vietnam War. Mother`s with baby carriages, nuns --


MATTHEWS: Those were before the Vietnam War protests turned bitter.

FINEMAN: But, Chris, I don`t recall, and I`ve been covering these things for a long time, I don`t recall an inauguration like this, an inauguration day like this, an inauguration speech like that.

And it just adds to the air of contention, deliberate contention I might add that I think Donald Trump going to continue to pursue. People who thought that he may give traditional procedural State of the Union Address -- inauguration address were obviously wrong.

MATTHEWS: Give me an adjective for the speech today.

FINEMAN: Angry. I was astonished. As I said, the heavy atmosphere of hostile take over, meaning -- I`m here, no business as usual going to take place, action starts now. Vivid language, bloody language, contentious.

MATTHEWS: Howard, here`s the new president right there, and there`s Mike Pence. First, still picture ever taken of man who`s now our president. Here Jared Kushner off to the right and Mike pence.

Howard, it`s day that has happened. I mean, it was going to happen and it happened. He is president. It`s the era and it`s begun.

FINEMAN: It has. And I think many of the things he said, substantively hit strong cords with the American people. But there are different ways of saying them. He chose a very stark and aggressive way of doing it, again to differentiate himself from the past. I think that he and his advisers like Steve Bannon and so forth are intent on continuing to play this populist outsider streak.

How he squares that with being president living in Washington, D.C. and dealing with everything around hire, who knows? They are going to test it minute by minute, day by day and see how they go, however popular or unpopular they may be.

MATTHEWS: I`ve got to bring in Ron Reagan, who`s been waiting to come on. We`re gong to go right to him because we`re sitting here really waiting for Trump to speak from the Oval Office, which is some prospect for many people to sort of absorb right now.

Ron, today -- did this remind you, I know you don`t want to hear it. I know you don`t want the soft stuff, I`m going to start with the soft stuff. Does this remind you of when you were young, and your father was sworn in, give us how they`re different, and you go to the ideology.

What do you think of those kids out there, the young Baron? I mean, he`s much younger than you were. I`m not sure he -- one thing I notice, he notice the police officer were the big full beard, he`s like a kid, he`s ten years old, that`s what he noticed.

RON REAGAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, of course, I actually feel kind of sorry for him, because it`s a tough thing to grow up in the White House. I didn`t have to do it, but, you know, for some of the kids who did, it`s difficult thing.

You probably want my impression of the day. I was struck by the unusual nature of the transfer of power, the peaceful transfer of power and all of that. But let`s not pretend this unusual sort of transfer. There`s always tension there.

There was tension with my father and Jimmy Carter. You know Carter was up all night. As he was with my father checking in to find out about the Iranian hostages which were not going to be released until my father, you know, was sworn in as president. We know that the Iranians were holding him deliberately to stick it to Jimmy Carter and that happened. There`s always tension there.

But I can only imagine how extraordinary it must have been for Barack Obama to cordially welcome for tea a man who spent the last five years pretending that Barack Obama wasn`t an American citizen and participating in a racist lie about them. This is an extraordinary thing.

MATTHEWS: It was not only that he was from Kenya, I`m not even sure if you ever nailed there, but he say things like dark things that no one knew him in school, like he`s a Manchurian candidate, someone who was never in this --

ROBINSON: What about his grades?

MATTHEWS: Was he really there.


ROBINSON: President of the Harvard law review said that.

MATTHEWS: On a blind test.

ROBINSON: The speech reminding me of the acceptance speech which was angry and I alone can fix it. Today he said, you know, one heart, one home, one glorious destiny.

MATTHEWS: Careful.

ROBINSON: I`m sorry. No, that`s not traditional American rhetoric. It`s just not.

REAGAN: No, it`s not.


MATTHEWS: Heidi, did you hear? This is where we got in trouble.

Ron, back to you. Let`s talk about the interesting nature of those pronounced.

Anyway, go ahead.

REAGAN: Gene, is correct. There`s much rhetoric in the speech which I assume was a Steve Bannon production. A lot of rhetoric in there that was disturbingly off key. When he started talking about allegiance to country for instance, well, you think sure, we`re all-Americans.

But it had tone of you better, it`s fatherland kind of thing going on there. There was a darkness there and kind of bullying quality to it that was disturbing.

MATTHEWS: Heidi, he said we would find respect and love for each other by a love of country. Patriotism would bring us together.

PRZYBYLA: I think it`s a different kind of patriotism than a lot of people idea with. If he was looking to strike a unifying tone, and certainly what George Bush did, in terms of offering a lot of creditability to Al Gore and nodding to Al Gore who was in a similar situation whether he took office, there was no mention --

MATTHEWS: Look at this. We have the first pictures coming out White House, with Donald Trump, with President Trump.


REINCE PRIEBUS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: First, you will sign the commission for General Mattis and General Kelly.

TRUMP: It looks good. Wow. This is for General Mattis who is approved today. Where would you like that?

PRIEBUS: Right there.


PRIEBUS: This is for General Kelly. There`s a different pen.


PRIEBUS: Next is an executive order minimizing the economic burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act pending repeal.


PRIEBUS: All right.

TRUMP: That`s it.

PRIEBUS: Thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you, very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you guys. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

MATTHEWS: See you later.


MATTHEWS: You know, Ron Reagan, your dad, when he first in the Oval Office said to Ed Meese or somebody, I have been here before. He had been governor for California for eight years. He knew what government was like. He knew what dealing with Democrats was like.

And this guy walking into first federal government he has been in, if you think about it.

REAGAN: We never had this ill-prepared an individual to occupying the Oval Office before and we shouldn`t pretend that that`s not the case. Donald Trump knows nothing about what he`s about to get engaged with here and has shown very little interest seemingly in learning about this. I mean, we have gone from a guy who was a constitutional scholar who taught constitutional law, to a man who I suspect has never actually read Constitution. I don`t know that, but I suspect that might be the case. It`s quite a drop in quality here.

MATTHEWS: Let me go to Heidi on this. And the fact that -- it`s so interesting, I was going to like to say, what dog didn`t bark? No mention of Obamacare in his inaugural address. Why?

PRZYBYLA: We don`t know yet, but there`s one obvious reason, which is that it`s going to be a heck of a lot harder to carry that through than anybody imagined, anybody in his party or Trump himself imagined. I happen to know for a fact that Trump about a week ago was briefed by Obama`s health care expert and made compelling case that got through to him about just what type of, to use the word, carnage, real carnage there would be if they do repeal without having replacement in place.

And that`s when you saw him about that timing him coming out with the tweet storm and putting the leadership on notice. So, I think there`s an obvious reason why they may want to try and take some of the focus on that while they kind of get the house in order in terms of what that replacement is going to be. It`s going to be tough.

FINEMAN: Chris, if you notice, at the last moment there in that scene we just saw, Reince Priebus saying you sign it, it`s going to help reduce the economic burden of the Affordable Care Act. I think that has to do with taxes and other things going to be effect the business community has vehemently opposed to. So, he didn`t -- the president did not mention Obamacare in his inaugural address, he didn`t mention the it at the luncheon, he didn`t mention it all, but he slipped in at the very end there tonight before he goes off to inaugural ball, some kind of action designed to make some kind of political down payment on the this thing he ran on in the campaign.

MATTHEWS: Well, you know what doctors say, do no harm. If he said anything today, it might be hard for him to back up in a week or two.

Anyway, thank you, Gene Robinson. Thank you, Heidi Przybyla, Howard Fineman and Ron Reagan.

Coming up, hundreds of thousands of people are expected tomorrow for the Women`s March on Washington. A march organized, they`re planning hundreds of sister marches in all 50 states tomorrow and 57 countries around the world. Do you believe it?

When we come back, we`re going to talk to one marcher, the actor and political activist, the great Debra Messing.

We have seen President Trump in the Oval, by the way. We`re now waiting for him for the first of three inaugural balls tonight.

You`re watching HARDBALL.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

A lot going on in Washington tonight. President Trump has signed executive orders and we`re now waiting for the new president and first lady, the first of those three inaugural balls tonight.

Meanwhile, tomorrow, hundreds of thousand, I hear 400,000 of people across the country are expected to come to Washington to rally and march on Washington. It`s called the Women`s March on Washington and what was billed as a big thing.

Anyway, all across the country, there`s going to be event like it in every one of the 50 states. The event has been inspired, of course, by the results of November`s election and to protest the tone of the whole 2016 campaign, let`s face it, to protest Trump.

The women`s march website says, "The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized and threatened many of us -- immigrations of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people identified as LBGTQA," I`m sorry, I don`t mean to be funny about it, "but LBGTQA, and native people and black and brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault. And our communities are hurting and scared, all of them are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear."

Well, one of those attending the march is the famous actor, Debra Messing, one of the stars of a hit TV show "Will and Grace", which is coming back.


MATTHEWS: Here is my believe belief -- and I`m not going to be completely negative about any of this stuff, because I believe in our system and I believe in hope -- and I hope that 8 percent of African-Americans who vote for Trump, the 29 percent of Hispanics who voted for Trump, the 42 percent of women who voted for Trump will somehow feel they were right. In other words, he will be better than anybody thought, that he`ll come out to be -- he won`t be what he sounded like in his campaign.

MESSING: Well --

MATTHEWS: All those groups, people who are vulnerable would be better off in four years than they are right now. They won`t be hurt. But that would be -- maybe that`s too optimistic.

MESSING: I think that`s optimistic. I`m hoping right along with you. But given everything that he and his administration have said about their plans for the country and what they want to do, I can`t imagine that it could be better in four years for any of the underrepresented groups that you mentioned.

MATTHEWS: When you watched the campaign, when did you begin to have an attitude that will lead you to march tomorrow? When did you begin to say, you know, darn it, I don`t like this?

MESSING: Oh, I mean, the second it was announced there was going to be a march, I committed to being there, for sure. I mean, tomorrow is going to be spectacularly --

MATTHEWS: Was it Trump in the bus, Trump when I interviewed him about punishing women for having abortions? I mean, what point did you say this guy is anti-what I believe in?

MESSING: Oh, very early on. Very, very early on. I really was very entrenched in all the news cycle. And I was a very active participant in the Hillary Clinton campaign. I travelled on her behalf. So, I --

MATTHEWS: So, where were you on election night, do you remember?

MESSING: I was at Javits Center. Yes.

MATTHEWS: What did you -- when it began to turn and people like me and Rachel --


MATTHEWS: -- and Brian realized there`s something. Virginia was going to be close.


MATTHEWS: James Carville was sitting next to me right here and he said, if Virginia is gone, it`s gone. And then, all of a sudden, you know, it looked like Ohio was gone, then Florida was gone. I think --

MESSING: Look, that whole night was --

MATTHEWS: What do you think happened?

MESSING: I can`t say. I mean, this was so -- there`s no precedent for this kind of campaign season. There was so much divisiveness, so much hatred. I mean, we had the Comey thing, we had the CIA problems, we had, you know, WikiLeaks, and we had, you know, intrinsic sexism. And we had historic, you know, dislike for the candidate.

I mean, this goes on and on. There was so many things involved in it. It was a shock the way it turned out. This is where we are now.

So, now this -- the question is, what do we want? What do we need? What are willing to fight for? What do we need to protect and defend?

And that`s what tomorrow is about. And it`s going to be this spectacularly diverse group of people that will be a visual reminder of the America that we are constantly trying to improve upon.

And like you said in your introduction, I mean, just the sheer numbers of different groups coming together. It`s happening all over the country and all over the world. There`s going to be more people there tomorrow than was there today. I think that`s a pretty spectacular statement.


I want you to stick around for the roundtable.


MATTHEWS: You can be a non-journalist roundtable person, OK?


MATTHEWS: We want you here.

MESSING: Thank you.

MATTHEWS: Debra Messing is staying with us right now. And much more of our special inaugural coverage coming up in this hour.

The peaceful transfer of power that took place today. Let`s talk about that a bit. I talked about the strangeness of that moment, last night on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." Look at this, there`s a little bit of frivolity here, but let`s do it.


STEPHEN COLBERT, TV HOST: As you talk about the peaceful transfer of power, what is the moment of transfer like?

MATTHEWS: At exactly noon on inaugural day, these guys come in with big photographs, big color photographs, beautifully framed, and they create a new reality. You know, Trump is going to be him and Melania and kids` pictures all over the White House. And all the pictures with Barack Obama and his great family, all going to be gone. It`s a weird thing that goes on.



MATTHEWS: You`re looking at the live shot now of the Washington Convention Center, site of the three inaugural balls that are taking place tonight. President Trump is expected there soon to do, let`s see if he does a little dance thing. I don`t know if he does that anymore, or ever did. We`re told, by the way, he`s going to make brief remarks and then dance to Frank Sinatra`s "My Way." That`s not exactly dance music. I don`t know how you dance to "My Way". That`s kind of a macho song. He`s going to dance with First Lady Melania Trump.

We`ll be right back.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

At noon today, the United States of America ushered in the era -- and it`s going to be -- of Donald Trump. In the same moment, exactly, the country said its final good-bye to the first African-American president. I don`t even like saying that anymore.

He`s just a great president, Barack Obama. Anyway, let`s watch.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have been the face, sometimes the voice, out front on the TV screen or in front of the microphone, but this has never been about us. It has always been about you and all the amazing things that happened over these last ten years are really just a testament to you.


MATTHEWS: Well, we`re expecting former President Obama and Michelle Obama to land at the airport in Palm Springs any moment.

Anyway, the country also said good-bye to Vice President Joe Robinette Biden, heading home to Delaware on his favorite mode of transportation, that train. Here he is on the regularly scheduled Acela, take it all the time.

Donald Trump`s opponent Hillary Clinton joined by her husband to return to Capitol Hill in a testament to her grace and dignity. Look at her. That`s class. Standing stoically as Trump was sworn in as the 45th president even though she got 3 million more votes. Some people were chanting "lock her up" out there, you can hear from the crowd. She didn`t put with that, too. They were doing it during Mike Pence`s swearing in.

As former President Obama flew out west, Democrats were left to hack a path back from the wilderness where they find themselves.

We`re back with Debra Messing. I`m so thrilled by that. Joining me right now are Harold Ford. You know, our Philadelphia accents are incapable of saying "Harold." We can`t say that. I blame it on my accent. Anyway, former Democratic congressman from the state of Tennessee, and, of course, an MSNBC analyst, and Carolyn Ryan of the great "New York Times".

I see the two tabs at the same dawn of a new era today. The two hating each other tabs had the same headline. What`s yours tomorrow do you think?

CAROLYN RYAN, THE NEW YORK TIMES: I think it`s "carnage." I mean, I think it`s darkness. There`s a bellicosity, there was a message to Washington, there was a denunciation of what Washington stands for, and it was quite bold but bleak.

There was not a lot of light or hopefulness or unity. There was not poetry or high-mindedness. There was concrete language. There was Donald Trump dancing with the gal who brung him.

MATTHEWS: Well, I say that all the time. You`re exactly right. The guys from the Rust Belt.

But there is a Jack Nicholson joker. It was like the Tim Burton "Batman" movie, the dark movie with the dark setting, criminals all over the place. Carnage.

HAROLD FORD JR., MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Look his language, to Carolyn`s point, people understood exactly what he was saying. I`ve talked to some Democratic friends, including some family members who found parts of the speech distasteful because there was an absence of things we`ve come to expect.

But he spoke to the people that not only voted for him but spoke to I think a number of people who believed that government`s not doing what it should be doing for them. And the responsibility of us Democrats going forward is to be careful how we criticize him. We have to take him on and specifically the areas where he claims to be wanting to be helping people.


FORD: Where he`s not helping people or helping himself and only helping special interests, that`s where you engage him. And, you know, overall, when the speech, I will give, I was looking for more. I`ve come to expect different things in an inaugural, but you have to give him high grades.

And now, the question becomes, can he govern? And --

MATTHEWS: Well, can he do what he says he was going to do, more jobs?

FORD: He didn`t talk about any of those things, I thought of his curious - -

MATTHEWS: He did talk about jobs.

FORD: No, no, but he didn`t talk about -- he talked a lot about jobs, he didn`t talk about health care. Some of the more controversial things. The most encouraging thing for Democrats want to take him on, all he talked about was jobs. That`s what made this speech resonate I think with so many Americans, and, frankly, I think some of the criticism he`s gotten, in a lot of ways, it blunts for me.

MATTHEWS: Yes. Let me go to Debra again. You know, Al Franken, who I think is great, he`s a real serious legislator now, he said, "I`m going to challenge the guy, not undermine him. But I`m going to challenge him." So, unlike the way the Republicans treat Obama which was to undermine every good thing he wanted to do.

MESSING: Correct. I mean, you know, the Democrats have never really functioned that way where -- I mean, what the Republicans did this year with Garland Merrick, I mean, it`s unconscionable.

MATTHEWS: Yes, Democrats believe in government.

MESSING: Yes. And I believe where they can come together they will really make an effort to do so.

MATTHEWS: What would you like to see come out because of you marching tomorrow, with the hundreds of thousands of other women?

MESSING: Well, I would love there to be hope. I would hope that -- I would like obviously the Equal Rights Amendment to finally come to fruition.

MATTHEWS: OK. Carolyn?

MESSING: Just to jump in, I do think whatever we think of the speech, it was an opportunity for him to make a gesture toward Hillary Clinton. She`s a few feet away.

MATTHEWS: Why didn`t he do it?

RYAN: I think he`s speaking to the base and base wants to lock her up. The base won`t let go. You saw Chavez (ph) in the tweet he put out. They`re not letting go.

MATTHEWS: Who`s Chavez?

RYAN: The congressman who --

FORD: It`s Chaffetz.

MATTHEWS: It`s Chaffetz. Oh, that`s terrible what he did. Terrible. He shakes her hand and then says the investigation continues.

RYAN: Right. But Donald Trump --

FORD: Little-minded men.

RYAN: But Donald Trump, he came to the "New York Times" after winning, maybe he was still surprised, delighted he had won, and he was quite gracious toward Hillary Clinton. He talked about what she had been through and so, he`s certainly has the capacity, but that was such a conspicuous omission to me and to his supporters, to her supporters, rather.

MATTHEWS: Do you think, Congressman, he`s going to be able to work with people like Schumer? I mean work with them? Get something done? Some points on the board.

FORD: The fact of the matter is, he knows Schumer better than he knows any Republican in the Senate. If you look at the team that surrounds president Trump now, most of those folks haven`t been with him for more than a few years. He didn`t have a relationship with Pence or Bannon or Conway. Other than his family, these are new people.

The person he knows best in the Congress is Schumer, so there`s a stronger likelihood you can find partnership there. Democrats ought to lay out what they`re for. We`re for rebuilding the water system in Flint. We`re for spreading broadband around the country, ensuring communities can bring new jobs. If we`re for building new airports and air traffic controllers, if we`re for cutting small business tax, lay it out and let him come to us as well because the more react to him, the harder it`s going to be --

MATTHEWS: Is anybody doing that, Carolyn? Have you heard any of Democrats -- why don`t Democrats put stuff on the table that could be attracted to him?

RYAN: Look, if you talk to Democrats right now, they are disheartened, they are depressed, they are leaderless, and there is not a sense of momentum about an agenda. They still seem stung and startled by what happened and --

MATTHEWS: Why don`t they put their good immigration bill back on the floor again and say go ahead, it has E-verify in it, it does have enforcement about illegal hiring but it lets people get work permits, they get green cards. It takes us so far from where we are right now.

RYAN: I think they just feel so scalded right now. I think they feel kind of singed?

MESSING: Hopefully, tomorrow, when they see this massive outpouring of strength and seeing that people are willing to be vocal and to work from a grass-roots place upward that we have their back and that we`re willing to participate.

FORD: My party understands that everyday working Americans still need us. So for us to mope and be disappointed loses site of what politics is about. And middle-class Americans and hard-working Americans who graduate into the middle-class are depending on us.

So I hope Schumer and Nancy Pelosi --

MATTHEWS: It`s what you do, Congressman. You get up.

FORD: You have to.

MATTHEWS: There are second acts in American life, by the way. F. Scott Fitzgerald is dead wrong. We have a guy in the White House named Donald Trump. Don`t say it can`t happen.


MATTHEWS: I know, you can do it with three wives, there are no limits to how you can do it. It`s unbelievable. This country is mobile. It`s ready for anything.

Thank you, Debra. It`s an honor to have you on.

MESSING: Thank you so much.

MATTHEWS: I think it`s great. It`s great to have someone like you here.

FORD: Best moment at the campaign, I want to tell you this, Pharrell saying, what he said to, you unbelievable. You deserved everything he said that evening, you talk about "Hidden Figures". Keep doing what you`re doing because the country is going to need that as well.

MATTHEWS: Pharrell Williams was great to me.

FORD: He was honest.

MATTHEWS: He was great, he said I`m tough! Ha!

Thank you.

I want to be a Mick. Some fighting Irish guy, rubber hose to your guests.

We`re waiting for the arrival of a new -- Carolyn Ryan, of course, Harold Ford, Jr.

Up next, the next three inaugural balls coming up and Obama won`t be -- NBC`s Katy Tur is standing by at the Washington convention center.

You work all the time 24/7, Katy. What are you seeing right now? Is he going to dance? Is he going to dance?

KATY TUR, NBC NEWS: I changed dresses, too, for this event. I don`t know if he`s going to dance. We believe he`s going to dance and have his first dance with Melania here at this ball, the Freedom Ball which is set to begin in just a couple minutes.

Donald Trump, as of now, we don`t believe he is going to be on time to this because the parade went much longer than expected so we`re going to see what time he does show up. Potentially in an hour. Maybe two.

But, you know, if he`s enjoying the trappings and traditions of the American presidency. Today is about ceremony. But you`ve got to realize that Donald Trump is probably the most non-traditional president that we`ve seen enter office, partially because there`s just so much unknown about him.

How is he going to govern? What priorities is he going to make? And what sort of executive orders are going to be.

Anyway, he`s going to come to the ball. We`ll see him here and see his first dance. Chris, thanks.

MATTHEWS: You`re the best. Katy Tur who knows this is guy well and who has covered him to the point he can`t stand it anymore.

Anyway, that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. Join me for a special edition of HARDBALL tomorrow night we`re on at 7:00. We`re going to cover the women`s event all day tomorrow. It will be exciting. We`ll have some great guests.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.