In a Sunday evening interview on MSNBC, “Hardball” host Chris Matthews spoke candidly not just of his allegiance to the president’s agenda, but also of the frustrations many on the professional left are feeling with the administration’s lack of leadership.
“There’s nothing to root for,” Matthews lamented. “What are we trying to do in this administration? Why does he want a second term, would he tell us? What’s he going to do in his second term, more of this? Is this it? Is this as good as it gets? Where are we going? Are we going to do something his second term? He’s yet to tell us.”
“He has not said one thing about what he’d do in his second term,” Matthews continued. “He never tells us what he’s going to do with reforming our health care systems, Medicare, Medicaid. How he’s going to reform Social Security? Is he going to deal with long-term debt? How? Is he going to reform the tax system? How?”
“Just tell us — why are we in this with him? Just tell us, commander. Give us our orders and tell us where we’re going. Give us the mission.”
“And he hasn’t done it,” Matthews said, blaming not just the president but those closest to him in the White House.
“I think it’s the people around him,” Matthews asserted. “Too many people around are little kids with propeller hats on their heads. They’re all virtual — politics, the social networking. … Their idea of running a campaign is a virtual universe of sending emails around to people.”
A real campaign, the MSNBC host continued, is “meetings with people. It’s forging alliances. It’s White House meetings and dinner parties that go on ’till midnight. And he should be sitting late at night now with senators and members of Congress and governors working together on how they’re going to win this political fight that’s coming” in 2012.
“I don’t have a sense that he’s ever had a meeting,” Matthews lamented. “I hear stories that you would not believe. Not a single phone call since the last election.”
“He never calls — that’s the message. Members of Congress, I keep asking, ‘When did you hear from him last?’”
President Barack Obama, Matthews concluded, “doesn’t like their company.”
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- Chris Matthews