Points By Drew Pritt

The Future of the Democratic Party – Chris Matthews (PA.)
May 28, 2008, 1:19 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

When Bob Novak surmized earlier this week that Governor Ed Rendell (D-Pa.) was gearing up for a Senate run in 2010, I found that highly suspect. You never say never in American Politics, but Rendell as my friend and colleague Ron Gunzburger at Politics1.com pointed out already said in August 2006, “This is my 14th Election….Enough is Enough.”But there is someone who is emerging on the horizon in Pennsylvania who is headed towards a bright future. A candidate who could challenge Arlen Specter (R) in 2010 and put together a winning coalition to win….CHRIS MATTHEWS (D). Matthews is an Irish-Catholic Democrat native to Pennsylvania. He attended La Salle College High School. He is a 1967 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, the same alma mater as the late Governor Bob Casey, Sr., who prior to his stunning win in 1986 for Governor, had lost in 1966, 1974, and 1978 for Governor and was known as the “Three Time Loss From Holy Cross.”

Matthews is married to Kathleen Matthews, who anchored News 7 on WJLA-TV, the ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C before accepting a position as an Executive Vice President with J.W. Marriott. The couple has three children: Michael, Thomas and Caroline. His brother Jim Matthews is a County Commissioner in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania who ran for Lt. Governor in 2006 as a Republican.

Matthews is famous as the anchor for HARDBALL on MSNBC, but he got his start working for former U.S. Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil. Matthews is like O’Neil’s godchild in that he learned many of the traits that made O’Neil popular and successful. One widely respected political consultant, Neil Oxman, rates Matthews’s chances high—arguing that his name recognition, ability to raise money, and ethnic (Irish Catholic) roots would allow him to do well among blue collar voters, while his outspoken liberalism would earn him support in the Philadelphia suburbs.

I think Matthews has what it takes to pull this off. Specter is vulnerable and if challenged by the conservative Republicans like last time with a primary challenge, he has threatened to run as a third party. The Democrats would be wise to unite early now and encourage Matthews and support him. There are other Democrats I would love to see in that Senate seat, U.S. Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz I am looking at you! But we need a Democrat who can put it together. In fact the first Democrat for this seat since Joe Clark in 1968 put it together and Chris Matthews is the ticket!


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