Chris Matthews: Democratic establishment will 'kill the fire of insurgency'
Chris Matthews appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe on the morning of the New Hampshire primary to describe how he expects the Democratic Party establishment to destroy Barack Obama's candidacy and ensure the nomination for Hillary Clinton.
"There's a battle in the Democratic Party between the idealists and the interest groups," Matthews began. "And in the beginning of every Democratic campaign for president, there's an idealist who comes forward ... and they do very well in the first offing. ... And then the interest groups get all called in, the meal tickets, all the people that get something out of the party are bussed in, trucked in from out of town ... and they blow away the idealist."
"It has been done so many times," he continued. "Kill the fire of insurgency. And when that's killed, then you go back to the same old interest group politics."
"Once in a while, someone comes along and shakes things up," Matthews acknowledged. "It's a phenomenal thing. And it's going on now. It'll go on through tonight. But at some time, it's going to be really challenged by the forces of the establishment, by the status quo, by the interest groups and the big-money contributors, and they're going to try to put this fire out."
"They will find some way to counter this power. You watch it. It's scorched earth, but the establishment in American politics almost always wins. ... All the people around the Clintons ... are getting together to try to figure out how to stop this. These are pros, who win year after year.
"They are under threat right now, because if Obama wins, they lose," Matthews went on, turning aside Scarborough's suggestions that this year the dynamics might be different. "If you think it's going to happen, then you are definitely a dreamer. Maybe I am too. But I've seen this dream die so many times."
"They'll play on every heartstring. They'll make Hillary a more sympathetic figure," Matthews predicted, saying that between now and Super Tuesday on February 5, the newspapers will fall over themselves to give us "the new Hillary, the softer Hillary, the humble Hillary."
"The fawning journalism is yet to come," concluded Matthews. "It's absolutely predictable. ... Oh, it's coming!"
This video is from MSNBC's Morning Joe, broadcast January 8, 2008.