On "Hardball," Chris Matthews was tingling away. It was an "amazing ceremony," he insisted. After an Obama clip, he said, "There was a moment in American history right there. Last week, when Obama spoke at the Democratic National Committee down in Charlotte, he said, 'I am the president.' Well, this week, he showed what it means to be president."
This was a moment for pride?
Matthews told Willie Brown, the former mayor of San Francisco, "I was so proud of this country right then, Mayor. Because there you saw two people that had been political adversaries. The wonderful moment when the secretary of state reached over to grab his hand after those remarks, it is something else. I am a sentimentalist. I will admit it. But I can't think of a better way to celebrate our Americanism than the way we did it just then."
If George Bush had been president, the arrival of these four caskets would have been painted as a sickening sign of failure and incompetence, of public servants needlessly losing their lives because the White House couldn't piece together their intelligence reports. Matthews would have railed against Bush and "Cheeney" for failing to protect their diplomats in unstable Arab nations. Now it was time to tingle over the unified Democrats instead.
In the next hour, it devolved from tragedy to farce when Rev. Al Sharpton took over the microphone to praise the Andrews service. "I think the president and secretary of state showed leadership by staying above the politics, no matter how ugly and nasty and off key it was, and putting their lives and legacies of those four men and their families as the priority to the American public." He told Gov. Ed Rendell he was pleased at the president's poise while "even today there was no moratorium on the political opposition trying to politicize this and demagogue it."
That's right. Al Sharpton has a daily perch on national TV to accuse others of demagoguery after street mobs kill people.
Then former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, an official "NBC News political analyst," not only praised the "incredible grace under pressure" of Barack and Hillary, but also proclaimed, "I can think of no two cooler, smarter, well-grounded and well-oriented people to run our foreign affairs."