Why can't Chris Matthews quit the Clintons?

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Here's what the New York Post reported in terms of Matthews trashing Clinton while recently riding the Amtrak Acela [emphasis added]:

"I don't understand it," Matthews bellowed. "Why would he pick her? I thought we were done with the Clintons. She'll just use it to build her power base. It's Machiavellian. And then we'll have Bill Clinton, too. I thought Obama didn't want drama. He'll have even more drama with her. She's just a soap opera. If he doesn't pick her, everyone will say she's been dissed again, we'll have to live through that again."

You'll note that Matthews exasperation ("I thought we were done with the Clintons'") was matched nearly word-for-word by Maureen Dowd, another celebrity Clinton hater, in her Sunday column. And you can see that same deep sense of anger here as Christopher Hitchens advertises Clinton Derangement Syndrome on national television.

We've said it before, but we fear we're going to have to make this point many more times in the coming weeks. It's now clear that a portion of the opinion press viewed the historic 2008 campaign through the extremely narrow lens of getting rid of the Clintons; of driving them off the national stage and humiliating the highest profile Democrats of the last 15 years. That's what the campaign was about for them. Not politics or policy or the future of the country. It was about them not liking the Clintons. The campaign represented some sort of deliverance from them.

But now that it's becoming clear that the new Obama team does not necessarily share that deep-seated disdain, and now that it's clear that the media's CDS is not being embraced by a new generation of Democratic Party leaders, some afflicted pundits are very, very angry. What was the point of that election, they demand.

On Hardball this week Matthews appeared visibly annoyed at the idea of Clinton becoming Secretary of State. More to the point he was confused about Obama's overture to her: "Why does he want drama"? Matthews demanded.

So far, according to news reports, Obama has made an overture to Clinton about being SOS. In a few days we will likely find out if she accepts. Where exactly is the drama?

Answer: The drama, has mostly been man-made, it's been manufactured, by the press which loves the "soap opera" storyline.

There was a great diary posted at Daily Kos recently, about the media's, and especially cable TV's, naked attempt to gin up the "drama" surrounding the Clinton story. Not because it's newsworthy and not because it's accurate. But because that's what the Beltway press wants to do. That will be worth keeping in mind in coming days and weeks.

UPDATE: We just found this quote that Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, gave during the pimary season [emphasis added]: "The press hates Hillary. There's a real glee over the prospect of being done with the Clintons."

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