Matthews still falsely suggesting Clinton did not become Yankees fan until Senate run

››› ››› RYAN CHIACHIERE

Chris Matthews stated of Sen. Hillary Clinton, "When she went to New York, she quickly became a New Yorker with the Yankees hat and the upstate listening tour." Matthews has repeatedly suggested that Clinton's assertion during her first Senate campaign that she has "always been" a Yankees fan is false, despite photographic and other evidence showing that her allegiance to the Yankees long precedes her Senate run.

On the April 21 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews asserted: "It seems to me Hillary Clinton has been very effective in becoming an Arkansan -- back when her husband was governor all those years, she developed a Southern accent. When she went to New York, she quickly became a New Yorker with the Yankees hat and the upstate listening tour. In Pennsylvania, it seems it me, she's been very effective in making herself a hometown girl from Scranton, with the beer and the shots and the beers and the guns and everything -- raised with a gun." Earlier that same day on MSNBC Live, Matthews asserted: "Hillary Clinton, having gone with that Southern accent down to Arkansas and the Yankees hat in New York, has now morphed herself, to some extent, into a Pennsylvanian for the purpose of this primary season." However, Matthews' suggestion that Clinton did not don a New York Yankees baseball cap until she ran for Senate in New York is false. Indeed, Matthews has repeatedly suggested that Clinton's assertion during her first Senate campaign that she has "always been" a Yankees fan is false, despite photographic evidence showing that her allegiance to the Yankees long precedes her Senate run. Further, The Washington Post reported on September 12, 1994, that "Mrs. Clinton ... as a kid was a 'big-time' fan of the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees and 'understudied' Ernie Banks and Mickey Mantle."

Still Matthews has continued to suggest that Clinton was not telling the truth, even after Politico reporter John Harris -- who has written a book about Bill Clinton -- told Matthews that the attacks on Clinton over her history of being a Yankees fan were false. Harris said, on the April 6, 2007, edition of Hardball: "Hillary Clinton got hazed over saying she was a New York Yankees fan. It turned out, actually, that was right. She had been a lifelong Yankees fan. But people were all over [her] for supposedly embroidering her past."

Nonetheless:

  • On the October 26, 2007, edition of Hardball, Matthews asserted: "She went to the Yankees so that she could run for senator from New York. It's so obvious. Why is she -- doesn't she know she looks like a fraud?" During that broadcast, after airing a clip of Clinton's remarks during an October 25, 2007, presidential campaign fundraiser in which she stated, "I have been a fan and I remain a fan of the New York Yankees. No changes. No looking to curry favor with anybody else," MSNBC correspondent David Shuster asserted: "Never mind that Hillary Clinton was a Chicago Cubs fan until she moved to New York to run for the U.S. Senate." While Shuster was making that statement, he aired a photo of Clinton wearing a Cubs cap, followed by one of Clinton wearing a Yankees cap. Shuster suggested that this was an example of what he called Clinton's "inconsistencies of style."
  • On the September 23, 2007, broadcast of the NBC-syndicated Chris Matthews Show, Matthews claimed that when Clinton first ran for the Senate "she tried hard to prove she was a Noo Yawker," and aired footage of a June 10, 1999, interview with Katie Couric, then co-anchor of NBC's Today, in which Clinton said that she has "always been" a fan of the New York Yankees. Following the clip, Matthews said: "I just love the way Katie Couric went at her there. 'Come on, how many hats you wearing, babe?' I just think that was great."

From Hillary Clinton's 2003 autobiography, Living History:

From the 1 p.m. ET hour of MSNBC Live on April 21:

MATTHEWS: What that's up against is this sense that Hillary Clinton's been able to develop in this state effectively, in places like Scranton and northeast Philly, is the girl next door, that she's very familiar. She's not a Wellesley, Yale Law grad. She's now a very regular person -- almost like a Marcy Kaptur [D-OH], U.S. congresswoman from around the corner -- very successfully has groomed herself into being the local girl, and that is a very effective campaign tactic.

I remember Ted Kennedy running against Jimmy Carter back in 1980, very effectively coming to Philly, going to see the cardinal, eating the soft pretzels, hanging around. If you make yourself a Pennsylvanian, then you have a very good time beating anybody else, and Barack Obama has not been able to make himself a Pennsylvanian. Hillary Clinton, having gone with that Southern accent down to Arkansas and the Yankees hat in New York, has now morphed herself, to some extent, into a Pennsylvanian for the purpose of this primary season, and I think it might work well to give her a double-digit victory.

From the April 21 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:

MATTHEWS: It seems to me Hillary Clinton has been very effective in becoming an Arkansan -- back when her husband was governor all those years, she developed a Southern accent. When she went to New York, she quickly became a New Yorker with the Yankees hat and the upstate listening tour. In Pennsylvania, it seems it me, she's been very effective in making herself a hometown girl from Scranton, with the beer and the shots and the beers and the guns and everything -- raised with a gun. It seems like it's worked, even to the point where she's walking around northeast Philly the other day and she's getting the treatment of the hometown girl.

Posted In
Education
Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Chris Matthews
Show/Publication
Hardball
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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