Chris Matthews: Looking at Today's Politics Through the Perspective of RFK
First, where to begin? Roy Moore? Al Franken? Tax bill? Jerusalem? Government shutdown? Russia? The pace of politics is relentless – fatiguing, really – so you need someone of relentless energy to talk about politics with. And few have more relentless energy than Chris Matthews. But these times also call out for perspective and context. What in the world is going on? To many of us, it feels like there’s an all-out war – on decency, good behavior, justice – even democracy. What does history have to say? And how many people can bring a better historical context to politics than Chris Matthews?Finally, the more out of control 2017 becomes, the more fascinated I’ve become with revisiting 1968. I keep wanting to consider how the conflict and anger and uncertainty of that year not only compares to what we’re experiencing today – but also, what can we learn from it? Chris Matthews helps here, too.So let’s talk bio: If you only know him from cable television, you might not realize Chris’ full background: Matthews began his time on Capitol Hill as a cop, briefly working for the United States Capitol Police. He worked for four Democratic members of Congress, including 6 years as chief of staff to one of the giants – House Speaker Tip O’Neill. Matthews also served as a speech writer under President Jimmy Carter, though that’s far from his only writing: 8 books, 13 years as Washington Bureau Chief for the San Francisco Examiner, and then columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle.Even if you know none of that, you surely know that he’s host of MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews.And now, most recently, he’s an author again, this time of “Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit.” It’s not his first book about the Kennedy’s – he’s written two on JFK – but this one is different: “The endurance of the idea of “Bobby” is,” writes Matthews, “because he stood for the desire to right wrongs that greatly mattered then and which continue to matter every bit as much in the 21st century. Let me state that more starkly – now more than ever.”Indeed.