Chris Matthews has been playing "hardball" since the day he was born. From his first political run-in in the first grade to his years working as presidential speechwriter for Jimmy Carter and top aide to Tip O'Neill, Matthews grew up loving his country and dreaming of his chance to protect it. As one of the most honest, brash, and in-your-face journalists on TV, he has finally gotten the chance. The host of television's Hardball and bestselling author of such classics as Hardball and Kennedy & Nixon, Matthews is a political cop who insists on the truth and nothing but. In this latest work, Now, Let Me Tell You What I Really Think, Chris Matthews is at his brilliant, blunt, bulldogged best.
From the Cold War to the Clinton years, Matthews gives the straight-up account of what it means to be an American. Matthews tells us about his "God and Country" Catholic school education in Philadelphia complete with Cold War air-raid drills and his early enthusiasm for politics. He shares with us his life's adventures: two years in Africa with the Peace Corps, the challenge of running for Congress in his twenties, and his three decades deep in the "belly of the beast" of American politics.
Matthews has made his name as a razor-sharp journalist who cross-examines the politicians in Washington and takes on the Los Angeles and New York elite who view America's heartland as "fly-over country."
In Now, Let Me Tell You What I Really Think, Matthews rallies those who "work hard and play by the rules" and celebrates the wisdom learned from a U.S. Capitol policeman more than twenty years ago, "The little man loves his country, because it's all he's got." A hard-to-categorize maverick with an uncool love for his country, Matthews gives an irreverent look at who we are and whom we trust to lead us.
Chris Matthews (Kennedy and Nixon) was a speechwriter for President Carter before he became the interrupting and opinionated host of Hardball with Chris Matthews. In Now, Let Me Tell You What I Really Think, his third book, the author does just that. It's "what you'd get if you were sitting across the table from me," Matthews writes meaning, of course, a lot of stories about politics and politicians, a few meandering personal reflections and an energetic, forceful push toward getting everything all out. For those who would skim, the author provides section summaries under the heading "Here's What I Really Think." But when revelations can be as banal as "in order to win the game, you first need a seat at the table," one suspects Matthews hasn't written down all his secrets yet. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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April 22, 2002
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Excerpt from Now, Let Me Tell You What I Really Think by Chris Matthews
It was October 18, 2000, the morning after the third and final Gore-Bush debate. I was invited on the Today show to offer my political analysis of who had won. Gore had already declared his previous night's performance to be his "Goldilocks" debate: "The first was too hot. The second was too cool. The third was just right." And his fairy-tale verdict had gone unchallenged by the media. Until Matt Lauer asked me what I thought.
Here's what I said: "I think Gore was more aggressive last night, and if you look at the polls, he won on a couple of points. But clearly the interesting question again is, Who do you like? Bush won."
Matt Lauer leaped on me like a cougar from a tree: "Let's be honest here, you've been saying that all along. Al Gore irritates you."
Me: "The public has been saying that too."
Matt (a second time): "Al Gore irritates you."
Me (again): "The public has been saying that too."
Matt: "But you just don't like Al Gore's style, and it's very hard for you to look past it."
Me: "No, no. I think the interesting thing is -- I've been studying this election for about a year now -- the economy should get the incumbent elected. Gore should win. The issue agenda -- prescription drugs and those kinds of issues -- are all working for the incumbent administration. So what's stopping the American people? There's some tissue rejection there about Al Gore, something that stops them from saying, 'Okay...Gore.' I think the American people have a problem with him."