Chris Matthews discussed his new book ‘The Hardball Handbook,’ which focuses on friendship, rivalry, reputation and success

MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews

MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews

CHRIS MATTHEWS, the anchor of “Hardball with Chris Matthews” on the American TV-network MSNBC, has learned from the pros what it takes to be a success after 40 years of observing people and politicians. At the National Press Club on Monday night he shared that insight when he discussed his new book, “The Hardball Handbook.”

COPIES OF THE BOOK were for sale before and after Mr. Matthews’ presentation, and Mr. Matthews also signed his book for many fans who stood in line. A portion of the sales proceeds were contributed to support the National Press Club’s Eric Friedheim National Journalism Library.

“THE HARDBALL HANDBOOK” focuses on four areas – friendship, rivalry, reputation and success – and shows how we can use the best traits of others and use them ourselves. It is one of several books written by the Hardball anchor.

MR. MATTHEWS, himself famous for his racy and sometimes confrontational style on his show, “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” spoke about his experiences in the political world. It was in 1997 that Hardball started, with Mr. Matthews as its anchor. In his earlier years he worked for the Peace Corps in Swaziland, and also spent time in Israel, Egypt and United Kingdom. He early political career included being the top staffer or Administrative Assistant for the powerful Speaker of the House in the 1980’s Tip O’Neill.

“GET A JOB inside. Get in that door. Even if it is only to be the mail-man,” was his advice for anybody who wanted to get that a political job, or for that matter any other job.

MR. MATTHEWS TALKED extensively about the new American administration, and said three things contributed to the success of the Obama tenure. He said that he had “never seen a busier president, and that he keeps the action level going.” But Mr. Matthews also warned about the enormous expenditures for the U.S. government for getting the country on track, printing a lot of money, which could lead to inflation.

THE THREE THINGS that contribute to the Obama success are first, according to Matthews, to bring in Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state. “It was stunning, and very effective. It is a real coalition government now.” He pointed out that the Clintons can be very helpful, when it comes to resolve problematic Middle East issues.

SECONDLY, President Obama follows the Reagan model of “you don’t wait” with your program for the second year. His platform has to be dealt with now – the economy, healthcare and education, primarily. It is like “a blitz.”

THE THIRD ISSUE is the Chicago connection. The president has brought in a lot of very accomplished connections from his hometown Chicago – where the rule is “act if there is only one game in town, and no other party.” The Obama people love to talk about Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, and ignore the Republican leadership in Congress. That is the message, according to Matthews. “It is fantastic to watch them do it.” He also said that he thought that one reason that many people – in such a heterogeneous society as America, including many foreign born — connect to President Obama and his international background.

Christ Matthews signs books after the event.

Christ Matthews signs books after the event.


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