Hardball host Chris Matthews brought on his wife for some friendly grilling last night. During a discussion of former president John Kennedy, who is the subject of his latest book, and after several minutes of effusive praise, Matthews was forced t0 defend Kennedy’s infidelity, much to his chagrin.
Kathleen Matthews: Do you think Jack Kennedy could have been a hero today and still have sort of the double life he had, unfaithful to his wife, sort of a father in the backroom, and some really tough hardball politics?
Chris Matthews: The old man was a right winger. Here’s what I think. Once you’ve saved your crew over in World War II, and you’re a hero, and you really did protect the men in your unit, and you really did risk your life, people cut you a little slack.
Why the reference to Joe Kennedy? He wasn’t even part of the original discussion, but it gave Matthews a chance to throw in a gratuitous attack while trying to defend JFK’s philandering.
And it was a pretty weak defense saying that because he was a hero we should look the other way, as if the marital indiscretions really didn’t matter, even though he was the president.
Unfortunately the segment ended with Matthews’ response and didn’t give his wife a chance to quiz him further, which she seemed prepared to do. But for the sake of their marital relations, that probably was a good thing.
Don’t expect Matthews to cut any slack to any Republican politicians if they stumble like JFK, because his hero worship extends only to Democrats.