By Geoffrey Dickens, Newsbusters
Leave it to Chris Matthews, a former speechwriter to Jimmy Carter, to actually commemorate the 30th anniversary of the former president’s infamous “malaise” speech. On Wednesday’s “Hardball,” Matthews invited on his former bosses from the Carter White House, former speechwriter and now New Yorker senior editor Hendrick Hertzberg and former aide Gerald Rafshoon to mark the event and claim that Carter was vindicated by history as Matthews proudly asserted Carter was “Dead on,” about “putting on a sweater, lowering the thermostat,” to solve the energy crisis. And Hertzberg did Matthews one better by proclaiming Carter a “prophet.”
Later on in the segment Matthews turned to the transition from George W. Bush to Barack Obama as he determined: “It took Bush to make us see the importance of an Obama…Rick what do you think about Obama coming in after, a sophisticated Obama coming in after a different kind of, an incurious president like Bush?” This led Hertzberg to liken Obama to Carter which, at least in his mind, was a compliment to the current President as he declared: “Yeah I think there’s no question that it really required the comprehensive disaster on every level, really of the Bush administration, to make Americans ready to take this extraordinary and wonderful leap of faith that they took in electing this remarkable president that we have now. I mean I don’t make a lot of comparisons between Obama and Carter. I think they’re so different temperamentally, politically, in a lot of ways but one thing they do have in common, I think is they both believe in speaking to the American people as if they were adults. And that’s something that the eight years of Bush made us hungry for.”
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