Chris Matthews plays hardball with Carol Joynt at Q&A Cafe

Photo by Katie Manning
Carol Joynt and Chris Matthews playing hardball
Carol Joynt and Chris Matthews playing hardball
At the Q&A Cafe Thursday, Chris Matthews, host of "Hardball," laid out what he sees on the political horizon for 2012, disputed his role in media with event host Carol Joynt, and called the Washington Post "so neocon I can hardly read it." And this was all before the attendees finished their ice teas during the event at the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown.

Barely pausing for a breath, he ran down this list of potential Republican candidates.

He faulted Sarah Palin for not doing her "homework."

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg "is making a big mistake... if he runs for president."

But the gloves really came off when he suggested New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) avoid wearing white shirts.

"He must be 300 plus, and that's just something he's just got to deal with because you're not going to say I'm going to cut the budget. Well, how about starting with supper. He just doesn't seem credible as a guy who is going to be disciplined," he said. 
Chris Matthews takes a seat (Photo by: Katie Manning) Chris Matthews takes a seat

Susan Rappaport, a Georgetown resident seated with her husband Donald, wanted to hear more on the economy.  "I'm sorry that they don't have a Q&A with the people here dining," she said.

Although Matthews spent much of the Q&A discussing potential Republican nominees,  he said, "There's not going to be a great Republican candidate for 2012."

"He knows so much about politics anywhere you poke you're going to get something," said Joynt.
Matthews normally sticks to national politics, but he also weighed in on outgoing mayor Adrian Fenty and former school chancellor Michelle Rhee's school reform.

"I don't know whether (Michelle) Rhee handled it right or not," Matthews said.

He said he thinks Fenty was an asset to D.C. because "he grew up in an integrated world."

Joynt told The Georgetown Dish, "Fenty was one of the most interesting political figures of the last four years and his failure to get reelected is remarkable, and some consider it a warning sign for Obama on a much smaller scale."

A point of contention arose when Joynt mentioned Matthews's "background in politics."

Matthews corrected her, and said, "Journalism."

"Do you really think you're in journalism?" she asked twice.

Matthews responded, "Absolutely. I have to deal with facts every night. I have to cover the news every night. I have to have an opinion. I think what we do on 'Hardball' is different from anybody else. I think we have to hear from both sides."

He added, "I know what you're getting at."

While he was mid-sentence, Joynt said, "You don't know what I'm getting at."

"I think an infant could tell where you're headed," Matthews said, "Hardball is absolutely non-partisan."

He also offered some non-partisan advice for politicians appearing in the media. He suggested they follow the lead of celebrities, who primarily talk to the press only when promoting a movie. He said politicians should only go on camera when they have something specific to say.  "You don't have to feed the beast. You can pick your spots."

"One of the big mistakes politicians make today is that they think they are talking to a room when they are actually talking to the country or the world."

As for the people in the dining room at the Ritz-Carlton, they seemed pleased with the afternoon. Donald Rappaport said, "It's a discussion of personalities. It's fun to listen."
Susan and Donald Rappaport talk politics over lunch (Photo by: Katie Manning) Susan and Donald Rappaport talk politics over lunch

Q&A Cafe attendees (Photo by: Katie Manning) Q&A Cafe attendees


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Michelle Rhee has fired over 1000 teachers and administrators over questionable “test scores”, and replaced them with Teach for America candidates. This program, supported by Federal Grants, can enter the classroom after five weeks of training, at entry level salary... This greatly increased her operating budget, making her look good, but at whose expense? I wonder how she would rate her own performance during her three year teaching stint, she publically admits to taping students mouths shut, and some bleeding upon removing the tape! Will this be part of her new school reform? What does she need the billion dollars for? Sounds like the self proclaimed “Michelle Rhee first campaign”! For more on her corruption charges just google “Michelle Rhee corruption”…