At the start of his show Hardball on MSNBC this afternoon, host Chris Matthews took a moment to praise President Obama for his leadership in the midst of today’s turbulent political environment. Following is a transcript of that portion of his show that airs tonight on MSNBC.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Before I get started today I want to personally express how grateful I am for the awe inspiring leadership of my president. Syria is a bloodbath, Iraq is in the hands of terrorists, Israel is on the verge of war with the Palestinians and Russian troops are in Ukraine. On top of that we’ve got the Benghazi, IRS, NSA and V.A. scandals and our southern border is rife with diseased children, gang members and middle eastern terrorists donning sombreros. All these problems that were created by the Bush administration would have crippled the most stoic of leaders. Yet, last night I saw a news video of President Obama laughing and enjoying himself in Denver as he ate pizza, drank beer and played billiards. Our president is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, but you’d never know it by looking at him. Today he’s headed to the golf course before attending three different fundraisers. Tomorrow he’s shooting a game of hoops with LeBron James and Barbra Streisand before hosting a star-studded, $45,000 a seat fundraiser at Steven Spielberg’s East Hampton estate. Calm, cool and self-assured, folks. Those are the characteristics of a leader. Let’s play Hardball!
(Music plays to start the show)
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I want to welcome my guests, Washington Post columnist, African American Eugene Robinson, MSNBC lesbian, Rachel Maddow, and Cher’s transgender daughter, Chaz.
CHAZ BONO: I’m actually Cher’s transgender son, Chris.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: But you were a girl. Doesn’t that make you a transgender girl?
CHAZ: I’m a man now so that makes me a transgender male.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: (Winking) So what about you, Rachel? Are you still a lesbian woman?
RACHEL MADDOW: A lesbian is a woman, Chris.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Ha! You got me there. You know, I can’t keep up with all the wonderful changes taking place in our country. I’m an old white guy, what can I say? I’m an idiot.
EUGENE ROBINSON: But unlike a lot white men, you’ve worked hard at hating yourself. As an African American, I respect that.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Thank you, Eugene, but that doesn’t let me off the hook. My ancestors could have been slave holders. Heck, they may have even owned your relatives, Eugene. That’s something I have to live with every day of my life.
EUGENE ROBINSON: Yes you do, Chris.
CHAZ: Oh sure. But now Mom’s disappointed I didn’t become a black man.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, don’t feel bad. I know my parents would have loved me more if I’d been an African American. How about you, Rachel? Would your parents be more proud if you were an African American lesbian.
RACHEL MADDOW: You know, I’ve never thought about it. I know that I’d feel better about myself if I were an African American lesbian.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Black lesbians are hot. Ha! There, I said it! (Points to Eugene Robinson) My African American friend knows what I’m talkin’ about. Ha! Now, Eugene, what’s your reaction to our president’s can-do attitude when it comes to handling problems like Iraq and the border?
EUGENE ROBINSON: I’ve always had faith in my president, so I never doubt the time will come when he’ll straighten out all the problems he inherited from George Bush. The speed at which Obama implemented free sex-reassignment surgeries in our prisons was breathtaking.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: It was breathtaking, wasn’t it? Let me ask you something, Eugene. Do you think President Obama would do an even better job if he weren’t half white?
EUGENE ROBINSON: Oh, that goes without saying. The few minor problems he’s had can be attributed to his white genes.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Imagine if he were an African American woman! Ha!
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Ha! You’re too funny my African American friend.
CHAZ: What if he were an African American transgender male?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, I never considered that. But then, what about an African American lesbian, Rachel?
RACHEL MADDOW: Well, technically speaking, if the president were an African American transgender male, then he would have been an African American lesbian first.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: (Inquisitively) Hmmm … you may have a point. What do you think, Chaz?
CHAZ: I may have been born in the body of a female, but I was a large, bearded man trapped inside of it.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: And I for one congratulate you on your escape. I wish I could escape from myself. But hey, I’m an old white guy. I’m just grateful I’m able to feed myself, right Eugene?
EUGENE ROBINSON: And you do a pretty good job.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Look, I know everybody’s excited about Hillary being president, but would it be so hard for democrats to find an African American transgender to run in 2016? That would definitely stir up the base, huh? My gosh, the kids would just love that, wouldn’t they?
CHAZ: My mom and I have discussed the idea. I mean, my dad was a congressman.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: But he was a republican. Plus, I know it’s painful to be reminded of it, but you’re white, Chaz. Fortunately our time has come and gone. What about that guy, Rupaul?
RACHEL MADDOW: He’s a gay man who dresses like a woman.
EUGENE ROBINSON: And he still uses the derogatory term, tranny.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: So tranny is off limits now?
CHAZ: Yes, it’s as bad as the N word.
EUGENE ROBINSON: Well, I don’t know if I’d say that.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: You know, it’s too bad Bruce Jenner is white. Not only is he an Olympic gold medalist, but his step daughters keep marrying African Americans. And it appears he’s gonna be in the full bloom of womanhood just around the time of the 2016 presidential race.
RACHEL MADDOW: I don’t know if America is ready to have the Kardashians in the White House, Chris.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Ha! You raise a good point my lesbian friend. Oh well, at least we still have two years left of the Obama administration. And there’s no telling what President Obama is going do to this country before he’s finished.