Catching Up With Chris Matthews

Chris Matthews

The former Hardball anchor on the upcoming midterms; Trump vs. DeSantis; who to watch if Biden doesn’t run; the power of humor in politics; and more . . .

In his recent memoir, This Country, Chris Matthews shares an old rule of politics: the shape of the field decides the winner.

I sat down with Matthews this month for a Wavemaker Conversation about the shape of the field as we head into the 2022 midterm elections and look ahead to 2024. To watch our conversation, click play on the Vimeo player below.


For those of you who only know Chris Matthews from his days on MSNBC, here’s some background — all of which we explore in our Wavemaker Conversation.

Before Hardball; before his fifteen years as a newspaper journalist and columnist; before serving as chief lieutenant to House Speaker Tip O’Neill; before he was a speechwriter for President Carter; before he ran for Congress in his 20s on a pledge to not accept a dime in donations; before he got his first job as a legislative assistant, which required him to moonlight as a Capitol Hill cop; before he served in the Peace Corps in Africa; . . .

Before all of those professional adventures, when Chris Matthews was growing up with his three brothers, all of whom would, one day, vote for Donald Trump (which, as you’ll hear, would have a big impact on their conversations as adults) — Matthews, as a young boy, went to a branch of the Philadelphia Free Library to check out his very first book — a picture book of Alexander the Great.

I surprised him with the closest I could find to that very book — which led to a fascinating detour two-thirds into our Wavemaker Conversation.

I recommend listening to it all, including a cameo from my son, a college junior studying history and politics, whose questions for Matthews elicit some of the interview’s best exchanges.

You can watch our lively conversation on the video player near the top of this story, or listen on Spotify.

And if you do, I believe you will have a sharper set of lenses through which to view many of the major electoral developments ahead.

To purchase Chris Matthews’ memoir, This Country, click the image below.


Michael Schulder: From a Researcher at ABC News; To a Writer at The MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour on PBS; To my five years as a Writer for Peter Jennings at ABC World News Tonight; And 17 years as a Senior Executive Producer at CNN.


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