Kathleen Matthews, wife of MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews, has declared her intention to seek Maryland’s 8th Congressional seat at a celebration in Silver Springs, Maryland, and promised an “opportunity agenda.”
In Matthew’s announcement, she underlined abortion rights, equal pay for women and raising the minimum wage as the centerpiece of her campaign platform.
Matthews, a long-time television anchor and reporter with the ABC affiliate, WJLA in Washington, was most recently the chief global communications and public affairs officer for the Marriott Hotel chain.
Despite being a newcomer to the political scene, Matthews boasted: “I bring experience as a working mother who raised three children, as a longtime advocate for women and children and as a business leader.”
Kathleen Matthews will join a host of current or former Maryland legislators, including former Obama White House aide Will Jawando, in the race to claim the House seat being vacated by Chris Van Holland, who is seeking the Senate seat from the retiring Barbara Mikulski.
Will Hardball turn into Kathleen Matthews’ campaign voice?
One cannot dispute the kind of buzz Matthews or MSNBC can create with the free publicity Kathleen Matthews will reap from her husband’s presence on the cable giant. There is every reason to believe emerging concerns about Chris Matthews’ role on MSNBC and how it will influence his wife’s bid for a House seat. The temptation to accept what at first may appear as kindnesses toward his wife’s candidacy is likely to be transformed into coverage resembling a cheerleading section from the newsroom at MSNBC.
Chris Matthews is keen to advertise he is “more conservative” than people think; however, a reliable barometer of Chris Matthews’ role is acknowledging his background: Matthews is a former staffer to the late Senator Edmund Muskie, the late Thomas “Tip” O’Neill and he briefly considered running for the Senate as a Democrat.
Given Matthews’ compulsion of practicing a bulldog-style of eviscerating guests, one can hypothesize Matthews will hunker down in MSNBC’s liberal bunker and deliver ringing endorsements for his wife by verbally strafing her opponents in lengthy, overblown on-air rants, tipping the scale in favor of his wife instead of finely judging the race.
What should be coverage will presumably grow into advocacy for Kathleen Matthews. With recent revelations of high-visibility network anchors donating to the Clinton Foundation, this will become a potent issue which cannot be ignored.
Will Matthews remove himself from political coverage of this race?