The Campaign Spot

Meltdown on MSNBC: The Leg Tingle Is Gone?

I can hardly believe what I’m watching on MSNBC right now. Chris Matthews is almost critical — no, not even almost, he’s flat-out critical of President Obama on the economic front. He mentions an earlier conversation with CNBC’s manic stock analyst Jim Cramer and a University of Maryland professor (Peter Morici?) knocking Obama for several economic decisions — that the stimulus bill needed more real infrastructure and less pork, that the housing bill isn’t inspiring confidence and doesn’t look like it will work, and that no one has faith in Tim Geithner’s solution for the banks.

Howard Fineman of Newsweek says Obama has been “grim and a little distant at the same time . . . Tim Geithner hasn’t inspired any confidence anywhere, as far as I can tell.”

Matthews: “He seems like Barney Fife to me.”

Eugene Robinson: “I actually referred to him as Doogie Howser, Treasury Secretary, and I think it’s a little unfair.” Much laughter ensues.

More Fineman: “Despite his high approval rating and obvious intellect and goodwill, he hasn’t quite yet seemed to convey the sense that he knows the way forward and that he can get us there . . . I thought the first fifteen minutes of this show were devastating. Not that Jim Cramer is the only person they have to convince, but they have to convince people that they know what they’re doing, that they’re not just feeling their way forward.” Robinson points out that they are feeling their way forward.

Matthews: “I thought 8,000 was the floor, and it looks like 6,000 is the floor. People are angry, I’m getting angry.”

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