MSNBC's Hardball host Chris Matthews (Rep. Michele Bachmann's best friend) could be running for U.S. Senate in his native Pennsylvania in 2010, according to mounting rumors. The New York Observer seems pretty confident they've guessed right as Matthews continues to avoid outright denying the rumors as people whisper about his meetings with political leaders.
Here, a comparison can be drawn to Al Franken, a celebrity candidate who had little problem securing the Democratic Senate nomination in Minnesota this year. Franken was probably about as well-known as Matthews at the outset of the campaign, but among much the Democratic base he was a beloved figure, having authored a series of best-selling books that savaged prominent conservatives. This made it difficult for Democrats to deny him the nomination. Matthews, though, is a more polarizing figure among Democratic activists, as well known for his critiques of the Iraq war as he is for his assaults on Bill and Hillary Clinton. He would not command the instant affection of his party's base, as Franken did in Minnesota.If Matthews is looking for reasons to put this rumor to rest, we've got plenty for him. Franken's race has not been pretty.