Matthews, Harris Reviewed

From Alessandra Stanley:

    As they stood obediently still behind 10 identical lecterns, Chris Matthews and his co-moderator from, John Harris, strode dramatically up and down the stage as they asked questions — choreography that did not add clarity or serve any other discernible purpose other than to upstage the candidates who were supposed to stand out and instead stood frozen.


    Mr. Matthews awkwardly danced around Mr. Romney’s Mormon faith with a question about Roman Catholic bishops that Mr. Romney easily batted away. Mr. Matthews, the host of “Hardball” on MSNBC, did not ask him why he had told the Fox News Channel that his favorite novel was “Battlefield Earth” by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology.


    It was a formal, sober exchange in a grandiose setting, and Mr. Matthews, in a blue shirt and green tie, was cheerful but a bit too casual for the setting, his diction a little slurry and his syntax a bit loose. He asked a question about some candidates’ support for national identity cards and appeared to not fully understand their positions. He would have been perhaps been better suited to the Democratic debate on a college campus in South Carolina.