This set in motion a night of three speeches, and an unfortunately outburst from Chris Matthews:
1. John McCain has got to be one of the worst speakers in national politics today, let alone running for President, and all but sure to get the nomination of his Republican party. He has a flat, sing-song delivery, which deflates the few decent lines his speech writers give him, including his best phrase tonight about Democrats wanting to take a "holiday from history".
2. Hillary Clinton was in the process of giving a good speech in Ohio, avoiding any mention of or concession to Obama, when Obama took the stage in Houston to give his speech. MSNBC, CNN, and Fox all switched to Obama.
3. Obama's speech was a pleasure to hear, as always. I admired his courage in bringing up the immigration issue to his Texas audience.
But to show you I don't blindly support everything Obama says: I disagreed with his use of "television" and "video games" as examples of what American kids should spend less time with - indeed, I certainly think television can be a good source of information and learning, and video games don't do any harm.
And Obama's position on most of them suits me just fine (just as do Hillary's - I just think Obama's are a little better, and he would make the better, more inspiring, President).
Which brings me to Chris Matthews.
In a segment after the speeches, Matthews interviewed Kirk Watson, Texas State Senator and Obama supporter, and Ohio Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a Clinton supporter. Matthews asked Watson to list Obama's accomplishments as U.S. Senator. Watson was rendered speechless. This triggered a classic Matthews in rude attack mode, in which he asked the same question, repeatedly, as if he were a prosecutor grilling a hostile witness on the stand.
My take on this: Matthews was entitled to ask the question, once, maybe twice, but not repeatedly badger his guest. Watson, for his part, put on an embarrassing (to Watson) display of his lack of knowledge. Obama's accomplishments as Senator are pretty well known, even to the general public, if only from watching his commercials. He worked on bills concerning lobbyist reform, energy, terrorism, and immigration - you can see the details on Obama's Wikipedia entry.
The Obama campaign can be held accountable for putting forth such a clueless or nervous or whatever-Watson's-problem-was spokesperson. But the American people deserve better than Matthews' uncivil badgering, too. Asking the question once or twice would have been enough.
Embarrassing your guest is unprofessional and not what we need in our media commentators.
Here's a link to Wonkette's page with a videoclip of the Matthews-Watson exchange.