In Franken's Run, Cautionary Tale for Matthews

MSNBC host's celebrity isn't all that, and Franken didn't exactly win, either
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2008 1:46 PM CST

(Newser) – Chris Matthews seems determined to run for a Senate seat in Pennsylvania in 2010, but beating Republican Arlen Specter isn’t his only problem, Steve Kornacki writes in the New York Observer. The MSNBC host is a cipher to 60% of the electorate, and there are other qualified, ambitious Democrats in the state. And Al Franken showed celebrity is no lock even in a winnable race.

Should he beat out his competitors, Matthews might suffer the apparent fate of Al Franken in Minnesota: a famous liberal challenging a vulnerable incumbent in a Democratic state, and losing. And Matthews lacks the staunch credentials of Franken, having often criticized Democratic leaders, including the Clintons. “As with Franken,” Kornacki notes, “Matthews could find his own words being recycled into damaging television ads and talking points.”