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Speaking of Everything - Martin's Tavern in The New York Times

November 4, 2008

Featured in The New York Times

October 31, 2008

Speaking of Everything

The waiters at Martin’s Tavern in Georgetown see a lot of Chris Matthews, host of the opinionated “Hardball” and the lower temperature, eponymously named Sunday-morning discussion hour on MSNBC.

“It’s very Christmas-y here. Very pubby. I’ll have clam chowder and prime rib,” he said, in his trademark rapid-fire delivery. He’s been a regular here since 1971. “It was a big State Department hangout. C.I.A. It’s got that reputation. Old Washington.”

It was exactly one week to Election Day and Mr. Matthews was in the “Truman booth” offering his opinion on everything.

On Web versus print: “If you don’t get newsprint, you don’t get the peripheral vision — you don’t pick up the odd story.”

On empty-nesting: “I feel like Ebenezer Scrooge: the house is empty and I’m like ‘Where’s my gruel?’ ”

On his wife, Kathleen, a Peabody Award-winning anchor who is now an executive for Marriott International, the hotel chain: “She’s a charming event.”

He then went on to prognosticate: “Three hundred and forty electoral votes,” he said, predicting Democratic victory while talking to two long-time waiters. “I’ve been trying to figure it out. Maybe 59 Senate seats, 31 seats in the House.”

While Mr. Matthews hasn’t formally endorsed anyone, it’s not hard to figure out which way he’s leaning. During the MSNBC primary coverage he claimed, with typical hyperbole, to feel “a thrill go up his leg” when Obama spoke.

Kathleen Matthews blew in the door with a gust of cold air, wearing a snug candy-apple red leather jacket. “I had this before Sarah Palin did,” she said, laughing. “But I got mine on a summer discount: 75 percent off.” She joked that Ms. Palin should have traded Neiman Marcus for Loehmann’s.

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