In a July 6 discussion with former Gore-Lieberman campaign manager Donna Brazile on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, host Chris Matthews once again questioned whether former President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) are truly supportive of Senator John Kerry's (D-MA) presidential campaign, asking: "Is he generous enough, he and his wife, to give up the presidency and not still hold hopes that Hillary can win it next time, if they lose this time?" When Brazile pointed out that Senator Clinton campaigned on behalf of Kerry and Senator John Edwards (D-NC) following the Kerry campaign's announcement that Edwards is Kerry's vice-presidential running mate, Matthews responded: "Were you watching to see her fingers, if they were crossed or not?"
Senator Clinton's alleged 2008 presidential aspirations have been a recurring theme for Matthews. Following his June 14 comment on Hardball that Bill Clinton would "rather keep that [presidential] seat warm for Hillary [Clinton]" than have Kerry win the November presidential election (a comment that echoed recent remarks by right-wing pundits), Matthews devoted an entire segment of his NBC weekend talk show, The Chris Matthews Show, on June 20 to a panel discussion about Senator Clinton's supposed aspirations.
From the July 6 edition of Hardball with Chris Matthews:
MATTHEWS: Is he generous enough, he and his wife, to give up the presidency and not still hold hopes that Hillary could win it next time, if they lose this time?
BRAZILE: Oh, absolutely. Hillary Clinton sent out a mass e-mail today to hundreds of thousands of individuals. She's happy about this ticket. She campaigned earlier today on behalf of the ticket at the National Education Association.
MATTHEWS: Were you watching to see her fingers, if they were crossed or not?
BRAZILE: I saw her face, and I know her body language.
MATTHEWS: She really meant it?
BRAZILE: She's really pleased with it.
MATTHEWS: She's going to give up the presidency to John Kerry and John Edwards?
BRAZILE: I think she's committed herself to winning that Senate seat back...
MATTHEWS: Have you given up the idea of Hillary Clinton as president?
BRAZILE: I have not given it up. I haven't given up the idea...
MATTHEWS: When? If not now, when, as they say?
BRAZILE: Well, you know, whenever the opportunity may come around.