MSNBC host Chris Matthews claimed that voters gave control of the House of Representatives to Republicans in the 1994 elections because they were "tired of Hillary Clinton's, you know, 'I'm going to run the country' mentality." Moments later, echoing a similar smear by Rush Limbaugh, MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan disparaged Clinton's speaking voice.
Host Chris Matthews claimed during the March 7 edition of MSNBC's Hardball that voters gave control of the House of Representatives to Republicans in the 1994 elections because they were "tired of Hillary Clinton's, you know, 'I'm going to run the country' mentality, with a big health care plan." Moments later, during a discussion with Democratic strategist Bob Shrum and MSNBC political analyst and former Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, Matthews reiterated that "it was Hillary" who determined the outcome of the 1994 congressional elections.
Later, Matthews asked Buchanan why Clinton, now a Democratic senator from New York, "get[s] to people." Buchanan replied, "You know, I think it's the headband liberalism." When Matthews asked Buchanan to explain his characterization, Buchanan attributed it to "the Wellesley stuff, and every time she gets there, and that voice goes up." Clinton is a graduate of Wellesley College, a women's college in Wellesley, Massachusetts. For years, Clinton kept her hair swept back with a hairband. As Media Matters for America previously noted, radio host Rush Limbaugh also recently disparaged Clinton's voice, stating during the March 3 broadcast of his nationally syndicated show that she "sounds like a screeching ex-wife."
From the March 7 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:
MATTHEWS: Those ideologues are sort of out of power right now. Let me ask you about the political here. History tells us that the people vote with their vote. They only get one vote this coming November. It doesn't say "Bush" on it; it says "Democrat" and "Republican." If they didn't like Nixon, they didn't like Nixon/Ford. In '74, they voted straight Democrat -- screw you guys. Same thing in '94. They were tired of Hillary Clinton's, you know, "I'm going to run the country" mentality, with a big health care plan. They voted straight Republican.
MATTHEWS: I just saw a number here that's staggering: a 14-point generic advantage for the Democrats. In other words, 53-to-39, people are going to vote Democrat. It ain't because the Democrats are showing any shined shoes and a smile right now, it's because the Republicans look in trouble.
SHRUM: Well, and it wasn't the Republicans in '94 because the "Contract on America," which they only issued at the end --
MATTHEWS: No. No, it was Hillary.
MATTHEWS: Why does she get to people?
BUCHANAN: You know, I think it's the headband liberalism. It's the --
MATTHEWS: Yes, but that was 30, 40 years ago.
BUCHANAN: It's not. But that's all that's in the people's mind in the talk radio. All you've got to do is --
MATTHEWS: Where do you get these phrases, "headband liberalism"?
BUCHANAN: Well, you had your headband on, the Wellesley stuff, and every time she gets there, and that voice goes up --