On MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews and Newsweek chief political correspondent Howard Fineman praised former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) while speculating on their potential as Republican candidates in the 2008 presidential race. Matthews said of Giuliani: "He looks like [a] president to me." When Matthews called a potential McCain-Giuliani ticket something for "Democrats ... to go home and worry about," Fineman agreed that it would be like "Starsky and Hutch."
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On the May 2 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews and Newsweek chief political correspondent Howard Fineman praised former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) while speculating on their potential as Republican candidates in the 2008 presidential race. After playing a clip of Giuliani discussing whether he would run for president, Matthews stated, "He looks like [a] president to me." When Matthews called a potential McCain-Giuliani ticket something for "Democrats ... to go home and worry about," Fineman agreed that it would be like "Starsky and Hutch," the cop duo from the television series and movie of the same name. Fineman added that a McCain-Giuliani ticket would be "culturally diverse." In an apparent reference to McCain's Vietnam War service as a naval aviator and Giuliani's past work as a U.S. attorney, Matthews later stated: "Remember the great Churchill speech, 'We will fight them in the air. We will fight them in the streets.' You can do it with McCain in the air and Giuliani in the streets."
Chuck Todd, editor in chief of the National Journal's weblog, The Hotline, later cited Giuliani's association with former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik -- who withdrew his nomination as secretary of Homeland Security amid scandal allegations -- as an obstacle to Giuliani's purported presidential ambitions. Although Matthews acknowledged that Kerik "had a little love nest going on near the World Trade Center," he shrugged off the political significance of Giuliani's association with Kerik, citing it as "proof of how enduring [Giuliani] is, because that didn't hurt him."
From the May 2 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:
MATTHEWS: Rudy Giuliani was in Iowa campaigning for congressional candidates the other day, and he answered some questions about whether he will run for president in 2008.
GIULIANI [video clip]: I've got a lot of places to go and a lot of people to talk to, and, you know, a long process of figuring out whether, you know, it makes sense to run for president in 2008. I don't know the answer to that yet.
MATTHEWS: He looks like president to me, Chuck.
TODD: You know, I'll tell you, I have been in this camp that says he's not going to run. They say there's no way he's going to run. This has been a marketing campaign to help his businesses.
MATTHEWS: OK. Let me give the Democrats something to go home and worry about, including the moderate Democrats, and the conservative Democrats and the liberals, of course. McCain-Giuliani, the ticket.
FINEMAN: Starsky and Hutch.
MATTHEWS: Does that scare -- that may carry Pennsylvania, New York. It could carry California, that ticket.
FINEMAN: It's culturally diverse but tough on the war.
MATTHEWS: Both hawks.
FINEMAN: And they are both hawks, but, you know, one is a cop and one is a military guy. It's not quite the same thing. But the way George Bush and Karl Rove have defined the presidency, they have defined it as a war commander-tough cop in the world presidency. Ironically, these two guys -- I don't know if it's ironically or on purpose -- these two guys fit it best.
And my theory is that Rudy is going to do everything he can up to running, up to jumping in the squad car and running. It's going to be dependent on what happens with McCain. Because my sense from some of the people around Rudy that I know, and some of the McCain people, is that they both think there isn't enough shelf space for both of them as presidential candidates. And I think Rudy is going to look to see if McCain stumbles. If McCain doesn't, I don't think Rudy will run. Maybe he'll be on the ticket.
MATTHEWS: How about the veep?
FINEMAN: Well, that's a separate question. That comes later.
MATTHEWS: It's an attractive position.
FINEMAN: Well sure. And by the way, he can also say, "I'm not going to run, and how are you going to decorate the mahogany for my not-running?"
MATTHEWS: What's that mean?
FINEMAN: That means putting the money on the table. As long as we're talking -- that's an old Bronx term.
TODD: I've got two words: Bernie Kerik. How many Bernie Keriks does Rudy Giuliani have to go through?
MATTHEWS: That's the guy he put up for the Homeland Security, it turns out they had a little love nest going on near the World Trade Center. But, you know, that's proof of how enduring he is, because that didn't hurt him.
TODD: We haven't vetted --
FINEMAN: Also there's a whole documentary about Rudy that's dynamite. It's going to get a lot of airtime.
TODD: Rudy was the most hated man in New York City on September 10th .
FINEMAN: It's just the whole picture of the rest of Rudy Giuliani.
MATTHEWS: Remember the great Churchill speech, "We will fight them in the air. We will fight them in the streets." You can do it with McCain in the air and Giuliani in the streets.