I'm Chris Matthews, and I'm appearing third time on Jeopardy! and it's an exciting show, and we've got a big audience here at the historic DAR Hall. And it's a while.
Could you tell us about your charity?
Again, my high school. I want to help my high school out, because I want working kids to go to my high school. It's become rather upper-middle class. It's a private school, it has a tuition, it's pretty high, and I want kids to go there who, uh, who don't have the tuition money. So I have a scholarship program there for kids that are working parents--you know, with working parents, you know. Give 'em a break.
Which competitor is the bigger threat?
I am very worried about Lizzie O'Leary. This Irish lady looks very smart in the pre-game back there. I was scared. I am scared of her.
Are you better prepared for this Jeopardy! appearance than you were last time?
I don't know. I don't know whether my recall is as quick as it should be. I know I was very good in high school at this stuff. You know, I was on a high school college bowl team for my high school at LaSalle and, uh, and I--and I starried there. I was a star. So, um, I pulled stuff out of my hat that nobody could believe. So, um, poetry and history and things like that. And, um, I don't know. It's very scary, y'know?
"He served as a speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, and later as a top aide to legendary Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill. Here's the host of Hardball..."
2012 Power Players Week player (2012-05-14).
Playing for La Salle College High School.
Chris Matthews has been following American politics since the first Eisenhower campaign. As a very young teenager, he became enthralled with the historic rivalry of John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. It was a time of big downtown rallies and ticker tape parades on Wall Street, when supporters wore boater hats and bright campaign buttons.
Hardly a decade later he was engaged in American politics professionally. Back home from the Peace Corps in Africa, he was working in the US senate. Then came his tour in the White House as a presidential speechwriter, followed by his front-row seat as top aide to the legendary Speaker of the House, Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill, Jr.
In the late 1980s, Chris switched to full-time journalism, serving as Washington Bureau Chief for the San Francisco Examiner. In this capacity he covered some of the great historic events of the late 20th century, including the fall of the Berlin Wall and the first all-races election in South Africa.
He began his career on television in 1994 as host of a two-hour nightly program on the NBC-owned America's Talking network. Three years later, he launched Hardball, now on MSNBC, which was the title of his best-selling handbook on real-life politics published in 1988. He has been on the air every weekday night since. In 2002, NBC inaugurated Sunday morning's The Chris Matthews Show.
In all the years Chris has been involved in the country's public life he's kept an abiding faith in electoral politics, his quadrennial hope that the American people will make the best judgment on who should lead. He has kept that faith through war and peace, good times and bad, through great leaders and not-so-great. He has never lost his vigorous love of democracy and how it can serve to make this country, through all its challenges, a more perfect union.
He is the author of five best-selling books. They are, in addition to Hardball: How Politics is Played, Told by One Who Knows the Game; Kennedy & Nixon: The Rivalry that Shaped Postwar America; Now, Let Me Tell You What I Really Think; American: Beyond our Grandest Notions; and Life's a Campaign.
His most recent best-selling book, Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, brings to bear everything he has learned through a lifetime of watching American politics in action, all the love he has for this country, its history and its hopes.
He is married to Kathleen Matthews, Executive Vice President of Marriott International.