Chris Matthews: Obama "Intellectually Lazy," "Atrophied" By People Like Valerie Jarrett, Michelle Obama

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Chris Matthews criticized President Obama for being "intellectually lazy" and "listening to the same voices all the time" on Wednesday's broadcast of MSNBC's Hardball. Matthews singled out close Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett and even First Lady Michelle Obama.

"Let's get tough here," Matthews said. "Is this the problem of a second term that presidents get lazy, intellectually lazy, and cut off from the country and they start picking deputies for jobs instead of looking for the best people?"

"The lazy thing to do is somebody leaves, you promote their deputy. This is, I think, part of the endemic problem of second terms," Matthews observed.

"Presidents should go out and look for people," Matthews said about the lack of fresh blood in the White House. "Or else they get atrophied into that little world of people like Valerie [Jarrett] and Mrs. Obama and you're just listening to the same voices all the time."

Yesterday, Matthews criticized Obama for claiming it was "unlikely" that a case of Ebola would occur in the United States.

"The president said it was unlikely two weeks ago. Well, it's not the unlikely, it has happened. It's here," Matthews said.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let's get tough here. Is this the problem of a second term that presidents get lazy, intellectually lazy, and cut off from the country and they start picking deputies for jobs instead of looking for the best people? The lazy thing to do is somebody leaves, you promote their deputy. This is, I think, part of the endemic problem of second terms. They don't go out and mix with people, find new people, new hotshots to fill these jobs. They just keep promoting the person whose turn it is and they're not as good as the person they picked the first time...

MATTHEWS: And before you get me accusing this president of being physically lazy. I think there is a social kind of laziness. Refusing to reach out and meet a lot new people and check a lot of possibilities. Don't just go with the next person in line. And I really think this second term cabinet is not up to the first term cabinet because they never are. And you know that, Roger. They just never are.

Kennedy went out and met people like [Robert] McNamara and [Dean] Rusk and he went looking for them and he put them into the best slots he could. And he talked them into it, he recruited people he didn't even know [and] he recruited them. Presidents should go out and look for people. They should be practicing affirmative action all the time in leading or else they get atrophied into that little world of people like Valerie [Jarrett] and Mrs. Obama and you're just listening to the same voices all the time.

I know it is a rigorous demand but it's a real one. Or else you're going to get smaller as your presidency goes on and therefore more vulnerable to surprises.

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