Chris Matthews: "Do You Think Obama Is Ready To Change And Become A Real Chief Executive, Not Just A Good Speech Giver?"


CHRIS MATTHEWS: Do you think Obama is ready to change in his last two years and become a real chief executive, not just a really good speech giver, or an inspirational leader, but actually accept the job of running the U.S. government? Is he ready to take that job on every day, 24/7, I'm the guy running this place? Is he ready to do that?

EMILY SCHULTHEIS, NATIONAL JOURNAL: I think he needs to be. We've seen really in this whole last year, there have been a whole host, as Republicans point out on the campaign trail, a whole host of issues on which he hasn't been doing that. And so if he wants to make his presidency something to talk about, something to look up to, he really needs to work on that in his last two years.

PAUL SINGER, USA TODAY: Do presidents do that? Do presidents do that? Are presidents the ones who run -- do they run the CDC? Are they the ones --

MATTHEWS: They run the government of the United States and everybody reports to them. That's how we like them. By the way, there's only one person we get to vote on, him. So if we don't like the way the government's run, we don't like him. But he's got to run the place.

Look, here's the question. Who's running the healthcare system for the president right now? Anybody know the name of this person? Because when he had the rollout problem, we kept saying, "Oh, oh, it's the COO, the CMM of the HHS," and I actually don't see that person too often. You'd think -- normally there would be somebody he would have appointed the day he got the bill passed. I want this person talking to me everyday how it's going so when the rollout time comes, we know it's going to work...

MATTHEWS: Do you think the American people believe this country, when the government talks about Ebola, for example? Do you think they buy the fact that it's hard to catch?

SCHULTHEIS: Not really.


MATTHEWS: Why don't they trust him? Paul, why don't they trust the government?

SINGER: There has been a sufficient stream of things over the past of couple years, that they're either incompetent or lying in a lot of positions. Whether it's the NSA leaks, whether it is that crashed. There's a whole series of -- you sort of assume if the government's doing it, they're doing it wrong. And, of course, there is a cottage industry fueling the message that it's all a conspiracy. It's not just mistakes, it's a conspiracy and they're bad people and it's all Obama's fault. So between the fact that the government is operating poorly and that people are paying a lot of money to message that it's all Obama's fault, it's easier to believe that they're incompetent.

MARTIN: Isn't the scary thing not whether it's incompetence or lying, but both? That there's some great combination here.

MATTHEWS: Yeah, this isn't about right-wing and left-wing and the usual ideological fights we have around here. It's about getting something done right.

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