Chris Matthews: Not All Politics Is On Television, Clinton's Nevada Victory Was Classic "Backroom Politics"


BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: It may chill you to hear that Chris Matthews is heading up our Las Vegas bureau today, but Chris, it was having watched hours of you that I heard Ralston say that the casino caucuses, the dayshift workers who were allowed to come out and caucus, those were coming in Clark County. The environs of Las Vegas for Hillary Clinton, that, it turns out, turned it for her.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC: You know, I think it's an example that we have to pick up on ourselves, which is not all politics happens on television. It's not all speeches. It's not tv ads that are paid for. We give interviews to people. It's not free media. It's not debates.

Things happen on the telephone. They happen in backrooms, happen in labor halls where labor leaders still have strength, they can engage in polling operations and get people out of their homes on a beautiful Saturday like out here in this gorgeous weather, to spend several hours inside involved in this kind of wrestling match to see how you actually vote.

Off the screen is what happened here. Harry Reid is not Mr. Charisma, but he is one forceful figure.

Why do you think he's leader of the Senate Democrats? He can work the phones, work relationships and has a great set of antennae to what's going to happen. Hillary Clinton put together a great organization she's done many times before to make things happen and that included the working people here...

You saw democracy in action. It wasn't a tv event until our guy, Jacob Soboroff and of course Chris Hayes showed us a bit of it. What was going on, people, almost this physicality kind of thing, under a basket, an NBA game or college game, you have to work your way physically to the corner you're going to. Being pulled back, wooed back by the other side. It is bracing to watch. The Hillary Clinton people backed by, in fact led by Harry Reid who said he's not a partisan in this baby, fat chance, they won, Rachel, in an inside game. It was not tv spectacular. It was good backroom politics.

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