Mary Isenhour, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party says Chris Matthews is serious, though undecided, about running against Arlen Specter in 2010. According to sources Matthews would run on the Democratic ticket. His brother Jim is a long time Republican and Montgomery County Commissioners Chair. Jim Matthews also ran for Lt. Governor on the Lynn Swann ticket.
Chris Matthews has been a resident of Washington, D.C. for some now where he hosts his popular MSNBC show “Hardball.” Long considered to be partisanly Republican his presence on a Democratic ticket could lead to interesting Thanksgiving conversations at the Matthews clan. Pennsylvanians don’t take kindly to carpetbagger candidates (look up what happened to Rick Santorum) and Democrats don’t lack a list of strong candidates for this seat. In fact there might well be a primary if Matthews wants to run because many Dems don’t like him, don’t see a carpetbagger having a serious chance of winning, and already are backing a Schwartz, Murphy or Sestak candidacy.
In 2006 the Party pretty much cleared the field for Bob Casey. Still two progressive candidates emerged to challenge the conservative Casey. If the Democratic Party pulled another power play to clear the field I expect the same thing would happen. This time Matthews wouldn’t have the influence and connections Casey has and wouldn’t be as formidable for an insurgent campaign.
I think this would be a disaster for Chris Matthews. He’d have to give up his lucrative MSNBC gig for what would be a challenging primary then a general election run against an established incumbent in Arlen Specter. Depending on Snarlin Arlen’s health situation this could or couldn’t be a close race. If he’s healthy Dems would need the strongest possible candidate to win this seat. Carpetbagger candidates leave a bad taste in Pennsylvania voter’s mouths.