MSNBC show host and author shares his favorite place to eat, his biggest challenges, and more.
You may know him from his discussions and debates on MSNBC‘s “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” but host and author of “Jack Kennedy, Elusive Hero,” Chris Matthews is more than just a political commentator. He sat down with us to share not only politically professional, but also personal fun facts that you wouldn’t find out on Hardball.
Most Memorable On-Air Moment?
Zell Miller, the senator from Georgia, talking about challenging me to a duel at the 2004 Republican Convention in New York. We were out on Herald Square and he was at the convention hall and he just did his thing.
1. I love going to dinner downtown on Pennsylvania Avenue with my wife Kathleen. Kennedy made Pennsylvania Avenue beautiful. They changed it from the honky tonk it used to be. It’s our Champs-Elysees.
2. I love Georgetown in the spring and wandering around on Wisconsin Avenue. My favorite restaurant is Martin’s Tavern. I order the prime rib with baked potato and applesauce and apple pie a la mode for dessert if I dare.
Guest You’d Most Like To Have On Your Show?
Winston Churchill. I’d ask him why he didn’t go to Roosevelt’s funeral.
3. My favorite historic sites are Antietam and Harpers Ferry. You go along Blood Alley listening to the acoustic guide and you’re there. That’s the great thing about the city; your kid could be studying something about Washington and you just go out and see it.
4. For the arts, it’s hard to beat the National Gallery of Art and the Kennedy Center. I’ve been going to plays at the Kennedy Center since Jason Robards. I saw Eugene O’Neill’s “A Touch of the Poet” and Steve Martin, who used to do his midnight shows there. I go way back to those midnight shows.
Most Challenging Part Of Your Job?
Piercing through the news to the heart of the controversy. Getting to the edge of the story and sharpening it. That’s what [veteran broadcast news journalist] Martin Agronsky taught me. Our job is to find exactly what the edge is, then sharpen it so people understand what is happening.
5. My favorite local movie theatre is the Avalon. I’ve been to so many movies during the week there. I usually like it when it’s not that crowded.