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Chris Matthews Develops Another 'Thrill,' This Time Over Sotomayor

During live coverage of Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing on Monday, MSNBC's Chris Matthews gushed about the judge's opening statement, saying "Well, I'm getting one of those thrills I get about America. I'm sorry, I'm shouldn't say this. And I'm getting it again." Matthews, who famously proclaimed that Barack Obama gave him a "thrill" up his leg, also offered a fawning aside about what a "genius" the President is.

Responding to a comment the Supreme Court nominee made about working hard to advance herself in school, the "Hardball" host followed-up his "thrill" remark by rhapsodizing, "When she talked about sitting at that table and not being a genius like Barack Obama, not being one of these people that can walk into a college scholarship, who had to sweat for it." [audio available here]

On February 12, 2008, while covering presidential primary results, Matthews cooed, "It's part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama's speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often."

Less than four years earlier, following Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Matthews previewed the feeling that would become common place for him: "I have to tell ya a little chill in my, in my legs now. That is an amazing moment in history right there. It is really an amazing moment. A keynoter like I've never heard."

A transcript of the July 13 exchange follows:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Andrea and Richard, I heard and saw a picture of a family studying at night, sweating over school work, including her mom getting ready for RN. That seemed to be a direct hit at the heart of the Republican members of that committee and their constituents. Andrea?

ANDREA MITCHELL: The face of her mother and her brother and her step-father, but the mother's pride and emotion during her statement, the thank you to her mom. This hard-working family, you know, first generation family, the father with the third grade education who died and the most important comment, I think, politically that she made was "Many senators have asked me about my judicial philosophy. It is simple: Fidelity to the law. The task of a judge is not to make the law, it is to apply the law."

MATTHEWS: Well, I'm getting one of those thrills I get about America. I'm sorry, I'm shouldn't say this. And I'm getting it again. When she talked about sitting at that table and not being a genius like Barack Obama, not being one of these people that can walk into a college scholarship, who had to sweat for it. Richard?

-Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center.