updated 5/11/2009 2:28:04 PM ET 2009-05-11T18:28:04

Guest: Christopher Buckley, Goldie Hawn, Tom DeFrank, David Corn, Goldie Hawn, Chris Cillizza, Ron Brownstein, Julia Boorstin

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST:  Cheney unchained.

Let‘s play HARDBALL.

Good evening.  I‘m Chris Matthews in Washington.  Leading off tonight:

Un-Cheney our hearts.  Set us free.  Why is the recently former vice president staying on?  Why is he acting like a mad tail gunner blasting away at the new Obama crowd?  The Republicans are scrambling to make over their party, to stage a comeback, to press the reset button from the Bush years, and yet here‘s Cheney gripping the microphone with all his strength.  When you‘re trying to dig yourself out of a ditch, it‘s probably best not to ask the guy who dug it in the first place and then dumped you in it.

But there was Cheney again yesterday on AM radio, giving yet another interview, this time to a radio talk show host, accusing President Obama of endangering national security.  Republicans would probably be happy to see Cheney return to his secure undisclosed location, but here he is talking about the virtues of torture.


RICHARD CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  We resorted, for example, to waterboarding, which is the source of much of the controversy, with only three individuals.  And in those cases, it was only after we‘d gone through all of the other steps in the process.


MATTHEWS:  Cheney also weighed in on how the Republicans could make a comeback, saying it would be a mistake for the party to become more moderate.  We‘ll have more of the Cheney interview in just a minute.

And while we‘re on the subject of waterboarding, did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi know more than she‘s let on about torture?  Newly released information suggests that Pelosi was told back in 2002 that waterboarding and other harsh methods were being used against the prisoner Abu Zubaydah.  Republicans are accusing Pelosi of complicity in the approval of those techniques, and we‘ll get to that later in the show.

Also, as Republicans struggle to remake their party, it‘s a good time to re-check the success achieved in that department by the father of modern conservatism, William F. Buckley, Jr.  His son, Christopher Buckley, has written a beautiful new book about his father.  It‘s also about his mother, “Mum and Pup” it‘s called.  He‘s going to be with us tonight to talk about his famous dad and perhaps what his dad‘s party should be doing right now.

Plus, it‘s a celebrity HARDBALL tonight.  Oscar-winning actress Goldie Hawn‘s coming to this table.  She‘ll be Washington right now—she‘s in here right now playing a serious role.  She‘s advocating for children‘s mental health.  Goldie Hawn stars on HARDBALL tonight.

Finally, why does Congressman Jim Moran want to ban this Viagra and Cialis ads in primetime?  This is great stuff.  That‘s in the HARDBALL “Sideshow.”

But we begin with former vice president Dick Cheney.  David Corn‘s a Washington bureau chief—or he is the Washington bureau chief for “Mother Jones” magazine.  He also writes for CQpolitics.com.  And Tom DeFrank is the Washington bureau chief for “The New York Daily News.”

Gentlemen, let‘s take a look at the first cut here.  Here‘s dick Cheney, the former vice president, on the Scott Hennen radio show talking about President Obama.  Here he is.


SCOTT HENNEN, HOST:  Is the Obama administration, do you believe, helping the resurgence of the renaissance of the conservative cause by overreaching this very early on in the administration?

CHENEY:  I think it will.  I watch what he‘s doing, and especially the national security area, which is sort of my first interest, this whole question of detainees and interrogation of detainees and the terrorist surveillance program, and so forth, closing Guantanamo.  I don‘t think the vast majority of Americans support what he wants to do.  I think, in fact, most Americans are pleased, when they think about it, that we were able to go nearly eight years without another major attack on the United States.


MATTHEWS:  I love his vocabulary, “pleased” and—I just love it.  He‘s unique, Dick Cheney.  But you know him well.  Why is he still on the stage?  Most guys who leave the vice presidency or the presidency admit to a decent interval of absence, and here‘s a guy that was in undisclosed locations for eight years, unavailable to the press for most of that time, all of a sudden is standing out there in one (ph), right on the front of the stage.

TOM DEFRANK, “NEW YORK DAILY NEWS”:  Chris, it‘s even more interesting to me because this is not the way he behaved when he left government twice before, once in ‘77, when Ford left office, and once in ‘93, when Bush 41 left office.

I think that the issue of fundamentalist Islamic terrorism is the core issue for Dick Cheney‘s rest of his life.  And it‘s—I think he feels more deeply about that than anything else, and he‘s not going to shut up about it, and he really doesn‘t care who has a problem with it.  And if it hurts his party, I think he thinks he‘s doing the greater good.

MATTHEWS:  And he doesn‘t mind being Mr. Torture?

DEFRANK:  I don‘t think so.  I mean, I think he doesn‘t at all.  He‘s not running for anything.  He‘s certainly not softening the edge of...

MATTHEWS:  No, you can hear the...


MATTHEWS:  You can see the snarl, listening to him on radio, that Darrell Hammond thing, you know?  He has that snarl.  Richard Dreyfuss does the same thing in the movies.  Go ahead.

DAVID CORN, “MOTHER JONES”:  Well, you know, it‘s sort of like Jason from “Friday the 13th.”  He just keeps coming back and back and back again.

MATTHEWS:  But he hasn‘t left!

CORN:  But it‘s never a new act.  What he said in this interview is what he says about every two or three weeks now.  He comes out and says exactly the same thing.  And you‘re right, his party is in disarray right now.  We have—it‘s a circular firing squad.  Eric Cantor in Congress and others are trying to rebrand the party.


CORN:  They‘re trying to figure out—Michael Steele doesn‘t seem to know how to...

MATTHEWS:  David Corn, you don‘t like his politics.  I don‘t like his politics in many ways, but—in fact, I agree with you 100 percent.  But could it be that the reason he‘s out there all over the place doing every right-wing radio show or television show he can gets his hands on—in fact, he‘s going on one of the Sunday shows this Sunday—because everybody else is turning.  Not just Arlen Specter—turning, turning, turning.  Look at these guys.  Matt Galp (ph) turned.  Scott McClellan turned.  Richard Haass the other day was on this show.  He turned.  Colin Powell turned.  Everybody is saying Bush was out to lunch.  His VP seems to be the only guy out there as the blocking back.  Is that part of his rationale?

DEFRANK:  I think it is part of his rationale, Chris, but also is he intends to be provocative and he intends to keep doing talk shows.  We‘re going to hear more from him, not less of him, because every time he‘s out there and is provocative on other things like the future of the Republican Party, it gives him a platform to talk about terrorism, which is really what he wants to talk about.

MATTHEWS:  OK, here he is again, talking about torture.  This is again from yesterday.  This is recent history.


HENNEN:  ... he said, basically, believes that we could have gotten this information in other ways, in ways that were consistent with our values, in ways that were consistent with who we are.  What‘s your response to that?

CHENEY:  Well, I don‘t believe that‘s true.  That assumes that we didn‘t try other ways.  In fact, we did.  And we resorted, for example, to waterboarding, which is the source of much of the controversy, with only three individuals.  And in those cases, it was only after we‘d gone through all of the other steps in the process.


MATTHEWS:  You know, I do think—I was kidding about Specter the other day, saying he‘s the only guy at the Alamo who‘d put on a Mexican uniform, right?


MATTHEWS:  It was the smart move, if you want to survive.  The Republican Party has a lot of guys putting on the uniforms as they...


MATTHEWS:  As somebody once said to me during the fall of communism, the road to Damascus is very crowded these days.  There‘s a lot of people converting conveniently.

CORN:  But Cheney‘s like the fellow, the Japanese soldier on the island...


CORN:  ... after the war and doesn‘t realize...

MATTHEWS:  We are rich in metaphors!

CORN:  Yes, we are.  And...


CORN:  But he—but he does have a potential problem.  There still may be various torture investigators, you know, that will happen if not through a special prosecutor, on Congress.  And to me, the key issue in all that and in what he was talking about, those documents and what we‘ve talked about in the show the last couple weeks, is to what degree the White House, particularly his office, gave signals to the Justice Department, We want this to happen, and so you come up with a legal reasoning.

We at “Mother Jones” had a story, Phil Zelikow, who‘s turned also...


CORN:  ... another one of your turners, worked at the State Department for Condi Rice, wrote a memo, he says, anti-torture, and he told us that he thinks Cheney tried to kill it.  So all this stuff still has to sort itself out, so...


MATTHEWS:  Is this preemptive doctrine, like he advocated during the war?

DEFRANK:  I think, to a certain extent, but he‘s...

MATTHEWS:  He wants to avoid being hit himself.

DEFRANK:  Well, I think he‘s not going to be able to avoid that, Chris.  And I think this last clip that we just heard, some of his information may not be correct.  There‘s going to be evidence at these hearings next week that Abu Zubaydah, one of the three who was waterboarded, was singing like a canary when they were just having conversations with him.  But when they went to waterboarding...

MATTHEWS:  Didn‘t work anymore.

DEFRANK:  It didn‘t work...

MATTHEWS:  In fact, they did it 83 times.

Let‘s look at Cheney here on the state of the Republican Party.  Here he is, advocating the future here.


HENNEN:  Do you think the Republican Party needs to moderate?  Is that the message of the Specter defection or the state of the party these days?

CHENEY:  No, I don‘t.  I think it would be a mistake for us to moderate.  This is about fundamental beliefs and values and ideas on what the role of government ought to be in our society and our commitment to the Constitution and constitutional principles.  You know, when you add all those things up, the idea that we ought to moderate basically means we ought to fundamentally change our philosophy, and I for one am not prepared to do that, and I think most of us aren‘t.


MATTHEWS:  On a lighter moment, let‘s take a look at “Saturday Night Live” because Darrell Hammond does this guy better than anybody.  Here he is, doing Cheney.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Let‘s talk about Hurricane Katrina.  Do you regret the way your administration handled it?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  All right.  Now, during the last eight years, it seems that Americans have grown bitterly divided along partisan lines.  Is that something you regret?

HAMMOND:  No, it is not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I presume you‘ve seen the film “Old Yeller.”

HAMMOND:  I have.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Do you regret that in the film, once Old Yeller becomes infected with rabies, he‘s put down?

HAMMOND:  Well, now you‘re asking me two questions, Diane.  First, do I regret that Old Yeller becomes infected with rabies?  Not at all.  Second, do I regret that once infected, he must be shot?  The answer is no.



MATTHEWS:  Darrell Hammond is the best!  The one time I saw them doing this show, “Saturday Night Live,” and I got there early, when they do it live.  And he‘s in character before the lights even come up, before they call to open.  There he is, stalking around the set of the Oval Office, being Cheney.  It‘s great stuff.

CORN:  Well, Cheney gives him lots of material.  In the clip we saw before Darrell Hammond, he‘s saying, We have to stick to our philosophy.  But does he not realize it was that philosophy that got us into two messes in Iraq and Afghanistan and threw the economy into the ditch you talked about earlier?  So if he wants to stick to what the Republican Party has been doing for the last, you know, eight...


CORN:  ... nine years...

MATTHEWS:  All I know is...

CORN:  ... it‘s good for Democrats.

MATTHEWS:  ... he‘s surrounded by turncoats, and he may feel—just to defend him—that somebody‘s got to defend himself...

CORN:  Well, sure.

MATTHEWS:  ... and Bush because everybody‘s on the run.  The road to Damascus is very crowded.

Thank you, David Corn.  Thank you, Tom DeFrank, as always.

Coming up, more on the future of the Republican Party.  Christopher Buckley, son of the legendary conservative William F. Buckley, Jr., joins us tonight here, right here, about his amazing new book about his mother and father.  I‘ve read it.  It‘s dynamite.

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.


MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL.  Jack Kennedy once said the reason people read biographies is to answer one simple question, What was he like?  Conservative hero William F. Buckley, Jr., built the modern conservative movement, but what was he really like?  His only son, Christopher Buckley, grandly answers that question in his new book about his mom and father, “Losing Mum and Pup.”  Now, don‘t get put off by that WASPy title there.  “Losing Mum and Pup” is one hell of a book.  I‘m just kidding, Chris!  It is a great book.

CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEY, AUTHOR, “LOSING MUM AND PUP”:  Thank you for clarifying that.

MATTHEWS:  I heard about it from the woman who runs Politics and Prose book store months ago.  She said, You won‘t believe it.  Chris Buckle‘s written a book about his dad and his mom.  You got to read it.  She put it on hold.  The minute it came out, I went racing over to read it.  I reviewed it for “The Daily Beast.”  I loved it.

BUCKLEY:  You did, indeed.  Very generously.

MATTHEWS:  I loved that book.  And I want to sell it for you, in a sense, because I think if you care about that question—so I‘m going to be tough here.

BUCKLEY:  All right.  This is called HARDBALL.

MATTHEWS:  The Bill Buckley we see—we saw all those years—well, let‘s take a look at—I think we have it.  Let‘s take a look at the last time your dad was on this show.  It‘s a clip from William F. Buckley‘s last appearance on HARDBALL.  This was five years ago.  He was getting old, obviously, talking about the first time that he, Bill Buckley, the founder of modern conservatism, met the first hero of modern conservativism, Ronald Reagan.


MATTHEWS:  Let‘s talk about a great story, your fellow movement organizer, Ronald Reagan—tell me about the first time you met him.

WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY, JR., FOUNDER, “NATIONAL REVIEW”:  Well, I first met him in 1959, when I found out he was scheduled to introduce me before I gave a speech to a convention of doctors.  What happened then is, as we moved into the theater, the sound system was not working.  So he told a few jokes and tried to pacify the audience.

But after a while, he said, We have to do something about this.  And they couldn‘t find the janitor or the other guy with the key.  So he said, Well, where do you turn on the system?  Somebody pointed up to the second floor, where the sound system was.  He opened the window by the stage and walked—catwalked over to the window corresponding of the sound system, and broke it open with his elbow, moved in, turned on the system, came in and proceeded with the evening.


MATTHEWS:  So that‘s Ronald Reagan, the kind of guy that knows how to break and enter when he has to!

BUCKLEY:  You know, it occurred to me, the time I was—the time before last I was on this show, I had neglected to wear a tie.


BUCKLEY:  And he called me afterwards to rebuke me for not having worn a tie.

MATTHEWS:  Seriously?


MATTHEWS:  So that‘s the real Buckley.

BUCKLEY:  That‘s—well, you know, that‘s Pop.

MATTHEWS:  OK, let me ask you this.  I always like to do this to people.

BUCKLEY:  And here I am without a tie.

MATTHEWS:  We saw Bill Buckley here.  We saw him writing books.  He wrote 50-plus books, a zillion columns.  In fact, I think of him writing columns in the back of a cab or somewhere, just getting it done.


MATTHEWS:  ... fastest typist in the world.

BUCKLEY:  ... on a laptop, yes.

MATTHEWS:  What was different—now, this is the hard question—from what we saw?

BUCKLEY:  Well, he was in some ways a—for a public guy, he was a

very private guy.  He was a very loving father.  He was—you know, he was

he could be—he could be direct.  My next to last book, for instance, a novel that was getting, you know, quite well reviewed really—I think, actually, I was on your show, and I think you liked it.  And I sent it to him, and his comment came back in a PS of an e-mail about other things was, Sorry this one didn‘t work for me, you know?  So he could be, you know—at my college graduation...

MATTHEWS:  Do you know how many people have fathers like that?  A zillion.

BUCKLEY:  Oh, yes.  No, I‘m not...

MATTHEWS:  These guys from World War II were tight with their trophies.

BUCKLEY:  Sure.  Yes.

MATTHEWS:  They didn‘t give them out—it‘s not like Little League now, where everybody gets a trophy.

BUCKLEY:  No, I‘m not complaining, Chris.  But you asked me what he was like.


BUCKLEY:  You know, he was—you know, he was great—he was a great man, in the literal sense.  But great men are—you know, they‘re the stars of their own movies.  I found in the course of writing the book—I came across a wonderful quote by Carlyle, and it goes like this: “Let me have my own way exactly in everything and a more sunny and pleasant creature does not exist.”

MATTHEWS:  Wow.  If everything‘s OK...


BUCKLEY:  I tend to make that my motto, too.

MATTHEWS:  I was at the service at St. Patrick‘s, and you got up there and said, He told me if, I‘m still famous, let‘s get St. Patrick‘s.  That had a lot to it, that statement.

BUCKLEY:  The—set the scene.  His memorial mass, St. Patrick‘s, 2,200 people.  It was packed, 20 priests concelebrating the mass.  And I got up and my opening—I was following Henry Kissinger‘s eulogy, tough act to follow, and I said, Well, we—he and I had talked about this day many times, and he said, If I‘m still famous, do it at St. Pat‘s.  Otherwise, just stick me away in Stanford.  And I said, Well, Pup, I guess you‘re still famous.

MATTHEWS:  So he really...

BUCKLEY:  As, indeed, he was.

MATTHEWS:  ... did say that to you?

BUCKLEY:  Oh, yes, no, absolutely.  He was—you know, he had a very healthy ego, but he was also a very humble man.  He was a devout Catholic, and he—there he is at Ronald Reagan‘s funeral.

MATTHEWS:  Yes.  What was it like to be out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean?  I mean, my dad and I never did anything quite so lonely as this.  He said, Let‘s take a sailboat and let‘s go to Gibraltar.  And you and he set off from Florida or somewhere.

And—and you‘re out there in the middle of the Atlantic, not knowing what the weather changes are going to be.  Did you have any fallback position when you‘re out of the middle of the—if the weather changed? 

CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEY, AUTHOR, “LOSING MUM AND PUP”:  Well, no, but, I mean, if—between—if you‘re between say the Azores and—and—and Portugal, you‘re—you‘re pretty much out there. 

These days, I mean, if you‘re sinking, you can send out a mayday, and someone is going to come.  The thing about sailing with Pup, it was always an adventure, because, as I say, his being a great man, I think great men always have too much sail up.  You know, it‘s people like—timorous souls like myself...

MATTHEWS:  Right. 

BUCKLEY:  ... if a storm is coming, a squall is coming, put down the sails.  Do it...


MATTHEWS:  So, he was ballsy? 

BUCKLEY:  He was—yes, he—he was quite ballsy. 

I tell a story in the book about how, when he was at college and he was learning how to fly, a friend of his wanted to go to visit his girlfriend in Boston.  And my dad, with one-and-a-half-hours of cockpit time, one-and-a-half-hours, said, “I will fly you.”  So, he flew him and got lost on the way back.  I mean, if...


MATTHEWS:  Was that intimidating, to have a great man as a father? 

Somebody once said—I love this quote—I have never forgot it.

One of Al Jolson‘s—the great singer‘s, one of his many wives said, genius is easier to take from three rows back. 


BUCKLEY:  Well, it could be.  You know, it‘s just different, but it‘s still your dad.  I mean, he‘s still dad. 

MATTHEWS:  Yes.   

BUCKLEY:  But I got to—you know, I got to meet a lot of interesting people.  I met Ronald Reagan when I was 14. 

My dad took me out to California.  He was taping some “Firing Line”s in 1966, and the—I will confess that the high point of the trip was the “Firing Line,” not with Ronald Reagan, but with Robert Vaughn, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” who had some aspirations...


MATTHEWS:  Well, we thought he would run for the Senate on the liberal side, the Democrats‘ side.

BUCKLEY:  Yes.  Well, that was short-lived. 

But I—he took me to visit Herbert Hoover when I was 7.  He was living in the Waldorf Towers. 


BUCKLEY:  And Herbert Hoover gave me a silver dollar, which I promptly, actually, used to buy comic books. 


MATTHEWS:  Well, that‘s more than most people got out of that guy. 


MATTHEWS:  Everybody else got Hoovervilles.

BUCKLEY:  Well, I got a silver—that is what made me a Republican.

MATTHEWS:  Well, I have got to ask you a real tough question, right?



MATTHEWS:  He was one of the first guys to do what I do for a living, your dad.  He was the first sort of literary or television politician, if you will.  He had a point of view politically.  He advanced it on television through question and answer, through “Firing Line,” through those...


MATTHEWS:  ... wonderful columns he wrote all those years and the books.  He was the first to do that.

Why didn‘t you do what he did?  Why didn‘t you follow in his footsteps?  You could have done it.  You‘re verbal.  You‘re political. 

BUCKLEY:  Well, I write—you know, I...

MATTHEWS:  But you haven‘t what he‘s—you haven‘t—like, Podhoretz‘s kid has followed in his footsteps.  Irving Kristol, Bill has followed in his father‘s footsteps.

All these conservative kids seem to have done what their dad did. 

BUCKLEY:  Well, I tried to, but I got fired by “National Review.” 


MATTHEWS:  Well, there was a reason for that.  It wasn‘t quality.  It was point of view. 

BUCKLEY:  No, I—I do my thing.  I think it‘s very complicated to try to follow—look, look, he‘s too big an act to follow.  I have always tried to do my own thing.

And I think maybe what I do, I do better than he could have.  And what he did, he did much better than I ever could have. 

MATTHEWS:  That‘s a good thing for a son to do, try something else. 

BUCKLEY:  Well, to thy own self...

MATTHEWS:  By the way, did you vote for Barack Obama?

BUCKLEY:  I‘m sorry?

MATTHEWS:  Did you vote for Barack Obama?

BUCKLEY:  I did, indeed. 

MATTHEWS:  Did your father? 

BUCKLEY:  Well, he—he—he died

MATTHEWS:  He didn‘t make it.  He didn‘t make it. 

BUCKLEY:  He died in February.

MATTHEWS:  Would he have?  Would he have?

BUCKLEY:  Well, Chris, I—it‘s tricky trying to channel your father‘s ghost.

MATTHEWS:  Go for it. 

BUCKLEY:  Hamlet tried it, without great success. 

MATTHEWS:  Go for it.

BUCKLEY:  I think it‘s possible he might have.  I think it‘s possible.  Some of his very conservative friends of his generation, I‘m now learning, voted for Barack Obama.  So, it‘s possible. 


A lot of people, I think, like Susan Eisenhower, a lot of people who grew up on that other side, saw something fine in Barack Obama that they voted for.

BUCKLEY:  Well, Pup—Pup crossed—yes, Pup crossed a lot of lines. 

Remember, he—he endorsed Joe Lieberman back in 1988...


BUCKLEY:  ... and Al Lowenstein in 1976, when Al Lowenstein was one of the most liberal members of Congress. 


BUCKLEY:  He was running at the same time my uncle Jimmy was...


MATTHEWS:  Your dad got Lieberman to beat Weicker.

BUCKLEY:  That‘s right.  Yes.   

MATTHEWS:  I think he played a big part in that.  I think he helped. 

And, by the way, he ran for mayor of New York and hoped he wouldn‘t win.


BUCKLEY: “What will you do if you win, Mr. Buckley?”

“Demand a recount.”

MATTHEWS:  Right. 

Hey, thank you, Christopher Buckley.

It‘s a great book, by the way.  I have read every word of it.  It also has the Chris Matthews standard, no more than 250 pages, books you can actually finish, not tomes.  Once you put them down, you can‘t pick them up.  This is a book you can finish.  And it‘s a really well-written book. 

And if you‘re a—if you grew up like I did, looking up to your dad as a hero, you have got to read this book.  You have got to read this book. 

Anyway, thank you, Chris.  What a hell of a writer.  You said it‘s the best book you ever wrote.  That‘s a hell of an encomium from the author.


MATTHEWS:  Up next:  Michelle Obama talks about her biggest thrill since becoming first lady.  Stick around for the “Sideshow.”

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.  


MATTHEWS:  Back to HARDBALL.  Time for the “Sideshow.”  And it is a sideshow tonight. 

First up:  Newspapers try to talk.  This week, the makers of Amazon‘s Kindle—rolled out—rolled out an updated version of the electronic reader, which includes a big screen a computer voice that reads the text to you.  It‘s supposed to target newspaper readers, but wait.  There‘s already a glitch. 

What‘s the Kindle‘s pronunciation of the world‘s biggest newsmaker?  “Barack Obame-a.”  That‘s one problem you don‘t get reading a real newspaper. 

Moving on, this week, Michelle Obama said this to the United Nations about an engagement earlier that day. 


MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY:  I was thrilled.  I‘m still thrilled.  I‘m on a high. 


M. OBAMA:  I think it‘s probably the best thing I have done so far in the White House. 



MATTHEWS:  Well, what was it that gave her the big thrill?  The taping of this. 


M. OBAMA:  So, I‘m going to take a walk around Sesame Street. 

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR:  Oh, well, if Mrs. Obama exercises, Elmo wants to exercise, too.  Yay, exercise!


M. OBAMA:  If you want your child to have...


MATTHEWS:  Well, there is, Michelle Obama‘s public service ad for “Sesame Street.”  She had taped the appearance just before that U.N.  speech. 

Actually, as everybody knows, Obama gave me my biggest thrill. 

And, speaking of thrills, you know that Viagra ad that warns of its possible side effect, you know, the thing about its effect lasting four hours?  I think we all figured that was just a clever sales pitch. 

Anyway, my friend U.S. Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia is concerned.  He‘s reintroduced legislation to label erectile dysfunction ads as indecent.  His bill would ban the ads from airing between the hours of 6:00 in the morning and 10:00 at night.  His goal is to keep those Viagra, Cialis—that‘s the one with the matching bathtubs—from creating awkward moments between parents and their children. 

U.S. Congressman Bob Brady of Philadelphia signed on as a co-sponsor.  I‘m glad to see that these regular guys, both friends of mine, are looking out for the kids. 

Time now for tonight‘s “Big Number.” 

The new job numbers are out this morning.  Where does the country‘s unemployment rate stand?  Mark this number down tonight: 8.9 percent.  That‘s high, but the relatively good news is that the number of jobs lost last month is lower than was expected.  Anyway, we might be stabilizing.  We might be hitting the worst.  Let‘s hope so. 

For now, though, the country‘s unemployment rate sits at 8.9 percent -

tonight‘s very “Big Number.” 

Don‘t forget to watch “The Chris Matthews Show” this weekend.  I have got Bob Woodward, who broke the Watergate scandal, to talk about the dangers of a nuclear war breaking out in South Asia right now. 

Up next:  Sock it to me.  The great actress Goldie Hawn is coming right here to this table. 

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC. 


JULIA BOORSTIN, CNBC CORRESPONDENT:  I‘m Julia Boorstin with your CNBC “Market Wrap.”

Stocks rallying after a better-than-expected April jobs report.  The Dow Jones industrials surged nearly 164 points.  The S&P 500 gained 21 and the Nasdaq was up 22 points. 

The Dow and the S&P are now higher for eight of the past nine weeks. 

The Nasdaq is a perfect nine for nine.

Employers cut a fewer-than-expected 539,900 jobs last month.  That‘s the lowest number of job losses in six months.  Still, the nation‘s unemployment rate climbed to 8.9 percent, the highest level in 26 years. 

Meantime, oil rose $1.92 today, closing at $58.63 a barrel, the highest level this year. 

And retail gasoline prices rose for the eighth straight day.  AAA says the national average for regular gas climbed nearly three cents overnight, to $2.16 a gallon. 

That‘s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide—now back to



MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL. 

Goldie Hawn is fantastic.  She‘s in Washington right now to advocate for children.  She went to Capitol Hill yesterday to speak to Congress members about the importance of investing in children with mental health needs.  And her work has been recognized with an award from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration. 

Congratulations.  And welcome.

GOLDIE HAWN, ACTRESS:  Thank you very much. 

MATTHEWS:  Goldie Hawn, you‘re one of my favorites. 

HAWN:  Thank you. 

MATTHEWS:  And do you know what you‘re great about?  Because you made your career.  You did it yourself.  You did it all.  You became a star of 70 movies, “Private Benjamin,” hell of a career.  You have done it all right.

And now what are you teaching us to do? 

HAWN:  Well, it‘s not that—I‘m not teaching anyone, but I‘m advocating it. 

There‘s an area of education that really needs to be tended to.  And it‘s social emotional learning, that our children really are, I think, in trouble, when—emotionally in trouble, too much suicide, too many kids killing each other.

MATTHEWS:  Ninety thousand suicides. 

HAWN:  It‘s—it‘s—it absolutely brings tears to my eyes. 


MATTHEWS:  What do you think is going on that wasn‘t going on when you and I were in high school? 

HAWN:  Oh, I think we had much more dream time.  I think we didn‘t have as much pressure. 

Listen, I was not a great student myself.  I have a minor dyslexia.  But I never felt the pressures of those kinds of problems.  I felt like I was going to be OK.  I was a dancer.  I had art.  I had all kinds of things that I could flourish within. 

These kids now are so pressured, that their—their stress factors are really great.  So, what‘s happening is, is they don‘t know how to deal with their stressors.  So, it‘s coming out in many different ways, drugs, self-medication. 


How come they don‘t dream like you did?  I mean, when you were a kid, you dreamed, and you broke out.  You went to Vegas.  You became a dancer.  You got into movies. 

HAWN:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  You had a dream, and you followed it. 

HAWN:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  A lot of the other kids get locked into just sort of being miserable dorks their whole life, because they‘re scared to try anything.  And they go to suicide, some people.

HAWN:  Yes.  Yes.  I have a lot of compassion for them, because I think that...

MATTHEWS:  Why are they so afraid? 

HAWN:  Why are they so afraid?  I don‘t think they have a stability. 

I don‘t think they have emotional stability today. 

I don‘t know why they should.  I don‘t have it when I look at the news.  I try to figure out what I‘m going to do to get myself back into a happy state of mind. 


HAWN:  You know, I used to lay down and look at the clouds, and I used to dream and think, you know, what does that look like?  What does that look like? 


HAWN:  I had free time. 

Our kids now are bombarded with bad news.  They are constantly—the

the families are breaking up.  There is no stability in the family.  Two parents are working.  Gee, they‘re making a lot of money, but who is home nurturing the kids? 

I mean, you know, children really need to be focused upon.  Schools aren‘t broken.  The kids are.  And this is what I‘m looking at.  So, created a foundation and really have tried to create some kind of a program for kids that could be implemented in the school, intertwined into the curriculum itself that really builds on their social emotional learning skills and their capacity to reduce their own stress. 

What we do is, we have given them an idea of how the brain works, because the brain at this point in time is right front and center.  And we have learned so much about the brain.  And my question is, why don‘t our kids know about the brain?  Why haven‘t we shown them?

MATTHEWS:  Well, how does that help a guy who feels stressed out because his parents expect him to get all A‘s to go to an Ivy League school and become a superstar?  And they‘re just trying to struggle to survive.

HAWN:  Exactly. 

MATTHEWS:  And—or the kid doesn‘t know where he‘s going to go. 

HAWN:  Right. 

MATTHEWS:  Or he hears that everybody is unemployed.

HAWN:  Right. 

MATTHEWS:  Today, we just announced the unemployment numbers. 

HAWN:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  They‘re heading towards 10 percent.

HAWN:  Yes.  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  You have an excuse not to have a job now.  There aren‘t any.

HAWN:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  But that doesn‘t do you much good psychologically, does it?

HAWN:  No, it doesn‘t.  But I can tell you one thing, that you can have control over how you think and how you feel. 

These children have to recognize their emotions.  They have to be able to talk about their emotions, and they have to learn how to regulate their emotions.  And what we have done is created testing.  I mean, we have had lots of testing...


HAWN:  ... social emotional learning, (INAUDIBLE) organization, amazing. 


MATTHEWS:  OK, what‘s going on, Goldie?  Why—why does a kid who is at school right now commit suicide?  What‘s the number one reason why they do it? 

HAWN:  Yes.  Hopelessness, an inability to be effective.  They don‘t matter.  They don‘t count. 

How can you count in a school where you‘re so pressured to make test scores, that that‘s the measurement of your excellence?



HAWN:  I couldn‘t take a test score.  Look what I did in life. 

There‘s a lot of people.  Einstein was thrown out—couldn‘t get into university. 


HAWN:  I mean, where is our innovation?  Where is the creation?  Where is the creative energy?  You can‘t take music and art out of schools.  Not everybody is a student, but some of us can dream.  Some of us can create things. 

Who created Google?  Who created these things?  That‘s what great about America.  We are innovators.  And if we start driving our kids to try to, by rote, understand certain things—we want eager learners.  We want learners, we want kids that are inspired, that have wonder. 

And you have to do this within the classroom itself.  And this is why this program that we‘re doing is one thing.  And it‘s a very, very important thing in the core practice, is that, three times a day, they get centered.

And we make sure that, in the morning and the afternoon, that they know that they get centered.  And, for two minutes, they sit there. They can focus on a flower, they can breathe, they can do whatever they want.  But they sit and they focus.  And this is change, and I‘ll tell you why, because when a brain gets quiet and when you really quiet down, center part of your brain, which is where the amygdala lives, this little amygdale, which is the emotional regulator, and it goes (makes sound) when you‘re really frenzied. 

The prefrontal cortex does not light up as well.  That‘s where you learn, that‘s where you analyze, that‘s where you think.  Those are the areas of your brain that really create.  Hold onto your memory retention, you actually can problem-solve.  That is what we‘re trying to do.

MATTHEWS:  This is called stopping and smelling the flowers, right?

HAWN:  It is.  Believe it or not, it really is, but it has a neurological effect.  And what we‘re trying to help the kids understand is that just like they have a muscle in their arm, they have a muscle in their brain. 

MATTHEWS:  Look, I agree.  Look, I‘m going to ask—Goldie, we‘re in same (INAUDIBLE), been reading this stuff about how when you go to work in the morning, you ought to take a break every 90 minutes, your brain basically runs out of energy and it‘s stuffed.  You have got to take a break on a regular basis or you‘re just going to wear your fuses out. 

HAWN:  Exactly.  Well, the kids are the same way, but, by the way, their brains aren‘t built the way ours are.  So they need—every 25 minutes they need a break. 

MATTHEWS:  So who is going to win the Stanley Cup?  You‘re a hockey mom.

HAWN:  Oh my God, I have no idea.

MATTHEWS:  Are the Penguins going to beat the Caps?  Or what‘s going to happen there?

HAWN:  I‘m going to go for the Penguins. 

MATTHEWS:  Really?

HAWN:  I am.  And I can‘t tell you why.  It‘s an instinct.  But, you know, part of my family is from Pittsburgh.  And the other family.


MATTHEWS:  Well, Howard Fineman will be happy to hear this. 

HAWN:  I‘m like a struggle, you know?

MATTHEWS:  You know.


HAWN:  I know.  I love them all though. 

MATTHEWS:  Love you, Goldie. 

Goldie Hawn.  You know, by the way, she went to Montgomery Blair High School.  Right in here with Carl Bernstein... 

HAWN:  I did.  I did.

MATTHEWS:  . and Ben Stein.

HAWN:  Yes, I did.

MATTHEWS:  And I think Sly Stallone went to school somewhere around.

HAWN:  He did, at Montgomery Hills. 

MATTHEWS:  Isn‘t that amazing?  All of this genius coming out here.  None of you kids stuck it out and became dorky lawyers like everybody else, right?

HAWN:  No, exactly.  Now we‘re all.


MATTHEWS:  You tell these kids they don‘t have to do it the way everybody else does it?

HAWN:  No, exactly.  We‘re fighters, you know what I mean?  Don‘t take no for an answer. 


MATTHEWS:  The worst thing about communism is, they used to take kids at, say, 15 years old, they‘d test them.  And if you didn‘t pass the test, then they‘d say, oh, well, you can just go do work in a factory and get some lousy job, right?  And everybody else goes to good schools. 

Whereas in America, if you show you have got moxie, you can break out. 

HAWN:  Yes, you can. 

MATTHEWS:  You can‘t do that in a communist country. 

HAWN:  You need some help though. 

MATTHEWS:  And you broke out. 

Goldie Hawn became Goldie Hawn.

Up next, a dicey political situation for the speaker of the house.  Did Nancy Pelosi know more about the CIA‘s use of waterboarding than she has let on?  It‘s a hot one here on “The Politics Fix” coming up.  This is HARDBALL, only on MSNBC.


MATTHEWS:  Coming up, former Vice President Dick Cheney is out of his undisclosed location.  He just keeps hitting President Obama from the sidelines.  Why is he so visible and so noisy right now?  Is it good for the Republicans that Dick Cheney has become their poster?  Anyway, “The Politics Fix” coming back with HARDBALL.


MATTHEWS:  Welcome back.  We‘re back with “The Politics Fix,” with Ron Brownstein of Atlantic Media and Chris Cillizza of the washingtonpost.com.  Let‘s take a look at this issue now.  We have an issue facing us. 

Cillizza, you‘re first, this is tough.  Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of

the house, has been sort of caught, depending on how you read some of these

reports, they put out reports from the intelligence community that she was

it‘s a new CIA document that shows that on September 4th of 2002, that‘s way back when, Nancy Pelosi and Porter Goss—now she was ranking Democrat, he was chair of Intelligence, got a briefing on, quote, “enhanced intelligence techniques,” including the use of waterboarding on Abu Zubaydah, the background (ph) on authorities, and a description of the particular enhanced interrogation techniques that were employed. 

So she got it all.  It‘s important to note that, of course, this is a recently declassified Justice Department memo.  It said that the CIA waterboarding of Zubaydah at least 83 times during August of 2002.  That‘s a month before Pelosi got briefed. 

What do you make of that, Cillizza?  It looks to me like at least in a splashing sense people begin to believe now that she was warned that we were using those kind of techniques. 

CHRIS CILLIZZA, WASHINGTONPOST.COM:  Well, Chris, here‘s—I was confused, to be totally honest with you, so I called and talked to her office right before we came on to try and clarify.  Here is what they say.  They say essentially that, yes, she did get this briefing.  She was told that these were the sort of enhanced interrogation techniques that could be used, had not yet been used, and that they were legal. 

That was it.  She later—in February of 2003, she was.

MATTHEWS:  Did she object?  Did she say that she objected to their use? 

CILLIZZA:  That was not part of what they told me, so I‘m going to answer you no, Chris.  But I think the distinction they are drawing is the difference between knowing about the possibility they will be used and them actually being used. 

Now that‘s their difference, but I‘m just letting you know that‘s where they‘re coming from. 

MATTHEWS:  All right.  Fair enough.  We said a lot of times—the producers and I were trying to figure this out before we came on tonight.  And here the problem is, the CIA was using waterboarding in the month or two before this briefing.  They‘d used it 83 times. 

So either they told her erroneously that they hadn‘t used it yet or they did tell her that they had been using it, and one of these two people is lying. 

RON BROWNSTEIN, ATLANTIC MEDIA:  Well, and as Chris said, their position is—the Pelosi position is that they were told it could be used.  It was an authority they had.  She was not specifically told that it was used. 

You know, it‘s going to be very difficult to solve this one way or the other.  The document is what it is.  She says their office says it is incorrect in terms of the information.

MATTHEWS:  But if she was.

BROWNSTEIN:  She was provided.

MATTHEWS:  But if you follow her word and she admits or states, without putting any value to it, that she was briefed on the fact that they had this in their arsenal of techniques and they had it available to them, and she did not object, she‘s very much in the condition almost that Hillary Clinton was in when she said yes, I voted they could use the war powers.  I didn‘t say they would, right? 

Once you allow the authority to go to the administration for the use of something, whether it‘s the power to go to war or the power to torture, you‘ve given them the leash. 

BROWNSTEIN:  You certainly—go ahead, Chris. 

CILLIZZA:  I was just going to—I think, Chris, you hit on from a political standpoint why I think you see so little outcry from the establishment of the Democratic Party as well as the White House, not the left. 

The left certainly wants to go back and go into this and find out what happened, who is to blame, and prosecution.  Is because it is so dicey when you get in there that you have Pelosi—this whole looking back, this whole idea of prosecution, I think they all want to put it behind them.  It is not a good political issue by any means. 

MATTHEWS:  So what is a person on the Intelligence Committee supposed to do?  My old boss, Tip O‘Neill, hated getting these briefings, because then he had all of this information and it made him accountable. 


MATTHEWS:  No.  And then he was forced to say he was responsible.  So he created these Intelligence Committees so that somebody would get this information.  But once they got it, she was ranking Democrat, was she supposed to blow the whistle?

BROWNSTEIN:  No.  And they‘re not.  I mean.

MATTHEWS:  Well, what power did she have to say they couldn‘t use these torture devices?

BROWNSTEIN:  Exactly right.  I mean, my colleague, Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic, had an post on his blog today going into the—kind of the larger problem of what exactly is congressional oversight of intelligence and how does it work.  And the answer is, usually it does not work.

And the limitations on the ability to exchange the information and what you do—who are you objecting to?  Who is briefing you?  Are you being briefed by someone who is actually a policy-maker?  Usually not. 

So I mean, the capacity, the leverage on this is small.  But Chris‘ point I think is correct, which is that in that immediate period after 9/11, there was not a lot of questioning of the Bush administration on a whole lot of fronts on national security. 

And Democrats, as the story has evolved and as the condition has evolved, are now—are more critical.  But don‘t forget also that Republicans are kind of arming themselves to make an argument against Democrats in 2010 saying they dismantle things that did keep us from having another attack for seven years.  And that might be another reason why there is ambivalence among Democrats about how far you go in basically trying to turn over these rocks.

MATTHEWS:  Here‘s the speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi, last month about what she knew about waterboarding in the fall of 2002. 


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER:  We were not, and I repeat, were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used.  What they did tell us is that they had some legislative counsel, the Office of Legislative Counsel opinion that they could be used but not that they would.


MATTHEWS:  Well, that‘s the distinction, they may not have a big power here.  Chris, I think you suggested there is a lot of murkiness here.  And it‘s fair to say that it remains.  In fact, we‘ve got an advisory from the intelligence community that it does rely to a large extent on different memories of what was said at those briefings. 

There were no transcripts obviously of those meetings. There are different accounts, contemporaneous as well as recollections of what happened.  But they admit that there is no bottom line here as to what happened—it‘s not like a courtroom proceeding where you know what the transcript is. 

CILLIZZA:  And, Chris, you know, Ron mentioned this, I think it‘s really important, is that, Chris, that ambivalence means that we could have months and months and months of testimony and looking into.  And at the end we still might not know an answer.  And I think that‘s dangerous certainly from a political perspective.

MATTHEWS:  OK.  Let me tell you something.

CILLIZZA:  . we spend months doing it and there‘s no end result. 

There is no solution.  There is no conclusion. 

MATTHEWS:  But there‘s nothing to stop Republicans—there‘s nothing to.


MATTHEWS:  . stop Republicans from that over the election and thereafter saying Nancy Pelosi knew about this stuff.  And they will say that because they will use the murkiness against her.  She will have to use the murkiness in her defense and that‘s not so helpful. 

We‘ll be right back with Ron Brownstein and Chris Cillizza for more of “The Fix.” We‘re going to talk about where there is no murkiness.  The vice president who recently left the office, his name is Dick Cheney, he is making crystal clear he‘s still Dick Cheney, he‘s no longer in this undisclosed location. 

By the way, and tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m., join me colleague Chris Jansing for a special coverage of President Obama at the White House Correspondents‘ Dinner.  We‘re all going to be there.  Maybe we‘ll be on camera, not necessarily.  You‘re watching HARDBALL only on MSNBC.   


MATTHEWS:  We‘re back with Ron Brownstein and Chris Cillizza for more of “The Fix.”  And we have to end the week as we often began it, with Dick Cheney. 


MATTHEWS:  You know, it used to be, ancient history, in other words, four years ago or eight years ago, politicians, when they lose national elections or their party does, they leave town and give the other party a shot. 

Dick Cheney is sticking around.  He‘s the tail-gunner shooting out of the back of the airplane.  Why, Ron Brownstein? 

BROWNSTEIN:  Well, I think, you know, he feels—he very clearly wants, as to a greater extent, almost anyone in the Bush administration, feels (INAUDIBLE) at the bar of history with all of these challenges to their strategy in the war on terror. 

And he is out there.  He was a conservative, he was a—kind of a leader of conservatives when he went in and he became even more so in the administration.  And he is very though a mixed blessing for Republicans as he goes forward. 

On the one hand, it really does allow Democrats to tie kind of the party to Bush. And you know, Democrats running against Herbert Hoover for 20 years after the Depression.  So that is a problem for the Republicans.

On the other hand, Republicans are trying to set up a construct in which they are arguing that Obama is dismantling the techniques that the president used—President Bush used.  And if there is vulnerability on the national security side, they are going pounce very hard. 

MATTHEWS:  If we get penetrated again, like we were on 9/11, is he the hero, Chris Cillizza? 

CILLIZZA:  No, I don‘t think he‘s the hero.  Even Republicans who, to Ron‘s point, think the message in terms of national security, is right, almost to a person that I talk to, they say messenger is the problem. 

That a lot of people within the Republican establishment don‘t disagree with what Dick Cheney is saying, but the problem is that you have someone at 18 percent approval saying it.  They would much rather have either a newer face, a Bobby Jindal, a Jon Huntsman, a Mitt Romney, anyone else probably saying.

Just one other thing, Chris, a lot of people ask me, is this part of concerted effort by ex-Bush folks to change the Bush legacy?  At least with Dick Cheney I don‘t think it is.  I talked to a lot of high level former Bush people. 

And they say, and I don‘t want to borrow a Sarah Palin phrase here, but that Dick Cheney has in some ways gone rogue.  That he is really very much—to Ron‘s point, he is—very much takes this personally. 

He sees the way the Obama administration has acted in the first 100 days as a direct response to the way in which he served as vice president.  And so he has taken it upon himself. 

I don‘t think this is George W. Bush dispatching Dick Cheney to be his messenger.

MATTHEWS:  I‘ve always been impressed by—I‘m not saying positively, just impressed by Dick Cheney not giving a damn what we think, the journalists think, what anybody thinks, the pundits.  He couldn‘t care less what the public thinks, could he?

BROWNSTEIN:  Right, right, he said that.

MATTHEWS:  So then why is he back defending his record then if he doesn‘t care what we think?

BROWNSTEIN:  Because I think—you know, as I said, I think cares what history thinks, if nothing else.

MATTHEWS:  Oh, so he cares what Michael Beschloss is going to write or Doug Brinkley.

BROWNSTEIN:  Maybe.  But you know—yes, but in the broader sense, I mean, almost regardless of where we are in 2010 and 2012, don‘t you think the essential argument for the Democrats is going to be, we‘ve been through a dark valley, but we‘re in the right direction, do you want to go back?

MATTHEWS:  Yes, we‘re the enlightenment.

BROWNSTEIN:  That Bush is—going back to Bush will be a central part of the argument, and Cheney is making it easy for.

MATTHEWS:  It‘s Friday night.


MATTHEWS:  Ron Brownstein.

BROWNSTEIN:  It‘s time to go.


MATTHEWS:  Thank you, sir.  Thank you, Chris.  I‘m waiting to read you column on Sunday. 

And remember, Sunday is Mother‘s Day.  So make sure to show your love. 

Join us again Monday night at 5:00 and 7:00 Eastern for more HARDBALL. 

Right now it‘s time for “THE ED SHOW” with Ed Schultz.



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