Are you ready to play some Hardball? Not so fast, to join this game you’re going to really have to know your stuff, because nobody knows politics like Chris Matthews.

This best-selling author learned government from the inside before becoming a journalist. Having been a speechwriter for President Carter, and the top aide to one of the most colorful characters ever in Washington, Speaker of the House Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, Matthews had already made a name for himself in Washington as a young man. Now the biggest names in Washington are coming to him, every night. Matthews proves every night why he is one of the toughest and most knowledgeable interviewers on television. If you want to know what’s really going on in Washington…If you want to find out what’s behind the speeches and the spin…and you want to know what’s next, the only place to be is Hardball. Weeknights at 7 p.m. EST on MSNBC.

Chris Matthews hosts “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” a nightly hour of in-depth political analysis and fiery debate, Monday through Friday, 7-8 p.m. ET. Matthews also anchors MSNBC’s election coverage through 2006.

“Hardball with Chris Matthews” premiered on MSNBC on November 8, 1999, following a successful launch on CNBC in 1997. It was telecast on both CNBC and MSNBC through July 2002.

In addition to his work on MSNBC, Matthews anchors “The Chris Matthews Show,” a syndicated weekly news program produced by NBC News and distributed by NBC Enterprises. Mr. Matthews is also a frequent commentator on NBC’s “Today” and the regular substitute anchor on NBC’s “Weekend Today.”

A television news anchor with remarkable depth and breadth of experience, Matthews has distinguished himself as a journalist, Washington bureau chief, Presidential speechwriter, congressional staffer and best-selling author. Matthews covered the opening of the Berlin Wall, the first all-races election in South Africa and the historic peace referendum in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In 1997 and 1998, his digging in the National Archives produced a series of San Francisco Examiner scoops on the Nixon presidential tapes. He has twice received the Washington Post’s “Crystal Ball” award for his successful predictions of US presidential elections.

Matthews is the author of four best-selling books, including American: Beyond Our Grandest Notions (2002), a New York Times best seller. His first book, Hardball (1988) is required reading in many college-level political science courses. Kennedy & Nixon (1996) was named by The Readers Digest “Today’s Best Non-fiction” and served as the basis of a documentary on the History Channel. In addition, Matthews worked for 15 years as a print journalist, 13 of them as Washington Bureau Chief for The San Francisco Examiner (1987 - 2000), and two years as a national columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle, which was syndicated to 200 newspapers by United Media.

Matthews spent 15 years in politics and government: he worked in the White House for four years under President Jimmy Carter as a Presidential speechwriter and on the Government Reorganization Project, in the U.S. Senate for five years on the staffs of Senator Frank Moss (Utah) and Senator Edmund Muskie (Maine), and was the top aide for Speaker of the House Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, Jr. for six years.

A graduate of Holy Cross College, Mr. Matthews did graduate work in economics at the University of North Carolina and was a trade development advisor with the US Peace Corps in the southern African nation of Swaziland.

Matthews is married to Kathleen Matthews, award-winning news anchor for the ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C.

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