“Stump the Chump”

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Meet Kirk Watson.

He’s a popular former mayor of Austin, Texas, and currently a Texas state senator.

He’s considered by some to be an up-and-comer in Texas Democratic politics.

He’s a Barack Obama supporter and surrogate.

He’s also the guy that Chris Matthews may have mortally wounded politically last night during MSNBC’s primary night coverage. You can watch the brutal exchange here.

Watson has posted a statement on his website which, I have to say, gets points for graciousness in the face of utter humiliation:

So . . . That really happened.

On Tuesday night, after an important and historic victory in the Wisconsin Presidential Primary by Senator Barack Obama, I appeared on the MSNBC post-election program. “Hardball” host Chris Matthews (who is, it turns out, as ferocious as they say), began grilling me on Senator Obama’s legislative record.

And my mind went blank. I expected to be asked about the primary that night, or the big one coming up in Texas on March 4, or just about anything else in the news. When the subject changed so emphatically, I reached for information that millions of my fellow Obama supporters could recite by heart, and I couldn’t summon it.

My most unfortunate gaffe is not, in any way, a comment on Senator Obama, his substantial record, or the great opportunity we all share to elect him President of the United States. …

In the meantime, let’s not lose focus on what’s important in this election. It’s not my stunning televised defeat in “Stump the Chump.”

I guess Bill Clinton did recover from his disastrous speech at the 1988 Democratic convention.

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