National Press Club

Chris Matthews Offers Career Advice: Get in the Door

May 6, 2009 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver

captions in here

Chris Matthews “will never say anything” that he wouldn’t say on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” his popular TV show, he said at a Book Rap Monday.

Instead of talking about his book, "The Hardball Handbook: How to Win at Life," Matthews recounted stories from his life sprinkling the presentation with amusing and politically-charged anecdotes. He quoted a man he met while he was a Capitol Hill policeman, Leroy Taylor, “a real country boy”: “Why does the little guy love his country? … It’s because it is all he has.”

“I learned a lot from that guy,” Matthews said.

Matthews gave some career advice: “Whatever gets you in the door,” take it, he said.

After getting his foot in the door as a Capitol Hill policeman, Matthews began working for former Sen. Frank Moss, D-Utah. Matthews rose through the ranks of Capitol Hill eventually being named chief of staff to former House Speaker Tip O’Neill, D-Mass.

Before beginning his TV show in 1997, Matthews worked as a print journalist for 15 years, spending 13 years as bureau chief for The San Francisco Examiner, The San Francisco Chronicle. and two years as a nationally syndicated columnist for

Matthews signed more than 50 books after the Rap. Book sale proceeds benefit the NPC’s Eric Friedheim National Journalism Library. John Clark, chairman of the NPC’s Book Selection Subcommittee, organized the event.