Barack Obama’s love affair with the press continues. He was on Hardball with Chris Matthews yesterday, from West Chester University in Pennsylvania. The transcript is almost comical. The love-fest begins:

MATTHEWS: One of the perks, Senator, of being president of the United States is that you have your own bowling alley.
MATTHEWS: Are you ready to bowl from day one?
OBAMA: Obviously, I am not.
OBAMA: But I figure there might be some bowlers here at West Chester.
MATTHEWS: I know you’re a pretty good b-ball player.
OBAMA: Basketball I can play.
MATTHEWS: OK. Let me give you some good news. This is good news. I’m going to announce it here. An endorsement from you from the Philadelphia area, an important endorsement. *** To us, the most important issue is very simple and one that no one is talking about in the battle for the Democratic nomination for president. Who’s the biggest jock? And it is based on the answer to that, obviously, earth-shattering question that we proudly endorse Barack Obama for president, “Philly Sport” magazine.
OBAMA: That’s what I’m talking about. That’s what I’m talking about.
MATTHEWS: And now we play HARDBALL.

If only. Matthews’s idea of “hardball,” when it comes to Barack Obama, is shown by his first question:

How do we know that you’re tough enough to take the heat from the right, from the radio address (ph), from the right-wing radio, from the right-wing columnists, if you begin to pull our troops out of Iraq and they start screaming, Who
lost Iraq?

More tough questions from Chris Matthews:

OBAMA: *** [W]hat we have to do is start ending the war in Iraq, reinvesting in infrastructure — roads, bridges, locks, dams. That puts people to work…
MATTHEWS: Like I-95 out here.
OBAMA: Absolutely.
MATTHEWS: They got a little problem, you know, out here.
OBAMA: And that puts people back to work.
MATTHEWS: Most people believe that the…
MATTHEWS: … intelligence was corrupted in this administration, that it was manipulated — manipulated by civilians…
OBAMA: Right.
MATTHEWS: … with political and ideological intent.
How do you clean out the intelligence agencies and let them know you want the real intelligence; you don’t want twisted case made for whatever policy somebody is selling at the bureaucratic level?

More tough questions:

MATTHEWS: See, the people here, the young people here, who are black don’t know what it is like to be white, and the white people don’t know what it is like to be black. And you have a better look at that than anybody.
MATTHEWS: You know that term in politics called the dog whistle, where you say something and certain people hear it, and they can’t get caught using it, but they know what they’re doing?
Do you think the Clinton campaign is using a dog whistle by constantly talking about your former pastor?
OBAMA: No. I — look, I think that — I think that…
MATTHEWS: Are they playing that ethnic card?

It must be nice to know that you’re among friends when you agree to be interviewed by those skeptical, hard-hitting reporters we’re always hearing about.
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