“He’s as good as he’s ever been,” said Phil Griffin, MSNBC president. “He’s at a place in his life where he’s really comfortable in his own skin. He’s a statesman. He has so much knowledge and I think he understands it better. He’s always been great, but I really think he’s been at the peak of his game.”…

“The number of African-Americans who have come up to me in the last three to six months has been unbelievable,” Matthews said in a recent interview. “They come up, six inches from my face, and say ‘thank you.’ A lot of the times they say we can’t do this like you do it. It’s harder for them because it sounds like complaining.” He’s disappointed that more whites didn’t express gratitude, too.

His repeated attention to the issue “irritates some people, because they can’t stand being called bigoted. It drives them crazy. And I agree, it would drive me crazy.”…

“He is sort of the model figure for who we are,” Griffin said. “He doesn’t stick out loving politics and being passionate about politics. It comes across in everything we do … And that’s Chris.”