Chris Matthews Planning Senate Bid?

Chris Matthews, the MSNBC host of Hardball, is plotting a campaign in 2012 for the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania against long-time Republican incumbent Arlen Specter, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. Matthews would run as a Democrat; Specter would be 80-years-old then. Matthews denied the report, but Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman T.J. Rooney said Matthews had been in the state meeting with local Democratic leaders. If he runs, Matthews might face primary opposition from two U.S. representatives, Joe Shestak, a former admiral, and Allyson Schwartz, who ran for the senate in 2000. A Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday showed Specter beating Matthews 45 percent to 33 percent. The Washington Monthly suggests that given the history of Matthews' controversial statements "the MSNBC host would have a lot of explaining to do before Pennsylvania Democrats gave him the nod."