On Wednesday evening, MSNBC president Phil Griffin described Chris Matthews as having the "best gut in politics," touted his 7 p.m. ratings, and praised his new book, "Tip and the Gipper."
"For the second week in a row, it's going to be number nine on the New York Times best-seller list," Griffin said before guests in the Club Room at P.J. Clarke's Lincoln Square. "We do want to get it down to at least number two. So buy some books."
The number one slot is currently occupied by Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, who has said God instructed him to write the book, "Killing Jesus."
Matthews recently joked to Stephen Colbert about a possible future book, "Killing O'Reilly." And while not mentioning O'Reilly by name on Wednesday, Matthews quipped about competing with the Fox News host given his book's genesis.
"It's very hard to get to number one because that book was inspired by the Holy Spirit," Matthews said, adding that his own book was simply "on the basis of research and stuff like that."
"All that research stuff I had to do," Matthews said. "But God's better, I think. Anyway."
During Wednesday's gathering, Matthews thanked at least a dozen people in attendance, including real estate developer and publisher Mort Zuckerman, MSNBC analyst Joy Reid, and the New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg.
Matthews called Dan Rather up to the front, saying the veteran journalist's "been rooting for me for 30 years." He also called up Ed Rendell, "my favorite mayor in the history of my favorite city, Philadelphia." When informed that Comcast chief Steve Burke was in attendance, Matthews asked the "uber-boss" to come up front, too.
"Earlier theory was Woody and now it's Frank," Matthews said. "Having seen the tabs today, I think it is Frankie. I think you look exactly like Frankie."
"You're now called Young Blue Eyes, do you know that?" he added. "That'd be good advertising for this place."