MATTHEWS: Why do they – why is it the Democratic Party? Is it because of all the contributors with their money have made it more of an elite party, Ivy League?Mr Biden uses the "deferring to pedigree" phrase a second time. The vice president goes on to discuss Charles Murray's snob test.
BIDEN: This is not – you know, there`s no malarkey. The fact of the matter is, those people we`re talking about built this country.
BIDEN: They built it. And they are smarter than we give them credit for. There`s almost, like – what`s happened in both parties is there`s sort of a – a yielding to pedigree.
BIDEN: You know, the guy who goes to Penn State or University of Delaware and the guy goes to Yale or Penn, well, the guy at Yale or Penn must know more. It doesn`t work that way.
MATTHEWS: I haven`t noticed that.
BIDEN: Oh, you haven`t?
BIDEN: And because it`s now at the point where there is – it is merit-based, where you – whether you`re part of the elite, we`ve kind of forgotten about ordinary Americans out there.Let's leave for another day whether Mr Biden really understands the problem. It's the transition of the blue collar voter from reliably Democrat to Hillary Deplorable that I'm focusing on.
MATTHEWS: I know.
BIDEN: And so it`s like – it drove my boys crazy. I had them take the test in the book, and it said, Have you ever been on a factory floor? Have you – were you raised in a neighborhood where over 60 percent of the people didn`t go to college, where you – if you get a chance to go to Starbucks or McDonald`s for coffee, where do you go? Do you know anybody who has whole milk in their refrigerator? I mean, there is…
MATTHEWS: Because everybody else has skim milk, the elitists, yes.
BIDEN: No, but so – so part of it is that it`s understandable. The good news is it`s based on merit advancement in many cases now. But the bad news is that these folks who were the people who are – not the salt of the earth, they`re the stuff that makes everything grow.
BIDEN: And they`re capable of so much more. That`s why I think our focus on free college education, our focus on making sure that there`s child care to get women back in the job market, our focus on things that are just basically simple fairness, minimum wage.
I mean, people want to know that we really do – my dad used to have an expression, Chris. He said, I don`t expect the government to solve my problem, but I expect them to understand it.
Here's Mr Matthews, setting the conversation for the evening's panel of Democrat Operatives.
MATTHEWS: Well, joining me right now for their reaction individually is Robert Costa, national political reporter at “The Washington Post” and MSNBC political analyst. Howard Fineman is global editorial director, of course, Huffington Post, also an MSNBC political analyst. And Katie Packer is a Republican strategist formerly with the Romney campaign.Let's also leave aside, for the moment, whether we're seeing an American Oxbridge at work, or whether Mr Biden is a bit of a jerk and he gets treated accordingly. The discussion that follows is less than edifying, and I really don't care to worry about what the shape of the 2020 presidential ticket will be before the 2016 votes are counted, or stolen.
I`m going to leave the pugilistics aside for a second here.
Robert Costa, I have never heard Biden lay this out so clearly, this sense that we have this meritocracy gone bankrupt, whereby only the people at the very top academically are given any consideration by the Democrats in terms of policy.
He speaks with personal experience, it seems, for a guy that went to University of Delaware for example, about this almost British-style system, where, if you didn`t go to Oxford or Cambridge, don`t talk, we`re not listening.
Mr Matthews, however, returns to that Democratic crackup during his sign-off.
My sit-down with Joe Biden in Pittsburgh today tells me that at least one top national Democrat understands the Trump phenomenon. While others may look down their noses at the Trump voter, the longtime senator from Delaware gets it. He sees their failure to connect with those white working class voters excited by Trump. He sees the economic but also the cultural factors that have driven the majority of white non-college educated Pennsylvania voters to line up with the New York billionaire, which is what we`re seeing in polling right now. He`s winning among those people, Trump is.The Social Register set have been using poor and non-white voters as mascots for years; that is another disconnect in the making.
Biden talked today about what he calls the pedigree problem, how the Democratic Party at the top views anyone not an Ivy Leaguer as below intellectual consideration. How the party has kind of forgotten about ordinary Americans out there, how those people are smarter than they`re given credit for.