I know a lot of folks can't stand Chris Matthews (and with good reason), but there was a great moment after the debate, when he promised a segment with "the three top strategists from the campaigns." Anticipating another Trippi/Axelrod/Penn bloodbath, I kept watching, but in place of Penn, the Clinton campaign sent out former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, who stayed well on message -- "experience" and "change."

After a few minutes of this, Matthews out of nowhere said, "Mr. Slater, I just noticed that you're a lawyer at Patton, Boggs. That's Tommy Boggs's lobbying firm. Are you a lobbyist?" "We're a full-service law firm, Chris." And then a little more, and Matthews says, "I just want to be clear about this: Do you do any lobbying?" "I have done a little lobbying, but I'm an attorney. We're a full-service law firm. We offer our clients the full package."

For the record, Washingtonian puts Slater at #39 in its list of 50 top lobbyists.

--Mark Schmitt

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