Mad Money

One-on-One with Chris Matthews


On Monday’s Mad Money, Cramer had a chance to play hardball when he interviewed MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, author of the new book Life’s A Campaign, which Cramer has added to his “pantheon of must-reads.”

Life's a Campaign

Matthews’ book is ostensibly about politics, but Cramer read it as a handbook for business, too. Matthews agreed, saying the book is about customers, stockholders, voters, bosses and “everything you’ve got to work with.”

Matthews spoke of the concept of low-balling – or as Cramer called it, under-promising and over-delivering – and how it is prevalent in politics and any business in the world. “Declare victory when victory comes,” Matthews said. “Not before it starts.”

That mantra dovetails with the simple, yet often drastically overlooked principle of just being nice to people, which Cramer and Matthews also discussed. As Matthews put it, the world is full of people who “kiss up and kick down.” And it’s no different in business. Wall Street is littered with ex-CEOS who just “forgot they’ve got to be nice,” Cramer said. Perhaps executives and politicians alike could stand to remind themselves of the golden rule.

On politics, Matthews outlined what he perceived to be the major differences between the Democratic and Republican parties. The democrats operate horizontally, he said, meaning they work best in meetings and as a group. But Republicans are more vertical and tend to gravitate toward a single leader. The candidate that looks most like a leader at this stage in the game, even with the “rough edges,” is Rudy Giuliani, Matthews said.

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