How many times have we heard MSNBC's Hardball host, Chris Matthews, rant when potential presidential candidates like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg refuse to give a Shermanesque, iron-trap denial that they are planning to run? Well, it's apparently contagious. Amid indications he's working backstage to take on Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter in 2010, the Philly native and former aide to the late House Speaker Thomas "Tip"O'Neill Jr. tells us he loves being a reporter but still has the hots for Specter's seat. Here's what MSNBC sent us from its friendly bigmouth: "I've had a reverence for the U.S. Senate since high school. It's real, and it's not going to go away. That said, I've made a serious commitment to journalism, to covering politics, not engaging in it. Besides, I'm having the time of my life covering this historic, unpredictable election." Some insiders say the Senate talk is posturing for his next contract with the cable network, rumored to be offering a low-bid salary.