Chris Matthews on Obama during SOTU: ‘You know, I forgot he was black tonight for an hour.’

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"Chris Matthews on Obama during SOTU: ‘You know, I forgot he was black tonight for an hour.’"

MSNBC host Chris Matthews praised President Obama after his State of the Union address, saying that he had become “post-racial.” He then said that while watching the speech, he even “forgot he was black”:

MATTHEWS: You know, I was trying to think about who he was tonight, and it’s interesting: He is post-racial by all appearances. You know, I forgot he was black tonight for an hour. You know, he’s gone a long way to become a leader of this country and passed so much history in just a year or two. I mean, it’s something we don’t even think about.

I was watching, I said, Wait a minute, he’s an African-American guy in front of a bunch of other white people. And here he is President of the United States and we’ve completely forgotten that tonight — completely forgotten it. I think it was in the scope of his discussion. It was so broad-ranging, so in tune with so many problems, of aspects, and aspects of American life that you don’t think terms of the old tribalism, the old ethnicity. It was astounding in that regard — a very subtle fact. It’s so hard to even talk about; maybe I shouldn’t talk about it, but I am.

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Matthews’ comment seems to imply that a man who is too “black” still can’t become “a leader of this country.”

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Matthews cleaned up his remarks later, lauding Obama for “taking us beyond black and white in our politics, wonderfully so, in just a year. … And I’m loving it.”

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