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