Matthews: I forgot Obama was black tonight for an hour

posted at 8:48 am on January 28, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Whenever any host on MS-NBC refers to critics of Barack Obama as racist, just keep this link handy. Chris Matthews offers up this revealing non-sequitur as praise for Obama’s “appearance” of post-racial qualities in a manner that echoes Harry Reid’s strange praise revealed in the book Game Change. I’ve puzzled over this comment since I saw in on Twitter last night in the aftermath of the State of the Union address. Exactly what does it mean that Matthews “forgot he was black” in connection to his praise of Obama’s leadership?

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.

Except, of course, when Matthews and Olbermann accuse everyone else of being racist for opposing Obama, or deciding that a pickup truck is “racist imagery.” I can certainly tell you how this would have been interpreted coming from the mouth of Sarah Palin, Scott Brown, or any conservative or Republican talking head on a news show. They would have been pilloried for suggesting that national leadership somehow doesn’t go with an African-American background, and labeled as latent racists.

Of course, we got a chance to see that, too. Apparently some people have accused Bob McDonnell of staging people behind him as “props” in order to show an ethnic balance of supporters in the Virginia legislative chamber in which the Governor gave the GOP response, which is an accusation of at least hypocrisy, if not latent racism.  Let’s explain who these people are in the shot, from bottom left in clockwise order:

  • Staff Sergeant Robert Tenpenny, who served with McDonnell’s daughter Jeannie in Iraq
  • Lisa Hick-Thomas, Virginia’s Secretary of Administration
  • Jim Cheng, Secretary of Commerce and Trade
  • Janet Polarek, Secretary of the Commonwealth

They weren’t “props” chosen and arranged as a diversity optic.  With the exception of Sergeant Tenpenny, they’re all members of McDonnell’s Cabinet, which is why they have seats surrounding the dais.


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They weren’t “props” chosen and arranged as a diversity optic. With the exception of Sergeant Tenpenny, they’re all members of McDonnell’s Cabinet, which is why they have seats surrounding the dais.

But all of the minority appointments that a GOP politician makes are “tokens”. Never mind that they appoint more minorities than Democrats.

hawksruleva on January 28, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Oh, that’s easy. Al will say “I know Chris isn’t a racist, so he’s not a racist.”

hawksruleva on January 28, 2010 at 10:18 AM

It’d be funny if Al said, “Chris, your mom didn’t forget…”

boom!

ted c on January 28, 2010 at 10:24 AM

He was on for an hour? What did he talk about for the other 50 minutes, after the speech was over?

He likes to emulate Lincoln, but I wonder how this portion of Lincoln’s State of the Union address would sound today?

The revenue from all sources, including loans, for the financial year ending on the 30th of June, 1861, was $86,835,900.27, and the expenditures for the same period, including payments on account of the public debt, were $84,578,834.47, leaving a balance in the Treasury on the 1st of July of 52,257,065.80. For the first quarter of the financial year ending on the 30th of September, 1861, the receipts from all sources, including the balance of the 1st of July, were $102,532,509.27, and the expenses $98,239,733.09, leaving a balance on the 1st of October, 1861, of $4,292,776.18.

unclesmrgol on January 28, 2010 at 10:26 AM

The Secretary of the Commonwealth looks hawt.

BlueStateBilly on January 28, 2010 at 10:29 AM

This Obama fellow is sure swell. Sometimes, when he is speaking, I would swear he was a white man. It’s my job to help him succeed y’know.

DeweyWins on January 28, 2010 at 9:25 AM

Yep, great paraphrase of everything Chrissy actually said. Whatta racist.

inviolet on January 28, 2010 at 10:30 AM

I forgot how racist liberal pundits are.

Kevin M on January 28, 2010 at 10:53 AM

They weren’t “props” chosen and arranged as a diversity optic.

Come on. Sure they had a legitimate excuse for being there, but they were obviously seated there and the camera was framed that way with them in the background for the “diverse” optics of the shot. Not one old white guy lookin’ republican in the shot…

tommylotto on January 28, 2010 at 10:54 AM

ORconservative on January 28, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Yup. Look at our media and pop culture and tell me we don’t have a tendency among these people…

Creative people leap to their ideal world and twist facts to what they think it should be. There are likely brain types who are drawn to being reporters, writers, academics and artists who have a neurological bent for certain types of logical difficulty.

On the other side we have The One’s grandma. A typical white person. With their typical logic problems and fears. He said it.

The One sees MSNBC for what they are, also. Trust me, He does.

But Chris probably has other influences at work also.

IlikedAUH2O on January 28, 2010 at 10:59 AM

That’s OK Chris, for a moment there I almost forgot you were a dork.

Bruno Strozek on January 28, 2010 at 11:01 AM

WOW! And all along I thought he was a dark skinned Caucasian! Thanks for enlightening me Chris!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on January 28, 2010 at 11:04 AM

So Pissy Chrissy. How’s that racism working out for ya? We can clearly see you’re color blind. ;)

I knew all along, that the press, and others only see him for his color. Not for his alleged bi partisanship. Not for his policies necessarily. Not for his alleged intelligence. Not for his savvy, charm, or ability to read a teleprompter. They see him as this black man, who needs all the help, support, and propping he can get. And they deliver, by the truck load.

capejasmine on January 28, 2010 at 11:06 AM

That’s OK Chris, for a moment there I almost forgot you were a dork.

Bruno Strozek on January 28, 2010 at 11:01 AM

ROFL!!!

capejasmine on January 28, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Of course the Democrats would think they were ‘props’. The Democrats do it all the time. Don’t Republicans?

GarandFan on January 28, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Oh right, next you’re gonna tell me Condolezza ain’t a Skezza.

miles on January 28, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Glenn Beck has redeemed some of his status with me this morning; His ridicule of Matthews was spot on and hilarious.

anniekc on January 28, 2010 at 11:29 AM

Exactly what does it mean that Matthews “forgot he was black” in connection to his praise of Obama’s leadership?

Isn’t that the whole point of what Matthews, Maddow et al are about? Everything is race. They are, therefore, able to put themselves up on pedestals, from which they can look down on all the President’s critics and pronounce them racist.

Blaise on January 28, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Maybe this has been said or maybe it’s just so freaking obvious, but…

Guys like Matthews don’t seem to understand that people like me DO NOT SEE THE PRESIDENT AS BLACK in the first place. We see him as a leftist, statist, uber-liberal. But, because Chris Matthews DOES see him as Black first, it makes perfect sense for him to see criticism of our President as racist.

Same for KO & anyone else on the left….They do not understand that many conservatives/libertarians/moderates have adopted Dr. Kings approach to judge a man by the content of his character.

Again, maybe it’s so obvious it goes without saying, but I had to get that off my chest.

mctowler on January 28, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Rush just said, “I forgot he was President for an hour.”

LOL!

daesleeper on January 28, 2010 at 12:13 PM

I almost forgot Matthews had a brain there for a second.

Oh, right….

IndieDogg on January 28, 2010 at 12:17 PM

The left is projecting. They actually DO use human props in their photo-ops and I’m convinced that their obsession with the right’s supposed “racism” is nothing more than overcompensating for their own real racism.

29Victor on January 28, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Am I the only one who thought Sergeant Tenpenny bears an unfortunate resemblance to Hasan?

LibTired on January 28, 2010 at 1:52 PM

Two comments: (1) For a minute I almost forgot Matthews was an idiot, and (2) That’s one hot secretary of the Commonwealth.

Hucklebuck on January 28, 2010 at 3:27 PM

This is just a thinly veiled attempt to provide cover for Dingy Harry.

EconomicNeocon on January 28, 2010 at 5:24 PM

Comment pages: 1 2