After President Obama’s address Wednesday night, Chris Matthews, the host of “Hardball” on MSNBC, began reviewing the speech in almost completely racial terms. First he called the president truly “post-racial,” adding, “I forgot he was black” during the hour-plus of the speech.
The comments are already whipping around the Internet, drawing a storm of criticism.
Here’s a transcript of what he said:
I was trying to think about who he was tonight. It’s interesting; he is post-racial, by all appearances. I forgot he was black tonight for an hour. He’s gone a long way to become a leader of this country and past so much history in just a year or two. I mean it’s something we don’t even think about. I was watching and I said, wait a minute, he’s an African-American guy in front of a bunch of other white people and there 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 the discussion, it was so broad ranging, so in tune with so many problems and aspects and aspects of American life. That you don’t think in terms of the old tribalism and the old ethnicity. It was astounding in that regard, a very subtle fact. It’s so hard to even talk about it. Maybe I shouldn’t talk about it.
And yes, Mr. Matthews is the same TV personality who once said Mr. Obama’s speeches gave him a thrill up his leg.