In the leadup to Wednesday night's Democratic debate in Detroit, MSNBC's Chris Matthews repeated one of his old, subtly racist jokes about President Barack Obama while discussing Joe Biden's role as his vice president with Biden campaign strategist Symone Sanders.
"You know, he had an interesting role as VP for Obama," said Matthews. "You know, I think he was a guy who tried to make — he was sort of like, in the old days, Ed McMahon and Johnny Carson. He was the regular guy, Carson was a bit aloof, you're too young to know this I guess, and he sort of made Obama, who's very intellectual and visionary, he brought him back to regular people. I always say, he put the apostrophe in Obama. You know what I mean? He made him a regular guy. Now I think he's trying to get back to sort of remind people that."
Presumably, by "putting the apostrophe in Obama," ("O'Bama," as if it's an Irish name) Matthews means he made Obama look more relatable — as if whiteness equals relatability. Nor is this the first time Matthews has made this joke — he originally said it all the way back in 2008, when Obama was first running for president.