Hardball panel reacts to importance of Obama presidency

Updated
 

On Thursday, Hardball’s Chris Matthews, NBC’s Harold Ford, Jr., and msnbc political analyst Michelle Bernard reacted to Bill Cosby’s comments on “Meet the Press” about the impact of Barack Obama becoming the first African-American president and gave their own.

Below is a transcript.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST, ‘HARDBALL:’ What did you think of  Bill Cosby?  He’s such a deep guy. I was taken. 

HAROLD FORD, JR, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Look, listening to him had to move any American. I’m African-American. Knowing that I’m 38 years old, and I’m recently married.  I’m in an interracial marriage. When I have my first child, and I can’t wait, I  look forward to looking him or her in the eye and being able to honestly say, there`s no office in America, political office, that you can’t attain. Barack Obama made those words real.  

For Bill Cosby and that generation – I’ll take this liberty here. Michelle Bernard and I have known each other for a long time.  Our parents know each other.  I know her siblings.  For us to have this opportunity in a lifetime, and for them to be able to see it is a special moment for a group of Americans who are as proud of this country as any, and a special moment for, I dare say, those in a generation ahead of us. For Bill Cosby to say that, I think he captured the sentiment of a lot of African-Americans. It doesn’t matter, a lot of older Americans. 

MICHELLE BERNARD, msnbc POLITICAL ANALYST:  I think all African-Americans, but, as we talked about on election night, to me, it was such an important moment, particularly for black men. He spoke to manhood – you noticed that every person that Bill Cosby said he brought into the voting booth was a relative, and it was a man.  Black men, particularly, have had it so difficult in this country. To be able to look at Bill Cosby – he looked like he was on the verge of tears. It was a very emotional moment.

You and I talked before about Frederick Douglas’ speech about what does July 4th mean to the American Negro?  For me, November 4th was our July 4th.  It was our Independence Day. It was just wonderful to watch Bill Cosby and know so many men, particularly of his generation, feel so happy and feel renewed. 

MATTHEWS:  I don’t want to miss the forest from the trees. I want to talk about this the rest of the week a lot, whenever we can. We take a break and talk about – we don’t want to miss the forest for the trees.  By the way, Douglas gave that speech at the Athaneum (ph), up in Nantucket. 

To see Bill Cosby’s comments about the Obama presidency on Meet the Press, watch below.

Hardball panel reacts to importance of Obama presidency

Updated