Chris Matthews Sees Japan Earthquake an 'Opportunity' for Obama to Remind People He Was Born in Hawaii

Hundreds if not thousands of people are dead due to a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. But at least it gave Barack Obama an avenue to remind everyone he was born in Hawaii. That's the silver lining for MSNBC's Chris Matthews.

"Was this sort of a good opportunity for the president to remind everybody that he grew up in the United States and Hawaii?"

That's a question that Chris Matthews posed to MSNBC host and White House corresondent Chuck Todd about President Obama taking a question from a Japanese reporter during a news conference earlier today at the White House.

Matthews pegged this question on the fact that there are many persons of Japanese heritage who live in the Hawaiian islands, which were themselves impacted by smaller tsunami resulting from the earthquake.

"That's the first thing I thought of," Matthews insisted. "Such a large number of people believe he grew up in [Kenya], they're buying this thing that's coming from Huckabee," Matthews insisted.

A somewhat visibly flustered Todd politely rejected Matthews's argument:

TODD: Look, do I think they thought this was another chance? No. I mean, they called this press conference because they hadn't had an opportunity to speak about gas prices.... This was a case where events crowded out the whole purpose of the press conference. That's an interesting theory. It certainly did give him an opportunity to remind folks of where he grew up and the folks he grew up with.

MATTHEWS: Yeah, it's pathetic he has to do that, but thank you so much, Chuck Todd.

MATTHEWS: Sorry to bring you into our intramural concerns here, but one of them is this strange critique of him from the right that he's not really one of us that never seems to end. Thank you Chuck Todd for that great reporting on an unusual and very strange topic.

- Ken Shepherd is the managing editor for You can follow him on Twitter here.