TNR's Alexander M. Belenky blogs the only moment in last night's Democratic debate anyone wants to talk about:
When Joe Biden talked about overcoming the stigma of being tested for AIDS ("I got tested for AIDS. I know Barack got tested for AIDS. There's no shame in being tested for AIDS"), Obama interjected that he got tested with his wife:
Barack Obama: Tavis, I just got to make clear that I got tested with Michelle when we were in Kenya in Africa, so I don't want any confusion here about what's going on.
Joe Biden: Well, I got tested to save my life because I had a blood transfusion.
Barack Obama: I was tested with my wife.
Tavis Smiley: And I'm sure Michelle appreciates you clarifying that.
Barack Obama: In public.
So while he's all for combating homophobia within the African American community, it seems he also doesn't want anyone to get the impression that he's on the down-low.
Steve Benen doubts that this was a homophobic comment. I see that and raise him one—the reaction to this indicates the normalization of homosexuality. To believe that Obama was fending off the charge that he was gay you have to believe he might sleep with Joe Biden. If you nix that possibility, Obama could only be embarrassed because right after Biden talked about how he tromped around Delaware "getting black men to understand it's not unmanly to wear a condom, getting women to understand that they can say no," he mentioned that the black dude he's running against just had an AIDS test. Obama wanted to point out that, no, he didn't need a test because he was cheating on his wife.
That's one explanation. The other explanation could be that some people hear "AIDS test" and think "gay sex" but want to lecture us on how enlightened they are. Which sort of knocks down my "normalization" hypothesis. Here's the video.