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Keller @ Large: What Jokes About President Obama Are Appropriate?

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Reggie Brown impersonates U.S. President Barack Obama during a comedy sketch at the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference on June 18, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 2011 Republican Leadership Conference features keynote addresses from most of the major republican candidates for president as well as numerous republican leaders from across the country. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Reggie Brown impersonates U.S. President Barack Obama during a comedy sketch at the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference on June 18, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 2011 Republican Leadership Conference features keynote addresses from most of the major republican candidates for president as well as numerous republican leaders from across the country. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Veteran Boston political commentator Jon Keller is heard every weekday...
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BOSTON (CBS) – This past weekend, comedian Reggie Brown impersonated President Barack Obama at the Republican Leadership Conference.

Here is a link to C-Span’s coverage of the events.

The subject itself is very touchy, and with a tough campaign looming, it’s a relevant question: Which Obama jokes are appropriate and acceptable and which are not?

You’ve got to admit, Brown does resemble the president. And for the most part, he aimed his jokes at standard presidential targets.

WBZ’s Jon Keller is at large:

“I figured I’d do what any great president would do in these trying times: head down to Louisiana and polish up on my golf game,” said Brown, during the performance.

It’s not hilarious, but an OK joke, the kind of crack the president himself might laugh at.

“My favorite month is February, Black History Month. Michelle, she celebrates the full month, and I celebrate half,” said Brown.

That’s a reference to the fact that the president is the product of a racially-mixed marriage, a topic Obama himself has joked about in the past.

But, there’s a way to joke about that appropriately, and this isn’t it:

“My father was a black man from Kenya. My mother was a white woman from Kansas. So yes, my mother loved a black man, and no, she was not a Kardashian,” said Brown.

That strikes me as not OK. It’s a crass remark that borders on demeaning. A politician’s deceased relatives are never a tasteful topic for humor.

Add your own take below. Caveat: no one (in their right mind) is calling for censorship; just a voluntary committment to good taste, an increasingly rare commodity these days.

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