Yes, that “spilled milk” joke was pretty atrocious; but there is a difference between Obama’s bad joke and the usual bad jokes told by other candidates. And it is the fact that Obama knew it was a bad joke and told it anyway. You could see from his body language and facial expression when he started the joke to when he followed it through to the punch line that he knew the absurdity and corniness of it. But there’s something appealing and even comforting about a person who is confident enough and self-assured enough to acknowledge in the moment a bit of corniness in an attempt at humor. That bad joke, in my mind, did not reflect a “tone-deaf” and “out of touch” Obama, but instead had the effect of humanizing him. It made Obama seem so much like all the rest of us who have either told jokes ourselves that fell flat or who have cringed in hearing a bad joke being told. Watch that clip of the SOTU again and see if you don’t find yourself laughing along with Obama not at the joke, but at Obama himself for even attempting it knowing it was a clunker. The GOP narrative of Obama being an arrogant elitist just doesn’t wash when you see moments like this, even for those who disagree with Obama and find his policies problematic.