MSNBC hosts agreed this weekend that white voters hold President Obama to a higher standard than his white predecessors because he is black.
"[Obama] now has a specific record of governing," MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry said today on her show. "A record that, I contend, because of his race will be held to a much higher standard than it would have been for a white incumbent. Those white voters who found what they were looking for in 2008 will not necessarily be so enthusiastic in 2012."
Alex Wagner, host of MSNBC's NOW, agreed. "I think race absolutely has to do with the conversation about reelection," she said.
Harris-Perry actually undermined her own argument, though. "There was the great vast middle of moderate Democrats and of disaffected Republicans who were open to voting for a black candidate if he could demonstrate that he was the right candidate," she said of the 2008 election.
Four years later, in the midst worst economic recovery in US history (per Examiner Columnist Lawrence Kudlow) it is perfectly reasonable for moderates who wanted "the right candidate" to win in 2008 to doubt now that President Obama is that man.
Harris-Perry opened her segment with the cogent observation that Obama "this time around, President Obama really is a black guy running for president." That didn't stop him in 2008. If he loses this year, that won't be the reason.