I think it's safe to say, at this point, that a lot of people who voted for President Obama — at least the first time — voted more for the idea of him rather than the candidate himself.

His election represented a watershed moment for this country: our first African-American president. But the honeymoon ended quickly enough. Between a sleepwalking economy, persistent brush fires of terrorism and an increasingly partisan (toxic) atmosphere, Obama lost that new car smell in record time.

Ironically, though, the deepest tarnish on the president's legacy might very well be the state of race relations by the time he leaves office.

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