The eminences grises at MSNBC see a serious problem ahead for Barack Obama in 2012.  Why, some voters might just judge him on his … performance!  Quelle horreur! Howard Fineman tells Chris Matthews on Hardball that Obama made a strategic error when he said that voters could judge him on how well he did his job.  That’s an error?  Isn’t that what voters are supposed to do with incumbents?  No, explain Fineman and Matthews — incumbents are supposed to talk values (via Newsbusters and Blue Collar Todd):

Values, eh?  Does this mean Obama wants to reopen the debate over Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers again?  How about last night’s poetry reading from Common, a rapper that celebrated a convicted cop-killer, who came to the White House during a week that honors fallen police officers? If we’re going to have a debate on values, after all — a debate that the Obama campaign declared illegitimate in 2008 — then these are open topics for the discussion.

As for me, I’d rather talk about performance, as it’s much more germane to an incumbent with four years of failure for which to account.  And it speaks volumes that the liberals at MSNBC want to talk about anything but performance.