In the increasingly inglorious history of the mainstream (i.e., liberal) media, nothing has matched their four-year protection of this president. To cite but one of countless examples, when President George W. Bush signed the Patriot Act and incarcerated terror suspects at Guantanamo, the press was relentless in its attacks on him for allegedly undermining civil liberties. When Obama extended the Patriot Act and kept terror suspects in Guantanamo, the press was virtually silent.
A third reason for the Romney victory was the debate format. Moderator Jim Lehrer and new guidelines allowed the debaters to actually debate. The reason the liberal media have been so contemptuous of Lehrer is that, perhaps for the first time in the history of modern American presidential debates, the moderator did not attempt to dominate the proceedings. And what the left cannot control it fears.
According to Reuters, Obama spoke a full four minutes more than Romney did. But because Lehrer allowed Romney to actually respond to Obama, Romney didn't need any more time than he took.
Obama also lost because he is not intellectually deep. He is extremely bright. But he is not intellectually deep. If you read, rather than only listen to, any of his speeches -- from Berlin and Cairo until today -- you will discover how essentially empty they are. But because he never is challenged and because he delivers his largely nice-sounding vapidities so smoothly and authoritatively, many Americans are fooled.
He could not get away with this in the first debate. And though Obama surely will be much feistier and more aggressive in his second debate, if Romney is allowed to respond and challenge as he was in the first debate -- very possibly a big if -- there is no reason to believe that he will get away with his platitudes then, either.
Finally, Romney won because he understands how the economy works much better than Obama does -- and because he understands what America stands for much better than the president does.
The great unknown is whether enough Americans will come to realize all this by Election Day.