Editor's Note: This column was coauthored by Bob Morrison.
You know that Gov. Romney won Wednesday night's rumble in the Rockies. That's because Al Gore was out quick blaming the president's lackluster performance on--what else?--climate change. And if you have any doubts who won, you have only to consult MSNBC's Amen Corner. Chris Matthews normally feels a tingle go up his leg when President Obama speaks. Last night, he felt something else go down his leg. Fortunately, it didn't show. But the lamentations on the left were loud. MSNBC's panel sounded like the Wailing Wall. Well, at least they got that much of Jerusalem right.
Naturally, conservatives will be tempted to spike the ball. When the other team starts blaming the moderator, you know you have won. The White House's Stephanie Cutter said they didn't need Jim Lehrer because Mitt Romney was doing it all himself. She quickly backtracked, but it was a revealing slip. Golden Ager Jim Lehrer was treated like someone who should be shoved off-stage, given his Enfamil, and shown to a comfortable empty chair. We hear Clint Eastwood has one he's not using.
Think of this, though: If they "dis" Jim Lehrer like this, what do they think of you? He's a senior member of the liberal media elite. This is the team that will choose the IPAB--the Independent Payment Advisory Board--if Mr. Obama is re-elected. They are the ones who will decide when our plugs get pulled.
Despite all the rejoicing, we have a warning for Gov. Romney. Don't forget the second debate. It will be about foreign policy, a topic most governors rarely deal with. In 1984, the media was ballyhooing challenger Fritz Mondale's performance in the first presidential debate. They gave him a Louisville Slugger baseball bat, for his presumed victory over Ronald Reagan in famous Kentucky city.
Liberal columnist Jack Germond has revealed how he secretly conspired with debate panelist Henry Trewhitt. Both wrote for the Baltimore Sun. Germond worked with Trewhitt to craft the killer question for Reagan. They wanted to trip him up on his age. They were careful to make the question a zinger, but not to elicit sympathy for the old dodderer.
Germond later wrote: "I was watching the debate offstage, on a TV monitor. I saw a slight smile come across President Reagan's lips. I said to myself: 'Oh, s___! He's gonna hit it out of the park."
He did. President Reagan deadpanned his answer: "I will not exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and immaturity." Trewhitt laughed. So did the whole panel and the entire audience.
Even Mondale laughed--as his only chance of winning the election went up in smoke.
Our point is this: Even today, there are post-mortems in the media. There are reporters working on how to rescue President Obama in the next debate. Do not be surprised if they collude to provide some dramatic game changer. Then, they'll celebrate the second coming of their hero, Barack Obama. Beware.