It’s not an “Incumbent Curse,” as MSNBC would call Obama’s performance at Wednesday’s first presidential debate. It was not Obama’s fear of coming across as the angry black man, as Michael Eric Dyson surmised, that prevented Obama from driving a strong debate on the issues with Mitt Romney. And it was not that Mitt Romney has been practicing since June for the debates, per David Axelrod’s analysis. Nor was it a question of Obama losing the debate stylistically rather than substantively. And certainly it was not that Mitt Romney was untruthful, thereby catching Obama off-guard. The fact is that this Obama we saw Wednesday night and have endured for the last four years is a product of our liberal leftist media.
Obama was not ready Wednesday, he has never been ready, and he will never be ready to be the leader this country needs, for he is the first president to have never been vetted.
My own mother observed that “it’s the media’s fault that Obama lost the debate. Watching the debate reminded me of a child set out on his own after being raised by parents who failed to teach him responsibility and accountability and let the child think that he was above being corrected or disciplined. This was the time that Chris Matthews could not jump in and tell the people what Obama meant to say.” Indeed, Obama has been brought up by an adoring and overindulgent liberal media who have coddled him for the last eight years on everything from his appearance to Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, and his caught-on-a-live-microphone secret handshake with Russian President Medvedev, where he promised that he will have “more flexibility after the election” to work with the Russians on missile defense. Additionally, we have the age-old public displays of media affection, including Dave Brooks’ awe over the crease in Obama’s pants and the “thrill up” Chris Matthews’ leg. With a sycophantic media like this, who needs accountability?
Until Univision took Obama to task over his promise on immigration, Americans had rarely seen President Obama being held accountable by the media to match his word with his record. An unsteady, flustered, and out-of-gas Obama was bewildered as to how Univision’s Jorge Ramos could have missed the “how to conduct an interview with President Obama” memo.
Wednesday’s presidential debate revealed the same tight-lipped, flustered president — unprepared for Jim Lehrer’s reluctance to intervene and stop Romney from daring to question and attack his record.
This is not Romney’s fault. It isn’t even Obama’s fault. It is the fault of America’s leftist liberal media who have continually misled Obama into thinking he would never have to answer to his record.
And so the media is quickly back on task, as David Axelrod so aptly conveyed to CNN’s Candy Crowley, saying, “I know you and others are going to be following this tomorrow and so are the American people.” In other words, clean up this mess. Only the mess is Obama’s record, and the media is right to cry. Americans’ eyes are opening. They are no longer buying into the notion of hope, because hope now has a record: a record unemployment rate, a record thirty-two percent of Americans on food stamps, and record-high gas and commodities prices. Republicans have a candidate — as evidenced by the debate — who is not afraid to confront Obama on his record and who, most importantly, has the courage to run on his own good record and experience rather than good wishes.
This time is different. In 2008, the media was able to aid Obama in pulling the wool over America’s eyes. This time, the media will not be able to take Obama out of the equation and make every pensive question about him the fault and flaw of the circumstances and people around him. In other words, the media was able to make 2008 race about electing Obama while at the same time never fully vetting or making known very much about him. The media made Hillary Clinton look whiny and weak when asking about the differences in the debate questions. They viciously attacked Sarah Palin, making the race about cults of personality and Saturday Night Live. They painted the Tea Party as bigoted racists who didn’t approve of a black president.
But Obama is the president now, not the candidate, and the media will be unable to convince the millions of unemployed looking for work that their circumstances are just a coincidence in light of Obama’s presidency. The media will be unable to mislead the many small business owners who have laid off employees for fear of rising taxes and insurance costs. The media cannot protect Obama against those Americans who have seen firsthand the devastation of Obama’s last four years in office.
The media has given Obama a false sense of entitlement and has so glorified his very presence that what is being witnessed now is the total lack of humility and the unrefined intellect of a spoiled child. Obama simply has not thought through any of his platforms, because he has never needed to. He has never thought through the depths to which insanely expensive ObamaCare devastates the middle class, because he has not needed to. Obama has no answer for investing $90 billion in losers like Solyndra and green jobs, because Obama has not had to answer to anyone in the last eight years — not as a candidate, and certainly not as president.
Now the same media who has spent four years coddling Obama is aghast at the dull and dejected child they have created. Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow want to know what happened to Obama. Where was the real Obama?
But the real Obama did show up. It was Obama in the flesh, without the benefit of media airbrushing and highlights. The true Obama and his A-game were revealed — no teleprompter, and no softball questions pitched exactly to the left of the plate, where Obama likes them. Obama was unguarded and unprotected by the media, leaving him to face his kryptonite: accountability.
Lisa Fritsch is the author of Obama, Tea Parties and God and a national television and radio commentator with appearances on Fox News Channel. www.lisafritsch.com