October 4, 2012
HONEY, I SHRUNK THE PRESIDENT: James Taranto, in today’s Best of the Web column writes, “Journalists and pundits turn on Obama for failing to make their fairy tales come true,” and notes that one reason why last night’s debate “came as such a shock to Obama” — and by extension, Obama’s Palace Guard MSM — “is that it was the first time in his career that he shared a debate stage with a serious opponent:”
Think about it: John McCain was feeble. Alan Keyes, whom Obama beat in his 2004 Senate campaign, was crazy. All the Democrats who ran in 2008 were preposterous except Hillary Clinton, and she, as a beneficiary of nepotism, was highly overrated as a politician. He used Chicago-style dirty tricks to dispatch his original opponent in 2004, as well as the state senator he replaced back in the 1990s. The test he failed last night is one to which he had never been put.
But the journalists who are pointing the finger at Obama have three fingers pointed back at themselves. Instead of challenging the president, the press corps–with a few honorable exceptions, like ABC’s Jake Tapper and the guys from Univision–have spent the past four-plus years puffing him up and making excuses for him. The American Spectator’s Jeffrey Lord explains:
The great James Taranto . . . long ago posited what is called the “Taranto Principle.” In short, it means that the liberal media so coddles liberal politicians that they have no idea how to cope outside that liberal media bubble. . . .
Barack Obama has been so totally coddled by the liberal media that he looked absolutely shell-shocked in this debate. Stunned, unhappy, angry, sour–and at some points genuinely incoherent.
Romney has had nowhere near that kind of treatment. He had serious opponents in the primaries–all of whom in their own way forced him to confront his ideas in a serious fashion. Conservatives were on his heels. The Obama media never let up. The man went through the political equivalent of boot camp.
Tonight, the Taranto Principle kicked in. Big time.
Outside the liberal bubble–forced to be alone on a stage with a very serious, very prepared candidate–Barack Obama was in trouble. Big Trouble.
One quibble, on a point of personal privilege: “Great” is not the right adjective. Isn’t “inimitable” in the Spectator stylebook?
Otherwise, though, Lord is right. What we saw last night was the real Obama–a bright but incurious and inexperienced man who four years ago was promoted well beyond his level of competency. The Obama that guys like Matthews and Sullivan expected instead was a character in a fairy tale–a fairy tale written by guys like Matthews and Sullivan.
Oh well, at least there are more debates. The last one, on Oct. 22, is on foreign policy, which is Obama’s strong suit. Then the handsome prince killed Osama bin Laden, and the ambassador lived happily ever after.