You heard it here first - the effort by the liberal mainstream media to pump up Mitt Romney's first debate victory is deliberate, and it's being done with the intent to aggrandize president Obama. I know, you're reading that and thinking I'm about as bright a bulb as Joe Biden in this clip.
But hear me out.
There's more than one reason that the Obama re-election team (including the media) might want to foster the idea that Romney won big. Granted, the Obama campaign clearly would have preferred an uncontested cakewalk where Romney folded like a cheap suit or John McCain, but they didn't get that. So they are trying to make lemonade out of lemons.
By having the press focus on the debate, it distracts, quite a lot, from the terrible Benghazi debacle and the growing Fast and Furious scandal. Bad news is obscuring really bad news. But that's not even the main reason to go along with the 'Romney wins' meme.
Many in the press already have started working on the Obama comeback motif. But it's even bigger than that. If the press elevates Romney to the status of an intellectual powerhouse it will make Obama's inevitable defeat of him in the next debate a clash of the titans that elevates Obama to the status of super-duper mega-incredible. Obama, taken aback by a surprisingly strong Romney in the first debate, was able to rebound, marshal his seemingly boundless skills and defeat a worth adversary in a debate where he was not unprepared.
Wow, what a redeeming story - in fact, it goes even further to cement Obama's mythology as a super genius. What a triumph that would negate the impact of a third debate. Obama didn't defeat a lightweight like McCain, he defeated a heavyweight like Romney.
Is that a plausible explanation of the continuing story about Romney? It's a possible way to use political jiu jitsu given the Romney momentum. It's a way to make the best of a bad situation for team Obama. And it's a way to explain why the liberal press is continuing the open hand-wringing instead of using their usual liberal ploy of ignoring or disputing the truth. So many people watched the debate they couldn't ignore the fact that Romney won, but they could have dropped the story by now. So why haven't they?
The next chapter of the story is being spun. But if that's the case there's one thing that needs to happen in order to substantiate the storyline - Obama needs to win the second debate. Well, in fact, he needs to come close to beating Romney. The press will have enough to work with to turn that into an Obama win. If they can do that, they can turn the story back around in Obama's favor. Many conservative voters seem to have forgotten that the vote didn't happen when Romney won the debate, and it didn't happen in the days following when the polls turned in Romney's direction. It's still far enough away that the story line can change - perhaps more than once. And Romney's poll resurgence fits into the story line quite well. Liberals feel superior to conservatives, and many I'm sure feel like Obama will rip Romney apart in the next debate. I don't believe liberals are panicked yet.
But if Romney is as well prepared as he was in the first debate and wins, then watch the panic levers all get pulled at once. It'll be highly entertaining.