Obama's first major decision was his running mate. He could have reinforced a message of change and moderation with a Democratic governor who wins in a Republican state, or reached for history by selecting Hillary Clinton. But his choice came soon after Russia invaded Georgia, and the conventional wisdom demanded an old hand who knew his way around Tbilisi. When the Georgia crisis faded, Obama was left with a partisan, undisciplined, congressional liberal at his side.Gerson is talking about the irrational, improvised weathervane quality of Obama's message operation. It's amazing to think Obama has gotten as far as he has, and he could never have done it if the political press corps weren't functioning as his de facto propaganda ministry.
If Obama flops in the Sept. 26 debate, though, his liberal media friends will turn on him. They've built him up, and if he fails to meet their expectations, they'll tear him down. But watch how they do it -- they'll accuse him of failing to fight hard enough or trying to be too moderate. They will refuse to admit that Obama's liberal has anything to do with his downfall.
This is an easy prediction, since it's exactly what the liberal media did to explain away the defeats of Gore and Kerry. Liberals are always sure Democrats would triumph if only they'd nominate a really angry left-winger -- a cross between Howard Dean, Huey Long, Ralph Nader and Maxine Waters.