10/04/2012 10:13 am ET Updated Dec 04, 2012

New Romney vs. Old Obama

If what happened last night is allowed to become the truth, then we are all doomed, because President Obama's re-election is doomed.

At the University of Denver, they held a masquerade party, but nobody told Obama. He was knocked off his pins when Mitt Romney entered in full costume, which was sort of a cross between Pinocchio and an old Mitt.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie must have been in on the joke. Last weekend on live TV, he predicted, "Thursday morning, you're going to be scratching your heads and saying, 'Wow, we've a barnburner now for the next thirty-three days,'" he told Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation.

The first presidential campaign debate wasn't so much a debate as a debut of the new, improved Romney, one that bears little resemblance to the Romney who has been on the hustings for what seems like the past decade. Last night he put Obama into the costume Romney usually sports -- the deer caught in the headlights -- by denying many positions he has been taking -- up until the first debate.

Basically, Romney lied or changed his mind over and over. He claimed he never asked for a $5 trillion tax cut. He suddenly promoted a health care that covered pre-existing conditions. He spoke favorably about a Medicare and a Social Security he once thought was unnecessary. He was now the champion of funding for public education. He said he always wanted regulations enforced on the banking industry. And he then did a 180 on immigration and came out in favor of Obama's Dream Act. Huh?

He kept pushing for jobs, jobs, jobs, but never once explained any viable way of achieving this goal. The only job sector he disparaged was the green one, contending spending $90 billion on environmental improvements, which he accused Obama of, was a tragic waste, and that the money would be better spent on teachers. Again, huh?

Who is this guy? Does Romney feel he now has the conservative vote, so it's time to assume a new identity to lure those still wondering the middle of the road? Months ago, it was laughable when Romney's senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom suggested that the campaign could change its tone "like an Etch-A-Sketch (and) shake it up and restart all over again" as the general election approached. Do I hear any laughing this morning? Not from any Democrat.

Obama looked as if he were waiting for the return of a Romney he once knew so he could respond. He might as well have been waiting for Godot.

It's time for Bill Clinton to ride to the rescue once again. He needs to spend critical time with Obama before the next debate and teach him how to become effective and electable. Or we may be living in 2004 again.

Speaking of 2004, if John Kerry was a flip-flopper, then Mitt Romney lives on a rotisserie spit.