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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008
The Expectations Game

In the wake of Hillary Clinton's miraculous comeback in the New Hampshire's primary, many folks are decrying it all as an expectations game with the Clinton team artificially lowering expectations of her performance and then reaping the media bonanza celebrating her great comeback.

This isn't a recent phenomena.

I would guess this has been going on for about 40 years.... ever since Eugene McCarthy came within single digits of LBJ in the 1968 New Hampshire primary. Ever since then, following a given primary primary or caucus, candidates are judged by the media not so much on their actual performance but rather on their performance compared to expectations. That means someone can win a primary but lose it at the same time if they don't win by a margin that meets or exceeds "public" expectations.

Who sets the expectations? Well primarily the media with some help from relevant campaign staff. Who decides if the candidate meets the expectations? The media with some help from relevant campaign staff...

See a pattern here?