Political chatter from DC and NYC, the amNewYork way

Managing the Expectations

By David

A few takeaways from last night results.

First, it’s unbelievable how badly the Clinton team played the expectations game. This has always been one of their strengths, and something the Obama folks have bungled badly. By assuming an air of pseudo-confidence along the way, they hurt their chances every time Clinton outplayed the conventional wisdom. Think how her 25 point lead in Pennsylvania whittled down to 9, but was still a “huge night” for her, or how they were able to escape Clinton must-wins in New Jersey and New York but paint them as resounding victories.

Last night the opposite occurred. Despite a big lead all spring in North Carolina, Clinton called in the last couple of days “the game-changer.” Despite built-in Obama advantages in Indiana — mainly its proximity to Illinois — Clinton folks were talking about (or at least not tamping down talk of) a big blowout there.

I would be curious to find out what happened here. For the first time the Clintonistas started believing their own press, the very thing pundits had accused Obama of doing throughout.

It turns out to have been a fatal mistake.

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