Keith Olbermann wrote:In all due modesty the primary target for candidates of both parties tonight is neither Iowa nor New Hampshire but, well, me. Me and of course the rest of the national media and thus ultimately you.
In our fourth story tonight, first and second tier candidates did not wait for the results to begin spinning them, fighting to remain viable in the mainstream media, that engine of so much mo—momentum and more money.
The most obvious spin, of course, lowering expectations. Senator Clinton‘s campaign, for instance, suggesting even a third place finish would be just super, reminding us she started off in single digits in Iowa and a poll done so long ago no archaeological dig has managed to locate it. Without winning in Iowa, former Senator John Edwards will face media questions about failing to capitalize on the strength of his 2004 showing in that state and probably won‘t want to respond that those same media have fixated on the easy narratives of the Clinton-Obama clash.
Obama for his part not fighting to lower expectations. A top adviser telling politico.com his internal polling put him in the lead even as he, like Edwards, sent signals he‘ll be in it past Iowa no matter what.
Chuck Todd (NBC Political Director) joins Keith.