Just a few weeks ago, Hillary Clinton's close victory over Barack Obama in New Hampshire would have been seen as a sign of weakness. However, even conservative pundits are touting her "upset" victory Tuesday.
It was not upset in reality, just in perception. The perception was shifted by a calculated effort by the Clinton folks to downplay expectations. Their allies and staffers gave information on the record and on background playing up the polls that showed Obama ahead, playing down the ones that had Clinton close, and even floating a rumor about Clinton dropping out. It was a political masterstroke.
That masterstroke turned a virtual incumbents narrow victory into a huge one. The conversation is now about Hillary Clinton's so called "upset" win, not the fact she has lost a fourth of so of the Democratic party in the past two months.
Perhaps since it has been twelve years since we saw the Clinton political operation in national election mode, media members and pundits forgot how good they are.
The Clintons scored a win on Tuesday in New Hampshire, but their bigger win was making all the talking heads think that it means something positive for the Clinton campaign. The true believing neophytes of the Obama campaign never saw it coming. They actually played right into it.
A quote from Bobby Bowden about an opponent that beat his Florida State team applies to the political skills of the Clintons: "Dadgum, they're good."