On his “NBC Nightly News” blog, Brian Williams offers his take on what happened in New Hampshire.
“In modern political terms, they generally don’t like negativity, they reward the downtrodden, they earnestly deliberate over their choice of candidate and they venerate the sturdy among us. In short, they are good people to have in your corner. Hillary Clinton was bloodied in New Hampshire. The people of New Hampshire saw it and didn’t like it. They saw assumptions forming and didn’t like them. Some felt they were being told what to think: the race was decided, Hillary was desperate and inauthentic. Worst of all — and this was made very clear to me by more than one person — when some in the media quietly doubted that Hillary Clinton’s emotions at that roundtable were real (there was quiet snickering about an “acting job” born of an urgent need to seem normal) it was proof to them that cynicism had taken hold of the politics/media realm, and they simply refused to believe that.
He adds, “There will be numerous deconstructions over the days to come. Theories about how African-American candidates for office have confounded pollsters (see: Bradley, Wilder, Gant, Jackson) will receive a thorough airing, and deservedly so. We in the media will beat ourselves (and deservedly so) for reaching conclusions before the voters have spoken. A further prediction? Give us a few weeks — we will promptly forget the lessons of this debacle in polling, predictions and primary politics. We will all live to screw up another day, though our performance in New Hampshire will be hard to beat.”
Did Chris Matthews’ coverage tip the scales? That’s what Rachel Maddow reported to him last night.