Yes, there can. Check out this story from Candace Smith of ABC News:
Jeb Bush and the Perils of High ExpectationsThis is just the headline, and already we're being spun. Jeb didn't get blown out -- he just failed to meet unreasonably optimistic expectations!
It was just four months ago when Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said he thought he would win the Iowa Republican caucuses.Did you catch that? He lost. He lost badly. He lost to his ex-protégé Rubio. But he beat the other governors in the race. So, really, he kinda-sorta won!
That, obviously, did not happen.
Bush, according to Associated Press results, collected less than 3 percent of the vote. Although he beat the other governors in the race, his main rivals, he still placed far behind former protégé Marco Rubio, who finished a strong third.
In a memo Bush’s top advisers sent this morning to supporters and prominent donors, which was obtained by ABC News after first being reported by Politico, the campaign downplayed the Iowa caucuses because the winners rarely go on to win the nomination.Jeb didn't want to win Iowa's stinky old caucuses anyway! They're for losers!
"The Jeb 2016 campaign has never made Iowa a centerpiece to winning the nomination. We have long viewed Iowa as just one of 56 contests,” it reads, adding, “The Granite State [of New Hampshire] has a much better track record in selecting the Republican nominee.”In New Hampshire, Jeb's currently in fourth place, 23 1/2 points behind the leader -- but anything could happen, right?
His poor finish was not wholly unexpected. Advisers and supporters have long known that Bush would not be among the top four in the state. “We finished roughly where I thought we would,” one Florida-based donor told ABC News.Pay no attention to those predictions of a Jeb Bush victory by ... um, Jeb Bush! (See above, paragraph #1.) We always totally knew he was going to lose! Maybe he always wanted to lose! Maybe he thinks losing is better than winning!
Okay, this is where the article engages with reality -- but only to set up more spin. Here's the reality:
The memo also says Bush’s time in the state was scaled back and that a strategic decision was made in November to shift resources away from Iowa.And now here's the spin:
That’s not entirely true, however. The campaign did cancel its Iowa TV ad buy to shift money toward staffing on the ground.
But between Bush’s campaign and Right to Rise, the super PAC supporting him, in terms of advertising, they have spent over $2,800 per voter, according to data from Morning Consult, a digital politics and policy outlet.
And the campaign announced in December it was boosting its paid staff in the state to over 20 from 11.
Indeed, Bush has not neglected Iowa outright, as some of his donors would have liked....So this was merely a strategic error. Sure, he lost Iowa, but he should have blown it off and suffered an even bigger loss, after which he could say to the other candidates, "Screw you guys -- I let you win!"
... Now, the campaign is urging its supporters to pivot to New Hampshire, where Bush has spent substantially more time.So Iowa doesn't count at all. Now do you understand why Jeb didn't bother to win there?
“The real race for the nomination begins on February 9th in New Hampshire. It will set the race going forward and today, Jeb Bush is in a very strong position in the state,” according to the campaign memo.
Bush, as a Bush, is plagued by the prominence of his family. His Achilles heel may not be the expectations he sets for himself but the expectations of others.Poor Jeb! How he must suffer having the best-known name in Republican politics! What a difficult burden that is!
When he entered the race, he entered as the presumptive nominee, the guy to beat, a mantle perhaps too heavy for the former Florida governor.Jeb didn't fail. We failed Jeb by insisting on making him the presumptive nominee! He was willing to do anything to escape that -- even lose! Can you blame him?
In December, he told CBS News’ John Dickerson that he was happy to not be the front-runner.
"I feel much better back here,” he said.
... Now, in the Granite State, the time is ripe for a comeback. If Bush can do well in New Hampshire, he may be able to garner momentum into South Carolina, a state in which his father and brother have won each of their primaries. Bush has a full schedule in New Hampshire, with eight events between Tuesday and Thursday.No, seriously, it's totally going to happen from here on out -- you just wait!
Monday night, Bush left Iowa before results were announced to be in place at a town hall in Manchester. “The reset has started as of tonight,” Bush said. “Next Tuesday, we’re going to surprise the world.”
Why do news organizations even bother to pay campaign reporters? Wouldn't it be much easier and more profitable to fire reporters like Candace Taylor and let the campaigns write up this sort of propaganda themselves, then pay to have it published? As a news consumer, would you really be able to tell the difference?