It’s inevitable that some candidate in the crowded Republican field will under-perform tomorrow. How will his or her supporters spin the dismal news? History offers a guide. In 2008, Rudy Giuliani came in sixth in Iowa with 3 percent of the vote. You would think that such a terrible showing would be impossible to gild into a shining achievement. Yet John Podhoretz of Commentary wrote, “The result in Iowa could not have been better for Giuliani tactically.” David Frum, another Giuliani supporter, enthused, “Yet as the smoke clears, it’s going to become apparent that Rudy was the night’s big winner.”
The question is, who will be the pundit who will celebrate the likely disastrous showing of Jeb Bush and other candidates? Are there columnists even now preparing to argue that failure is victory and rejection is triumph?