Campaigns are notoriously loathe to set tangible bars for their performances, but Jon Huntsman took it to a new level on Fox News this morning when talking about Tuesday's New Hampshire primary.
He's long favored the term "market expectations", but turned it into a veritable totemic rhetorical device today.
HUNTSMAN: We have to meet market expectations. You and the rest of the pundit class will set expectations for us going into the vote.
We have to be able to clear that hurdle. In other words, we have to be able to wake up on the 11th and say 'We did better than what the market expectations would be for us'.
BILL HEMMER: Would that be third place, would that be second place? What would that be?
HUNTSMAN: You can't quantify it, you can't quantify it, because we came from the very last place.
HEMMER: What are you looking for?
HUNTSMAN: I'm looking to beat market expectations. I'm looking to see a smile on the face of my wife the morning that I wake up. We've gone from last place to third place in most the polls yesterday.
And I say all that we have to do is to beat market expectations. That's what's needed to keep a campaign alive and well, because if you can't beat market expectations...
But I guess the "smile on the face of my wife" is a suitably vague, impossible-to-verify or hold-accountable-to criterion.