Something’s Happening Here, What It Is Ain’t Exactly Clear

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1. Push polls are flooding South Carolina. I spoke to one woman this morning, a Democrat, who got a call praising Mike Huckabee’s pro-life record, before turning on John McCain’s record. She hung up the phone before it got very far. I spoke to another man, a Republican, who got a call from an Arizona call firm, telling him to vote. He asked to speak to a supervisor and they hung up. Both the McCain and Fred Thompson campaigns are asking supporters to make recordings of the calls.

2. John McCain has changed his tune on his goal in South Carolina. On Friday, I asked if he had to win the state. He said the state was important, but “I think we are assembling a base now, and putting together financial support, that will get us through the long haul.” That was Friday. On Tuesday night, he told the Associated Press, “We will win in South Carolina.”

3. After last night, NBC’s Tim Russert, the Sunday morning gotcha master, is in serious danger of jumping the shark. And the Atlantic’s Matt Yglesias is providing the trampoline ramp. (The original shark jump is here, by way of commenter grape_crush.)

4. American Idol has begun again, threatening to overshadow America’s other Democratic process, the presidential election.