7:28 PM Sorry I’m late. Fox ready to declare Ohio! Which means… something. That it’s decisive? That someone way over or under performed? Anyway, I’m happy to get more time to study the Texas primacaucus without the distraction.
7:31 PM Okay, here’s what it means: That Fox lies. They declared the R race but, yeah, Ohio is too close to call. BREAKING!
7:33 PM I switched to MS (that’ll show you, Roger Ailes!), noticed something I hadn’t before: They talk MUCH slower. Thank you. Though…. There is obviously very little news to report now so maybe they’re just being careful about doling it out.
7:36 PM Howard Fineman said this so it must be true: “If she loses either state, the party will start bringing down pressure to get her to leave.”
7:37 PM Slower talking but LOUDER, too.
7:37 PM “She’s hoping that the cross fire between her campaign and John McCain’s will injure him.” Someone was paid to deliver that analysis. Really! Also, “the job of a campaign is to get people to the polls.” I’m just going to start making things up.
7:38 PM “Brilliantly Machiavellian.” Rolling eyes. See here.
7:42 PM How’d I know about the late-deciders? Ugh.. grudgingly… Fox. Here.
7:44 PM Helpful local coverage here. What caught my eye right away? This:
In a reply to a “Vote twice for Clinton” e-mail, U.S. Postal Service officials told district human resource managers not to allow employees time to attend the second part of Texas voting.
I wonder if this kind thing is going to be a problem for other late-shift workers (who I’d guess trend Hillary)… Let’s beat the Christmas rush and start hating the primacaucus now!
7:52 PM Pollster.com has a liveblog with analysis of exits by people who actually do it for a living. A taste: “As polls close in Ohio, the posted tabulations show 52% Clinton, 48% Obama. Again (can’t say this enough) these are preliminary estimates that will grow more accurate as the night wears on.”
8:01 PM ANTM is a rerun of a clip show and yet I think I would learn more there than I am from having a new combination of white men wondering when Hillary will drop out.
8:05 PM Apparently there’s some other kind of contest happening involving a guy named McHale or something. He’s old.
8:07 PM Fascinating compilation of previous exit polls.
8:25 PM Okay, left to go put pizza in the oven. While in the kitchen, I heard Terry McAuliffe tell Matthews that “there are still a lot of delegates out there.” It’s true! And if you work really hard to win more of them over, you won’t lose by quite as much. Also: Caucuses are bad.
8:27 PM Some drinking game word suggestions: red phone, Rezko, primacaucus, superdelegate… (You can’t use “change” or “experience.” Those are retired.) Add your own in the comments!
8:36 PM Old people in Ohio REALLY don’t like that young whippersnapper. Split for over 50 is like 71-29…
8:38 PM Reader-provided drinking game words! “[it's gonna be a] long night,” “projection,” “confusing,” “Pennsylvania”!!!
8:40 PM Hearing that early voting in Texas may be as much as 60% of the vote. Yipes. Great news for Obama…
8:43 PM David Gregory just called “the idea that campaigning with President Bush won’t help you” a “misnomer” — itself a misnomer! Meta word snobbery.
8:47 PM Getting on an emergency Clinton conf call to discuss “voting irregularities.” Well, that’s one way to describe Texas.
9:02 PM Still on the call, but, so weird: Obama’s top lawyer, Bob Bauer, just called into the call… which is… unusual. It’d be like, as an HRC person said, Harold Ickes calling into an Obama call. If the press needs an excuse to get tough on Obama, sort of tackily taking up precious time on a conference call should count…. (Among the things Bauer said: “How is this different from any time you’ve lodged a complaint against a caucus you’re going to lose?” Then Wolfson got mad.)
9:06 PM Among the things Obama is being accused of: stealing precinct sign up sheets, locking people out, and telling people to go to the wrong location… They say they have specific precinct numbers to give to us, but it’s hard to say how much of this is actual fraud and how much is due to the fact that Texas has an INSANE system. That the Clinton campaign did not bother to master. Wolfson: Caucuses are chaotic, that’s normal… “this is not typical.”
9:09 PM Apparently this McHale fellow won something! More seriously (-ish), a fellow reporter just snapped a pic of the banner hanging at the McCain party, which reads, “1191” and emailed that the McCain campaign finally has put a date on the year McCain first answered the “red phone.”
9:11 PM Great question from fellow Swamper Jay N-S: Does this call mean that HRC won’t committee to agreeing to tonight’s results? In other words, if she loses, will she contest? If she wins, will she wait for any appropriate investigations to be completed? (Important to remember here that BOTH camps have made fraud accusations.) Wolfson: “our hope is that they [these 'irregularities'] can be corrected in a timely fashion… that’s really the goal of this call.” I think that means that they’ll drop it — and hope Obama will too! — if they win.
9:22 PM Hey, HRC won Rhode Island! Don’t forget Rhode Island!
9:24 PM Huck’s conceding. He thanks his staff, sorta?: “We asked everyone on our staff to work as if they were two or three people and they acted if they were four.” I’d make a human cloning joke but I wonder if he means that the entire staff of 20 only worked as hard as four…. Also: Life is precious, and God, and the Bible.
9:35 PM David Gregory says that Ds will brand McCain as “John W. McCain,” which is either very clever or just confusing…
9:39 PM Matthews just said, “We [Americans] reserve the use of a middle name for assassins and murderers.” This is just a lie. Or his imagination. Or the drugs kicking in. (Harry S. Truman, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Isaac Bachevis Singer… please continue in comments, if you like…)
9:46 PM More drinking game word suggestions: Wyoming. Caucus Packet. Machiavellian. Misnomer.
9:47 PM Ed Rendell with the quote of the night (so far): “She is beloved in the greater Scranton area.” Though Dwight thinks she’s a lesbian.
9:51 PM McCain, decoded: “I have never believed I was destined to be president” = unlike that kindergarten Machiavellian Obama; “given the alternative [Democratic candidates]… not best choice for the country we love so much” = they do not love our country; “I will defend the decision to destroy Saddam Hussein’s regime” = I have a penis; “I will continue to criticize the way [the war unfolded]” = I also have a brain… Okay, he’s going on about Iraq. He won’t just be running on the issue, he’ll be actually campaigning there. Maybe. He loves him some transcendent challenges. That is one expensive set of dice you’re rolling, my friend.
9:58 PM Americans don’t deserve an election where they’re “just talked to and not listened to” = I am not as good a speaker as Obama; also don’t deserve an election that is “less a contest of ideas than an uncivil brawl over the spoils of power” = Two words: dressed Obama; “we are not a country that prefers nostalgia to optimism” = get off my lawn!; “we make the future better than the past” = I have a time machine; “that is the lesson of hope in America… hope built on courage and faith” = let’s see your POW scars, Barry
10:05 PM Matthews just said that Americans “turn to military men in times of trouble… whether it’s Ike or William Henry Harrison,” who was, of course, also a serial killer, right, Chris?
10:10 PM FYI: I’m blogging in the company of HuffPo’s Jason Linkins, who is teh funny; he got to the “packet-grabbing” place before me! So jealous. So that’s her revenge on Bill!
10:17 PM I can’t believe Pat Buchanan literally said that Obama appeals to “the kids.” You know, with their “rock-and-roll” music.
10:26 PM Chuck Todd says that there are almost no votes counted in Cincinnati, Cleveland, or Toledo… you know, where the black people live.
10:28 PM Brian Williams: “I’ve been down there where you are [Keith Olbermann], looking up at Chuck.” I don’t even want to think about it.
10:31 PM Brian to Keith: “I heard you make that comparison earlier [McCain to Churchill] and I LOVED IT!” Brian Williams has also been looking up to Keith, I guess.
10:37 PM Brian again: “You gotta bring it worse than that if you want to get to John McCain.” Oh, it’s already been broughten. (Jason made this joke: “Brian Williams has now wasted about ten minutes of my life building to the following point: Running for President is less unpleasant than being tortured by the Viet Cong. He then advises that we’d all be wise to remember that. So I’m going to make a cross-stitch with those words and hang it on my wall.”)
10:41 PM Lisa Caputo, HRC flack: “She’s doing something right on her messaging.” Ew. Also, “I don’t think any campaign can reject results,” she says. And she’s right: That’s Mark Penn’s job.
10:44 PM Adding “buyers’ remorse” to the drinking game list.
10:47 PM I don’t think NBC should be allowed to put the word “news” in front the phrase “Ohio, Texas too close to call.”
10:50 PM Make it stop. Please.
10:51 PM Actually, I’m signing off at 11… Can only produce so much funny out of so much sow’s ear. (That is not a HRC reference.)
10:53 PM Matthews predicting “there will be a party tonight.” In your pants, perhaps? Then again, Obama isn’t speaking yet…
10:56 PM suzyqueue offers more non-homicidal middle-name carriers: “FDR, Mary Tyler Moore, Michael J. Fox, Jamie Lee Curtis, Eva Marie Saint and …. Hillary Rodham Clinton! (Of course, she’s probably who Matthews was talking about.)”
10:58 PM Tomorrow’s HRC spin, tonight: “He didn’t close tonight and that means he can’t close. We can pull this out.” Tomorrow’s Obama spin, tonight: “They did little to close the delegate count, and that’s what this is about.”
11:01 PM Matthews just said, of the case in which superdelegates might decide the nomination: “It’s like 2000… it’s in our gut… we were told that the person who got the most votes didn’t win… and we’re told there’s this thing called the Supreme Court [and they're going to decide it]… it’s like the Schiavo case for presidents.” Translation: At least Bill Frist doesn’t think that Chris Matthews is brain dead.
11:08 PM And with that, I leave you. We’ll catch up in the morning. Am hoping there will be news.