Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Live-blogging Super Tuesday II

By Michael J.W. Stickings

UPDATED FREQUENTLY.

(And check out Creature's live-blogging over at State of the Day.)

**********

7:47 pm -- It isn't really a Super Tuesday, is it? There are just four elections today -- two in big states, two in small states. But what else can we call it? Hillary's Last Stand? (For more live-blogging, check out Sullivan.)

7:50 pm -- Let's get the Republican side over with as quickly as possible. McCain has won Ohio and Vermont -- easily. Maybe CNN can post more McCain recipes on its website. That's what seems to be passing for serious reporting of the GOP nominee these days. (The mainstream news media aren't liberal, they're Republican mouthpieces.)

7:55 pm -- Newsweek's Jonathan Alter: "Forget tonight. She could win 16 straight and still lose."

7:57 pm -- In Ohio, Republicans are "crossing over in large numbers" to vote in the Democratic primary. Presumably this will help Obama, but many may be crossing over to vote for Clinton over the NAFTA flap, or because the Rush Limbaughs of the world have encouraged Republicans to vote for Clinton in order to keep the Democrats divided.

8:01 pm -- As expected, Obama has won Vermont.

8:02 pm -- Ambinder has the early exit poll spins from the two campaigns. Clinton may be ahead in both Ohio and Texas.

8:18 pm -- Hillary Clinton and fake news. The bad kind, not the Jon Steward kind. Newsday's Spin Cycle has the story. Lovely. What a shameful campaign she has run.

8:24 pm -- Ohio is too close to call, according to NBC. Again, let's put this in perspective: Not so long ago, Obama was way behind Clinton there, as far back as about 20 points according to some polls. Even if he loses tonight -- and it does look like Clinton will win by a narrow margin -- his incredible accomplishment of basically pulling even should not be overlooked. (It will, though. The media have no such perspective. It's all about the here and now and whatever narrative they want to slam over our heads.)

8:29 pm -- Ohio is reporting ballot shortages in 15 precincts, according to MSNBC. Wow. Turnout is obviously high, but could Ohio please get through an election problem-free?

8:34 pm -- Chait: "This CNN exit poll, combined with some seventh-grade algebra, would suggest that Hillary Clinton won Ohio 51-48. Of course, that's close enough that the result could easily be off." Yes, we'll see. Sounds about right, though.

9:28 pm -- Sorry, just away from the computer for a bit... So McCain's victories tonight have put him over the top. Anti-climactic, but there you go. And Huckabee's speaking right now... He's out, done, finished. And he's crazy, too, but give him some credit for staying in the race this long. But he's going on and on and on, as Creature also points out. I just don't care enough to pay attention. Oh! It's over!

9:34 pm -- CNN calls Rhode Island for Clinton. No surprise there, but, again, at least Obama made it close. Once upon a time, she was way up there, too. The Clinton spin, along with the media narrative, will focus on Clinton's victories tonight. The real story, however, is that Obama narrowed the gap significantly in Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island. Before Obama's February sweeps, the expectation was pretty much that the race would have been over by now, that Clinton would win these states easily, well on her way to the nomination. Instead, these narrow victories are being spun as triumphs. What a pathetic campaign she's run -- and is still running.

10:02 pm -- Wow, what a mesmerizing speech by McCain. Magnificent, truly magnificent.

10:03 pm -- No, not really. Not at all. Seriously, I was kidding. It was the usual blather from Johnny B. Goode -- that's the song they played after his speech. Has McCain forever tainted Back to the Future for me?

10:08 pm -- McCain won all four contests, by the way. Hoo-wah. And, no, he hasn't tainted BttF for me. It's too good for him to ruin. (Creature: "McCain on the TV. You'd think he would have rehearsed his victory speech a bit more. It's sad really." Yes, really, really sad.

10:12 pm -- Interesting piece at The Politico: "A behind-the-scenes battle broke out late Tuesday over superdelegates who had secretly committed to [Obama], with Clinton campaign officials scrambling to 'freeze' them before they announced support for him." Hey, wasn't the Clinton campaign all about the superdelegates? And now, with some of them switching over to Obama, and with Obama picking up more and more support, it's trying to take away their freedom to vote as they see fit? Ladies and gentlemen, the Clinton campaign! It's ugly, it's dirty, and it's utterly without shame.

10:18 pm -- Josh Patashnik at The Plank, with a bit of a curiosity: "With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Barack Obama has carried Loving County, Texas -- the least populous county in America -- by a tally of seven votes to five." How many precincts are there in Loving County?

10:27 pm -- Creature, from earlier tonight: "I think the best summary of what to expect tonight comes from Obama himself: 'We started at 20 points behind in Texas and Ohio,' he said. 'We closed the gap... We know there is not going to be a huge shift in delegates.' Yes, a wash tonight, barring an unexpected occurrence, is the likely result. And, I'm happy to say, what little punditry I've seen tonight has including detail discussions of "the math" and Hillary's negligible chance of catching Obama when all is said and done."

10:30 pm -- There's also this, from CNN's Bill Schneider: "In what may be bad news for Clinton, Democrats across all four states overwhelmingly say they want super delegates to vote based on which candidate finishes ahead in the pledged delegate count at the end of the primary season."

10:32 pm -- It's tied in Texas, 49-49. Clinton is up 56-42 in Ohio.

10:55 pm -- Clinton has overtaken Obama in Texas, but, as CNN's John King just pointed out, with the interactive map, Obama is doing well in the big urban areas: Dallas, Houston, Austin. The key exception is San Antonio. And the reporting from those areas is lagging well behind the rest of the state. If he keeps up big leads in the cities, he could win. Clinton needs to stay ahead in San Antonio and to win big in El Paso, which has yet to report.

10:58 pm -- CNN has called Ohio for Clinton. No surprise there at all, no matter what her campaign says. So it comes down to Texas. If she wins there, she stays in the race and gets the media boost. If she loses there... what then?

11:17 pm -- Clinton's about to speak. Her supporters are cheering, chanting her name. And she looks like she won the big thing in November. Sorry, but all she's won are Ohio and Rhode Island. It's a little over the top, no? She's in a celebratory mood now -- "Thank you, Ohio!" -- but where was she when she was losing those 11 contests in a row?

11:18 pm -- "This nation's coming back, and so is this campaign... We're going all the way!" Come on, really? The nation is akin to Hillary's presidential campaign? So she won a battleground state -- where she was way ahead in the polls all along. "This is a great night." Oh, I see. And she mentioned Rhode Island. She ignored all those states where she lost, not even thanking her supporters there. "Ohio has written a new chapter in this history of this campaign, and we're just getting started." She's big on the BS tonight, apparently. Her campaign is about "making history," but Obama's isn't? Typically condescending, typically unclassy, typically repellent. She just listed all the states she's won. Um, fine, but Obama's won many more, including some key battleground states. But that doesn't matter to her. She obviously doesn't give a shit about some states, nor about the voters in those states. And she included Florida? It wasn't even a contested election, but she's counting it anyway? Appalling, but we've heard it all before.

11:25 pm -- Oh, great, she mentioned the middle-of-the-night phone call again. Like a good Republican, she plays the fear card whenever she can. But come on, she's never taken one of those calls. It's all so bogus, this talk of experience and preparedness.

11:30 pm -- So she won Ohio, and that's so significant? Look, nothing against Ohio, or Ohioans, but it's one state. That's it. She's making it out to be everything. But at least her speech is over. I really can't stand her anymore. (Creature: "She looks forward to continuing the 'dialogue' with Obama. Wow. If the last two weeks were a 'dialogue,' then what does a firing squad look like? Yeesh." I would add: She doesn't want a dialogue with him, she wants to destroy him. The only way she can win is through a campaign of all-out smearing.)

11:38 pm -- Let's listen to Obama...

11:54 pm -- Poised, dignified, confident. It was shorter than some of his recent election-night speeches, but it was all the more powerful for being so focused, so forceful. Where Clinton is scrappy and petty, Obama is inspirational and profound. She went after him with yet more of her typical negativity, trying to belittle him, but he is not to be belittled. He is one of the truly great political figures of our time, a commanding presence, the leader America needs, the leader the world needs, and he occupies a far grander place than the ugly space of smears and insults that is hers.

12:38 am -- I don't quite share Sullivan's loathing of the Clintons, but here's his quite accurate take on the Clinton campaign: "This is how the Clintons usually prevail -- they grind you down. They don't care what happens to their party or their country (remember the 1990s?). They have no shame and no scruples. They will say anything. But they will never willingly relinquish power or the chance of power. In a free country, that is their right. And I'm not impugning that. But the refusal ever to concede or to champion others or to settle for a mere eight years in the White House is in their blood. You can only defeat them if you treat them as they would treat you. I wonder if Obama can keep his civility and still win." (And we've seen more and more of this in recent days, haven't we? And we'll see more and more of it in the days to come. Her appalling speech tonight only served to prove the point.)

12:47 am - Yglesias: "Chuck Todd is predicting a net win of delegates for Obama in Texas, possibly a net win large enough to overcome Clinton's net delegate pickup in Ohio. If that's even close to correct, then the bottom line is that it continues to be unclear how Clinton can actually win barring some catastrophic Obama meltdown."

1:00 am -- And Texas goes to... Clinton. Well, I can't say I'm not disappointed. Although Ohio could tighten up once the full results come in from Cuyahoga County, Clinton's win there was pretty decisive, and certainly above where the poll had the race there. I suspect that the NAFTA flap had something to do with it, but it was also a tough last week for Obama. The media have turned on him, his campaign handled the NAFTA flap badly (although it seems to have been an insidious effort on the part of our Conservative government up here to undermine him), the Rezko affair entered the news again (with Rezko going to trial), and, of course, the smearing from the Clinton campaign, from Clinton herself, and from his various other detractors took its sordid toll. And, of course, Ohio is a good state for Clinton. As I said earlier, though, he narrowed what was a huge gap. As for Texas, well, I had hoped that a win there would balance out Clinton's expected win in Ohio. He should still win the caucuses, but in terms of the primaries Clinton can count two significant victories tonight. Not much will change in terms of delegates, but the appearance of two such big wins will change the race, or at least the media coverage of the race, which in turn will change the race. By how much? Well, that's the big question.

1:21 am -- And that's it for me tonight. Good night, everyone.

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16 Comments:

  • 8:33 pm - Medvedev has just won the Caucasus.

    By Blogger ECOPHOTOS, at 8:34 PM  

  • Ha! That's hilarious!

    Trivia question: How many public meetings did Medvedev hold during the Russian presidential election campaign?

    Answer: One.

    And he won with about 70% of the vote. What an awesome democracy they've got over there.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 8:38 PM  

  • How would you feel about renaming tonight's event? Instead of "Super Tuesday II," how about "Suppurating Tuesday."

    By Blogger ECOPHOTOS, at 8:44 PM  

  • 8:55 pm - Now this is weird (only in Texas):

    Obama - 489,023
    Clinton - 374,383
    Precincts - 1% reporting

    Texas has 86,000,000 Democrats?

    By Blogger ECOPHOTOS, at 8:55 PM  

  • TPM explains the Texas numbers here.

    By Blogger creature, at 9:22 PM  

  • 9:25 pm - Gomer Pyle concedes

    By Blogger ECOPHOTOS, at 9:26 PM  

  • Gomer Pyle can't seem to shut up about it too.

    By Blogger creature, at 9:27 PM  

  • creature, too bad, I thought we struck a Democrat gusher and an end to the energy shortage.

    By Blogger ECOPHOTOS, at 9:29 PM  

  • Sorry, just away from the computer for a bit...

    Michael, no leaving the computer. People are waiting.

    By Blogger creature, at 9:51 PM  

  • If she wins there [Texas], she stays in the race and gets the media boost. If she loses there... what then?

    She stays in anyway, bloodies Obama up to the point he loses to McCain, and she's set up for 2012.

    By Blogger creature, at 11:15 PM  

  • You may be right, Creature. It's the scorched-earth campaign I've been talking about. It's all about her. It's always been about her. All this faux populism is getting on my nerves.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 11:29 PM  

  • Tomorrow, all those Hillary e-mails get an "unsubscribe" notice. Yes, I am truly pissed.

    By Blogger ECOPHOTOS, at 11:36 PM  

  • From a fog of mixed drinks (earlier, I broke off blogging to watch the returns at a local pub), I watched Obama’s speech and felt heartsick. He said (rough paraphrase): The world is watching. What will we tell them? What will they see?”

    Indeed! I see the unfolding of a strategy, his next words. I feel ashamed that American voters again fell sucker for negative campaigns. Shame on the Clintons for proving once again that slash and burn politics can win an election. I am angry that Obama delegates were locked out of a caucus by Clinton operatives earlier this evening.

    Reminders of Election Year 2000 when democracy was hijacked by a determination to win at all costs. The system will never be honest until voters say “Enough.” There is a lone voice in the wilderness trying to redeem us. It sure isn’t the Clintons.

    By Blogger ECOPHOTOS, at 12:18 AM  

  • And here is the kicker:

    Sorry, there are no results for “http://www.hillaryclinton.com/unsubscribe/”

    Even this turns out to be a 24 carat fraud!

    By Blogger ECOPHOTOS, at 12:31 AM  

  • By Blogger note1, at 12:27 AM  

  • 賃貸の部屋探しならジョイント・ルームピア!賃貸マンション・賃貸アパートなどの賃貸情報が満載。さらにペット可賃貸・デザイナーズマンションなど多数ご紹介をお探しなら

    By Blogger note1, at 12:27 AM  

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