Tuesday, February 05, 2008

BIG NIGHT: AS OF 12 A.M... With Missouri and California still up for grabs, it looks like a decent night for Obama, who didn't get the big prizes but is splitting delegates almost even with Clinton. McCain is cleaning up but forgotten man Huckabee, with record-setting evangelical support, is putting up some numbers. Romney is hanging on by the phrenic nerves.

Super Tuesday turns out to be a magnifying glass for the race at large. Obama is stripping off ever-larger pieces of the Clinton victory march, but she's still marching and he's still stripping. McCain has broad support, but the fringes (with the establishmentarians roughly represented by Romney and the snake-handlers by Huckabee) are holding out.

ABC only gave me pieces of the candidates' speeches. McCain sounded like he was speaking at his own retirement dinner. Clinton sang the old songs in the traditional, plangent manner. Huckabee was an easy-listening version of Huey Long. Obama had by far the best words, as usual, and slung them loose and low-key -- under the circumstances, the most appropriate form of optimism. Romney's traditional impenetrability stood him well on a bad night.

Cali has 441 delegates -- according to this report, proportionally distributed except for 81 at-large delegates who go to the winner, not to speak of the super-delegates, PLEOs, and unpledged. ABC has called it for Clinton but I'm not going to touch it, partly because it's way too early and partly because, as of my pulling of the lever at P.S. 100 on Monitor Street at 8 a.m. Tuesday, I am an Obama supporter, as if you couldn't tell.

UPDATE. Romney factotum Hugh Hewitt reports on the night: "A Divided GOP... McCain has strength across the country and a lead in delegates, but nowhere near 50% of the GOP's votes." Keep hope alive, Snowman!

UPDATE II. Or keep hate alive, as Classical Values blogger Eric does: "Hillary is speaking and according to someone in the know, 'she looks like she's had some major makeovers'... But she still has that same shrill, grating voice... She brays..." If Hitlery takes the nomination, at least I'll have copious bile-streams from true believers to report to you folks.

UPDATE III. As usual, the best reason for even a modish, mawkish, wigger Obamist such as myself to yet tender some affection to Clinton is Whitewater dead-ender Andrew Sullivan, who in the wee small hours quotes Ari Fleischer on the ease with which Der Alte will defeat Hillary. Much as I dislike her, I do believe Clinton could appear in the General Election debates wearing a Nazi uniform and with two pencils sticking out of her nose and still give McCain a run for his money. However much trouble she's having at present with her opponent, she is very, very fortunate in her enemies.

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