Tomorrow night I will be live blogging from 8 PM EST until the candidates declare victory or wallow in their misery. I will use this thread. Like Iowa, I will put myself through the pain of watching the various cable outlets and offering real time observations. It is my service to “the people”. Here are the questions that intrique me heading into this contest:
Will anyone be able to stop the sudden Barack Obama earthquake?
Will Hillary Clinton’s tears from today result in any additional votes or will New Hampshire voters feel as though they are being blatantly manipulated?
Will John McCain retain his lead and if so can Mitt Romney keep it close in order to preserve his viability?
Can Rudy Giuliani keep his “campaign” on life support?
Will Huckabee get a bump in New Hampshire as a result of his victory in Iowa? Pre-Iowa, he was polling at approximately 10%. In my opinion only, he needs 15% or more of the vote to prove that Iowa was not his high water mark.
It will be a fun night. I look forward to hearing from you. If you can’t be nice, at least try to be funny.
***Update*** 7:30 PM EST
The same rules will apply for tonight’s festivities as they did in Iowa. Do not expect perfect spelling or grammar. I’ll try to keep it light. If you want in-depth (i.e., really boring) analysis go to NRO.com. Just make certain that you bring your No-Dose. Although the polls have not closed, it appears as though Obama is going to win in a blow out and Romney just may squeak by with a slim victory. I’ll watch all 3 cable news channels and try to make sense of what they have to say. I am sure that it will be brilliant. MSNBC’s hate america coverage does not begin until 9 PM EST, so there will be no reporting from Chrissy Matthews or Kommunist Olbermann until that time. I refuse to watch Countdown on general principle.
***Update*** 7:40 PM EST
The first results are in and McCain has a 10% lead while Clinton has a 2% lead. Fred Thomspon informed Shep that he is traveling to warmer states. I thought he was in Brazil. Fred claims he had a great debate that contradicts what Shep said to him. Shockingly, shockingly, he does not expect to win New Hampshire. SC is his fire wall. Good luck with that. I guess since Fred has been “down south” he has not had access to the recent polls for South Carolina.
***Update*** 7:48 PM EST
Shep is reviewing Mitt’s life story. It may not take me very long to throw up tonight.
***Update*** 7:59 PM EST
Cameron claims that the McCain camp is optimistic. Hemmer also states that Romney is optimistic. Goler says that the Huckabee crowd is optimistic. It is too bad that 7:59 will turn into 8:59 real fast. Will Fox call it for Obama at 8:01PM? Why does Britt Hume’s facial expression make it look like he has a permanent case of hemorriods? Where are the blonde bombshells?
Steve Brown reports that the Clinton team thinks the high turnout is good. Logic is not prevailing at this time in the Clinton camp.
***Update*** 8:01 PM EST
Fox exit polling has both McCain and Obama winning with a 5% margin. That would be great news for McCain but not so great for Obama who was now expected to win by double digits. Fred says it is OK for Hillary to claim to be the come back kid.
CNN has McCain at 37% and Romney with 28%. Rudy is in 4th place. That is bad news. God, how can anyone watch Wolf Blitzer?
***Update*** 8:06 PM EST
I can not understand anything that Michael Barone is saying. Help!! 639 people have actually voted for Dennis Kucinich. Did he promise every single one of them a free dinner? Although it is triple what Fred has received so far. Blonde Bombshell alert! Megyn Kelly. Now I feel better. She also makes more sense than Michael Barone who reminds me of a geology professor. Again, Obama kick’s butt with the youth and beats Hillary for the woman’s vote. Sounds just like Iowa so far. McCain Wins!!!!!! I am very surprised that the GOP race has been called so soon. Romney is in trouble unless he can lose by 3% or less. Kristol claims McCain’s support for the war is the reason for his victory. That is a neo-con stretch if I ever heard one. Fred agrees with Bill so maybe I am wrong.
***Update*** 8:18 PM EST
MSNBC provides it’s viewers with the scoop that Romney’s campaign is dissapointed. What an awesome job of providing in depth analysis. KO blaims Bill O’Reilly. Chriss Matthews prays for uncertaintly on the GOP side. Brokaw and Russert delight in Romney’s troubles. Scarborough repeats the GOP is wide open comment. A party on disarray. I guess life is all peachy for the Democrats. Did they listen to Bill Clinton today? They now claim that the surge is not working. Here comes the hate america rhetoric. Joe ties McCain to Ted Kennedy which is fair. I have to change the channel before I break my $2000 HDTV.
Back to Fox and and Mark McKinnon desperately needs to get rid of his hat. Hillary still has a 5% lead with 14% in. Could an upset be possible? Chris Wallace just disses McKinnon on his hat. My respect for him has just risen.
***Update*** 8:32 PM EST
One of the Fox blonde bomshells reports that Roy Spence will be joining the Hillary team. Here comes scorched earth. Maybe a 527 will swiftboat Obama. It now looks like Hillary is going to keep this much closer than expected. I would like to know the geography of the precincts reporting. John Edwards is toast. Major Garrett tells us that the Obama team tells them that Hillary can not spin a close loss as good news. She is up by 2000 in the raw vote count. Obama needs to learn that the expectations game is based on what you were expected to do yesterday, not 3 weeks ago. Will there be accusations of “irregularities”?
***Update*** 8:40 PM EST
CNN projects that John Edward’s will finish 3rd. I am not kidding. How do they do it? Ralph Reed and Bill Bennett on the same panel. CNN probably thinks that they are the true representatives of all Republicans. Did Hillary’s tears really work? Mitt and Huck make the standard concession phone call to McCain according to Mr. excitement, Wolf Blitzer. He looks thrilled that Hillary is winning so far. I have not seen him this happy since the mid-terms.
Over at Fox, Republicans like McCain. I like Megyn Kelly. Hillary’s lead has actually increased with 20% in. Fred likes Megyn Kelly as well. 12% for Huckabee is being spun as a win. He was polling at 10% on Saturday. I think 15% would be a win. 12 looks like a push to me. Romney is going to speak soon and tell us why getting his butt kicked is A OK.
Fox did not have the audio for Romney. Over at MSNBC, Romney tells everyone he is proud of his silver medal. I am tired to the references to the olympics. Enough already. He is graceful in defeat and congratulates McCain. I wish he had the Romney twins on stage. They really know New Hampshire and the state knows him and does not…well… like him very much. I will get sick if Hillary wins tonight. Romney sounds like a democrat now. Is this a new direction for him? The new Romney catch phrase is “but they haven’t”. I have and the phrase sucks. A 6% Clinton lead now!
***Update*** 9:12 PM EST
McCain is back! You do have to hand it to him for hanging in there when it appeared as though he was finished in July when his campaign ran out of money. Why did the polls yesterday indicate that Obama would win by double digits and that Romney just might catch McCain when it looks like the opposite may happen? The polling firms once again should hang their head’s in shame. Still, I don’t think McCain looks healthy. Check out the left side of his face. Hillary is still up by 4% and Fox’s commentators are now talking about a Hillary or Obama victory. We all must learn, as we have before, that you can never count out a Clinton in an election. McCain pretty much gives his stump speech. It is effective but not stirring like Obama’s was in Iowa.
***Update*** 9:25 PM EST
The fortune of fate is indeed fickle. It looks as though Hillary is going to keep it close, at the very least. Britt states that Huckabee is the first candidate that he heard make a victory speech afte receiving 12% of the vote. The hate american crowd loves Howard Dean. No real surprise. The panel on MSNBC is really, really bad. Has the world not had enough of Howard Fineman.
On CNN, they report that Hillary is winning big with poor people. I can believe that considering her platform is too basically create a welfare state. What if she actually wins? I can only hope that the precincts in the college towns have not reported their results yet. Candy Crowley is on – that necessitates a channel change. Fox’s new exit poll predicts a Clinton victory. It appears as though her campaign is alive. Kristol reports that a New Hampshire insider is betting on a Clinton win. It is an understatement to say that this is a shock. Thanks Rasmussen, Zogby, ARG and the rest of the polling firms. They should all go out of business.
Obama’s campaign must be in agony. Major Garrett is reporting from Obama’s HQ and it sounds very quiet.
***Update*** 9:47 PM EST
Ann Lewis from the Hillary campaign is thrilled with the results. I hate Ann Lewis. Martha McCallan, a Fox blonde bombshell tells us that Townhall says that the grownups came out to vote. The comeback girl speech is being prepared at this moment. 54% of the vote in and Hillary still has a 2% lead with a 3000 voter advantage. According to Martha, Romney is going on a “truth” tour. Huh? Obama’s camp is cloistered trying to figure out what the hell went wrong. If Hillary wins, then she is the front runner. Britt Hume seems to be having problems with this concept. Kristol is in denial on the topic just like he was on Iraq for 3 years. Nina Easton is cute. I suggest Courtney Friel as a future panel member. 54% of the vote in and the results are no better for Obama.
Wes Clark on MSNBC. Well, that is enough for MSNBC. Juan Williams wants to talk hardball politics. He does not seem to like Obama very much. I wonder what his history is with the Clintons? Rudy’s campaign commercial just came on and it does nothing for me. You better WIN Florida Rudy or you are finished.
***Update*** 10:06 PM EST
Fox, CNN and MSNBC may not have the guts to make the call but I will – Hillary Clinton wins the New Hampshire primary!!! She now vaults into front runner status and Obama is set up as the VP choice. We were almost spared from a Clinton fall campaign. It is apparent that even if Clinton loses, which looks less and less likely, she can spin this as a huge victory. Contrary to what I heard earlier, Clinton did very well with women especially single women. I wonder if many of the college students were too busy getting drunk to go vote. Chris Matthews and KO are spouting their usual nonsense. Somehow, the USA is still sexist even though the front runner for the NH primary is a woman.
***Update*** 10:13 PM EST
Pat Buchanan (of all people) has the line of the night on MSNBC – “We had cannonized Obama and had him born in Bethlehem”. Some Obama supporting blog is blaming Matthews for Obama’s failure. I am not sure that I understand the logic but Matthews appears to be thrilled. Once again, Mrs. Edwards fronts for her husband. She looks good and healthy. Hopefully, it can stay that way. Unfortunately, John Edwards will be stepping to the microphone shortly to “cheer” us up. I could comment on what he has to say but why bother?
***Update*** 10:19 PM EST
Ok, I lied. I feel compelled to inform everyone that Edwards just communicated to the world that he only has 48 more states to lose. Now he is on to his depressing stories. If I listen to him anymore, I will need to call a shrink.
***Update*** 10:33 PM EST
From Fox News – AP calls the primary for Hillary. Fox is not ready to at the moment but NBC is now calling Clinton the winner. I can’t watch her speech tonight. That is just too much pain for me. My hat if off to all of the polling firms who had Obama winning by double digits yesterday. It is official – you are stealing money. Russert is jubilant! New Hampshire, as is their norm, has contradicted Iowa. I must say that was what Hillary predicted even though I don’t think the Clinton’s even thought they could win. Fox still won’t make the official call although the panel seems to think it is a fait accompli. I expect their call any second now. Kristol tries to downplay the Hillary win. He is wrong. It is a huge victory. He credits her pretending to cry that attracted the women voters. I guess we will be flooded with her water works from this point forward.
***Update*** 10:45 PM EST
OK, I am going to detail a quick winners and losers list. I could stay up and listen to Hillary and Obama’s speeches but we basically know what they are going to say, so why bother. Fox finally calls it for Clinton and Obama is ready to speak. Obama congratulates Hillary (yes, I am commenting on his speech) and tries to retroactively reset expectations. He then goes on to give the same basic speech as in Iowa.
Hillary Clinton – Even if the emotion was intentional, it seems to have worked. Hillary has proven that she can turn out the Democratic base especially when times are tough.
Bill Clinton – We all (including me) wrote him off as yesterday’s news. Again, we all need to learn for the upteenth time that the Clintons can never be counted out in an election.
John McCain – He had to win to keep his campaign alive. He now has a little time to fill up his bank account. Still, I think it is early to call him a front-runner. As far as I can see, the GOP still does not have a front-runner.
The polling firms – Rasmussen, Gallup, Zogby, Mason-Dixon and the rest. Two words – YOU STINK. I think that sums things up nicely.
Barack Obama – He got a little cocky and assumed victory. Tonight he learned that looking past the Clinton’s will get you spanked. Hillary is now the front runner.
John Edwards – He is finished. Edwards is the only one who does not seem to realize that his war is over.
Mitt Romney – The strategy to focus on Iowa and New Hampshire did not go so well, now did it? Still, he is not finished. The GOP is in disarray at the moment.
Rudy Guliani – I can agree with skipping Iowa which is not a good state for Rudy. However, the decision to not campaign hard in New Hampshire may prove to be fatal to his chances. He wins Florida or else he is done. A close second might as well be 20th.
The Cable News Networks – The coverage was flat. It looks like everyone was still hung over from Iowa.
Too Close to Call
Mike Huckabee – Contrary to what I heard tonight on Fox, Huckabee was polling at approximately 10% in New Hampshire before the Iowa Caucus. I really thought he needed 15% to be a winner. Still, he can’t be labeled a loser with a 3rd place finish in a state where he spent very little time.
***Update*** 11:03 PM EST
One last update before I sign off for the evening. It is disgusting to me how Frank Luntz is trying to rewrite history although I agree that the independents broke for McCain in the end. Frank, stop blaming everyone else and look in the mirror. Hillary is about to speak. I know that I have long been predicting a Hillary presidency. Please don’t mistake that. I really detest her. OK, I just can’t watch. It is pure agony.