Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Super Tuesday III: Mississippi Madness

By Michael J.W. Stickings

7:57 pm -- Wow. 8 pm really snuck up on me. The results of the Mississippi primary are just minutes away...

7:59 pm -- In case you were wondering, yes, CNN does have the best political team in the history of the universe on hand to dissect, in its characteristically conventional (and shallow) way, the results.

8:00 pm -- CNN is not ready to call it. Hmmm. Is it really that close, or is this all about milking it? I mean, CNN and the others have hours of empty space to fill. Why not make it ever so dramatic?

8:05 pm -- Big turnout, it seems.

8:06 pm -- Need I remaind everyone that all three Clintons campaigned in Mississippi. They did take it seriously. They cannot pretend that it doesn't matter. (Well, they can, and maybe they will, but they have obviously been paying close attention to it.)

8: 07 pm -- The exit polls have Obama ahead. The pre-election polls had him ahead, too -- see here -- by anywhere from 6 to 24 points over the past several days.

8:10 pm -- Of course, it's not really Super Tuesday III, but why not play it up? Mississippi Mayhem 2008? No, if it's March, it's all about the Madness. (What do you think? Any Mississippi Burning references tonight? Mississippi burns for Obama? No -- hopefully not, given the historical context.

8:13 pm -- CNN is now reporting that the polls are "close". And -- yes! John King is coming up! He's at "the magic wall"! How ridiculous. It's a useful (and rather cool) tool, but it's not magic. Isn't American Idol on?

8:19 pm -- Waiting, waiting, waiting... Okay, I'm going to read up on l'affaire Spitzer -- maybe I'll post on it later. By the way, my two posts from last night on Spitzer and the unbelievably expensive hooker are here and here. I'll back when there's something newsworthy (or amusing, or whatever).

8:30 pm -- Okay, news. CNN has called it for Obama. No vote totals yet. Odd. (Again, I know I should flip around, but MSNBC and Fox News are both so awful -- in awfully different ways, no disrespect to Olbermann. On a different matter, a new low: Idol contestants singing Beatles songs. So horrible.)

8:54 pm -- Well, Carly Smithson's "Come Together" was really good. It's not all horrible... Wait, David Cook's doing "Eleanor Rigby"? I'm not expecting much. It's a great song that shouldn't be covered, ever. And... not good. It's like he doesn't get what the song is about. (Hey, isn't there a primary in Mississippi tonight?) Simon thought it was "brilliant" -- huh? It's just the usual spin, maybe they're trying to prop him up. Is it any wonder so many people hate this stupid show?

9:01 pm -- 49-49, 3% reporting. Let the good times roll.

9:02 pm -- Montreal 3, New Jersey 0. Now this makes me happy. (So does Obama's win, of course.) That's hockey, in case you were wondering.

9:05 pm -- Brooke White is doing "Let it Be" -- also really good. I can't believe I'm actually AI-blogging, that I'm actually liking some of it. (But, seriously, how much can one say about Mississippi?)

9:26 pm -- And it started sucking again. AI, that is. But here's Amanda Overmyer with... wait, what song is this? Whatever it is, it's okay, at best. I still like her, though. "Very cool," says Randy. Okay, maybe it was better than okay. Have I mentioned that I think Paula Abdul is one of the most annoying and most pointless human beings in the history of human beings?

9:28 pm -- Fine, let's get back to Mississippi Madness. It's Obama up 53 to 45, with 16% reporting.

9:34 pm -- Even CNN doesn't have much to say. It's on to the Spitzer story. Looks like he'll resign -- it's a matter of when, not if. Jeffrey Toobin's in Maui. Thank God for broadband. What would we do without him?

9:36 pm -- Michael Johns, "Across the Universe" -- not great, grossly overdone. (I think I just like the girls a lot better than the boys. But, then, they are a lot better -- a few of them, anyway.) Honestly, two hours of AI wears down the spirit.

9:40 pm -- Have I mentioned that Obama has won the Mississippi primary? That's Obama, not Clinton. What do you think the Clinton campaign's excuses will be this time? It's a small red state that doesn't matter? It's heavily black? (A country version of "Eight Days a Week"? I don't even want to mention the singer's name. It's awful, awful, awful. Where's David Archuleta (from Utah) to rescue us from this nightmare?) Remember what I wrote above: all three Clintons campaigned in Mississippi. Whatever the post-election spin, they took it seriously -- and they lost.

9:49 pm -- 55 to 43, 32% reporting. Can you feel the excitement? (Oh, the updated results are here, by the way.)

9:51 pm -- And Archuleta does... "We Can Work it Out" -- terrible song choice, almost-as-terrible performance. He did well with "Imagine," but this is just bad, and not just according to the lofty standard he has set. Why didn't he do "The Long and Winding Road" or something? Because he was criticized last week for picking slow songs. So he went up-tempo. And it sucked.
9:56 pm -- It's over. Montreal 4, New Jersey 0. A shutout for Carey Price. Awesome. (Have I mentioned that the Canadiens are one of the loves of my life? And it's always good to beat the Devils, the consistently good team from my former home state.)

10:30 pm -- News flash: Geraldine Ferraro is an idiot. (And she should just shut the hell up.)

10:31 pm -- 58 to 40, 72% reporting. Now that's what I'm talking about.

12:11 am -- And we're pretty much done. The Raptors are losing to the Lakers and, in Mississippi, Obama is up 60 to 38 over Clinton with almost all precincts reporting. Which is big. I was hoping for a 20-point win, but Clinton's recent campaigning in Mississippi, along with her wins last week in Ohio and Texas (if not in terms of delegates), suggested that the race would turn out to be much closer, that Obama would win by 12-15 points at the most. But a 22-point win, following his win in Wyoming on Saturday, is nothing if not decisive. Which leaves us now with six weeks to go before the Pennsylvania primary on April 22. Six long weeks. Clinton is ahead in the polls there, as she has been all along, but, well, six weeks in politics, six weeks in this race, is a long, long time.

12:17 am -- For more, see Ambinder and Smith, both of whom examine the exit polls.

12:19 am -- And that's it for Mississippi Madness. Thanks for tuning in.

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