Super Tuesday Live Blog

12:42am–Of course, Blogger sticks it to me in the waning moments…

12:27am–CNN gives Missouri to McCain. President McCain…still getting used to that one.

12:25am–CNN gives California to Clinton and McCain. That’s not how I wanted to end the night.

12:21am–Damn, that was fast. NBC calls Californa for Clinton.

12:14am–Clinton wins Arizona, but the story is in Missouri. With 98% reporting, Obama has a 5,000 vote lead out of nearly 800,000 votes. The Associated Press has called the race for Hillary, already. So, I’m confused. Regardless, how the hell about it?

12:11am–Ari Fleischer just said on CNN that Republicans would kill to run againt Hillary and the tight race tonight is ideal for Republicans because Obama and Clinton will have to tear each other up in the net several weeks.

12:04am–Huckabee wins in Tennessee

11:45pm–Highlights from Obama’s speech. And damn it, I’m still inspired.

  • Also sends thoughts and prayers to tornado victims, then takes a shot at federal government response times
  • “There is one thing on this February night to know. Our time has come Our time has come. Our movement is real and change is coming to America.”
  • “We are more than a collection of Red States and Blue states. We are and always will be the United States of America.”
  • “We don’t have to settle for politics where scoring points is more important than solving problems.”
  • On this Tuesday in Feb…what began as a whisper in Springfield has swelled to a chorus of millions….This time can be different, because this campign for the Presidency of United States is different. It’s different not because of me. It’s different because of you.”
  • “In this election, at this moment, you are standing up all across the country, not this time, not this year, the stakes are too high and the challenges are too great to play the same Washington game. This time must be different.”
  • Conciliatory marks about Clinton
  • “This fall we owe the America people a real choice. We have to choose between change and more of the same. We have to choose between our future and our past.”
  • “Our party must be the party of tomorrow, and that is the party I intend to lead as the President of the United States of America.”11:40pm–McCain speaks in Arizona: “Tonight, I think we must get used to the idea that we are the Republican Party frontrunner…and I don’t really mind it one bit.”

    And thanks to Pokerwolf for the invite. I could use both.

    11:33pm–Rapid Eye Reality is ready to make a projection. Taking an astounding 95% of the vote, Bone-In Ribeye has clinched the Beef nomination. Analysts say Ribeye not only ran a good campaign, but had the funding that Hamburger and Philly Cheesesteak couldn’t pull together. Even after a last-minute push poll from Cheesesteak suggesting Ribeye preferred to be served with A-1, Ribeye managed to reach the table in perfect medium rare form. Left unanswered tonight, which of the Poultry candidates Ribeye will face in November. Ribeye said tonight, “Poultry? Are you kidding me? I come from a cow. Have you seen what a cow can do to a chicken?”

    11:29pm–Huckabee! Huckabee, you dog. You BULLdog. Going and winning Georgia tonight. How adorable.

    11:27pm–Damn, Missouri is tight. Obama is closing in. May end up to be a 1 percent difference when it’s all said and done.

    11:22pm–On a personal note, I could use: A massage, a six pack, a plate of steak and eggs, and some Visine. Maybe a box fan.

    11:20pm–CNN exit polling data out of California is pretty damned interesting. Obama is carrying the black vote by a huge margin. He is also winning modestly in the white vote. On the same hand, Clinton is killing Obama in the Latino and Asian vote.

    11:18pm–Re: the previous entry, ABC news differs a bit.

    11:13pm–On the delegate count, G-Rob sends along this witchcrafty news from the Obama campaign. The upshot is Obama’s people believe they’ve got the lead.

    11:11pm–Romney wins Minnesota.

    11:07pm–CNN is finally showing me what’s going on in Missouri. As expected, Obama is winning in the cities. Outlying KC areas and St. Louis city are still out. It’s tight, but Obama has to crush the above areas to win there.

    11:00pm–Mitt wins North Dakota.

    Also polls have closed in CA.

    10:57pm–So much for the 100th comment. And hey to the new folks!

    10:55pm–Hillary is speaking. I’m…meh. Here are a few clips of the soundbites and thoughts of the night from Hillary Clinton’s speech in New York.

  • “Tonight we are hearing the voices of people across America…those who aren’t in the headlines but have always written America’s story.”
  • Prayers go out to people in Arkansas in Tennessee where tornadoes touched down.
  • “Tonight is your night. Tonight is America’s night.”
  • “Poltics is not game. It’s about your lives and your futures.”
  • 10:54–Who is gonna get the 100th comment?

    10:48pm–Bless G-Rob. Here’s the laugh of the hour via IM:

    Brian Williams is now reporting that after his speech in Boston, Mitt Romney turned back into a cassette playing boom box and headed to his meeting with Optimus Prime.

    10:44pm–Garth asks in the comments, “Is it just me, or is Huckabee a more effective speaker than Romney?”

    We were just talking about that here. Huck can give a speech. It can be a bit cheesey at times. However, that’s Republican speech writers for you. Regardless, the guy had great delivery and will make a great ambassador someday.

    10:41pm–McCain wins Arizona. I also got me kid to tell me he loves me tonight.

    10:38pm–I think there’s baseball reference to be made vis a vis Obama playing small ball to Clinton swinging for dingers. I saly know fuck all about baseball, so I’m going to leave it to somebody else.

    10:33pm–“One thing thats clear is, this campaign is going on.” That from Mitt Romney just now. “It’s not all done tonight. We’re going to go all the way to the convention and win the White House.”

    In other news, I’m going to win Powerball tomorrow night and have a nice steak dinner with Dorothy Mantooth. She’s a saint, you know.

    10:32pm–Obama wins Minnesota, CNN projects.

    10:29pm–Huckabee says Roll Tide and then wins ‘Bama.

    10:25pm–G-Rob, my friend, live blog producer, and eternal optimist when it comes to things he wants, is back online and reminds me the overall vote is not nearly as important as where those votes are coming from in terms of Congressional districts.

    In many cases districts have say 4 delegates and they’ll each get 2. The key is districts that have an ODD # of delegates. Obama, thanks to some DAMN SAVVY campaigning, is doing VERY well there. Therefore he’ll pull a massive delegate margin out of IL and GA. Whereas Hillary crushed him in TN but will only beat him by a net of 8 delegates.

    10:21pm–Two more for Obama. Kansas and Connecticut.

    10:13pm–I’m not entirely sure why the networks aren’t calling my home state of Missouri for Clinton yet. I haven’t seen what precincts are out. I can only assume they are waiting on St. Louis and Kansas City. Otherwise, Clinton beat Obama’s ass. Obviously, I’m missing something.

    10:08pm–Here’s Mike Huckabee’s soundbite of the night: “Over the past few days, a lot of people have beenn trying to say that this is a two man race. You know what? It is. And we’re in it.” He just said it in Little Rock as his…beautiful wife Janet stood behind him. He started talking about spiders and rocks shortly after that and I got confused.

    In related news, my wife just told me Huckabee was born in Hope, Arkansas just like Bill Clinton.

    10:06–Obama picks up North Dakota. In other news, I just picked my foot up off the ottoman for a couple seconds. Both have about the same amount of meaning.

    10:04pm–Sooners like McCain. He’s going to win the state by a fairly narrow margin. President McCain? How does that sound?

    10:00pm–The 10pm projection from CNN:

    Romney: Utah. No! Really?!! His supporters in Boston look like they are cheering for a 10-year-old kid who is playing on a losing soccer team and is running around the field in a leg brace.

    9:56pm–Expect to hear the following talking points from the Obama folks in the next little bit.

  • They are winning states by a dominant amount and losing by smaller margins.
  • Wait for the caucus states – their organization is better there.
  • She should be winning her home state by more. The margin is comparable to her margin in Michigan.
  • Via Politico.com

    9:50pm–Hillary wins New Jersey.

    9:45pm–CNN finally went with NBC on the Clinton wins Massachusetts projection. Politics really are more fun when you don’t give a damn.

    9:41pm–Double bubble? Really? Really.

    9:36pm–More national exit polls…

    Democrats Top Issuse:

    Economy 47 percent
    War in Iraq 30
    Health care 19

    Republicans Top issues:

    Economy 38 percent
    Immigration 24
    War in Iraq 20
    Terrorism 15.

    Via ABCnews.com
    9:30pm–Obama, as expected, wins Alabama.

    Meanwhile, my wife has joined me in the Obama slump funk and sends the link that asks if Chelsea Clinton might have bungled some election laws.

    9:26pm–Funniest comment of the hour comes by way of the on-the-road CC.

    Reporting from London, Ontario. All of Canada seems to have shut down as everyone watches Super Tuesday to learn the names of the different states that don’t border Canada.

    9:22pm–If I were Mitt Romney…I’d be a Mormon. And better looking.

    Beyond that, if I were Romney, I would’ve spent a few of those $35 million bucks to frame Mike Huckabee in a Larry Craig wide-stance situation. Just sayin’.

    9:20pm–McCain takes New York, CNN projects.

    9:15pm–NBC news is calling Massachusetts for Clinton. CNN isn’t committing yet. Writing seems to be on the wall, however. I need a shot of adrenaline. Or just a shot of something.

    9:09pm–I think we have already seen what tonight is not. Tonight is not an embarassment for Hillary Clinton. Whatever bounce Obama got out of South Carolina is not going to take him high enough to walk away tonight with a sense of confidence he’ll get the nomination. California, of course, is still the big state in play. It looks like conventional wisdom will win again and we’ll still have no idea in the morning who the Democratic nominee will be.

    Obama’s crew obviously knew that before today. This morning, they were working hard to reduce expectations going into tonight. I can’t help but feel, however, that Hillary avoiding getting embarrassed tonight is exactly what she needed. She didn’t need to nail Obama to the wall. She needed to have a good showing. So far, she is. That may be all she needs to take it to November.

    9:08pm–Obama takes Delaware.

    9:00pm–Here come the 9pm projections…

    Clinton–New York, a state should couldn’t lose.

    ….and that’s it.

    8:45pm–With fifteen minutes until the big 9pm closings, the networks are projecting John McCain will win Delaware.

    8:33pm–CNN says Hillary Clinton to take Tennessee.

    8:32pm–Can you imagine being Mitt Romney tonight. Dude spent $35 million of his own money on this campaign. Buyer’s remorse, anyone?

    8:30pm–No big surprises out of Arkansas. Hillary Clinton, one-time first lady, will win the most Razorback delegates. Same goes for former Governor MIike Huckabee.

    8:24pm–A couple of not-so-noteworthy oberservations…

    Barack Ombama’s supporters cheer very well. That said, someone needs to handle them better. When networks take live shots and the supporters cheer so loud you can’t hear the reporter talk, you’re sort of defeating your purpose.

    Also on reporters…earlier today I questioned which SNL cast members were working on their Presidential impressions. Something else to consider is that the reporters who are embedded with the candidates have no small amount at stake in the outcomes. The reporters who are covering the candidates now stand to be the White House reporter for their network if their candidate wins.

    Not a bad gig…

    8:13pm–Now 12 hours into this live blog, we are nearing 80 comments. I’ve put down about eight Diet Mt. Dews and a couple Excedrin. Rapid Eye Radio is running somewhat smoothly. Still, I have an ugly feeling. Not sure what it is. It would be a lot easier, I guess, if I didn’t care.

    8:08pm–CNN projects John McCain will carry New Jersey.

    8:00pm–CNN projections from Central Time and 8pm closing ET states:

    John McCain wins Connecticut, Illinois
    Romney carries home state of Massachusetts

    Barack Obama takes home state of Illinois
    Hillary Clinton wins Oklahoma

    7:44pm–Politico.com gives us a sneak peak at what we’ll be hearing from Clinton supporters tonight re: her loss in Georgia. These are the talking points.

  • Unlike the Obama campaign, the Clinton campaign never dedicated significant resources to Georgia.
  • Sen. Obama spent over $500,000 dollars on ads on television and radio; we never went up on TV
  • The Obama campaign has 9 offices in Georgia. The Clinton campaign only has 2.
  • Sen. Obama has had staff and significant campaign operation across the state for 8 months. Sen. Clinton only deployed staff to the state in the last couple of weeks.
  • Polls have consistently showed Sen. Obama with wide lead over Sen Clinton. That lead has only widened over time.
  • Translation: We knew we had no chance there, so we didn’t even try. So, don’t hold it against us.

    7:36pm–Tornadoes in Arkansas and Tennessee touch down while polls are open. Reports of damage, but no word on casualties yet.

    7:26pm–Interesting exit numbers based on all our talk today about experience. Democrats most important attribute in choosing their candidate

    Bring needed change: 52 percent
    Best experience: 23
    Empathy: 13
    Best chance to win: 9

    Via ABC.

    7:18pm–Drudge has some early exists across the nation. These should not be seen as anything but really early projections…

    OBAMA: Alabama: Obama 60, Clinton 37… Arizona: Obama 51, Clinton 45… Connecticut: Obama 53, Clinton 45… Delaware: Obama 56, Clinton 42… Illinois: Obama 70, Clinton 30… Massachusetts: Obama 50, Clinton 48… Missouri: Obama 50, Clinton 46… New Jersey: Obama 53, Clinton 47…

    CLINTON: Arkansas: Clinton 72, Obama 26… California: Clinton 50, Obama 47… New York: Clinton 56, Obama 43… Oklahoma: Clinton 61, Obama 31… Tennessee: Clinton 52, Obama 41…

    7:12pm–It appears we’ve been relieved of Richard Quest on CNN’s California primary coverage. While an entertaining Brit, the guy has no place in serious coverage. Whoever thought he could be trusted should be fired.

    7:05pm–Holy schnikes. G-Rob reports MSNBC exit polls are showing Obama wins 86% of black voters in GA and 43% of white voters. Black voters made up more than half the voters in the primary. In a word…mamacita.

    7:00pm–Easy win for Obama in Georgia. Still waiting to see the breakdown. That may take a bit. Still a three-way race for the GOP.

    6:58pm–Georgia results coming in shortly. In the meantime, I’d like to see your answer to Andy’s comment…

    I can’t feel good about voting for any candidate based on what they say they will do, or how they stand on “the issues.”
    in the last republican debate Ron Paul said he agrees with Bush….or at least how Bush ran in 2000. this is because Bush ran on many things in 2000 which he didn’t come though on. what candidates promise to do is pointless, it’s just words. they don’t have to stay true to them one their on office.

    also, and in my opinion more importantly, the “key issues” that are facing us now will most likely not be the most important thing this president will have to deal with. we’re not electing this guy/gal for 6 months…a term is 4 years people. thngs change. when Bush ran in 2000, the key issues everyone asked about was not Terrorism, not Iraq, not our borders, not how our rights would be treated. However, now, 8 years later, those few issues are the big issues that defined George Bush as a president.

    I don’t see how I can vote according to the issues of today when most likely the most important thing this president does is on a subject that hasn’t come up yet. I think the only way to vote is by Character, by how good of Leader he/she will make. I need someone I can trust to make good decisions for 4 years, EVEN if that means I don’t agree with them on medicare, or social security, or Iraq.

    thoughts?

    6:46pm–Alright. Forget it. Was trying to set up a voting system for the beef and poultry. First ad had a milfhunter ad in it. The second was ugly. You want you food, vote for it in the comments. I’m going to change out of my cranky pants.

    6:17pm–Well, if things are going to happen, they are going to start happening soon. Polls in Georgia close in less than an hour. Chaos has overtaken Mt. Otis. I’m going to stop this until it quiets down in here. Back in just a bit.

    5:54pm–The sure sign someone is losing? When you start hearing, “My opponent isn’t playing fair.”

    Here’s how it went down in West Virginia today. In the first vote of the Republican Convention there, it looked like Romney had a good shot. It further looked liked McCain didn’t stand a chance. Because no candidate got more than 50% of the vote, convention delegates had to vote again. McCain’s camp decided to make a play and, knowing Huckabee is no threat to win the primary, asked its voters to vote Huckabee. So, they do, McCain gets next to no votes and Huckabee takes the majority over Romney. All delegates go to Huckabee and Romney…well, he cries. Hic campaign manager said, “Unfortunately, this is what Senator McCain’s inside Washington ways look like: he cut a backroom deal with the tax-and-spend candidate he thought could best stop Governor Romney’s campaign of conservative change.”

    5:46pm–Presented without comment.

    When I am this party’s nominee, my opponent will not be able to say that I voted for the war in Iraq; or that I gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran; or that I supported Bush-Cheney policies of not talking to leaders that we don’t like. And he will not be able to say that I wavered on something as fundamental as whether or not it is ok for America to torture — because it is never ok… I will end the war in Iraq… I will close Guantanamo. I will restore habeas corpus. I will finish the fight against Al Qaeda. And I will lead the world to combat the common threats of the 21st century: nuclear weapons and terrorism; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease. And I will send once more a message to those yearning faces beyond our shores that says, “You matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now.” –Obama, November 10, 2007

    Via Wil.

    5:41pmBest headline I’ve seen today:

    Huckabee scores first in West Virginia, presumably with a relative

    Well, yeah. It was from Fark.

    5:33pmRapid Eye Radio is back online. Looking like the next few hours will have some Widespread, Uncle Tupelo, Ben Harper, YMSB, Scott Miller, Donna, Cigar Store, and other fun stuff. Enjoy. Or don’t. [link corrected]

    5:24pm–First exit polls in…not at all surprising.

    In the Republican vote, most people voting for Romney and Huckabee call themselves conservative. Only half of McCain voters call themselves conservative.

    Among Democrats who make up their mind in the last three days, the vote was split evenly between Obama and Clinton.

    5:19pm–CNN is reporting exit polls coming soon. That should be interesting. Oh, did I ever mention that if I ever just give up on life, I’m going to open an adult video store and calling it “Coming Soon” …?

    4:58pm–Via CJ via MSNBC…

    Romney releases statement saying McCain cut a backroom deal with Huckabee to keep Romney from winning West Virginia. Huckabee releases a statement basically calling Romney a whiner.

    5:54pm–Apparently it’s not just the folks in Virginia who are a little confused. KSAT reports the good people of San Antonio are wondering why thier polls aren’t open. Something, yada yada, Texas not having a primary, something or other.

    4:43pm–Hey, who is gamblin’? Crack producer G-Rob ships these lines from Slate.

    Democrat lines

    Republican lines

    4:34pm–Somebody called Madonna. Via G-Rob, the silliest thing I’ve heard yet, this one from New York magazine.

    The “Evita factor” could make all the difference on Super Tuesday, says New York. Hillary Clinton has a major advantage over Barack Obama among Hispanic voters, which will be crucial in large states like California. One theory holds that Latinos are more willing to embrace Hillary because of precedence in Latin America for strong women who rode their husbands’ coattails into power

    Um…yeah. Let’s forget the nation’s largest Spanish language newspaper endorsed Obama.

    4:31pm–One interesting thing I’m noting among all of comments so far is how adamant everyone is that we shouldn’t vote for a candidate. I’d be interested to hear from anyone who is actually for a candidate and why.

    4:28pm–On the subject of grassroots campigning in the digital age, G-Rob forwarded me this recent e-mail from the Obama campaign:

    Friend —

    Today, nearly half the nation will have the chance to join you in saying that we are tired of business-as-usual in Washington, we are hungry for change, and we are ready to believe again.

    Twenty-two states across the country are holding their primaries and caucuses, and you can help Get Out The Vote in these crucial contests.

    Use our online calling tool to reach out to fellow supporters. Encourage them to send a message that America is ready for a new kind of leadership and a new kind of politics.

    Make calls using our online calling tool today:

    http://my.barackobama.com/feb5calls

    You can make a big impact — the more calls you make, the more people will take part in their state’s primary or caucus.

    Thanks for everything you’ve done,

    Barack

    4:21pm–In all this political talk, the other races of the day are getting lost. As I mentioned at the top of the day…

    On the Beef Ticket, voters have three choices: Hamburger, The Philly Cheesesteak, and The Bone-In Ribeye.

    On the Poultry Ticket: Chicken Fingers, Deep Fried Turkey, Buffalo Wings.

    At this hour, it appears the Ribeye is going to win in a landslide. Polls actually open HERE at dinner time. Stay tuned and campaign away!

    4:16pmRolling Stone reports John Mellencamp is tired of John McCain using his songs at rallies. Discuss among yourselves.

    3:50pm–CJ asks in the comments, “Would support John McCain, then? During their time in the Senate, who showed a better ability to reach across the aisle and get tough legislation passed, John McCain or Barack Obama?”

    Would I support McCain? Good question. He is, by far, the best Republican candidate running for the nomination. I think he has a lot of talent in reaching across the aisle. If he weren’t so hawkish, I might be able to support him.

    Also in the comments, Uncle Wilco reiterates, “The question was what would you change? Health Care? Taxes? Economy? How are is candidate going to do that?”

    Here is a little background on where I’m coming from. I spend as much per month buying private insurance for my family as I do paying my mortgage. That insurance doesn’t cover much of what a normal family has to deal with on a regular basis. Do I think a change in the healthcare system is necessary? Yes. Do I think socialized medicine is a great idea? Maybe not. However, I have many friends around the world who don’t have any problem with the level of care they get under such a system.

    Under a Republican administration, I’ve spent more in taxes than I ever have. Meanwhile, my government is engaged in a war with my money…a war that many of us agree should never have started.

    Today, we are seeing the worst sell-off so far this year. The economy is in shambles. My portfolio (nothing but blue chips and purchased eight years ago) is worthless.

    Add to all that, a small subset of the Republican party pretty much turned my professional life upside down about 18 months ago.

    Do I think Obama is the perfect candidate? No way. Do I think he will fix many of my issues? I don’t know. I do know, however, he is speaking my language.

    I’m no spring chicken. I have barely participated in national politics in my adult lifetime, largely because I could never support a canadidate even 75%. I don’t know what will happen if Obama is elected. This time, however, I’ve decided to care. It may come back to bite me in the ass. Naive and idealistic? Sure. It may be time for that. I’m sick of being a fatalist.

    But, if it’s wrong to wish for the nation to not be at war, to hope for people to work together to fix a broken economy and healthcare system, and to believe there is someone who actuallly want to make that happen, then color me wrong. Dead wrong.

    3:46pm–Quote an interesting discussion getting going in the comments. Take a look if you have the inclination.

    3:26pm–Uncle Wilco asked in comments, “Since I hear a lot about the need for change I have a question for the people out there looking for change. What are you hoping to change (besides Iraq?), and exactly how are your canidates going to do that?”

    I think by asking about Iraq parenthetically you diminish how important it is. That may not have been your intention, but to ask what we want to change besides that makes me wonder how many people don’t see it as the single biggest issue in the past thirty years.

    That aside, what change? It’s a change in the way America thinks. I know it sounds naive. I hate to sound naive. Regardless, I know how America has operated in my adult life. It’s been an environment of hopelessness. When it comes to matters of policy, few if any candidates are speaking about changing through unity rather than battle.

    If I want America to talk rather than fight, is that wrong? I don’t know if anybody has the ability to repair a fractured country, but I’m inspired by someone who wants to try.

    2:58pm–My buddy, E, is laid up with the flu. That sucks for her, as she would rather mainline political coverage than any other drug. She is a junkie unlike anybody I know. She actually gets paid to do this stuff, so she’s in quarantine and live blogging from her bunker in Austin. You can find her HERE.

    2:53pm–A lot of you reading types are poker fans. If you’re not one of those people, you might not know that 1) Obama enjoys a good game of cards and 2) Jim McManus is probably the best poker writer to emerge in the last ten years. My buddy Iggy posted this enlightening McManus column.

    2:43pm–Dr. James Dobson, Focus on the Family honcho, took a huge shot at John McCain today, writing, “I cannot, and I will not vote for Sen. John McCain, as a matter of conscience.” And if McCain gets the nomination? “I believe this general election will offer the worst choices for president in my lifetime.”

    I’m trying to think of another way to say “fractured party…”

    2:38pm–CJ points out via IM that what looks like a McCain slaughter in WV is actually gamesmanship in play. Looks like McCain’s supporters went Huckabee to keep Romney from winning. That’s cute.

    2:33pm–Rapid Eye Radio is taking a brief nap. Like a damned teenager after a roll in the hay. Or something like that. Back up shortly.

    2:23pm–Huckabee wins West Virginia. Go figure. That’s 30 delegates that will be doing something else come convention time.

    2:15pm–From Politico.com vis live blog producer G-Rob, re: Dole pile Romney stepped in…

    Mitt Romney just tried to give Bob Dole a quick call from his campaign plane in West Viriginia.

    He got Dole’s secretary and left a message.

    2:06pm–Looks like West Virginia Republicans are rocking and rolling again. We;ll see if they can make up their minds this time.

    1:45pm–Drudge is reporting “The board of elections failed to deliver voting equipment to polling places allover Los Angeles.” That can’t be good.

    1:41pm–Robocall! Robocall! This hit Arizona phones this morning.

    This is Ann calling on behalf of Hillary Clinton for President. Hillary Clinton has been a tireless fighter for seniors [unintelligible]. Barack Obama has said when it comes to Social Security all options should be put on the table. That includes raising the retirement age and cutting benefits. He has even proposed raising Social Security taxes by a trillion dollars. Hillary Clinton stood up to Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security and is against raising the retirement age. When you go to the polls tomorrow cast your vote for the Democrat committed to protecting Social Security as we know it: Hillary Clinton.

    Via The Hotline

    1:35pm–Why is CNN’s fashion and lifestyle reporter doing election coverage?

    1:20pm–This is pretty neat. It’s a Google and Twitter thingy that is showing Tweets from voters around the country and world related to today’s primaries. You can find it HERE.

    1:08pm–As I told G-Rob a few minutes ago, I would rather be sitting around with everyone listening to music, watching returns, drinking beer and arguing. Since that’s not going to happen, I scrounged around for a way to play some music to background this today. You can find it at Rapid Eye Radio.

    It doesn’t require any downloads or anything. Just hit play on the linked page. There is a java-based player that kicks off with a promo for the site and then the station should kick off.

    The next little bit will feature the Jerry Garcia Band, Donna the Buffalo, Cross Canadian Ragweed, the Beatles, and some other stuff.

    1:01pm–Via G-Rob and CBSNews.com…it is getting more than a little ugly between McCain and Romney. Apparently Bob Dole wrote a letter to Rush Limbaugh stating…

    McCain is a friend and I proudly wore his P.O.W. bracelet bearing his name while he was still a guest at the ‘Hanoi Hilton,’” Dole writes. “I believe our major candidates are mainstream conservatives and that our nominee will address our concerns…”

    How does Romney respond? He says of Dole, “[He is] probably the last person I would have wanted to have write a letter for me.”

    Yeah, that’s the way to win friends and influence people. More at CBS.

    12:54pm–Romney wins 41% of vote in West Virginia Republican Caucus. Because no candidate got a majority of the vote, a second round of voting is coming up.

    12:34pm–The weather is somewhere between 65 and Awesome degrees here in southeast. G-Rob reports big turnout in Georgia and predicts we’ll see an Obama landslide called before my kid is in bed.

    12:25pm–I have no idea how I got on Mike Huckabee’s e-mail list, but it’s proven to be rather entertaining over the pas several weeks. One of my favorites came in overnight.

    We just finished a campaign event here in Arkansas. The crowd was great and very enthusiastic. Arkansas will lead the way for us tomorrow as we begin to add to our delegate count. Polls in Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama also show this race too close to call. We are in the middle of the fight for the Republican nomination and our hopes are running high.

    What we need to do tomorrow is turnout every Huckabee supporter we can. Last minute reminder calls and messages to voters are going to be critical. Every vote counts. To help fund this effort in Tennessee, Missouri, Georgia and Alabama we are relying on you to help us close the gap. We are $215,000 away from reaching our midnight goal of $1,000,000 for get out the vote efforts.

    Will you make an immediate contribution of $25 or more?

    Please help us reach our goal. I will make a final decision on how many reminder calls we will make tomorrow based on the financial resources we have available at midnight. Reaching our goal will give us the resources we need to win in the states we are targeting.

    I am counting on you so please consider making a contribution immediately.

    Anyone feeling like re-arranging deck chairs on the good ship Huckabee?

    12:15pm–Does anyone find it even vaguely amusing that even Rush Limbaugh is having a hard time getting behind the likely Republican nominee?

    11:48am–And it’s time for the conservative voice. CJ, a longtime blogging partner at Up For Poker, decided we neeeded a little more Elephant on this side of the blogosphere. Here’s his take. I’m sure we’ll see him in the comments later.

    As the conservative talking heads continue to cry about John McCain not being a “real conservative,” I challenge them to tell me who in the race really is. Mitt Romney? The one-time liberal governor from the most liberal state in the nation. The guy who fought to separte himself from Ronald Reagan in the 80s? Is it Mike Huckabee? The tax-raising governor of Arkansas? Sure, he’s got the religious folks behind him, but he’s not conservative. Was it Rudy Giuliani? Pro-choice, anti-guns. Need I go on? This race had one true Reagan Republican, Fred Thompson, and no one wanted to vote for him. Forgive me for borrowing from Donald Rumsfield, but you go to the election with the candidate you have, not the candidate you want. If conservatives want higher taxes and socialized medicine and a surrender mentality in foreign policy and up to three new liberal members of the Supreme Court, then all means ignore John McCain and support the Democratic nominee in November.

    11:39am–Oh, and Perez Hilton supports Hillary. We gotta pull this out of the gutter.

    11:30am–Here’s a question…of the current Saturday Night Live cast, who gets which candidate? I have to imagine, they are all already practicing and probably basing thieir hopes and dreams on who wins.

    11:02am–If you haven’t been keeping up, here’s a look (Courtesy CNN Politics) at the states in play today.

    10:55pm–If you’re the kind of person who looks to celebs to give you a heads-up on your voting choice, George Clooney is backing Obama. So is Bobby De Niro. So are three members of the Grateful Dead. Ugly Betty of ABC fame is Clinton supporter. Rambo loves John McCain. Chuck Norris, who apparently can’t cure cancer with his tears and has no sense of humor, likes him some Mike Huckabee.

    10:52am–A brief aside…why is there no Windows-based program out there that allows me to easily create a quick pirate radio station and stream directly from my iTunes? Sorry about that, but it’s become a bit of an obsession. Back to the politics.

    10:18am–In the interest of fairness, I should point out the extended Otis family is quite divided on this race. My brother, known as Crazy Smart Guy among his friends–mostly because he’s a lot smarter than me in most academic arenas–is no fan of Obama.

    I’m a doctor. The only thing I know more about than the average Joe is
    Healthcare. On this issue, Obama is a fool (or should I say the people who wrote his “plan” to save healthcare are fools).

    Basically, he wants to create a national health insurance that ANYONE and EVERYONE can purchase at a rate that is on a sliding scale based on what you earn, etc. Employers will be REQUIRED to either offer private health insurance or contribute more payroll taxes to the government plan.

    There are MANY more insane details that are completely impractical and don’t even BEGIN to address the REAL issues related to the healthcare crisis.

    BTW, it’s going to cost about $65 billion dollars (and that is the CAMPAIGN ESTIMATE). I’m sure the actual cost would be easily 2-3X’s that amount. Also, he plans to pay for it by increasing taxes on those who make over $250,000. Sounds like a great idea. Why don’t we raise taxes on doctors who already pay nearly half of their salaries to the government to fund poorly-run programs? And if you think that doctors make too much anyway, you should know that physician salaries make up only 8% of healthcare costs.

    I could go on and on, but that is just ONE reason to not vote for Obama.

    Obama Healthcare FAQ (PDF)

    9:51am–At G-Rob’s urging, I went all grassroots yesterday and sent an e-mail to friends and family in Missouri and Colorado asking them to vote. In particular, I tried to sway them toward my candidate of choice. One of my buddies–one I didn’t expect to take heed–sent me a nice reply. I’ll let him take credit for it if he wishes. Regardless, yea grassroots.

    You, sir, now have my promise. I was on the fence, could vote for him with a quite-clear conscience if only he wasn’t for letting or keeping every illegal immigrant in, but I like most of the other stuff he is for, and if his weakness is his lack of experience, well, it very well could be his strength in that he would be less likely to be beholden to the political machine and good-‘ol boy network that has ruined the world for the last decade. Enjoy. Voting for him shall likely be the highlight of my day…

    9:30am–You know what makes me giggle? Conservatives who break the 11th commandment. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s the unwritten rule that a Republican does not speak ill of another Republican. Now, here we are on the most important primary day in history and great thinkers like Pennsylvania’s one-time Senator Rick Santorum are saying things like, “John was very rough in the sandbox. Everybody has a McCain story. If you work in the Senate for a while, you have a McCain story. He hasn’t built up a lot of goodwill.” That one, coming from a guy who fought McCain on immigration and same sex marriage issues, is cute. This one, though, is a downright kick in the ass to the 11th commandment. It comes from Senator Thad Cochran, a guy who used to be my Senator in Mississippi… “The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.”

    9:16am–Obama wins! In Indonesia. In a Dixville Notch-ish round of early voting, expats in Indonesia, a place where Obama lived for several years as a child, went to a hotel to cast their votes. Early counts show Obama winning…which should do him a helluva lot of good come convention time.

    9:01am–Polls are stupid. G-Rob sent this poll data along this morning. The Reuters/CSpan/Zogby poll has Obama up +13 in California. SurveyUSA has Clinton up +10. As G-Rob points out…both polls were conducted on the same day. Statistics…

    8:52am–Happy Mardi Gras, by the way.

    8:30am–I’ve asked myself several times why I’m going to bother doing this. I’m not CNN, Politico.com, or even Gawker. I’m just one of the hundreds of other people doing this. I’m a niche-less blogger with more time on his hands than good sense.

    That said, I have some experience in the world of politics and news. I have developed a passion about this race. I need to find someway to help me wrap my head around what happens today. And like John Gorka once sang, I tend to make my mistakes outloud. So, here it goes.

    I decided that I’m going to do live blog Super Tuesday for the same reason that I did it on Election Day in 2006. I’m doing it because this is a night I would like to be sitting in a bar with my closest friends and family and watching our nation change. This, quite frankly, is better than watching the Super Bowl. Today means something. I want to share it with you folks.

    So, the comments are open. Use them as your playground.

    Today is the closest the United States has ever come to a national primary. Two dozen states will be voting or caucusing.

    David Axelrod, Barack Obama’s main man in the trenches–the guy who got him elected to the Senate in 2004 and has helped shape the Obama image since–summed up how today is expected to go. Yesterday he told Politico.com’s Ben Smith, “Sleep late.”

    Why?

    California.

    With conventional wisdom saying this primary might not be decided by tomorrow, what happens in California late tonight will be more than important. Hillary Clinton was the favorite in that state until just a couple of days ago. As such, Axelrod seemed more than a little concerned about early voting and how that could affect Obama’s chances there.

    I have no rules for this blog today. It will go where it goes. I may give up and hide in a closet by news time. As a one-time registered Apathist, I am now a Barack Obama supporter and make no apologies for it. If today goes as I want it to, Obama will have a strong showing and McCain will lock up the nomination.

    Finally, some of you may remember the other race run in here in November 2006 between Hamburger and Chicken Fingers. There were some passionate supporters of both candidacies. As this is primary season, we’ll be looking to nominate a candidate from both parties.

    On the Beef Ticket, voters have three choices: Hamburger, The Philly Cheesesteak, and The Bone-In Ribeye.

    On the Poultry Ticket: Chicken Fingers, Deep Fried Turkey, Buffalo Wings.

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