|THE WAY IT STANDS
Continuing updates on Friday as developments warrant. Fresher posts from the top down. The comment thread will be the same throughout, so you can click on any of the comment links that’ll appear on this page to be taken to the same forum (assuming more than two and a half of you will key in here). Example:
I was cleaning out some clips when I came across this on, a lead story in the April 20, 2006 New York Times: "Rove Is Giving Up Daily Policy Post to Focus on Vote."
So the strategy didn't work after all. The story begins: " The overhaul of the White House staff intensified on Wednesday as Karl Rove, one of the president's most powerful and feared advisers, gave up day-to-day control over the administration's domestic policy to concentrate on the midterm elections. Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, said he was stepping down.The departure of Mr. McClellan gives President Bush a chance to put a new public face on the White House at a time when it is beset by problems. But Mr. Rove's changed status is the more telling sign of the extent of the shake-up directed by Mr. Bush and his new chief of staff, Joshua B. Bolten."
What's telling about the story is also telling about Bush's push for Gates at Defense: changing faces doesn't work when the mask behind the face (and I do mean the mask, Bush having no true substance) is as devoid of ideas and willingness to make things work. In any case, Rove's shuffle was itself just a mask. The article pointed out, too many paragraphs down and without enough stress, that "Mr. Rove will retain his title as a deputy chief of staff, as well as his catch-all designation as Mr. Bush's senior adviser." Which leads you to believe that Rumsfeld's lips might still be stuck to Bush's ears even after he U-Hauls it out of the Pentagon.
See the full NYT /Rove story here...
Start off your day with a triple-dose of editorial espresso:
Muscle-Flex: From the Wall Street Journal: "... some Democrats in both the House and the
Senate already are signaling a willingness to conduct tough oversight
of the Bush administration's policies and to reopen lingering
controversies -- particularly over pre-Iraq intelligence -- the
Republican-led Congress largely ignored. In the Senate, the likely new Intelligence Committee chairman, Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, says he will complete an investigation into the White House's case for invading Iraq that Republicans were accused of stalling. Michigan Sen. Carl Levin is in line to take over the most powerful congressional oversight body, the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which routinely sends staffers to Iraq and other overseas countries. Mr. Levin, a critic of the Iraq war, has previously promised to conduct tougher oversight of the administration's use of no-bid contracting in Iraq, where the $21.8 billion U.S.-led rebuilding effort is winding down without having restored prewar levels of water or electricity. In the House, Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, expected to take over the House Committee on Homeland Security, is promising to haul Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff before the panel to face questions on issues ranging from the no-bid contracts awarded after Hurricane Katrina to the number of vacancies in the department's senior management.
Liberal Democrats such as the membership of the activist organization MoveOn.org want the party to investigate the administration's case for the Iraq war and instances of possible corporate misconduct. By contrast, centrist and conservative Democrats like New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and many of the newly elected lawmakers from Southern and Western states argue the party should avoid taking too harsh a stance against big business or the Bush administration."
Republicans' Challenge: How to Keep Mullahs Happy While Reclaiming Center
From Reuters: Thumped in Tuesday's elections, the Republican Party faces a dilemma
as it prepares for 2008: trying to claw back support in the center
while keeping loyal conservative Christians happy. [...] The Republicans tread a fine line between adopting hard-line stances on issues that resonate with conservative Christians, such as opposing abortion, while pleasing moderates who like the party's pro-business policies but not its religious moralizing. [...] Based on exit polls he estimated that 72 percent of white
evangelical Protestants voted Republican versus 74 percent in 2004.
Democrats got only 27 percent of their vote versus 24 percent in 2004,
Keeter said. "But the problem for the Republicans is that they lost the middle," he said -- meaning both religious and secular Americans with more lenient views on social issues."
For "The Skeletons in Robert Gates's Closet," my latest, go here. (Thanks for the tip Sophia).
C'est Fini: GOP Concede, Democrats Conquer
What happens when Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera, the Laurel and Hardy of foreign policy, surf airwaves togetherL "I don't wanna ever hear Shiite and Sunni ever again." see the 20-second video...
From Ohdave: Bush on Wednesday "made it pretty clear… that he has no intention of reaching across the aisle, of compromising, of attempting to salvage something of his legacy. He is making a huge mistake. Bush should embrace a Democratic congress in the final two years of his presidency. Let me say this: I don't expect him to. He is too petulant, too self absorbed, and too full of a feeling of entitlement to ever accept the opportunity the voters have offered, because he thinks he knows better than the voters. But a Democratic Congress could be the best thing that ever happened to Bush." See the full post at Into My Own…
Headline of the Day: "The Defense Secretary We Had" [On a David Ignatius column about Rumsfeld]
Christopher Hitchens, slightly drunk, sums up the midterms [thanks to a namesake blog that bears keeping an eye on.]
Gates Was Saddam's Man in Washington
Here's what Sen. Tom Harkins said in 1991 on the floor of the Senate regarding Gates's nomination as CIA chief at the time:
"Mr. President, I rise in opposition to the nomination of Robert Gates to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Mr. President, at the outset of the confirmation hearings, I had serious reservations about the nominee. The confirmation hearings only raised more questions and greater doubts. Questions and doubts about Mr. Gates' past activities, managerial style, judgment, lapses in memory and analytical abilities. Questions and doubts about his role in the Iran-Contra Affair and in providing military intelligence to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war; and questions and doubts about whether he will be able to remove the ideological blinders reflected in his writings and speeches or whether Mr. Gates is so rooted in the past, that he will not be able to lead the Agency into the post-cold war era. Because of these concerns, I have concluded that Mr. Gates is not the right person for the important job of overseeing our intelligence operations in this New World."
But this is where it gets real interesting: "Mr. President, I also have doubts and questions about Mr. Gates' role in the secret intelligence sharing operation with Iraq. Robert Gates served as assistant to the Director of the CIA in 1981 and as Deputy Director for Intelligence for 1982 to 1986. In that capacity he helped develop options in dealing with the Iran-Iraq war, which eventually involved into a secret intelligence liaison relationship with Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Gates was in charge of the directorate that prepared the intelligence information that was passed on to Iraq. He testified that he was also an active participant in the operation during 1986. The secret intelligence sharing operation with Iraq was not only a highly questionable and possibly illegal operation, but also may have jeopardized American lives and our national interests. The photo reconnaissance, highly sensitive electronic eavesdropping and narrative texts provided to Saddam, may not only have helped him in Iraq's war against Iran but also in the recent gulf war. Saddam Hussein may have discovered the value of underground land lines as opposed to radio communications after he was give our intelligence information. That made it more difficult for the allied coalition to get quick and accurate intelligence during the gulf war. Further, after
the Persian Gulf war, our intelligence community was surprised at the extent of Iraq's nuclear program. One reason Saddam may have hidden his nuclear program so effectively from detection was because of his knowledge of our satellite photos. What also concerns me about that operation is that we spend millions of dollars keeping secrets from the Soviets and then we give it to Saddam who sells them to the Soviets. In short, the coddling of Saddam was a mistake of the first order." See the full speech...
Like It Or Not, The Face of the Dems' 2008 Ticket
(one out of two isn't a bad start)
Notice, they're not exactly French-kissing
Done Deal for 110th Congress: All Blue
NBC, CBS declare Senate a done deal: Democrats Win Control of Senate, says NBC, Webb Takes Virginia, DemsTake Senate, says CBS. Even Al-Jazeera concurs.
Toronto Star: US Troops Out of Iraq?
Thursday: It now seems clear why Bush fired Rumsfeld on such an auspicious day: It divides the coverage. It dulls the focus on the Democrats' victory. It literally divides front pages between the (now) certainty that the 110th Congress will be wholly Democratic and the subbing at the Pentagon, with an Iran-Contra hold-over, no less: Bob Gates doesn't take the job without a trainload of skeletons of his own.
5:35p: Tristero: "What is the most important issue facing the country that the Democrats must tackle? The rogue presidency of George W. Bush." See the post at Digby...
5:30p: Leave it to The Heretik to sum up six years of conceit and loathing in one all-telling image:
3:50p: Here's what Bush said at his afternoon news conference when asked why he misled reporters about Rumsfeld last week: " Mr. President. Last week you told us that Secretary Rumsfeld will be staying on. Why is the timing right now for this, and how much does it have to do with the election results?
THE PRESIDENT: Right. No, you and Hunt and Keil came in the Oval Office, and Hunt asked me the question one week before the campaign, and basically it was, are you going to do something about Rumsfeld and the Vice President? And my answer was, they're going to stay on. And the reason why is I didn't want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign. And so the only way to answer that question and to get you on to another question was to give you that answer. The truth of the matter is, as well -- I mean, that's one reason I gave the answer, but the other reason why is I hadn't had a chance to visit with Bob Gates yet, and I hadn't had my final conversation with Don Rumsfeld yet at that point.
Between an Ass and an Assessment: BUSH : "I had been talking with Don Rumsfeld over a period of time about fresh perspective. He likes to call it fresh eyes. He, himself, understands that Iraq is not working well enough, fast enough. And he and I are constantly assessing. And I'm assessing, as well, all the time, by myself, about, do we have the right people in the right place, or do we -- got the right strategy? As you know, we're constantly changing tactics. And that requires constant assessment."
Admitting defeat: " If you look at race by race, it was close. The cumulative effect, however, was not too close. It was a thumping."
Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: "I'm also looking forward to working with them [Democrats] to make sure that we institutionalize to the extent possible steps necessary to make sure future Presidents are capable of waging this war. Because Iraq is a part of the war on terror, and it's -- I think back to Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. Harry Truman began the Cold War, and Eisenhower, obviously, from a different party, continued it. And I would hope that would be the spirit that we're able to work together. We may not agree with every tactic, but we should agree that this country needs to secure ourselves against an enemy that would like to strike us again. This enemy is not going away after my presidency."
3:30p: Democrat Jim Webb claims victory in Virginia Senate race. Allen won't concede. ""There's never been a Senate election where a candidate with the margin of this size, or for that matter even smaller . . . has not emerged as the next Senator," said former Gov. Mark R. Warner (D), who is advising Webb," the Post reports. "At a Richmond news conference, Allen adviser Ed Gillespie said the senator will wait for the results of a statewide process called a canvass, in which the preliminary tallies from Tuesday night are confirmed during the next several days. Gillespie said the GOP believes that process could change the vote tally in Allen's favor."
Democratic Gains and Obligations
2:10p... The day after the Republicans took over Congress in 1994, the New York Times ran the editorial below, called "Republican Gains and Obligations.". Read it. Change a few names and dates. See if anything has changed. And note the final, salient line. Now the burden is on Democrats. The editorial:
""I need help, folks," said President Clinton during his final, desperate burst of campaigning. He did not get it. The result was a historic shift of power to the Republicans, in Washington and in statehouses throughout the nation. […] Mr. Clinton is not wholly to blame. His advisers fear that the losing Democrats will fault him for their individual misfortunes and that the survivors will decide they owe him nothing. But the reasons for the Democratic debacle go beyond the President and predate his tenure. When Mr. Clinton came to town the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, and the Congressional leadership could not deliver on the agenda defined by him and endorsed by their convention and their Congressional candidates. This failure of governance must be laid at the feet of the retiring Senate majority leader, George Mitchell; the embattled Speaker, Thomas Foley, and a leadership team that placed loyalty to them above cooperation with the White House or public demands for Congressional and campaign finance reform. Add this non-performance to the familiar witches' brew of public discontent -- the sour national attitude toward politics generally and the rebellion against incumbents in particular -- and it is easy to see why the Democrats got whacked. […] These Republicans do not much believe in government and they are not likely to be helpful. Many of them ran and won on Newt Gingrich's seductive but simplistic "Contract With America." Some of them ran on demagogic symbols -- the death penalty, immigrant-bashing. Whatever they ran on, all of them ran against Bill Clinton. This is not a happy prospect for a man who campaigned in 1992 on one theme: change. But as Senator Phil Gramm suggested, the new force in Congress cannot expect to sell two-party gridlock as the solution to the one-party version that the voters rejected so powerfully yesterday. "Now the burden is on Republicans," Senator Gramm observed. "Can we give them a coherent program?""
1:37p: Tester declared winner in Montana, claims victory. From the Great Falls Tribune. Also: Bush fires Rumsfeld. Replaces him with Bob Gates, CIA chief during the first Bush administration, 1991-1993. Here's a transcript of Bob Gates' CIA confirmation hearings before the U.S. Senate in 1991.
Montana Will Go Democratic, by Wider Margin
Wednesday, 11:30a: Breaking News from the Great Falls Tribune in Montana: "The last votes are trickling in for the closely watched Jon Tester-Conrad Burns U.S. Senate race. Silver Bow County, which includes the traditionally Democratic-leaning city of Butte, is believed to be counting up to 4,000 additional ballots that may have been delayed by an equipment problem at the Civic Center in Butte, one of their busier polling locations.
The existing returns for that county are 2-to-1 for Democratic challenger Tester.
As of 8:45 a.m. MST, Tester holds a 1,739 vote margin. The Associated Press in Helena does not expect to make a decision on calling the race until after the Silver
Bow ballots are reported.
Some votes are also trickling in from tiny Meagher County, a likely GOP area, but the number of ballots is expected to be less than 900. And the AP says it is tracking provisional votes in several counties to make sure there aren’t large numbers of unaccounted for ballots."
Wednesday, 11:20a: Six years late and $260 billion short, Bush starts acting like the isle-crossing conciliator: " He invited Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who will become speaker of the House and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland to lunch at the White House," ABC News reports.
Stem-Cell Research Wins in Missouri, Medievalists Lose
Wednesday, 11:15a: St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporting that the measure opponents tried falsely to portray as a vote for human cloning passed by slim margin: "Throughout election night, the measure had been failing. But it finally pulled ahead just before 1 a.m. Later in the morning, at 3:30 a.m., unofficial statewide tallies gave the measure a 27,000 vote lead, with 96 percent of the state's precincts reporting. Some 1,024,000 had voted for the measure, with 997,000 against."
Wednesday, 11:00a: Based on my calculations of the 11 remaining House seats not yet called, the Democrats will pick up four more, the Republicans will hold on to the remaining seven, giving us a final tally for the House of Representatives of 234 Democrats, one Independent (who caucuses with Democrats) and 200 Republicans, a wider lead than forecast in the days leading up to the vote, therefore reducing the conservative-Democrat element proportionately: the wider the lead, the more room Pelosi has to be Pelosi. That may sound good for liberals. It may not necessarily be too good for Democrats, if they want to play their cards right and achieve policies, rather than just play politics.
WEDNESDAY MORNING: Virginia and Montana Senate races hang. Virginia looks rather solidly Democratic. I suspect that the Republican was leading in that race the news organizations wouldn;t have been so hesitant to call it. Montana looked a safe bet for Tester until a recall was declared (he was leading by more than 1,000 votes, with some 20,000 or 30,000 yet to be counted), and Candides Notebooks did call it for him. But it's machination time. Every election the GOP picks one state where it makes its Last Stand. Stands to reason that it would make its last Last One in Custar's, the naked general. I'm sticking by my calls. The Senate is Democratic. But Montana is this election's Ohio, this election's Florida. So there's no telling what bears the corruption will bring out of the Rockies. Six governorships have switched to the Democrats, giving them a majority. And they're still counting House races, with many still in play, but the story there so far is that not a single Republican gain has yet to be registered. It's a clean Democratic sweep.
12:45...This time it really is it. The Senate could well go Democratic, now that Missouri and Virginia are leaning Democratic, and Montana has gone Democratic. There'll be recounts. There'll be lawsuits. There'll be nastiness. So for now I'm calling Missouri for McCaskill, and the Senate at a 50-50 split (maybe that'll prove to be a bit of a leap, but I have to sleep), with only Virginia hanging out as the tie-breaker. My sense is that Webb can pull it off there, but the Republican-lawyering factor is too heavy to deny. So for now, that one stays in the air. The House tallies are based on CBS News projections, not mine.
12:40: Democrat McCaskill takes 1,000-vote lead in Missouri, with about 75 percent of the precincts in.
12:22a: JIM WEBB TAKES 2,000-VOTE LEAD IN VIRGINIA, with 10 precincts out of 2,411 remaining.
All right... That does it for me tonight. Everything from here on is icing. It's been an acceptably satisfying evening. No smashing surprises. Smashing success nonetheless. Is Bush still muttering "Bring 'em on"?
Late Update: Based on the night I spent camping not far from a missile silo in northwest Montana, I'm calling Montana Senate for the Democrats: John Tester comfortably beating Conrad Burns (he's currently leading him 55-43, with a quarter of the precincts reporting. That one is mathematically in the bag.)
Round About Midnight: Some good news, some bad news: Good: South Dakota's attempt to ape Wahhabite laws and outlaw all forms of abortions, without exception, through a ballot initiative, has failed by a ten point marggin. Bad news: the ballot measure that would legalize and enable stem cell researech in Missouri is going down to defeat: the Branson vote is out and sinking it, and McCaskill's, bid for the Senate. Good news: Democrats have picked up six governorships so far and taken the majority of governorships in the country, they continue to widen their majority in the House: the wider the majority, the smaller the GOP's leverage to spin it or sway it. Bad news: The Senate will not switch. But that's in line with the argument I made earlier. It doesn't need to switch. Regardless of the outcome from here on, the "dramatic" change forgive the cliche) necessary to smackdown the Bush junta has taken place. ABC News is now projecting that Democrats will gain between 28 and 36 seats in the House.
11:25... The gap between Jim Webb and George Allen is less than 10,000, in Allen's favor, with just 3 percent of the precincts left uncounted.
11:23: Dennis Hastert concedes leadership of the House? Not quite. He's ben reelected. He voices vague bromides about keeping America safe ( "...we have a great obligation to do that and a great challenge to do that... we have a great opportunity to keep our economy rolling), then rolls on, saying h'll keep watching for returns and, implicitly, hoping that his corpulence is not slouching toward the shadows as the Pelosi era begins.
11:17... Question: where will Nancy Pelosi and George Bush have their first date, and will she let him get to first base?
11:12... Keep in mind a couple of Democratic House seats are leaning Republican, in Georgia, which would switch the lead, but only temporarily: the momentum is still convincingly in the Democrats' favor. The George Bush era of unilateral smugness and hubris, of don't-give-a-crap-what-the-opposition-has-to-sayism, is over. It's divided government. It's not a solution to anything, except this: that smarm of soft-edged despotism we've been enduring for the last six years is history. (Bill Bennett, who's about to leave, finally--he has a Sirius radio show at 6 a.m.--predicts a Democratic gain of "22, 21 maybe.")
11:07: CNN: "It now looks like the Democrats will in fact win control of the House of Representatives... we can now project that the Democrats will be the majority."
11:05...Maybe I dissed Florida too soon. Another GOP congressional incumbent down to defeat here, and several seats switching: John Sweeney in Upstate New York, another Republican, loses.
10:52... All right, while Florida is turning out to be as loser a state as there is (going Republican all over its incumbencies) there are limits: the Mark Foley seat has gone Democratic. It was close. Perversely close. Joe Negron lost to Mahoney by just one percentage point or so. But Negron just conceded. Also, another Democratic pick-up in the House in Pennsylvania, Don Sherwood, the GOP guy who had to contend with an affair and other stories befitting an Updike novel set in Pennsylvania, losing to Democrat Chris Carney.
10:45... Michael Barone on Fox: Virginia race could be headed down to a 36-day recount, throwing the fate of this evening's outcomes--the senatorial majority--in a 2000-like limbo. Under Virginia law, any election decided by less than a 1 percent margin allows the result to be challenged and the ballots recounted.
10:35... Kos, Think Progress, TPM: the blogosphere has kept up with the networks; it hasn't broken news or provided more pertinent analysis than anything available in the derided "mainstream." Keith Olberman on MSNBC has been interestingly, guardedly smug (he's earned it). Brian Williams is beating Wolf Blitzer as most nauseating anchor. Katie Couric is positively, blandly refreshing in comparison, like a swig of Evian. Brit Hume is half dead. and CNN's panelist of "experts" is just plain annoying, beginning with that guy next to Bennett, the black conservative brought in by CNN to show that, yes, blacks can be conservative, who can't utter a phrase without boasting about being a "person of faith." ABC's Gibson has been an almost-no show: advertising breaks seem a priority for ABC tonight.
10:33... with 93 percent of precincts counted, the Webb gap in Virginia is back up to 32,000.
HALF OF ARLINGTON AND LOUNDON COUNTY, VA., (the Beltway zone, which is rabidly liberal) STILL NOT REPORTED. Expect heavy Webb vote there, so long as the voters haven't been sideswiped by bugs. With 89 percent of precincts counted, gap down to 25,567 votes.
10:15... GOP set to lose three Congressional seats in Connecticut--a clean sweep, says CBS.
10:10... LATEST FROM VIRGINIA, WITH 86 percent of precincts counted, Jim Webb closes gap to 27,226 votes, still (at this point) significantly behind, but at least he's staunched the loss and reversed the momentum for those last 14 precincts. If Robert is right, there may yet be a slight hope, but not much of one. McCaskill not doing well in Missouri.
10... Hold on to your jock-straps, make your nooses, say your prayers, slash your wrists: It's Katie Couric time on CBS (but Bob Shieffer is standing by for CPR). oes Katie know the difference between a Republican and a Democrat? Does she know what GOP stands for? Does she know what RIP stands for? Does she know calling an election is slightly different than a stint on the Home Shopping Network? Does she know it's not The View with red and blue maps? And check out the latest tally in the House: Democrats still have not lost a single seat in contention, and picked up nine.
9:55: Arizona passes initiative to make English the official state language. Nativism on the range. The Minuteman Project must be cheering. 84 percent of precincts in in Virginia, Georeg Allen gaining: 943,503 to Webb's 914,516. And surprise surprise: Orrin Hatch wins in American Sunni country (Utah).
9:45... Notable comment from Robert in "Virginia stilll very much in play. Northern VA precincts are
still to be counted. They will be overwhelmingly for Webb." At last count, with 2 million votes counted, the difference is 27,000. And 82 percent of precincts have been counted.
9:35:"Democrats do not appear to be on the verge of losing a single seat tonight."--GOP Spokesman and Fox News flacker Brit Hume. At the White House, we learm the president is watching returns on TV, "the mood is generally upbeat," according to Fox talking head. "Senor staff just ordered chicken tenders, they think it's going to be a long night." Oh no: Michelle Malkin on Fox. Notice how she, like other "objective" commentators, are saying the Democrat Party, not the Democratic party: an out-and-out, intentional slight, rhyming the word with bureaucrat and short-changing it of its democratic implication--another irony, considering which party has, in the last six years, virtually pissed on democracy every chance it got (through regressive, poll-tax like election reforms, through domestic authoritarianism, through foreign policy adventurism, etc.) Time to switch to Jon Stewart.
9:30 Fox News projects another Senate Democratic pickup, Chafee going down to defeat in Rhode Island.
9:10... doesn't look too good for the Democrats in Virginia (68 percent of precincts counted) and Missouri, where the Republican senate candidate is ahead by 1 percentage point in each. Lieberman will win Connecticut, obviously.
9:05: Why conservatives don't get it: "You will see a movement to draft Rick Santorum... to run for president" in '08.--Bill Bennett, CNN.
9:00 CNN's 9p. calls: Clinton holds her senate seat in New York, Thomas (GOP) holds in Wyoming, Konrad (Dem) holds in North Dakota, Ben Nelson (Dem) in nebraska, Kohl (Dem) holds in Wisconsin, Democrat Casey beats Santorum in Pennsylvania.
8:48: Another victory for Ohdave: Sherrod Brown called the winner in Ohio's Senate race, by CNN, another pick-up for the Democrats. GOP incumbent DeWine is history.
8:40: While Chris Matthews bitches out Howard Dean over the Democratioc position on Iraq (not unfairly, after all: what the hell is the Democratic position on Iraq?) CBS calls Pennsylvania senate for "Democrat Bob Casey will have defeated Republican Sen. Rick Santorum." Second pick-up for the Democrats. But still so far no surprises.
8:33: No one is calling it yet, except Bill Frist, but I am: Corker wins Tennessee, denying a Democratic pick-up there. CNN calling it for Democrat Bob Menendez in New Jersey, defeating Kean and giving Democrats their first Senate pick-up.
8:21: CNN calls it for Democratic challenger Brad Ellsworth in Indiana beating GOB incumbent Hostetler, giving Democrats their first Hose pickup.
8:20: From Arianna Huffington: "Funny: Hillary Clinton, casting her ballot along with hubby Bill in Chappaqua, told reporters: "I voted for change, except for me."
Not funny: Harold Ford, getting in touch with his inner Elmer Fudd, doing an interview this morning on MSNBC wearing a camouflage baseball cap. Hoped for subliminal message: Vote for me, I like guns!
8:12: First massively disingenuous anchor-comment of the night: "I don't do opinion."--Brian Williams, NBC. Most bulbous hypocrite on the air: Bill Bennett defending Rush Limbaugh on CNN's panel of snorting heads.
8:00: With 23 percent of precincts reporting (not known what part of the state the votes are coming from) Webb is leading in Virginia by 1 percentage point.
7:40: From Ohdave: "There is a God. Strickland wins! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!" And if you want to hear the actual call, here it is! From Cheryl: "I'm opening the bubbly."
7:30: NBC calls Ohio for Strickland, giving Democrats their first net gain.
7:20p: Think Progress has the earliest exit polling from CNN, with Democrats leading Senate races in Montana, Ohio, Virginia, Missouri and New Jersey, but not in Tennessee. Maryland, by the way, is ridiculously close.
|MIDTERM MADNESS 2006