Saturday, January 19, 2008

McCain's refusal to surrender

It's got to be a sweet moment for John McCain, who eight years ago lost the South Carolina presidential primary to George W. Bush in one of the dirtiest campaigns in recent memory. Engaging in that dirty campaign was David Beasley, then the governor of South Carolina, who this year played a significant role in the campaign of Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Gotta say, McCain's 90-something-year-old mother -- whom he just called ma-MAH -- looks fabulous.

McCain just made the point, much trumpeted in recent days, that the winner of the South Carolina primary for the last 29 years has gone on to be the party's nominee.

"I'm running to keep America safe, prosperous and proud," McCain is telling his supporters. His speech is going all Reaganesque; it's all about making America a man again. Making people feel "proud" again. Your blogstress would argue for humility.

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Huckabee concedes: We didn't lose tonight

In his concession speech, Mike Huckabee congratulated South Carolina primary winner John McCain -- and himself -- for running "a civil campaign."

Said Huck: "I would rather be where I am and to have done it with honor, than to have won by attacking somebody else."

Interesting that former South Carolina Gov. David Beasley will be joining Huck elsewhere on the trail, according to the 2nd-place finisher. Beasley was the South Carolina Christian Coalition ally who worked with Ralph Reed, late of the Abramoff scandal, to get George W. Bush elected. More importantly for Huckabee, he helped get John McCain defeated.

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Huckabee loses to McCain in South Carolina

Looks like about a four-point spread; spin is that Fred Thompson pulled votes from former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Chris Matthews suggested that Thompson is sticking around in the race in order to help his friend, Arizona Sen. John McCain. That sounds about right.

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South Carolina or South Africa?

On MSNBC, Tim Russert just mistakenly referred to South Carolina as "South Africa" in his discussion with co-hosts Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann of next week's Democratic presidential primary -- in which most of the voters are expected to be black. Oops...

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Fred Thompson whoopie-cushions MSNBC

Republican soon-to-be-also-ran Fred Thompson totally scammed MSNBC tonight, apparently teasing the guys -- and it really is THE GUYS -- with the allure of a possible withdrawal. So, Thompson, who appears to have barely registered was, at last look, battling Mitt Romney for third place in today's South Carolina Republican presidential primary, managed to get at least 10 minutes of free media, when MSNBC broke away from its anchor desk to (video) broadcast his speech, which was neither a withdrawal nor a concession. Once Thompson lowered his pants leg by way of his inconclusive conclusion, laughter from the MSNBC studio was audible. "What was that?" asked anchor Keith Olbermann.

To be clear about THE GUYS, your blogstress must, in fairness, say that the excellent Rachel Maddow was brought into the broadcast to take on Pat Buchanan's boosterism of Mitt Romney, who won the Republican Nevada caucuses, and reporter Andrea Mitchell was featured in the segment on Clinton's Nevada win. Then Peggy Noonan, the Reagan/Bush speech writer, appeared in a later segment about the Republican South Carolina primary. Basically, one chick per segment, giving a gender ration of three to four guys for every one female.

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Hillary wins Nevada -- and a New York heavy

So, Hillary Clinton has won the vote in the Nevada caucuses, though the jury is still out as to who won the greater number of delegates -- Barack Obama or she. Your blogstress does not pretend to understand why this is; just remember you heard it here next.

But the Nevada vote wasn't all good for the former first lady, who apparently lost the African-American vote in a big way. And so, tomorrow in earnest begins the fight for black voters. MSNBC reports that Hillary will travel to her home state of New York to pick up the endorsement of Rev. Calvin Butts, pastor of the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church, and big man in the the real-estate politics of Harlem, the land called home these days by one former president. And what will he be doing tomorrow? According to Clinton adviser Ann Lewis, Bill will be going door-to-door in African-American neighborhoods in South Carolina, whose pivotal Democratic presidential primary takes place a week from today.

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