Monday, January 19, 2004

Once Again, the Hamburg Inn Is Quiet
Kerry 38, Edwards 32, Dean 18. This is not the night Howard Dean hoped to have. Earlier tonight I said that anything in the low 20s, about where the latest polling showed him to be, could be labeled a success for Dean no matter how well Edwards and Kerry did. I'm not sure that's accurate anymore because he did so poorly in comparison--I was thinking they might be in the high 20s, but Kerry more than doubled Dean's total, which is a big shock to me. Even though tonight's caucuses selected delegates to county conventions, which will select delegates to the state convention, which will select a tiny sliver of the total number of delegates to the Democratic national convention, it's all about expectations. And all of a sudden, Dean seems to need to finish either first or second in New Hampshire, lest he be perceived as fading. But remember--Gephardt won Iowa in 1988. Paul Tsongas won New Hampshire in 1992. So it ain't gonna be over for a while yet.

In addition to beating Bush, the Democrats will also have to beat the news channels. CNN felt the need to put on Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie at 10:00 to provide analysis, presumably because when you want incisive analysis of the Democratic race, you should ask a Republican hack. MSNBC's coverage, anchored by the insufferable Chris Matthews, went to Kerry's acceptance speech in Des Moines, only to cut away from the introduction about 10 seconds later to let Joe Scarborough launch a broadside at Ted Kennedy, who was introducing Kerry. (What Scarborough's point was, I couldn't grasp--something about Democrats not being able to win Florida.) I didn't even bother with the "fair and balanced" channel. As we used to say back on the playground, liberal media, my eye.

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