LOS ANGELES, March 7, 2012―For political junkies, the Super Bowl of politics arrived. Super Tuesday brought results in ten states with 419 delegates up for grabs.
While New Jersey was not holding its primary on this day, they had sad political news with the passing of Democratic Congressman Donald Payne. The former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus was a fairly non-controversial figure, even teaming up with former First Lady Laura Bush to fight malaria. He was 77, and lost his lengthy battle with cancer. Condolences are offered to the Payne family.
Then came the politics.
Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia all had primaries or caucuses. Texas pushed its primary back due to ongoing fights over redistricting. None of the ten states have a true “winner take all” system, so there were chances for everyone to get delegates.
Going into the big day, Mitt Romney had won the most votes, states and delegates. Rick Santorum had won some contests and was second. Newt Gingrich had won only one contest, while Ron Paul had won absolutely nothing. All of the candidates expected at least one second place finish in a contest they did not win, which in states with delegates allocated proportionally or by Congressional district would mean winning at least some delegates.
11am (All times PST): President Barack Obama could not stand being left out, so he again tried to suck the oxygen out of the political room. By pure coincidence, he held a lengthy press conference on Super Tuesday. For those who want complete coverage of his remarks, wait a week and you will change your mind. The man who keeps saying that “the time for talk is over” just kept talking and talking. He was asked mostly about Iran, but all substantive comments about Iran this week were delivered at the AIPAC conference the night before by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Anyone in a state of sheer panic that Obama’s remarks preempted “Days of Our Lives” should be waterboarded. It was scheduled to return Wednesday.
Noon: Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton provided the adult response to the pre-Super Tuesday nonsense. He pointed out that when Obama accused Republicans and others of taking the issue of war “lightly,” he was being disingenuous. He called that remark a “conscious falsehood.” Mr. Bolton understands that the only solution regarding Iran is force.
1pm: The stock market closed down over 200 points. This was attributed to the fact that Europe is collapsing and well on its way to being part of an Islamic Caliphate. A more sober analysis is that the market is overvalued and has run higher in defiance of fundamental and structural weaknesses. People took profits.
2pm: All four candidates prepared their excuses as to why they did not win certain contests. Any victory would be proof of a mandate. Supporters of the candidate who has won nothing claimed victory in all ten states as they always do. Like Occupy Wall Street protesters, they were ignored. Candidates who failed to make the ballot in at least one state blamed the balloting process rather than admitting that others had better organizations.
4pm: Shepherd Smith on Fox News (FNC), Wolf Blitzer on CNN, and some leftist apparatchiks on MSNBC get down to business. Newt Gingrich is immediately declared the winner in his home state of Georgia. This is his second win of the primary season to go along with his earlier victory in South Carolina.
4:01: MSNBC: Ed Schultz refers to Gingrich as a “joke.” This is MSNBC.
4:16: MSNBC: Rachel Maddow declares Romney the winner in Virginia. Ron Paul got plenty of votes, but he lost. For his supporters to claim a strong second is disingenuous since there were only two on the ballot, but to say he finished last would be unfair. He should not be punished for having a better organization than Gingrich and Santorum. So Ron Paul came in second out of four people. This means everyone but Mitt Romney lost. As of this moment Ron Paul and Rick Santorum have won nothing for this night.
4:22: MSNBC: Leftist Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is brought in for “analysis.”
(Full disclosure: I am enthusiastically supporting Josh Mandel, who is running against Brown.)
4:27: FNC: Shepherd Smith declares Mitt Romney the winner in Vermont, which means something to somebody, somewhere. Rumor has it Vermont has about 12 Republicans. In equally relevant news, Cherry Garcia ice cream is delicious. Romney is now three for four, sweeping the contests that closed earliest. Only three minutes until the Ohio polls close.
4:30: MSNBC has Ohio too close to call while Wolf Blitzer at CNN has Romney leading Santorum 40 to 36% with the others way behind.
4:32: MSNBC: Chris Matthews pretends to care about money in politics by lamenting that Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers have the nerve to participate in the political process. He calls their approach to politics “Communist.” He has no comments about George Soros, or the millions being raised on behalf of President Obama.
4:38: As of now Barack Obama has won zero delegates in zero contests, proving that his campaign is collapsing*. He has as many victories as Ron Paul, although counting the 2008 results puts Obama way ahead.
4:40: FNC: Ron Paul speaks live from Fargo, North Dakota. Normally he is very cheerful but this is an angry speech. The crowd starts chanting “End the Fed.” CNN joins in a couple minutes later while MSNBC for some reason refuses to carry his remarks. It seems odd that he is speaking as early as he is, but only important contests he had a chance of winning have already gone against him. He is normally good at delivering a serious message in an optimistic tone. Yet like Steve Forbes in 1996, his tone has became slightly darker as the defeats are racked up.
Ron Paul announces that he is different from the other candidates. He is right. He thinks that is a good thing, while approximately 90% of the GOP electorate disagrees. FNC and CNN both cut away from his speech, while MSNBC never turns to it.
4:46: ESPN: Chris Mortensen reports that the Indianapolis Colts will be cutting Peyton Manning on Wednesday. This overshadows everything else on Super Tuesday. Without Peyton Manning, Indianapolis might as well be Vermont. There is no confirmation of rumors that Colts owner Jim Irsay will bring in MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow as a replacement for Manning.
5:00pm: All three networks call Massachusetts for Mitt Romney. FNC calls Oklahoma for Rick Santorum, while MSNBC for some reason decides it is too close to call. CNN has Santorum leading Romney 35 to 28% in Tennessee but is not calling the race. This means that every candidate except Ron Paul has had an actual victory on this night.
5:09: CNN for some reason thinks that former Al Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile and Bill Clinton sycophant Paul Begala make for interesting analysis. Brazile is tolerable, while Begala is himself. Ari Flesicher is on the panel, although he needs to prepare for Purim tomorrow. He should start now since Megillah Wednesday is almost upon us. Purim is the festival celebrating Esther and has nothing to do with Madonna.
5:12: My filler is less useless than network filler. FNC is showing results from the 2008 Ohio primary. This offers as much insight as using Super Bowl X to predict Super Bowl XLVII. Incidentally, while John McCain never won a Super Bowl, he did win that 2008 Ohio contest. Bill Hemmer at FNC is the Romney of that network. His hair is perfect. No man should be that handsome.
5:15: An MSNBC reporter interviews a Santorum supporter. The reporter confuses Iowa with Ohio.
5:17: MSNBC: Rachel Maddow criticizes Mitt Romney for not commenting on Rush Limbaugh and Sandra Fluke. Matthews sees this as cowardice yet had no comment about Barack Obama’s entire history of voting “present.”
5:20: CNN: Sarah Palin is interviewed as she arrives at the Alaska Caucus. Due to time zones and weather constraints, Alaska results should be available some time in 2013. Alaskans insist they are only one hour behind the West Coast. Palin is asked about and does not rule in or out a 2016 run.
5:23: FNC: Karl Rove expresses surprise at how well Romney is doing in certain parts of Ohio. On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow is interviewing fellow leftist Andrea Mitchell. Mitchell married Alan Greenspan, the reason people have heard of her.
5:26: CNN: Palin does not rule out entering her own name if there is a brokered convention.
5:27: FNC: Rove predicts that everyone stays in at the end of the night as Super Tuesday for once fails to winnow the field in any way. Gingrich, Romney and Santorum all have wins to go forward while Ron Paul will stay in no matter what.
5:28: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is interviewed by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, where hate speech is disguised as discussion. Steve Schmidt, the former political consultant who loves attacking Sarah Palin, is quoted as a serious conservative voice. This is MSNBC. Wasserman-Schultz claims that the GOP is fighting cultural wars that were settled before she was born. Apparently abortion was a big deal in the 19th century. A lengthy conversation about contraception is not followed by any questions or discussion of Obama’s failed presidency.
Wasserman Schultz should be asked if she would still be pro-choice if she knew that her mother would have made the decision to terminate. The Christian Coalition would probably be pro-choice if that were a known quantity.
5:37: CNN: Wolf Blitzer calls Tennessee for Rick Santorum
5:38: From Atlanta Georgia, Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista come to the stage for his speech there. All three networks carry this. Only MSNBC lets Callista speak from the beginning. “Our only opponent is Barack Obama. We are committed to removing him from the White House. This campaign is far from over.”
5:42: Newt has his say. “I hope the analysts in DC and NY explaining in June and July that our campaign was dead…” “We are not going to allow the elite to decide who we are going to nominate.” He even goes after the “national elite in the Republican Party.” “Wall Street money can be beaten by Main Street work.” He thanks Governor Nathan Deal, JC Watts, Fred Thompson, Herman Cain, Todd Palin, and other supporters.
“This is a chapter for the soul of the Republican Party.” “I believe I am the one candidate who has the ability to debate Barack Obama decisively.” The Romney strategy of attacking will not work against Obama. He will have the money and the media. Regarding a teleprompter, “we run a very frugal campaign and we couldn’t afford one.” “In the morning we are going on to Alabama, we are going on to Missississippi, we are going on to Kansas.” He says this without screaming like Howard Dean. “I want us to have an American energy policy so no American president will ever again bow to a Saudi king.” “[Obama] said, you know, I’m really worried about higher gas prices because it will make it harder for me to get reelected.” Obama’s speeches are so “deliciously incoherent.” Debating Obama, “you could almost sell tickets for charity.” Not drilling…his practical solution…”algae.” Have people go to gas stations with a jar of algae. The Gingrich solution vs a jar of algae for your gas tank. SNL should make a skit about it.
Obama brags about the natural gas find. Gingrich is still waiting for one reporter to come out of their comatose Obama support phase and ask Obama how he thinks we found the natural gas. “We found it by drilling.” On Iran, “Closing the Straits of Hormuz would be an act of war and their government would cease to exist.”
When Obama became President, gas was $1.89. Natural gas fell from $7.97 to $2.86 with only an 11% increase in production, supply outstripping demand. The same experience with oil would mean $1.13 gasoline. “$2.50 is not radical. It is cautious and doable.” No department of anti-energy and EPA that destroys jobs and a president who refuses to open the Keystone Pipeline.
6:05pm: After 23 minutes, Gingrich is finished. MSNBC and FNC stayed with him the whole time while CNN cut away to offer old news about Oklahoma that FNC covered ages ago.
6:07: MSNBC: Chris Matthews calls Gingrich a “cluster,” and jokes about wanting to call him a “cluster-f*ck.” This is MSNBC.
6:11: FNC: Comedian Stephen Crowder in Steubenville, Ohio, is warming up the crowd before Rick Santorum comes out.
6:12: MSNBC: Rachel Maddow defends algae, most likely because she is made of algae. She ridicules Gingrich, keeping in mind that he has an energy plan that would actually work.
6:13: CNN: There is virtually no information from North Dakota, although Gingirch is in last with exactly one vote.
6:16: MSNBC: With Maddow, Schultz, O’Donnell, and Sharpton not being crazy enough, they decide to interview Howard Dean about Ohio.
6:17: Rick Santorum comes to the microphone, sparing the world Howard Dean. He should win praise for that alone. “I just came from our war room, which doubles as the weight room for the high school.” “This is our roots. This is where we’re from.” The people who worked hard and built this country are from, Southeast Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. “This campaign is about the towns who have been left behind and those families who made those towns the greatest part of the greatest country.” He won “a couple of gold medals” and plenty of “silver medals.” “We have won in the West, the Midwest, and the South, and we are ready to win across this country.”
In praising his wife, he says people wanted “More Karen, less Rick. I’m trying to get as good as she is.” “My biggest supporter, my most honest critic.”
“In Washington, they believe the elites in Washington should be making decisions for all of us.” “We are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar.” “What right does a government have to do that to the next generation?” “One issue that breaks the camel’s back with respect to liberty in this country, that is Obamacare.” It is “the beginning of the end of freedom in America.” “Once the government has control of your life, they gotcha.”
“I have never been for an individual mandate at a state or federal level.” “I’ve never passed a statewide healthcare system.” “We need a person running against President Obama who is right on the issues and truthful with the American public.”
“The Greatest Generation was great because when freedom was at stake they rose to meet the call to defend this country.”
6:37: Again, CNN cuts away from the speech near the end, while MSNBC and FNC stay with him. He speaks for 20 minutes.
6:38: MSNBC: Ed Schultz laughs at the trouble Rick Santorum has with the media. Perhaps it is because people like Ed Schultz and the rest of MSNBC keep attacking him. This comment occurrs right after Schultz confuses North Carolina with Tennessee. Yeah, those Southern country bumpkins are all the same. North Carolina did not have a primary on Super Tuesday. Tennessee did.
6:40: Mitt and Ann Romney take the stage in Boston, Massachusetts. CNN and FNC carry Ann Romney while MSNBC feels Lawrence O’Donnell is more important. Ann Romney makes a point of thanking every single person who helped the campaign, including “Honorary Buckeye Donald Trump.” “Women care about jobs, the economy, their children, the debt.” “I believe he is the only person who can turn around America. So let’s let him do that.”
6:46: Mitt takes the stage, saying of his wife “She’s the best.” “Your support means everything to Ann and me, and I’m not going to let you down.” “We are counting down the days until November and that looks even better.” He congratulates Gingrich, Santorum, and Paul.
We have a faltering economy and failed presidency. Jobs they cannot get and bills you cannot pay. You have not failed. You have a president who has failed you. That is going to change. Obama said he would create jobs and cut the deficit in half. We don’t need another five years of this president.
“This president is out of excuses, out of ideas, and soon we will get him out of the White House.” “Obama governs by command, not by consensus.”
“Eight percent unemployment is not the best America can do. It is just the best this administration can do.” “Unemployment numbers are not data entries on spreadsheets. They are people.” “You are not forgotten. Real change is on the way.”
“This is not just about replacing a president. It is about restoring America’s promise, and we will do it.” “He lost our AAA credit rating. I will restore our AAA rating.”
“My highest priority will be about saving your job, not saving my job.” He would cut taxes across the board by 20%, repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax, and finally abolish the death tax. “I will cut taxes for job creators.” “I will help middle class families save and invest tax-free.” “This president does not have a single plan to help save Medicare and Social Security.”
“I stand ready to lead our party and to lead our nation to prosperity.”
“On November 6th we will stand united not only having won an election but having saved the future.”
“Let’s fight for the America we love.”
7:02pm: Romney finishes after 16 minutes. All three stations cover him from beginning to end. CNN announces that Rick Santorum is ahead in North Dakota, but they are not able to call the race.
7:04: MSNBC: Chris Matthews and Al Sharpton play the race card and claim hidden racism in Romney’s message. He mentioned the word “America” many times. This means he is the “home team,” and that Obama is “exotic” and a “foreigner.” A simpler explanation is that we live in the United States, also known as America, and that MSNBC consists of race-baiting idgets.
7:06: MSNBC has Tom Brokaw, FNC has Megyn Kelly interviewing Sarah Palin, and John King is analyzing the map on CNN.
7:07: CNN: Wolf Blitzer officially calls North Dakota for Rick Santorum.
7:07: MSNBC: Tom Brokaw says that Mitt Romney has trouble connecting with average American people. Tom Brokaw was the liberal who once said he envied homeless people because they do not have to get up early to go to work like he did.
7:10: All three networks show a nailbiter in Ohio, where Rick Santorum leads Mitt Romney 38 to 36%.
7:21: CNN points out that over 9,000 people are in an arena in Boise, Idaho, making it the largest Idaho Caucus ever. FNC has Megyn Kelly interviewing Rick Perry while MSNBC still has Ohio too close to call.
7:27: MSNBC interviews Michael Moore. Enough said. “Santorum will lead a religious crusade.” Maddow interrupts to report news that CNN covered 20 minutes earlier. Moore says that “35 advertisers pulled out of Limbaugh.” He then makes a crude joke about “pulled out” that has Maddow laughing. This is MSNBC.
7:33: MSNBC: Chuck Todd points out that Ohio is in, except for Cincinnati, Dayton and Cleveland. That’s the entire bloody state! Todd points out that there could be a mandatory recount, which means we may not know the Ohio results for month. It would help if we knew before the general election was over.
7:48: CNN: New votes from a holdout county puts Romney ahead of Santorum in Ohio. That county had 38,000 votes for Romney and only 22,000 votes for Santorum. Santorum was ahead by much less than that margin.
7:49: MSNBC calls Romney the Prince Charles of the Republican Party.
8:00pm: FNC calls Idaho for Mitt Romney. Ron Paul claims a close second, only 67 points behind, 78% to 11%.
8:04: MSNBC: Lawrence O’Donnell wants Santorum and hard-core conservatism to win the nomination because he is convinced it will get crushed, forcing the GOP to move to the middle. There is no word on when MSNBC and the modern Democratic Party will ever move to the right of Leon Trotsky. Matthews is convinced that a Santorum nomination would mean widespread GOP losses, including the House and Senate. Matthews thinks this would be “good for the country.” Sharpton calls Santorum a “misogynist.” Sharpton is not asked about his comments about Jews or when he will pay Stephen Pagones for the Tawana Brawley imbroglio.
8:09: FNC: Brett Baier notes that 12,000 votes in Ohio were cast for Huntsman and Perry.
8:10: FNC has Charles Krauthammer offering analysis. Out of deference to the man who truly does know everything, CNN and MSNBC decide to run test patterns so their few remaining viewers will switch to FNC to listen to Dr. Krauthammer. On MSNBC, Al Sharpton points out that the test pattern represents Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition. Rachel Maddow argues that the test pattern represents gay rights. Most people agree the sound of the test pattern is less shrill than most MSNBC correspondents. The whistle is so high that only dogs and MSNBC employees can hear it.
Krauthammer: Big picture, Romney, slow and steady, is a relatively weak front-runner. Like Steve Hayes winning Wisconsin. Every time Romney has a chance to close the deal, it doesn’t happen. Ron Paul will show up at Tampa come hell or high water. Newt has a Southern strategy but we are a national country. Outside of his home state he went 0-9, in Ron Paul territory. In the end it is the slow and steady tortoise gathering delegates. Romney gets weaker, not stronger, with every week.
8:20: FNC: America started the day (not counting an irrelevant press conference by an irrelevant leader) with John Bolton, and now at night some more analysis from Ambassador Bolton is offered. MSNBC and CNN lament that they cannot book analysts who actually know what they are talking about. They rerun the test pattern.
Bolton: Obama engaged in “outright slander of the Republicans, the way he described their views.” Obama is “unwilling or unable to understand how devastating Iran having nuclear weapons would be.” He was “unprofessional, unpresidential.” On this issue, there is no difference between Romney, Gingrich and Santorum. Romney’s executive experience makes him the choice as the man sitting behind the desk making decisions. The likelihood of an Israeli strike on Iran is high. Bret Baier poses 60 to 70%, and Bolton says it is at least that high.
8:24: MSNBC: Worried that the network is not bigoted enough, Joan Walsh of Salon is brought in to offer hate speech. Naturally she wants to talk about Rick Santorum and his war against women, but the conversation shifts. She laments money in politics but again fails to mention George Soros. Matthews says “There is something about Romney that is very businesslike.” Somebody explain to Matthews that Romney is a businessman. Matthews calls Romney “prissy.” Matthews compares Romney to dog food and GOP voters to dogs. This is MSNBC.
8:35: FNC: Michael Barone is the king of election analysis. MSNBC holds off on the test pattern since Rick Santorum strategist John Brabender is speaking. CNN goes to commercial. Mr. Barone declines to point out that 100% of Ron Paul supporters support Ron Paul. Everything else he breaks down with his typical aplomb.
8:44: MSNBC: Ed Schultz is ranting and raving about Mitt Romney and Rush Limbaugh. Ed Schultz is the expert on radio hosting viciousness, with the suspension to prove it. He may wish to stop throwing stones from his glass house.
8:54: By email, it is official that while the presidential race in Ohio is unsettled, the GOP Senate primary is very settled. Josh Mandel won the nomination to take on Sherrod Brown.
(Full disclosure: Josh Mandel is a friend and I am enthusiastically backing him.)
8:56: FNC: In a battle of left-wing Ohio congresspeople, Marcy Kaptur triumphs in the MSNBC Bowl by defeating Dennis Kucinich. They were in separate districts until redistricting pitted them against each other. Dennis Kucinich has now been fired, leaving only about 190 Democrats to remove from the House to thoroughly clean it spotless.
9:00pm: FNC: The polls have just closed in Alaska. Megyn Kelly asks Sarah Palin who she voted for. Palin replies that she vote for Newt Gingrich.
9:06: MSNBC: Rachel Maddow says “I am actually an android.” Finally she admits it.
9:31: MSNBC: With 96% of the vote in, Romney won Ohio.
9:35: MSNBC: Matthews says Romney can win the election by capturing the “hatred vote,” by which he means conservatives. This is his explanation. This is MSNBC.
9:39: MSNBC: Matthews calls Romney “pathetic,” for “genuflecting” before Trump and Limbaugh. He claims that Romney has “LDS Mormon competence,” invoking Mormonism into the discussion.
9:42: MSNBC: Rachel Maddow cries about “Republican engineered redistricting” in lamenting the loss of Dennis Kucinich. He lost to Marcy Kaptur. The Republican nominee will be Samuel Wurzelbacher, also known as “Joe the Plumber.” He won his primary.
10:00pm: Alaska has not been called. With 7% in, FNC has Romney at 38% and Santorum at 27%.
10:17: MSNBC: Joan Walsh refers to the Romney campaign as a “death march.”
10:19: Fox News online shows Alaska much tighter. With 16% reporting, Romney is at 32%, Paul 25%, Santorum 23%, Gingrich 20%.
10:27: FNC brings in Larry Sabato, again reducing the other netoworks to their multicolored test patterns. Social issues are important, but the election is about the economy. If there is a war with Iran, foreign policy will take center stage. Right now it is about the economy.
10:30: MSNBC: In keeping with the liberal work ethic, they go to bed and issue reruns rather than wait for Alaska to come in. CNN soon follows. They decide to let more conservative networks do the work.
10:57: CNN Online: With 68% reporting in Alaska, Romney has 33%, Santorum 30%, Paul 21%, and Gingrich 15%. The total number of votes is barely more than 8,000 people.
11:25: CNN Online: With 85% reporting in Alaska, Romney has 33%, Santorum 29%, Paul 24%, and Gingrich 14%.
11:32: FNC: With the exact same totals from CNN Online, Fox News officially calls Alaska for Mitt Romney. The only thing left is the delegate allocation. Romney won six of the ten contests.View Entire Story
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