Rich Galen

All right, people, settle down. As was saying at the end of Monday's class: "I have to write MULLINGS three days a week. Chaos is my friend."

As you know by now, Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary and John McCain won the Republican primary in New Hampshire thus jumbling both the Republican and Democratic nomination pictures like your three-year-old tipping over the card table with that 2,000 piece jigsaw puzzle you've been working on since Christmas.

As the afternoon progressed it became ever-more-clear to big-time reporters (and big-time political hacks) that Sen. Barack Obama would cruise to an easy win over Clinton, and the real story would be whether McCain would be able to continue with a loss - even a close loss - to Mitt Romney.

The "Hillary-Will-Retool-Her-Campaign-Tomorrow" story dominated discussions on-and-off the air including insider reports that James Carville and Paul Begala would immediately be brought in as unpaid Senior Advisors to get her faltering effort back on track.

ABC's Jake Tapper reported that the story was given credence because participants in the high-level conference call discussing the addition of Carville and Begala had told others about it. Two of those participants were … Carville and Begala (who told Tapper that the story was NOT true) but that's not the interesting point.

The interesting point is: If Carville and Begala were on the conference call to discuss how to fix the Clinton campaign, doesn't that already qualify them as Senior Advisors?

Reporters were openly discussing the exact place, date and time that Hillary Clinton would announce the end of her bid for the Democratic nomination. To punctuate this, cable nets spent the day running the footage of Clinton showing her weakness by tearing up at a campaign stop juxtaposed with a strong and smiling Obama confidently addressing a massive campaign rally.

As the early returns began to come in, and Clinton clung to a small lead, really smart and experienced viewers were betting on exactly what time the Obama surge would be reflected in the tally placing him ahead for keeps in New Hampshire and probably in the nomination race overall.

The answer was: Never. When the actual voters went to the actual polls and the results were actually tallied Clinton collected just shy of 8,000 more than Obama leading to a 39% - 37% victory.

If this were a poll, that result would be called a technical tie. But as there are no "undecideds on election day" a two percentage point win is a TWO PERCENTAGE POINT WIN!


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.


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