NEW YORK -- In a borrowed office at 30 Rock, Chuck Todd is on his cellphone, telling a Barack Obama strategist that his boss will probably fall just short of winning Indiana that night.
"Are you really going to ask for a recount over one delegate?" NBC's political director asks, swiveling in his chair. "It is literally one delegate!"
Less than an hour later, Todd is in front of a bright green wall in Studio 3K, a map of Indiana projected behind him, Hillary Clinton clinging to a fragile lead, when MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann asks: "Did it just end tonight?"
"It may just have ended," Todd says, virtually pronouncing Obama the Democratic nominee at 12:09 a.m. Wednesday.
For political junkies, Todd has become all but inescapable. When he isn't shuttling between studios, he is being invoked as an authority by one anchor or another. After a career out of the limelight, the genial 36-year-old is the campaign season's most improbable TV star.
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