7:03 (all times are EDT)
Even though the early returns are tight, it's clear that Senator Clinton will win Kentucky by a West Virginia-sized margin. Speaking of which, I didn't liveblog last week's West Virginia primary, but my post mortem was basically: Senator Obama lost with only 25 percent of the vote. However, on February 5, Senator McCain lost West Virginia, too. What was Senator McCain's percentage of the West Virginia caucus results? One. One percent. Why aren't there any questions about Senator McCain's "white working class problem"?
And by way of tradition, here's my prediction for tonight's results:
Kentucky results so far:
Everyone has called Kentucky for Senator Clinton.
Back to the "white working class problem". The subtext is that white Appalachian voters are racists, regardless of party, because they refuse to vote for a black candidate. Other white Appalachian voters are stupids because they've been duped into believing these ridiculous e-mails about the Senator's religion. So my question is: Why is this a problem for Senator Obama and not a problem for the racist/stupid white Appalachian voters?
Terry McAuliffe on MSNBC now. "Let everyone vote" -- this is an interesting talking point from the Clinton campaign. Correct me in the comments if I'm wrong, but even if Senator Clinton had dropped out, wouldn't her name still be on the ballot in the remaining primaries? Meanwhile, McAuliffe just said that he believes Senator Clinton will have more delegates before the convention. Yep.
McAuliffe is fear mongering now: "Who's going to keep me safe? Who will be the best on national security? And if you look at the exit data, Chris, you know -- it's not about race and gender, it's about who they best think can deal with these economic issues and keep us safe." OLBERMANN: "Isn't that essentially a Trojan horse you've brought in on Senator McCain's behalf?" McAULIFFE: "Hillary beats John McCain on these national security issues." So much for the so-called cease-fire.
Chuck Todd: Oregon is only 3 percent African American. By the way, Oregon is also 3 percent Roloff.
Plug! Plug! Cliff Schecter is liveblogging over here. We'll be stealing each other's snarky observations tonight.
Cliff reminds us that Alex Castellanos is on CNN again tonight (and looking especially Robert Goulet-ish, by the way). For those of you unfamiliar with Castellanos' race-baiting work... Watch this:
Why does CNN allow Castellanos on the air when they know that race is an issue in this election?
Following up on Castellanos' creepy Goulet vibe:
Senator Clinton to make with the talking any minute now.
Senator Clinton speaking now. Some kind words for Senator Kennedy -- "one of the greatest progressive leaders in our nation's history."
"We're winning the popular vote." No she isn't.
Via the comments... Josh Marshall on the popular vote argument:
"Even if you change the rules and fully seat Michaigan and Florida and count them for the popular vote totals and don't count any portion of the Michigan "uncommitted" (which were understood a the to be for Obama) vote for Obama, Hillary is still behind in the popular vote total. The only way she moves ahead in popular vote is if you do all that AND don't count four of the caucus states...Some stuff is just too ridiculous to let pass."
MSNBC is projecting 29-14 delegate split in Kentucky. 1 delegate away from surpassing a majority.
Also, Gallup"s tracking poll has Senator Obama now leading Senator Clinton among women and Hispanics nationwide.
Russert just noted that Senator Clinton's electoral math is literally drawn from Karl Rove's electoral map. Weird. To that point, it's worth noting that according to Quinnipiac's latest numbers, Senator Obama is only one point behind Senator McCain in Florida and Ohio. One point. That's statistically nothing. And it's only May.
Schecter at FDL: "Knocked Up is on HBO. But I'd rather be watching Candy Crowley."
Norah O'Donnell just reported that 9 out of 10 voters who thought race was important selected Senator Clinton. But, of course, that's Senator Obama's "problem" -- all that racism. His problem. Racist white people are his problem. Yeah. What the hell is wrong with people?
Matthews to Lisa Caputo: "Senator Clinton can't seem to win people who are educated. What's the problem?"
CNN reporting that Senator Obama has officially won a majority of pledged delegates. The Senator has reached 1628 pledged delegates.
Back to the Senator's so-called "problem." Put another way... If someone runs up to you right now and sucker punches you in the throat because of the color of your, say, hair -- is that your problem or the sucker puncher's problem?
Something I've learned during this process that really, really sucks: Some Democrats are still very racist. Others, who believe every e-mail they receive, are also not very smart.
Fun fact: Senator Dodd says the word "here" a lot.
MSNBC reporting that former Carter Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan has died after years of fighting various forms of cancer.
Before Senator Obama speaks tonight, here's a flashback to Senator Kennedy's endorsement speech.
SCHECTER: "Alex Castellanos is babbling again. It can be hard to talk when you're not used to talking through the blow-hole of a white pillow case."
And this video just in from Kentucky:
Russert saying that Senator Obama has won a majority of pledged delegates.
Whoever has the beeper/pager at MSNBC... Please stop it!
Senator Obama getting ready to speak.
Senator Obama declares that he has achieved a majority of pledged delegates. "Within reach of the nomination for president..."
SENATOR OBAMA: "We all admire her courage and committment and perseverance. And no matter how this primary ends, Senator Clinton has shattered myths and broken barriers and changed the America in which my daughter and your daughters will come of age, and for that we are grateful to her."
Obama is again hitting McCain on lacking the courage to sit down with our enemies. I love that frame. Because it is TRUE. And it is what we should have been saying for a while. It is the cowards who resort to violence immediately. They don't have the guts to work things out in a complicated world, instead of bombing people on false evidence....
That was a HUGE speech. I haven't seen that much energy from the Senator in months. That's not to say his speeches have been weaker, but this one was particularly strong in terms of his delivery.
CNN's John King just used his magic-marker fingers to draw what appeared to be a large bowel across "rural" Kentucky. That's about right.
Is it me or is Begala sounding more and more like Lionel Hutz? Speaking of The Simpsons, if you're planning on selling a monorail to a small rural town, check out the exit polls and find the towns that believe the Manchurian e-mails. Monorail... Monorail... Monorail...
Results coming in from Oregon. 11% reporting. Senator Obama leading with more than 60 percent in the counties surrounding Eugene and Portland. However, there don't appear to be many racists there so, naturally, these results don't matter.
MATTHEWS: "There's a problem here for Barack Obama... the Appalachian whites... He didn't even try to reach them..." RUSSERT REPLIES: "They were reachable in Oregon and Wisconsin...." Huh-what-now? Appalachian voters from Oregon? That's crazy! Appalachia is more enormous than I thought! But to Matthews' point -- yes, why can't Senator Obama reach the racist white hillbillies? What's Obama's problem!?
No exit poll news yet on Oregon's all-important Roloff vote.
Also, on CNN, Gergen wondering why Senator Clinton hasn't told her voters (paraphrasing): if you're voting for me because you won't vote for a black candidate, I don't want your vote.
Chuck Todd: 115 of the 212 remaining undeclared superdelegates are from states that went for Senator Obama.
Schecter notes: "Rudy Giuliani got 1.5% of the vote [in Kentucky] and he has been out of this race since his old combover went out of style." Why can't Senator McCain win over all of Giuliani's voters? What's his problem?
Norah's exit polling... In 2004 32 percent of Kentucky Democrats voted for President Bush. The exact same number said they'd vote for Senator McCain over Senator Obama.
Video flashback to last week. The crossover rural white Democratic voter:
I'm selling Janice a monorail.
That's all for me tonight. Three more primaries to go. Speaking of which, I have two requests... Can we stop calling them "contests"? They're primaries and caucuses, and they're supposed to be important electoral events. A "contest", on the other hand, involves throwing a baseball at a clown in a dunk tank -- or betting your friends that you can go the longest without masturbating. Second request: now that the primary season is nearing a conclusion, can we stop calling the candidates "Barack" and "Hillary"? I don't hear anyone calling Senator McCain "John."