Wednesday, November 3

I wish most of America hadn't already gone to bed and was instead watching CBS News.

There is a fantastic chess match being waged now between the White House and the networks. The Bush team at first apparently said that as soon as another state was called for the President (giving him 270+ assuming Ohio is in his column), they would go to the Reagan building in D.C. to speak to supporters and essentially declare victory. Now the line is that Sen. Pete Domenici will declare victory in N.M. so the speech can happen. It doesn't look like the networks will make any more calls anytime soon.

Hold on...as I'm typing this CBS has called Nevada for the president. It's done, on the likely assumption that Ohio holds up. A quick flip through the channels shows that, bizarrely, CBS is the only one now to have called Nevada.

Dan Rather is at his finest now. He is doing everything in his power to keep hope alive for Kerry. After Ed Bradley explained the near impossibility, mathematically, of Kerry taking Ohio, Rather repeatedly made comments such as "if you believe those numbers" in an effort to undercut the near certainty of the situation.

If you're wondering why I'm watching CBS, you must be unfamiliar with schadenfreude. I was until a year or so ago.

I'm glad I'm taping this...

Finally, CBS called it for Thune!

Rather is now saying a Kerry win would be like the Red Sox comeback. Come on, Dan.

Rather just said in reference to the late hour, with unintended irony, "This is the graveyard shift at CBS News." Oh, the truths we tell...

Also, AP reports that Bush will give a victory speech shortly. I hope they do this cautiously. We don't need to engender any more hatred or come across as cocky. Kerry's use of Edwards to say "We will fight for every vote" earlier was shrewd and well-executed- and who can blame him for not conceding?

But, as CBS notes, the WH is also acting shrewdly. A declaration of victory will put heat on Kerry/Edwards to concede. Still, my gut tells me that people agree with what Edwards said- "We can wait one more night." Will the White House come across as pushy or bullying? I hope not. I trust their judgment here.

I don't fault the networks' caution, though they should have called NM by now.

I think Kerry has handled this well so far and...dare I say it?...this whole thing might be resolved decisively and with minimal rancor.

Bush now up by 147,000 in Ohio with 99% reporting, and still no call by CBS. They finally decided to be conservative...

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