by Max Brantley
File comments here tonight on the West Virginia Democratic primary. Media script: If Hillary wins by less than 25 it's a loss. If she wins by more, it doesn't matter anyway. Huck commentates on MSNBarack starting at 5 p.m.
6:30 PM UPDATE: West Virginia is called for Clinton when the polls close. It's 63-30 at 8:36 p.m. A surprise only in that the cable nets didn't show their usual reluctance to give Clinton good news immediately. Outrageous quote of the night: Chris Matthews, "Hillary Clinton is the Al Sharpton of white people." Misogyny on parade.
Far more interesting is the race for an open congressional seat in Mississippi where a Democrat almost won the blood-red district without a runoff. Both parties have poured massive sums into the contest. That's the race to watch tonight. Some Arkie politicos have been toiling in this race. The Huck PAC is supporting the Repub, too.
8:30 PM UPDATE: Talking Points says the Democrat is ahead 52-48 with about half the votes counted. And now AP has called the race for the Democrat. And final numbers, 54-46, look good for fall, don't they? Hey, is it sweet? The Republican candidate is a Confederate sympathizer. (Though that's probably a plus in Miss.) The Democratic Party will go all the way supporting the winner in the fall, not be a late arrival with financial help. This was a factor that forced this runoff in the first place. It's a pickup for the Dems. Sweet. Add it to Louisiana and House Speaker Hastert's seat. Do you feel the earth move, Arkansas Red?
MEDIA COMMENTARY UPDATE
Call it bitter. Call it accurate. The national media, after an hour of watching cable TV, is so opposed to Clinton that it's breathtaking.
Here's the deal, which the cable analysts won't acknowledge. NEITHER candidate -- Obama or Clinton -- can win a majority of delegate votes without the super delegates. Come convention time, Obama will have a lead among pledged delegates of about 100 or so among more than 4,000. Nearly a dead heat. Hillary might have an edge in the popular vote, if you are willing to count the people who actually walked into a voting booth and, fully informed, pulled a lever for Hillary. (I know, those people don't deserve the franchise, in the view of Obamaists.) So then you have a tough situation. An essential dead heat -- in delegates and popular vote and an edge for Hillary among total electoral votes of states won. Do you go with the leader in pledged delegates, including all those delegates won by proportional voting rules and caucuses in Republican states, or do you go with the winner in big-electoral-vote states? And, if you go with Hillary, do you risk obliterating a loyal Democratic voter bloc, black voters?
It's a tough call. It's by no means a laydown on which course is the proper answer and I still believe the super delegates, faced with this dilemma, will opt for Obama. But it's a tough call. And it is totally unfair of the media to say Hillary is jousting at windmills to continue to make her case for the nomination. They hate her. They want her gone. It's that simple. Fight on, gal.
PS -- Mike Huckabee hit home runs tonight as an MSNBC commentator. Gracious. Bipartisan. Well-modulated. He's got a future.
I did drop by the ballgame. Beautiful night at the ballpark, despite threat of rain, and a small crowd, so it was easy to move around. So how come they don't sell a real American beer -- not light, not ale, etc. -- in the beer garden? Like a Michelob? Diamond Bear and Fat Tire and Bitburger and all that is fine, but a plain old middle American lager is hard to beat in the bleachers. If you ask me. Not that anyone did.