Guests: Eugene Robinson, Howard Fineman, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Wesley Clark, Jay Carson, Terry McAuliffe, Howard Wolfson, Pat Buchanan, Rachel Maddow, Tom Delay, Dee Dee Myers, Tom Ridge
KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR: The first hint came a little more than five hours ago. The office of New Hampshire‘s Secretary of State reported phone calls from towns and precincts statewide. They were running out of ballots. Eight hours to go before the polls closed and they were running low on ballots. For now, that is all we know. It may be all we need know.
Good evening from our headquarters in New York. This is MSNBC‘s continuing coverage of the 2008 New Hampshire primaries. alongside Chris Matthews, I‘m Keith Olbermann. Here we go.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: Well, a long night for the Republicans.
OLBERMANN: And for the Democrats.
MATTHEWS: I think the Democrats‘ night will be shorter based upon early notions and the (INAUDIBLE).
OLBERMANN: And let‘s repeat now, in case anybody thinks we‘re jumping the gun, notions of what?
MATTHEWS: Notions entirely derived from yesterday‘s experience and looking at the size of the crowds up there in New Hampshire where I tried to go to all the major events. Hillary had a large crowd but a lot of it from out of state. The Obama crowd was growing and growing at the every turn and at the end of every session people were more pumped up than they were at the beginning. He was raising the crowd up in spiritual interest. Let‘s put it that way.
OLBERMANN: Is the story of Obama going to be eclipsed still by the story of the Democratic turnout? Are we going to see that kind of numbers we saw in Iowa last week, that was 91 percent growth from the 2004 campaign, which was by itself a year of activism?
MATTHEWS: I think the same story. I think it would be fair to say if Barack Obama wasn‘t in this race, we wouldn‘t see this excitement. And certainly, you could say the excitement may also be simply the great battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It‘s a championship battle. It‘s not a boring campaign at all. And American politics has been, to a lot of people in the past, boring. Young people have turned off to it. Young people have turned on to this campaign. Adults have been refreshed in their interest in politics. This has brought back politics the way Muhammad Ali brought back boxing as you know. And by the way, it died after him.
OLBERMANN: Yes. Or Tiger Woods and golf.
OLBERMANN: And we could beat that analogy into the ground for the next seven hours. I think that‘s our timeframe.
The election‘s supervisor in Londonderry, New Hampshire estimated at midday that he‘d get 70 percent turnout of his 15,000 registered voters. Seventy percent. While those voters are still voting, we are going to be assiduously walking that tight rope about not characterizing how candidates are doing, but certain data is available to us.
MSNBC‘s Norah O‘Donnell is tracking that. The exit polling.
Norah, good evening.
NORAH O‘DONNELL, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Good evening to you, Chris and Keith.
One of the big questions in New Hampshire is how independents will vote. They‘ve always played a key role in creating the state‘s go-your-own-way image, particularly in the primaries, because in New Hampshire, as we have mentioned, independents can vote in either party‘s contest.
So taking a look at our exit polls, those who consider themselves independent made up a bit less than half of the participants in the Democratic primary. Now that‘s comparable to what they attracted in the 2004 race, where independents, again, made up about half of the Democratic primary. You have to keep in mind there was no contested Republican primary four years ago. Independents had nowhere else to go if they wanted to vote. This year with a hotly contested GOP race, independents made up about a third of the Republican electorate for the primary.
Now when you compare these numbers to the figures we saw last week in Iowa, you realize how important independents are in the New Hampshire race. For the GOP there are three times—you hear that? Three times as many Republican independents voting in this primary as there were in Iowa. Only 13 percent of the Republican voters were independent. Now for Democrats, remember, just one in five of the caucus goers in Iowa called themselves independent, compared to nearly half of the voters in the Democratic primary today.
And you know, Chris and Keith, because there is still voting going on, we cannot tell you who these independents are leaning toward. But we can tell you at this time, one of the issues that is bubbling up for Republicans in this primary and that is a very bitter feeling they are expressing about President Bush and his administration. That‘s right. More than half of the Republicans in our exit poll say they are either dissatisfied or downright angry with this president. Only two in five were satisfied and a very small percent were enthusiastic, but what they have experienced in the past eight years.
So that sort of confirms what we‘ve been hearing about this electorate from other polls. There are a lot of angry people about the direction of this country.
Chris and Keith?
OLBERMANN: Picture‘s worth a thousand words. If a picture‘s worth a thousand words, then a number like 8 percent is worth a thousand pictures, I assume.
Norah O‘Donnell looking at the exit polling for us.
We‘re going to go up to Manchester now. NBC‘s White House correspondent David Gregory manning the central desk there.
David, good evening.
DAVID GREGORY, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Keith.
The independent numbers are very interesting and those feelings about President Bush, because that goes beyond New Hampshire. That becomes an issue as to whether Republicans dissatisfied with President Bush and the Bush years are more likely to vote as Democrats in a general election, something that you‘re starting to hear about as well.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you, David, it seems to me that this anger is hard to read, if you look at all the candidates on the Republican side. You know, John McCain, although he‘s a maverick, has sided with the president on the war. And you could argue maybe if you‘re right.
MATTHEWS: .pro-Bush should stick with McCain. But on the other hand, his personality is so different than Bush‘s and his person. It‘s hard to read that, isn‘t it?
GREGORY: It is difficult to read, and that relationship has gone up and down. But I think for New Hampshire voters, these New Hampshire voters and independents who are upset with President Bush are still going to find an ally in John McCain. They remember him back in 2000. They supported him heavily by 18, 19 points back in 2000. This is somebody who voted against the Bush tax cuts as Mitt Romney has been trying to remind them of, somebody who was critical of Donald Rumsfeld, critical of the war, critical of the administration generally, but then very supportive of the surge.
So he would still have a base here. And I think if we look at the overall, being on the ground here in New Hampshire, we are looking very closely at that independent vote. John McCain‘s staff saying that that supports their base of support, although they were still looking very closely at a much tighter contest, who is going to turn out the Republican votes? Is it Romney? Is it McCain? They were running pretty tight. Of course, McCain looking for those independents to take him over the top.
OLBERMANN: David, could there be too many independents to make that number really a milestone or an indicator? Could there be too much information about independents for us to say, look, the independents are driving McCain, the independents are driving Romney, the independents are driving Obama? Are the early numbers lining up with the fact that this is a state that about half of the voters are registered as undecided, as independent?
GREGORY: Right. You‘ve got 45 percent. I mean, if I get your drift here on the question, I think what‘s significant about this is that it may not be indicative of the candidates‘ true strength on either the Republican or the Democratic side. For instance, if Barack Obama is turning out young people, a lot of independent voters, it‘s not giving us as good of an indication of how he‘s doing within his own party. That becomes really important down the line. The big February 5th states, South Carolina as well. That‘s certainly true in history tells us back in 2000.
John McCain‘s victory back in 2000 was really about independents. He narrowly edged out George W. Bush among Republicans and then, of course, couldn‘t close the deal when it came to South Carolina. So the independent number being so large in New Hampshire doesn‘t give us a real sense of the candidates‘ strength within their own parties.
OLBERMANN: Independents good in the nominating process, or maybe good in the nominating process, great when it comes to the election process.
David Gregory in Manchester.
OLBERMANN: We‘ll get back to you and we‘ll expand about this throughout the evening.
OLBERMANN: Thank you, David.
MATTHEWS: Let‘s bring in NBC‘s Tom Brokaw. Tom, I think luck—I think everyone would agree, especially you who‘ve seen so many of these that it plays such a part. Here we have a spectacular weather in New Hampshire today. As Barack Obama said the other day, it‘s balmy out there. It‘s the tropics for January. It seems to me if I were the Clintons, I‘d say, “Damn it, one more problem we‘ve got to face—everybody‘s coming.”
TOM BROKAW, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think in this case in New Hampshire, everybody would come whether the weather was inclement or balmy, as you described it. I felt like that way in Iowa last week. The whole nation and the whole world is looking in on New Hampshire. They take their civic responsibility very seriously, as you know. It would be hard to imagine that in this kind of a spirited campaign, “They‘d say, well, there‘s a little more ice on the sidewalk, dear. I don‘t think I‘m going to go out tonight.”
I think that they know everyone‘s looking in. They feel passionately about the issues and the candidates who are before them, and it is New Hampshire, after all, Chris, where summer comes around the first of July and winter begins on the first of August.
MATTHEWS: Well, I want to ask you further about the alignment of the stars. If you look at—I guess I‘ve never seen so much crowd, so many exciting crowds. I mean, I was at the Obama events and I can say what everybody else has seen and heard and felt there. They are electric. I saw Hillary Clinton last night in a very plaintiff appeal to her troops, many of them brought in from outside, but a lot from New Hampshire. A huge room last night. A lot of almost old-time politics. It was almost like people were going around with torches, you know, and the old kind of politicking. A lot of in-your-face, but also a lot of show business.
BROKAW: Well, Chris, it‘s no longer just a bandwagon. We have an entire three-ring circus going here and it‘s not just the politics of New Hampshire, it‘s also all of this. We‘re not the only channel on the air, I‘m sorry to say. There are a lot of others, and they‘re going 24/7 on this race between Hillary Clinton and Obama with John Edwards also a contender, and on the Republican side as well. And when you can‘t escape that, you‘re bound to get excited by it if you‘re breathing in upright. And certainly, in New Hampshire they are. We do have new faces in this campaign, we have larger-than-life figures, and my impression is, having traveled the country for the last two years is the country really is ready to seize the political arena again.
They feel that it‘s been taken out of their hands at the national level and they want back in, and you‘re seeing a manifestation of that here in New Hampshire and again last week in Iowa, where they had almost twice as many people participating in the caucuses as they did four years ago.
OLBERMANN: Tom, with so much going on, it‘s almost tough to digest it, let alone keep track of everything that‘s happened in the last five days. What do you think we‘ve missed? What have the voters known on the ground in New Hampshire that we have not seen as members of the media?
BROKAW: Well, I think, really, that before this process is all over, we‘ll look back and say that there has been a profound realignment of the voting population in this country, Keith. No longer do the rules and the old labels of a Republican or Democrat. We‘re seeing a great, great rising tide of independents, as you know, about 35 percent of the country now registered independent. A lot of them younger. A lot of the voters that are coming into the process now have grown up with the Internet as their culture, and on the Internet they make their own rules. They don‘t play by the old rules, and they bring that application to their political emphasis as well.
So I think that may be something that everyone missed. There was a lot of talk four years ago about Howard Dean and how he‘d tapped into the Internet. But in the end, he was beaten by a more conventional politician using more conventional techniques, and that was John Kerry. Since then, the Internet has grown exponentially, and as you know from your own roaming during the day, there are so many more political blogs out there and people generating interest in what we‘re all talking about here tonight.
OLBERMANN: Tom Brokaw, who we are fortunate enough to be able to say, will be with us throughout the evening. Great thanks, Tom. We‘ll get back to you in a little bit.
OLBERMANN: Andrea Mitchell is covering the Clinton campaign for us tonight, where it‘s been a day—I don‘t see any fireworks actually going off in that room behind you, Andrea, but I imagine symbolically they‘ve been going on all day. Good evening.
ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Keith and Chris.
It really has been rough on the Clinton campaign today. They are anticipating the worst, hoping for a better outcome. They do not really have great confidence of pulling off a victory here. Top advisers were telling me we hope we can keep it in single digits. They know what‘s going on in terms of the generational change that Tom was just referring to. That‘s one reason why Barack Obama completed his campaign rallying today at Dartmouth College early this morning, trying to rally the younger people, talking about passing the torch to another generation, obviously invoking echoes of John F. Kennedy and, of course, of Martin Luther King, inspirational heroes.
There is a lot of bitterness. Bill Clinton is really voicing that bitterness. Hillary Clinton seems to ream. And although we saw her fatigued and somewhat emotional, she is kind of above the fray looking towards the next races. Bill Clinton today lashed out at New Hampshire officials, saying that they did a disservice to their own voters here by scheduling this primary for so few days, so quickly after the Iowa results. It didn‘t give anyone a chance to absorb what happened in Iowa and to recover. Of course, it didn‘t give his wife, his candidate a chance to recover from the loss in Iowa.
The bounce being felt from Iowa is still being—still reverberating here, really, Keith, and there is no time to fix that in time to avoid a loss tonight. That‘s at least the view from within the Clinton campaign reflecting their own tracking.
OLBERMANN: There‘ve been stories all day, Andrea, of nothing less than a blood bath in terms of the hierarchy of the Clinton campaign. That‘s been roundly denied in terms of specifics and names that have been thrown out on other cable channels. But is the overall sense that change is coming there, if there‘s not a good performance from that candidate tonight—is that sense correct?
MITCHELL: Yes. That sense is correct. I interviewed Carrie McCullough earlier on MSNBC and he said “Yes, we want to bring people in. We need help here.” And people who have been supporting Hillary Clinton for years, decades, want to join in. That said, he personally called James Carville and Carville told him “No, I‘ve got too many obligations, I‘m not joining. I‘ve always been a supporter. I‘ll continue to advise informally,” but Carville‘s not joining, Paul Begala is not joining, John Padessa is not joining. His name was thrown out in the “New York Times” story today, a former Clinton White House chief of staff.
Others may come in. My sense is—they‘re testing the microphone behind me—they‘re going to bring people in layers, some of the campaign officials who have been long aides of Hillary Clinton. She‘s not firing people right now unless they leave on their own, but they may well be bringing in new people. I think the campaign advertisements will be different, and they are clearly evaluating how much to invest in South Carolina, even whether to bypass South Carolina, where Barack Obama is so strong.
MATTHEWS: What about the possibility they‘re going to bypass not just South Carolina, but Nevada next week and really.
MATTHEWS: .put all their chips onto the February 5th, the superday?
MITCHELL: I would not rule anything out, Chris, depending on how big their defeat is tonight, if they do turn out, losing as they expect to do. They are clearly going to Nevada for our debate on the 15th, and they know that the culinary workers are likely to endorse Obama tomorrow. That‘s a big deal. Edwards has some support in Nevada among union people, but so does Hillary Clinton. They‘ve been well organized there.
But, you know, that‘s also a state where Bill Richardson wants to stay in until Nevada, because it‘s a neighboring state to New Mexico, and that would take—drain some support, potentially, from Hillary Clinton. So they‘ve got problems in Nevada, too. And I would not be surprised if they bypassed everything and went directly to Florida, California and New York. But that‘s still beyond tonight‘s returns. Everything‘s up in the air.
OLBERMANN: The support this candidate by February 5th or we‘re off this campaign theory, we‘ll see if that comes to pass and if it works.
Andrea Mitchell at Clinton headquarters, great thanks.
Given that Mitt Romney chased all week by that fun fact that no Massachusetts senator or governor has ever lost in a New Hampshire primary in current format has set up at sparks restaurant in Bedford where our Ron Allen is standing by—Ron?
RON ALLEN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Keith, yes, he is favored to some extent because he was a governor from a nearby state. I was struck by how optimistic Mitt Romney was today. He‘s an optimistic, sunny guy, but he was very bright and upbeat today because they think they finished very strong here over the past weekend in particular at two debates that happened, especially the one on Sunday that was a more intimate forum where he was able to really take on Mike Huckabee and John McCain very face-to-face, and the campaign feels that in that particular setting, Romney seemed to be the smartest guy in the room and he seemed to be more presidential and more in command than his rivals.
And so they think they got a big bounce for that. They‘re hoping that the undecided Republicans fall their way. They‘ve been making—they sent 100,000 phone calls yesterday, trying to following up, trying to make sure that those undecideds come to their camp. They‘re also hoping that all those independent voters here vote for Barack Obama and the Democrats and not John McCain. Now, if that happens, that helps their case somewhat here, because they‘re certainly not going to get independents supporting Mitt Romney.
So, again, a feeling of optimism, a feeling that a second place would be fine as well because they feel if they have a second here, second in Iowa, a win in Wyoming, and they‘re heading to Michigan, which is, again, another state where Romney was born, his father was a three-term governor, so they feel like their chances are pretty good there as well.
OLBERMANN: Is there any doomsday construction there, Ron, in case it‘s not a good night for the governor? Do they have any—even that earliest rumble of, “Well, this is where we may have to get out,” or is the jigsaw puzzle for the Republicans so complicated that nobody‘s thinking about that yet?
ALLEN: I don‘t think they‘re thinking about that at all. They haven‘t given any hint of that at all. And remember, Mitt Romney has a lot of money to go forward. And they‘ve got ads up in Michigan, they‘ve got ads up in a few other states. There is some scuttle about maybe skipping South Carolina down the road, but I haven‘t really been able to talk to the campaign much about that. At this point, again, they‘re focusing on here and Michigan next week.
And you know, the bottom line, though, is that they have to come up with a win sometime. You know, they‘re talking about second place, talking about the total number of votes they‘ve accumulated. But they‘ve got a lot of infrastructure in place in a lot of different states. Nevada‘s another place where they think they have a pretty good infrastructure in place and they can do well. All the Republicans seem to be hoping that the field is muddled, that they can keep on going. And Romney, in particular, I think feels that if this becomes a real war of attrition that he can wear down the rest of the field, again, with money and resources.
OLBERMANN: Ron Allen is at the Romney headquarters in New Hampshire.
Great thanks, Ron. We‘ll get back to you throughout the evening.
MATTHEWS: Let‘s bring in the panel now who will be with us all night, MSNBC‘s Joe Scarborough, “Newsweek‘s” Howard Fineman, “The Washington Post‘s” Eugene Robinson, and “The Nation” magazine‘s Katrina Vanden Heuvel.
Take it away, Joe.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC‘S GOOD MORNING JOE HOST: Thank you so much, Chris.
You know, let‘s start with you, Howard. We always try to construct these doomsday scenarios. Hillary Clinton must win Iowa or else. Hillary Clinton must win New Hampshire or else. Mitt Romney must win New Hampshire or he‘s gone. It‘s just not that simple, is it?
HOWARD FINEMAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, nothing is ever simple as we make it in politics, and we don‘t know, by the way, what the results in New Hampshire are going to be. It‘s possible that Hillary may have sewed some doubts, that Bill Clinton may have sewed some doubts about Barack Obama. The finish may be closer than we think, which would then, you know, not help Obama. The expectations have gotten so far out there.
SCARBOROUGH: OK. Hold it. You just said the word, expectations. It happens all the time.
FINEMAN: Colossal. Colossal.
SCARBOROUGH: Bill Clinton‘s expectations in 1992 terrible. He loses and he‘s still the comeback kid.
SCARBOROUGH: Could Hillary Clinton do the same thing? If she loses by, let‘s say, three, four, five points, the Clintons are going to say, momentum‘s on our side, right?
FINEMAN: Well, yes. If, if, if, if. That‘s true. And on the Republican side, we don‘t know. I saw John McCain the other day in New Hampshire. He was already taking his victory lap, but this is, I think, going to be a close race between McCain and Romney. So again, expectations can be something you can play with between those candidates.
SCARBOROUGH: Katrina, let‘s talk about the numbers on the Democratic side.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, EDITOR, “THE NATION”: Yes.
SCARBOROUGH: The Clinton camp will be happy if they lose to Barack Obama by what?
VANDEN HEUVEL: Five, six, seven points—five points. But I think it‘s tough.
SCARBOROUGH: They can still claim momentum if they lose by let‘s say five or six?
VANDEN HEUVEL: I think it‘s tough for Hillary Clinton to call herself a comeback kid. This is a radically different, compressed, front-loaded schedule. And Nevada will go for Obama, if he wins by five points. You‘ve got the culinary workers union ready to endorse him if he wins, and then into South Carolina, a state where, again, he has this grassroots presence, a state that is on the Democratic side majority African-American, ready to vote for amending. He might have been skeptical about winning but look at Iowa and New Hampshire, two predominantly white states. So I think you have a lot of momentum on Obama‘s side even with the percentage.
SCARBOROUGH: And Gene, I suggested over the past couple days if Hillary Clinton‘s blown out here, she should skip South Carolina. I‘m told by Democratic Party activists you can‘t do that without insulting the base there.
EUGENE ROBINSON, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: Yes. That would be a problem. African-Americans are such an important part of the Democratic Party coalition. They are half the Democratic primary voters in South Carolina, and it would seem like a real snub to just bypass South Carolina, but for a state where you have a large African-American vote. I don‘t see how she can do it and still have any claim to a constituency that she has to at least split with Barack Obama if she has any hope of getting this nomination.
SCARBOROUGH: All right.
FINEMAN: And she can‘t skip Nevada, either, because the same argument.
VANDE HEUVEL: Labor.
FINEMAN: .applies about labor and Hispanics, which on the Democratic side are key. That‘s why they put a primary in Nevada for just that reason.
SCARBOROUGH: And I‘ll tell you what, all those decisions obviously will be affected by tonight.
Chris, back to you.
MATTHEWS: Well, thank you. Keith?
OLBERMANN: The panel will be with us throughout the evening, and when we come back, Dee die Myers and Tom DeLay and many more from New Hampshire and throughout the precincts.
MATTHEWS: Mr. Delay.
OLBERMANN: We rejoin you with MSNBC‘s live coverage of the New Hampshire primaries. Let‘s go back up to New Hampshire with NBC News political director Chuck Todd.
Chuck, good evening.
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Good evening, sir.
OLBERMANN: All right. Let me give you another doomsday scenario. We‘ll talk about our third one of the first half-hour of coverage. We had President Clinton‘s explosion at the timing of New Hampshire to a lesser degree, his commentary on the media, and we had some dramatic day of events for Senator Clinton yesterday that raised some hackles in some quarters. We don‘t have to go into details about that.
What happens if all that stuff took place and it turns out to be a good night for Senator Clinton, a near miss or even a victory? What happens to all this, this sort of atomic material that the Clintons spent today and yesterday?
TODD: You know, I think it‘s not going to still be a healthy thing inside the campaign, because all of a sudden, all of the knives came out really quickly and everybody—oh, everything‘s supposed to be OK. It‘s going to make for a tough operation. I think you‘re still going to see somewhat of a shake-up. You know, they‘ve done some minor things already. The “Washington Post” is reporting this evening our colleague, Chris Cillizza, said Maggie Williams, a long-time Hillary Clinton confidante, is going to be coming over. It sort of hinted that that maybe she overlays Patty Doyle. We‘ll see.
I mean I think what‘s going on here is they‘re going to overlay some of
these folks, bring in sort of old hands, trusted hands, because, frankly,
it‘s going to be hard to get people that haven‘t been in the Clinton orbit
before to suddenly come in and work against Obama. There‘s a lot of
pressure inside the Democratic Party not to be the ones that work against -
they don‘t want to be on the wrong side of history and sort of in the nature of the Obama candidacy.
OLBERMANN: And if, apart from any material improvements that anybody new to the campaign might make or any addition by subtraction by anybody who‘d be leaving it, is there also a philosophical sense here that if it is a disastrous night, as it certainly was in retrospect in Iowa for the Clintons, that this disastrous night could almost be written off by, look, we‘re—as of tomorrow—or as of Friday, we‘ve started Hillary 2.0. This is the second start. They get themselves a second opening day with a new campaign management team?
TODD: Well, I think, Keith, that‘s exactly the plan. I‘ve talked to one person, a few people, frankly, who could be in this new inner circle, basically, people that used to be in the inner circle. And one scenario outlined to me—not a scenario that has been signed off on or anything, would have just sort of what you suggested. They would bring in this sort of new leadership team. They might say, “Hey, guess what, because of this we‘re really not going to be able to compete in South Carolina or Nevada.” That‘s not to say they‘re going to skip it, but that they‘re not going to really be able to compete.
And instead, the referendum on her candidacy comes on February 5th. We need 10 days, a week to 10 days to sort of retool, to get the new message out, to see the new television ads, all this stuff. This is, like I said, a scenario outlined to me by somebody that if they had—if they were allowed in to start messing around, this is one way they would do it. So we‘ll see. It feels like that that‘s somewhere where they‘re going with this, that they know that South Carolina and Nevada look very difficult, no matter how they come out of here, and instead, they‘ll make February 5th a referendum on whether you really want Obama as the nominee.
Almost sort of forcing Democrats to realize, look, this is it. It was cute in Iowa and New Hampshire, but this is it.
MATTHEWS: You know, it seems to me, Chuck, that what they‘re doing is they‘re operating almost like Kenyan politicians. They‘re trying to de-legitimize everything that‘s happened. The president—former President Bill Clinton today said this election‘s being held too soon. There‘s something wrong about it. It‘s unfair to the voters. These complaints about the nature of the campaign, the fact that the last campaign wasn‘t thoroughly vetted, there wasn‘t a clear-cut look at the candidate by the voter, that somehow the media has failed, the voter has failed, the timing of the election has failed. I have never seen a politician in America make so many complaints against the institution of the vote itself.
TODD: Well, I mean, I guess I‘d argue that any time you‘re losing, that‘s what you do, you blame the refs. You blame the officiating.
MATTHEWS: Well, in Kenya you do. That‘s what they do in Kenya. In Pakistan they do that. Usually in America you live by the rules. You say damn it, I lost, and you concede the election. You don‘t complain about the timing of the election like Clinton did today. That was strange.
TODD: There‘s no question. And I think that‘s going to be difficult. If anything, though, it did allow Obama to be on the same level as Bill Clinton. He almost looked presidential by accident because it‘s Bill Clinton taking him on and not Hillary.
MATTHEWS: Thank you, Chuck Todd. We‘ll be back with you in a moment. Anyway, Tom Delay, of course, was the Republican majority leader of the U.S. House of representatives. Mr. Delay, I know you like my line of questioning here because it does raise questions about the character of the criticism we‘re getting from the former president. He seems to be complaining about the game that‘s been played here, not who‘s going to win, but the very game itself. It‘s wrong to have a vote on January 8th, he‘s saying.
TOM DELAY, FORMER HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: Well, I think what he‘s doing is admitting that they weren‘t prepared for what was before them, and this kind of schedule. I mean, people have known this kind of schedule for six months. I think what they‘ve done is they sat back and virtually said we‘re going to be the nominee, and we don‘t have to energize all our people. Now, I think tonight is a wake-up call. It‘s not comeback kid, it‘s a wake-up call to re-energize the coalition that they have built over the last seven years that obviously is not coming through for them.
MATTHEWS: Who would your party rather run against, Bill Clinton‘s wife, Hillary Clinton, who‘s having a hard time in this campaign, or Barack Obama, the new kid on the block? Who‘s easier to tag and beat?
DELAY: I think they‘re both easier to beat. They‘re both liberal. I think Obama‘s much more liberal than Hillary Clinton, but it‘s a matter of degrees. And either one of them will bring this debate where it ought to be, and that‘s a debate on philosophy, on vision, where to lead the country in the future. So I‘d really—I don‘t care who wins.
MATTHEWS: Wouldn‘t it be more fun to run against Hillary for your guys?
DELAY: I don‘t know. I think she has some good qualities for us. Her unpopularity and her ability to polarize people is good for us. On the other hand, Obama—and we‘ll get to talk about what change means when Obama is president of the United States. Change isn‘t exactly what I think this nation wants to go—surrender in the war on terror, more taxes, more spending, bigger government. I think that‘s all good for us.
MATTHEWS: Well, the last time you confronted him as a challenger, you threw up Alan Keyes to run against him. You got somebody better this time?
DELAY: Yes, I think we‘ve got some pretty good candidates since then.
MATTHEWS: That was pretty desperate to throw old Alan into that race out in Illinois.
DELAY: Well, I think that was more Alan Keyes wanting to run more than it was people asking him to run.
MATTHEWS: Well, it wasn‘t a long line he had to wait in. Let me ask about your party right now tonight. I know we don‘t have results. We can‘t report what we do have, little intonations, but it seems to me that Romney is still in this race. McCain‘s still in this race. Giuliani‘s yet to really enter the race. Fred Thompson hasn‘t been blown out of the race yet. How many people do you think are still alive in this contest?
DELAY: Well, Chris, I think we‘ve got two different kinds of elections going on here. The Democrats got theirs, and we talked about that. On our side, we have a party that‘s trying to find itself, trying to define itself, and we‘re trying to do that through these different candidates. My evaluation is that once you get out of the northeast and down in the Midwest and in the South, it‘s going to be a fight between Romney and Huckabee.
I don‘t think McCain—McCain is the moderate candidate. He is the independent candidate. New Hampshire is independent/libertarian/moderate. McCain‘s not going to fair well in the south. And so, the moderates have had their day in Iowa and New Hampshire. I think the party‘s going to focus on the conservatives, Fred Thompson, Huckabee, and Romney.
MATTHEWS: Well, you say the word moderate with a rather unpleasant look on your face. What are you—what is a moderate in the Republican party, as you describe it, that term?
DELAY: Well, that‘s a person that likes to think a lot and—
MATTHEWS: Ha! Is that bad news in your party, too much thought?
DELAY: No, no. It‘s a person that‘s probably not as strong on the culture issues or on the size of limited government or on defense issues as they ought to be. But they are an important part of our coalition, and they‘re not going to abandon us just because they‘re moderate.
MATTHEWS: Any chance that the Charles de Gaul of your party, Newt Gingrich, might be coming into this fight?
DELAY: I don‘t know. You never know with Newt. He‘s always a surprise. He‘s always thinking about doing something, and he could come back and say, these candidates are not what we need and I can save the world.
MATTHEWS: I think we‘ve got him figured. Anyway, thank you very much, Tom Delay. It‘s great to have you on.
NBC‘s David Gregory is up in Manchester and joins us now. Give us a feel.
DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I just think it‘s interesting listening to some of the announcements from Tom Delay on the Republican side about whether somebody like John McCain or Mitt Romney will play coming out of New Hampshire. That‘s going to be the big test. This is about independent voters up here and whether independent voters propelling someone to victory here is going to translate to the rest of the primary calendar.
John McCain knows all too well what happened in South Carolina in 2000. But in the end, this is the argument that Rudy Giuliani is making as well, which is who‘s going to be able to make the most effective national security argument against a Democratic candidate? You heard Mitt Romney at the end of this campaign in New Hampshire start to say, look, if change is the overriding theme of this election, and that is really being brought to bear by Barack Obama, I‘m the one who can bring change. I‘m an outsider in Washington and I can beat Barack Obama. I‘m a better match for Barack Obama if he is indeed the nominee than is John McCain.
MATTHEWS: Well, the amazing thing is, listening to Tom Delay, who does know his politics—I mean, he‘s been counting votes for years in the House—he‘s basically saying it‘s Romney versus Huckabee, the only two guys left standing. If Romney gets knocked off tonight it sounds like it‘s Huckabee, the only possible acceptable cultural conservative in the pack.
GREGORY: Right, and that is really a replay of 2000, where John McCain came out of New Hampshire, built up this insurgent strength and then had to face off against George W. Bush in South Carolina and got beaten there, largely because of the Christian conservative vote, but also because of the institutional political support that George Bush had. John McCain does not have that. They thought he would have it earlier on, but he doesn‘t have it yet. And Mike Huckabee is really sort of shaking up the system.
I think it‘s interesting. We talked about this a little bit earlier, Chris, the exit polling indicating the dissatisfaction on the Republican side with the Bush administration. There is a desire for change among Republicans, and the question is whether it‘s about the war, whether it‘s about Katrina, or is Tom Delay right? Does the party want to get back to its conservative principles that they feel Bush has abandoned them on, whether it‘s spending, or this whole immigration issue.
Where is that anger, this nativist streak come from on immigration? That is the singular issue that has been so important in Iowa, here in New Hampshire as well. That is an issue that has been a real rejection of the party of George W. Bush‘s approach.
OLBERMANN: David Gregory at Manchester. We‘ll get back to you throughout the evening, of course. Thank you, David. Before we go over to Huckabee headquarters, I can‘t let the moment pass. I have to ask you this; juxtaposition, you said that the Clintons are guilty of questioning how the game is played.
OLBERMANN: And then we went directly to an interview with Tom Delay. I just can‘t let that moment—it‘s not a rhetorical question, just an observation of the sequence of events there I found rather extraordinary.
MATTHEWS: Well, Tom‘s out of the game and you might get more attitude out of the guy who‘s out of the game. He‘s not being careful.
OLBERMANN: On occasion in his past, he was known, though, for questioning the rules of the game.
MATTHEWS: Yes, well, they had redistricting—
OLBERMANN: A little bit, yes.
MATTHEWS: -- in the middle of a decade, rather than waiting for the end of it. You‘ve got a strong memory, sir.
OLBERMANN: I think a lot of Texans have that same memory. In any event, to Huckabee headquarters. The Iowa winner, Mike Huckabee, based in Manchester. And our David Shuster is reporting from there tonight. David, good evening.
DAVID SHUSTER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Keith, good evening. They are downplaying expectations, in part because they of course don‘t have the evangelicals that helped fuel the Huckabee victory in Iowa. But, Keith, a good example of what the Huckabee campaign has been about the last five days, here in Manchester this morning, there was Mike Huckabee. He came across Rudy Giuliani at one of the polling locations and Huckabee went up to Giuliani and said, may I have your vote?
It was a great media moment and underscored that Huckabee‘s been banking on his wit, his savvy media skills, his phenomenal communications skills to try to help him in New Hampshire. But again, because he doesn‘t have evangelicals, they‘re starting to downplay expectations with things like, well, this is Mitt Romney‘s backyard; this is the state that John McCain won by 18 points eight years ago.
However, Mike Huckabee has campaigned here hard, Keith, and they are counting on a strong third-place finish, perhaps in double digits, to prove that Mike Huckabee is not a one-state wonder and that he‘s got great potential in states like Michigan and South Carolina, which they need to win to keep this campaign going. Keith?
OLBERMANN: As they say, David, on the reality shows, he has an indemnity for tonight, one way or another. David Shuster at Huckabee headquarters, great thanks.
NBC‘s Lee Cowan is at the Obama campaign headquarters. Expectations running high and a crowd beginning to show up at South Nashua High School. Lee, good evening.
LEE COWAN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Lester. Yes, the crowds are just—they haven‘t officially opened the doors yet. That won‘t be for a couple hours. A lot of these are volunteers just setting up the venue for what a lot of folks here are hoping is going to be yet another victory speech like the one he gave back in Iowa. The turnout was so big today, much like we saw in Iowa, that the campaign was feeling pretty good about things. They‘re expecting we‘re going to see another big turnout, not only among young voters, but among people who have never been involved in the process before.
And they say they get that sense not from the polls necessarily, but they‘re focusing a lot more on the size of the crowds that they‘ve seen over the last several days here. They are still young people. They are people that seem to be engaged in the process. And they are people that have never actually participated in the process before. And I think that‘s what they‘re looking toward. And that‘s the reason that they have a good feeling of confidence here as they move forward into tonight, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Lee Cowan at Obama headquarters, where the expectations maybe the greatest opponent the senator has to face tonight. We‘ll get back to you throughout the evening, Lee. Thank you.
That it has not been a fun week for Senator Clinton, you already know. That New Hampshire is stinking with reports that the non-fun may translate into personal shake-ups, that you may not know. To get the latest and get some perspective, I‘m joined now by Dee Dee Myers, White House press secretary during much of the Clinton administration. It‘s nice to visit with you once again, Dee Dee.
DEE DEE MYERS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Good to see you, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Give me the summary of this rumored shake-up, and considering all the names that were put forth by another cable channel, have loudly denied the whole thing. Is there substance here or is this primary day mud-slinging? Is it a trial balloon? Which of the political cliches applies?
MYERS: Well, I think we‘ll have to wait and see. The Clintons have been very loyal to the team around them. This seems to be in most ways a joint operation between Senator Clinton and President Clinton. A lot of the people that you see in this campaign at the highest levels have been people who have worked for both of them in various capacities. So I wouldn‘t be surprised if there weren‘t a lot of heads rolling.
That said, I think they‘ll look for ways to bring in new voices, to expand the circle. One of the criticisms against Mrs. Clinton over a course of many years is that she‘s had a tighten and insular inner circle around her. The good news is the people around her have been loyal to her. I think that says a lot about her. The bad news is that sometimes they‘re not open to outside advice.
So I think the campaign will look for ways to counter that message a little, to say we understand some mistakes have been made and we‘re going to bring in some fresh voices. We‘re going to listen to people from the outside and try to make change changes.
OLBERMANN: Chuck Todd‘s point about that, of course, was fairly interesting, which is that at this stage, especially right now and presuming that Senator Obama does not do unexpectedly poorly tonight in New Hampshire, it‘s going to be tough—first off, it‘s tough to get uncommitted political operatives this relatively early, 300 days to go before the election. But secondly, it would be tough to get people to commit against what is being perceived as a new wave. To what degree the wave continues throughout the year, to what degree it might crest before the end of the month, who knows. That‘s still speculative.
But it‘s very tough to get people to not go with a front-runner. Is that the major problem that Senator Clinton would be facing in terms of personal changes?
MYERS: Well, absolutely. It‘s a sellers market out there, right? If you‘re trying to hire political talent and you‘re not the front-runner and you‘re not the guy riding the tidal wave, it‘s a tough market. That said, there are a lot of people, myself included, who think this race should not be over. It‘s not good for the Democratic nominee to be chosen so quickly.
It leaves a lot of people out there across this country who haven‘t had a
chance to weigh in, whose votes haven‘t counted. And it leaves the nominee
and one assumes at this point, unless something changes, it might very well be Barack Obama—but he hasn‘t gone out and asked people for their votes in 20 or 30 states. He hasn‘t gotten people invested in his campaign.
That‘s not good. I‘d like to see this become a competitive campaign and I assume there are Democrats like me who say let‘s fight it out a little longer. Let‘s not make this a coronation. That‘s not our party‘s heritage.
OLBERMANN: OK, we‘ve gone 43 minutes and 55 seconds into this coverage without mentioning the choking up moment yesterday in New Hampshire from the senator.
OLBERMANN: Well, don‘t congratulate us quickly. We‘re about to play it and get your reaction to it. Let‘s play it again for a second.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: It‘s not easy. It‘s not easy. And I couldn‘t do it if I just didn‘t, you know, passionately believe it was the right thing to do. You know, I have so many opportunities from this country. I just don‘t want to see us fall backwards, you know?
You know, this is very personal for me. It‘s not just political, it‘s not just public. I see what‘s happening and we have to reverse it. And some people think elections are a game. They think it‘s like who‘s up or who‘s down. It‘s about our country. It‘s about our kids‘ futures. And it‘s really about all of us together.
You know, some of us put ourselves out there and do this against some pretty difficult odds. And we do it, each one of us, because we care about our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: OK, two things. One, was not the idea of—it‘s very personal to me, was that not John Edwards‘ theme at least for the last debate over the weekend? And the second point is that the rest of that sound bite that has almost not been played, with the exception of a couple pieces—Andrea Mitchell put it in her report—
MYERS: You played it plenty last night.
OLBERMANN: Yes, we played it last night. But right out of that great, emotional speaking from the soul, right out of that was a statement about some of us are right and some of us are wrong, some of us are ready and some of us are not. And unless that was widely misinterpreted, that was about—I mean, that was a neatly segued attack on Senator Obama. What was the meaning of all that?
MYERS: Well, I think Senator Clinton has become so skilled—and that‘s not a great strength, oddly—at hiding her emotions, that I think what she tried to do was get back on message. And that‘s too bad, because I think people reacted positively to seeing that bit of vulnerability in Senator Clinton. And I think what she needs to do going forward is to take that open, emotional—and by the way, John Edwards didn‘t make politics personal. It‘s personal for every one of those Democrats and Republicans running for president.
You‘ve got to put yourself through a hell of a lot to do this, and I think it‘s—you know, to say she‘s coopting his language, it was personal for her 30 years ago. But that said, I think she needs to take that vulnerability and she needs to let us see how it affects her reasons for being in this and how it affects the American people. This is not about her. And I think one of the dangers for her is this campaign has become all about her personally and about President Clinton and about whether we want the Clintons back.
She has to take it, as Bill Clinton did 16 years ago in New Hampshire, from being about my past to being about your future, to talking about voters and what‘s at stake for them. And as long as it‘s about her and whether we like her or don‘t like her, and whether we want the Clintons back or we don‘t, she can‘t win. If she can make it about voters and about their future and about them choosing what‘s best for them, what‘s best for their families, she has a shot at getting back in this.
It gets tougher tonight when she loses this primary, which we all expect she‘s going to do. But she can—there is still a chance she can do it, but she has to—the story has to get off of her.
MATTHEWS: Dee Dee, we‘re getting all kinds of words from this administration—this campaign, the Clinton campaign, from various sources, that the president, your former boss when you were press secretary at the White House, the president, President Clinton is very angry at the press, angry because we haven‘t vetted Barack Obama sufficiently, angry because of the way we‘ve treated the whole campaign.
Let me put it around to you as a professional. Do you believe that the Clintons have handled the press properly going back to last year?
MYERS: I think they‘ve done a lot of things right over the last year. I think one of the interesting story lines that is so quickly been forgotten in this is a year ago nobody expected Hillary Clinton to be the front-runner ever. There were more people who thought she‘d be out early than ever thought she‘d get to where she was.
They made a mistake in allowing inevitability to creep into their story line. They didn‘t create that storyline, by the way. I think a lot of observers, both political and press—
MATTHEWS: Excuse me, Dee Dee, everybody thought Hillary was going to win this nomination. The international betting odds have been clear for years now.
MYERS: That‘s wrong, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Hey, that‘s a fact.
MYERS: It‘s not a fact.
MATTHEWS: Everybody has been betting that Hillary would be the nominee. When they put money on it, people bet on Hillary being the nominee. This has been going on for years now. Why do you say she wasn‘t the front-runner? Where did that come from?
MYERS: I think a year ago, in the spring of last year, that wasn‘t the story line at all?
MATTHEWS: Who was the front-runner if it wasn‘t her?
MYERS: I don‘t think there was a front-runner. I think a year out—
MATTHEWS: This is revisionism, Dee Dee.
MYERS: Chris, you ask me a question, if you would let me answer it, it would be helpful—
MATTHEWS: You are answering it and you‘re wrong. It‘s revisionism to say Hillary Clinton—
MATTHEWS: No one believed that Hillary Clinton was not the front-runner.
MYERS: I do. I think that she showed over the course of the last year a lot of grit, a better campaign than people expected her to run. She was able to get—people could take a second look at her in many instances in a way that she hadn‘t been, and I think she became the inevitable end of the summer, toward the fall. And I think they allowed that story line to take hold and that‘s too bad.
Bill Clinton never did that as a candidate. He always ran as a challenger, even when he was running for his third consecutive term as the governor of Arkansas. So I think that was a mistake. I think the Clintons have a long animosity toward the press, to get back to your original point. I don‘t think they‘ve always handled it well. But I don‘t think Barack Obama has been fully vetted. That‘s what the primary process is supposed to be about. That‘s why it will be tragic if it ends tonight.
He will be a much stronger nominee if he has to go out there and fight it out with Hillary Clinton and/or John Edwards or somebody through 20 more states. It will be better for him. It will be better for the country.
MATTHEWS: You know, the problem I hear here coming from the campaign
and you‘re not in the campaign—but first of all, we hear the former president saying I‘ve always been against the Iraq war. Now we see this latest revisionism of him tonight attacking Barack Obama, saying he was somewhat for the war over the last three years—
MYERS: That‘s bogus. That‘s brain-dead politics of the past.
President Clinton shouldn‘t have said that.
MATTHEWS: Well, I agree with that. But I look at the polls, you look at the polls. Which poll have you looked at in the last several years hasn‘t made Hillary Clinton the front-runner?
MYERS: Chris, I don‘t think a year ago she was the front-runner. I think that was the result of a well-run campaign over many months. That‘s my opinion.
MATTHEWS: OK, I think she‘s been the front-runner for a long time. Dee Dee Myers, thank you very much for coming on. Kelly O‘Donnell‘s at McCain headquarters at the Crowne Plaza in Nashua.
KELLY O‘DONNELL, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Chris. This is where John McCain is trying to relive some history. He picked the same hotel. He‘s staying in the same suite on the eighth floor that he used in 2000, the scene of his surprising and very important victory here in New Hampshire. So what we‘ve been seeing is really kind of a mix of the good old days and a very new campaign that‘s been retooled.
This is, I must say, a small space for somebody who might be able to win this tonight. So it will be tight. John McCain is here with family. He‘s waiting for the results that will be coming in, taking it easy for a bit of time.
Part of what he did today was to retrace some steps. He went back to some of the places he had made stops eight years ago. I‘m told by those around him that he‘s hanging onto a number of good luck charms as well. So this has been a real turn-around since the summer. It really is all counting on what happens tonight. And Chris, the McCain campaign has been through some of the ups and downs of the hardest moments of bare-knuckle politics, and this could potentially be a night where he gets the energy to live for another day. Chris?
MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Kelly O‘Donnell, who is with McCain.
Keith, I have to tell you, I—
OLBERMANN: I just regained the ability to speak.
MATTHEWS: I am a poll-watcher and I have yet to see a poll until today that hasn‘t had Hillary Clinton above everybody else for months and years now.
OLBERMANN: You and I have done these shows for four and a half years back-to-back, right?
OLBERMANN: It‘s the same universe we walked in here. The first mention of a Hillary Clinton in ‘08 preference was like the Maureen Dowd column of October 2002. We‘re talking about retooling. Because of the condensed period of time, there wasn‘t enough time to get the message out, a retooling of a campaign. And of course she was the front-runner, possibly before the nomination of John Kerry.
All that stuff that we talked about with a thousand guests about whether or not she might not run in 2004 to save herself for 2008, that construction, that happened, right?
MATTHEWS: Well, it‘s all about moving the goal post now after the game is over. We‘re watching now a presidential campaign that‘s saying they were never the front-runner. This happened in 1992 when president Clinton—
OLBERMANN: Right, the comeback—
MATTHEWS: -- was 20 points ahead in New Hampshire. He ended up losing by seven or eight and declared himself the comeback kid after losing 27 points in a matter of a couple weeks. It‘s the same kind of dishonesty, I would argue, that we saw before. You can call it spin if you want to be polite. But I don‘t know why Dee Dee was saying that. She must have a different idea of what a front-runner means.
My idea of a front-runner is someone who in every poll leads it.
That‘s a front-runner.
OLBERMANN: Yes, that‘s not a tortured construction at all. But dishonesty—we bring a little into politics every day, but what we‘re talking about here is what happened—is it smart—what happens if this is not a bad night, relatively speaking, for Hillary Clinton?
MATTHEWS: Well, I don‘t know if that‘s going to happen.
OLBERMANN: And we‘ve had nuclear weapons thrown around throughout this campaign all day.
MATTHEWS: Well, then she is the comeback kid, because according to Dee Dee, she was well behind in the polls. I don‘t want to be mean, but I have to tell you, I am stunned by some of things coming out of the Clinton world lately. Unbelievable.
OLBERMANN: All right. I believe we are switching plans here and going to the former governor of Pennsylvania and the former Homeland Secretary Tom Ridge, who joins us from Washington.
TOM RIDGE, FORMER SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Keith, good evening. Chris.
MATTHEWS: Hi, Tom.
RIDGE: Interesting exchange between you and Dee Dee.
MATTHEWS: What‘d you make of that? You want to be umpire on that?
Who do you think‘s been leading the polls for the last couple years?
RIDGE: Listen, I don‘t have my whistle or my striped shirt, but I think it‘s been pretty clear there was a sense of inevitability about Hillary Clinton for years and years. And in contrast, that makes John‘s story rather remarkable, because he was off the radar screen mid summer. As I watched many, many shows talking about this spring primary season, his name was rarely, barely mentioned. So today‘s a big day for John.
MATTHEWS: You stuck with John McCain through the—I know you pretty well to know that you‘ve been loyal straight from the beginning through the difficult summer. What kept you with McCain, loyalty or belief that he could win?
RIDGE: Both, I think both. I mean, after the implosion this summer, I went up to see my friend of 25 years in the Senate. And obviously, he was very disappointed. He had to make some very difficult decisions. They were out of money. We talked about that for about five minutes, and then he said now here‘s my strategy. This is what I believe and this is how I believe we‘re going to go about restructuring our campaign and taking our message.
And I think as I‘ve campaigned with him in New Hampshire, Chris and Keith—you know, I‘ve been up there three times the past month. The crowds got larger. The enthusiasm grew. And we‘re very optimistic about the results tonight, knowing full well we‘ve still got a long way to go. But the Mac is back.
OLBERMANN: What happened over the summer? There‘s a sense from outsiders, perhaps—that‘s a euphemism for describing my own opinion—
RIDGE: Oh, you‘re an outsider?
OLBERMANN: Yes, well, what had worked for Senator McCain for years and years was, to the degree that any political slogan is actually factually correct, that the Straight Talk Express meant he had a series of opinions on the critical issues of the day and stuck to them no matter which way the wind came in and whatever the flavor of the month was, and that perhaps he had not in the summer particularly, or the late spring, that had no longer been something he adhered to religiously. Is that a fair interpretation? And was the antidote to that to go back to his opinions?
RIDGE: Keith, I think that‘s a good question. I dare say one of the reasons that I‘m so loyal and so many of us are and believe in John is that rarely has he said one thing and then another day said it in a different way or said another thing. I mean, one of the things about our friend John McCain is he‘s a traditional, consistent conservative. He‘s been known to break with his party from time to time, but he‘s never been known to break his word. What he says he believes in.
And on top of that, I think one of the most appealing qualities that people are beginning to understand, it‘s not just his courage and his candor, but that Oklahoma meeting among Republicans and Democrats the other day, where they talked about someone reaching across the aisle, we need bipartisan politics. John‘s got a proven record in that regard.
OLBERMANN: Mr. Secretary, I‘m sorry. We are literally out of time and up against the clock. Great thanks to Secretary Tom Ridge.
RIDGE: Good night.
OLBERMANN: Some polls in New Hampshire set to close in just a few minutes. That means in the next hour we will start to see returns, early returns coming in. Stay with us.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: It‘s now 7:00 p.m. on the East Coast. And some polls in New Hampshire are now closed already. This hour, we will start to see a trickle of early returns. Turnout has been high.
And, in one hour, at 8:00 p.m. Eastern tonight, the rest of the state‘s voting places will close.
I‘m Chris Matthews, alongside Keith Olbermann, down here in New York.
KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR: And we seem to be the only ones here.
OLBERMANN: Everybody else seems to be in a voting booth somewhere in New Hampshire. Once again...
MATTHEWS: We‘re a satellite operation here.
OLBERMANN: But, once again, turnout continues to be the story, certainly before, or at least until we start getting those early numbers, and perhaps projections later on in the evening for one side, if not for both.
MATTHEWS: What a pleasant bit of atmospheric news. The box that this poll—polling is coming is big participation. For years, since the time we were both in grade school, people have bewailed the fact people don‘t vote. They‘re starting to vote.
They started in Iowa. Young people are voting. Something that people like Joe Scarborough and I have said for years doesn‘t happen is happening. Older people are voting unusually. And we‘re seeing a lot of independent voters go to one side or the other. We‘re seeing Republicans talk of voting Democrat, and I‘m sure the other way as well. Things are happening.
OLBERMANN: And, if you‘re talking also about the record number of voters in New Hampshire, the previous mark was about 440,000. And the last estimate from the secretary of state‘s office was closer to 500,000, which is about a 15 percent to 20 percent increase from the record. Once again, as we‘re seeing these—those marvelous numbers from Iowa, here they come again to some degree or another from New Hampshire.
MATTHEWS: Let‘s go to Lee Cowan, who is at the Barack Obama headquarters right now.
The mood, I assume, is getting antsy, as we say, getting closer to the news.
LEE COWAN, NBC CORRESPONDENT: It is. People are just starting to file in. Still, a lot of the people here are the volunteers that are helping set up this venue. The doors here actually don‘t open up for about another half-hour, but there is a line already stretched outside, Chris, as you might imagine, as we saw.
You were here this weekend. You saw some of the lines of people waiting to get into some of Barack Obama‘s events. And we have talked a lot about turnout. He points to Iowa all the time on the stump, saying, look, what happened there could happen in New Hampshire.
He talks about people who have never been involved in the process coming out, especially the young people coming out. And, if that happens again, you can certainly expect him to hit back on that theme as well.
You know, he talked a lot, too, about this sense of restructuring the electorate, not only bringing in Democrats to the process, but Republicans and independents, but, more importantly, what he always talks about are those people that haven‘t been involved in the process before.
And if this turnout is as big as it seems like it is, it would seem to indicate that that‘s exactly the kind of people that this campaign is appealing to.
MATTHEWS: Is there a gentleman named Richard Holbrooke waiting in line at the front of that line outside?
COWAN: I haven‘t—I haven‘t actually seen who is on the front of the line, no, not yet.
MATTHEWS: I‘m kidding you, because everyone assumes that, no matter who wins the nomination of the Democratic Party, Richard Holbrooke will in fact be the next secretary of state.
Lee, thank you very much.
Let‘s go now to Andrea Mitchell, who is covering the Clinton campaign for us.
Andrea, is Richard Holbrooke still waiting in line over there?
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC CHIEF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: There are a lot of people who are going to be waiting in line for quite some time.
Look, you know, this—this result tonight is a shock to a lot of people who thought that Hillary Clinton was inevitable. The criticism of them from other Democrats will be that they were too arrogant, that they assumed too much. And that is what they‘re going to have to address when they bring new people in.
There are reports of Maggie Williams, the former chief of staff of Hillary Clinton, a very trusted loyal aide. But they are going to have to take a very different approach. And we have seen it. Chris, you have seen it the last couple days here in New Hampshire, with her going out, talking to people, talking to reporters, something she had never done before, not in recent months, at least, because, throughout this campaign, from the very early days in New Hampshire last year, when I was first tracking her here, the day that Barack Obama declared his presidential ambition, his declaration in Springfield, Illinois, they have been running a very tightly controlled campaign from the top down.
And that is changing.
MATTHEWS: You know, it‘s interesting to watch someone like John McCain, a veteran of politics, a man of some stature, who nonetheless makes himself available for the cable programs on all the networks, not just FOX, even though he‘s a Republican. He comes on MSNBC, on CNN. He makes the rounds of the morning shows whenever he can and the Sunday programs when he‘s invited.
And that campaign seems to have lifted him. In other words, making himself available to interviews, to a general kind of vetting, and also a display of his personality has helped him.
Hillary Clinton‘s strategy has been almost that of a movie star waiting for the movie to come out, holding herself back, holding herself above that kind of interplay.
MATTHEWS: Do you think they will change that policy?
MITCHELL: I think they have to. They already have.
But let me—let me suggest that this is a problem that we see afflicting presidents and candidates. I have watched it for decades. Candidates and presidents are better when they subject themselves to scrutiny, to questioning, to outside influences, not when they retreat into a cocoon.
And, if you keep getting information that is self-reinforcing from your advisers, you‘re going to pay a penalty. Now, people say that the Clinton campaign—people in the Clinton campaign say that, on their morning conference calls, she listens to competing advice, and there is a lot of argument back and forth.
But that‘s still within a very small circle. And what she needs to do, what presidents need to do, is get a variety of opinions and get a lot of information. And, when they retreat, we have seen it over and over again, from Democrat—Democratic to Republican White Houses and candidates—it doesn‘t serve the candidate, the principal, very well.
OLBERMANN: Andrea, one last question. Neither Mr. Matthews, nor myself, is often knocked back on our heels, but we need to have a quick fact check here from an independent source from the interview in the last hour with Dee Dee Myers.
To your knowledge, was Hillary Clinton the front-runner at some point in this Democratic nominating process, or did we dream it?
MITCHELL: She was not only a front-runner in the national polls, which reflected a lot of identification. People were obviously much more familiar with her.
She was a front-runner here in New Hampshire, until she started slipping behind Barack Obama. So, obviously, she was a front-runner. And that was ephemeral. And that tells you exactly what is the peril for candidates, and for reporters, I should point out.
OLBERMANN: Mm-hmm. And for us, just that was of great use to us, because Chris and I thought the oxygen had been shut off in here for a little while.
OLBERMANN: Andrea Mitchell at—at Clinton headquarters, great thanks. We will get back to you shortly, I‘m sure.
Now let‘s run the Republican table. Let‘s go to Romney headquarters.
NBC‘s Ron Allen standing by there in Bedford.
Ron, good evening again.
RON ALLEN, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Keith.
There‘s a lot of optimism here, but, you know, one thing that may trouble the campaign is that finding that I heard earlier from the exit poll that suggests that Romney ran the most unfair campaign. You know, there‘s been a lot of talk about his ads, these negative ads that he calls contrast ads.
Of course, his opponents have gotten on him about it a lot, too, Huckabee, McCain in particular. So, if there‘s an indication that that‘s coming back to haunt him here, that could be a problem.
The other thing from those exit polls, there seemed to be a number, that there is a large segment of independents voting on the Republican side. Of course, that‘s another thing that could be a concern, because you would have to think that most of those independents are going for John McCain, not Mitt Romney.
The Romney camp hoped that a lot of those independents would go onto the Democratic side, but, if that‘s not happening in huge, significant numbers, that could be another problem for him.
Of course, the night is young. The polls are still open. They were optimistic earlier today. They feel like they closed well here over the past weekend. But, you know, I just cannot imagine that they‘re going to feel good about a second loss in a place where they had a big lead, like in Iowa, and a place that‘s just across the border from where he was governor.
OLBERMANN: Ron, has that—we mentioned this fun fact in the last hour about no Massachusetts governor, nor senator, went into the New Hampshire primary, including a write-in candidacy from Henry Cabot Lodge in 1964, nobody with the pedigree that Mitt Romney takes to the field tonight, ever losing this.
Is that campaign aware of it, or do they think that‘s just some sort of historical anomaly and coincidence?
ALLEN: Well, no, they‘re—I guess they‘re not thinking so much about the history as they‘re thinking about the present and the future.
Romney knows, of course, that he should have—he should have an advantage here. But the other thing you can take from that, of course, Keith, is that these are the people who know him well, because he‘s been across the border.
He kind of downplays that, and says, oh, well, you don‘t know the governor of the state next door, again, as they try to manage expectations, but I would think that people know Mitt Romney well. And, if they have decided that they know him well, they have looked at his record, they have decided no.
He was up in the polls here. So, he certainly had name recognition. Months ago, that was a big thing that was driving the polls. So, again, just as was the case in Iowa, where he had a lead, now he‘s losing it. That suggests to me that people have looked at him and said no. And that‘s got to be a concern for them as well.
The next step in this process for them is Michigan, another state, again, where he thinks he might have an advantage, because he was born there. His father was a three-term popular governor there. So, the establishment, you would think, would back a Romney campaign.
Last week, the major newspaper in Detroit, however, endorsed John McCain. So, there could be trouble down the road ahead. This is not turning out the way Mitt Romney thought it would. He had been saying for a long time that he thought he would win Iowa, win New Hampshire, and that would catapult him into the—onto the national stage, if you will.
He‘s been dogged by this feeling all along that he‘s been unknown and been going against these big names, McCain, Thompson, Giuliani. So, his strategy is not working. He‘s been trying to revamp it, but I would think that, if they lose here, particularly if they lose badly here, they‘re going to have to retool it.
They retooled it from Iowa coming here. Suddenly, he‘s become the candidate of change, you know, a word we have heard so much. He talks about how he, as a former CEO, a former business whiz, is the guy who can really fix Washington, the outsider, unlike the insider John McCain. And he says he matches up better with Barack Obama.
But, of course, we will see if in fact the New Hampshire voters are convinced by that or not.
OLBERMANN: When the second-generation politicians start selling change, Ron Allen, then you know change is the product to sell—Ron Allen at Romney headquarters.
And let‘s talk about somebody who was at the—the shallow end of the pool for quite a while, the campaign of John McCain, who, in many polls, was at or in the lead going into the voting today.
MSNBC‘s Tucker Carlson is at McCain headquarters.
Tucker, good evening.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, “THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON”: Keith, I think he was floating in the shallow end of the pool for quite some time.
CARLSON: I mean, this campaign was dead.
And I think, just talking to the staff here, many of whom have left their regular jobs in the last couple of weeks to volunteer for McCain, there is a sense of bewilderment, excitement—obviously, they‘re thrilled to be where they are—but bewilderment that they are where they are.
I think even some of them believed that they were out. That was, of course, the consensus in Washington. There is this kind of almost holy war feeling in their battle against Mitt Romney. They are not Mitt Romney fans. And, so, I think that the victory over him tonight, if it happens, will be, you know, almost worth staying in.
MATTHEWS: Tucker, give us a sense of the field if John McCain wins tonight. What‘s left now of the campaign? What do you see as the competition at that point?
CARLSON: In the Republican field?
Well, if—well, if—I mean, the other shoe waiting to drop, obviously, is—is Rudy Giuliani. And the question is, can he make good on his promise to do this kind of late-in-the-game, big-state strategy, which has, as you know, never been done before? It been attempted by a couple of people. I believe John Connally tried it. It‘s never worked.
So, the question will be Florida. At the end of this month, can he win Florida? If he does, he will be taken seriously as a candidate. The McCain calculation at this point is twofold.
One, Republicans, as you know, have this kind of instinctive desire to defer to the elder statesman, to the oldest, more experienced guy. That is, in this case, of course, McCain. And two, they‘re betting that Republicans, even conservatives, who haven‘t liked McCain or have distrusted him in the past will look around and say, well, gee, you know, who else is there?
Really, John McCain is the last man standing. They‘re hoping that‘s going to happen. The one thing that, in my view, that gets in the way, again, is a Giuliani win in Florida.
MATTHEWS: OK, thank you very much, Tucker.
You know, it reminds me of the old middleweight division back in the ‘50s. When Joey Giardello finally became champ, I know that the swamp had been drained. There was nobody any good left.
OLBERMANN: Yes, but here‘s—but here‘s another question that raises with McCain‘s good auspices for tonight. Have we not had a streak going where people who have been written off as being, to use Tucker‘s analogy, floating in that shallow end of the pool...
MATTHEWS: Floating dead.
OLBERMANN: Was John Kerry not in that position in 2004?
MATTHEWS: Until Iowa.
OLBERMANN: Yes, until we actually started voting. I mean, he had been written—he had certainly been written off as—in the 5 or 6 percent, if I‘m remembering the numbers off the top of my head.
Does it go back further than that? Was there a point at which Gore was behind Bradley or Dole was behind everybody else in 1996?
MATTHEWS: Well, the wild thing about McCain is, although he‘s a great military man who has served this country and that is obviously a patriot in all the great ways you can be a patriot, both in public service and in his military career, in his sacrifice, he‘s not popular among the regular Republicans, the people that go to meetings and organize the Republican Party victories.
He‘s not popular among the evangelicals, right?
MATTHEWS: Who does that leave? It leaves the media, and it leaves people who like mavericks.
I think, in New Hampshire, there are a lot of Republicans who like mavericks. They like Pat Buchanan. They like going against the grain. His challenge will be to go against the grain nationally if he wins tonight. That‘s a hard one. It‘s always going to be hard to be a successful maverick.
OLBERMANN: I‘m wondering, just in thinking of McCain and of Kerry, who share many of those distinctions, at least in terms of the military, what—if—if we aren‘t doing sometimes a favor to a candidate, if that‘s—if that wasn‘t what Dee Dee Myers was talking about. What she was angling for was to—was really to declare a candidacy and a candidate done.
OLBERMANN: And then they perk right back up in a couple of months, if there‘s still some time left for them to do that.
MATTHEWS: Yes. You just can‘t say the candidate was done when they were leading the pack.
Anyway, there‘s been a huge turnout in New Hampshire today, which is good for the country, maybe for one or two of the candidates.
Let‘s check in with David Gregory up in Manchester.
DAVID GREGORY, NBC WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, turnout obviously a big story, especially the independent turnout.
We‘re seeing a big factor on both sides, John McCain hoping to be the beneficiary of that. And that‘s what he‘s really counting on, on the Republican side, and, of course, Barack Obama on the Democratic side here as well.
Going to be very interesting to watch, not only the results here, but where the campaigns go from here. We have been talking all day long about a real sense of malaise within the Clinton campaign here, hearing tonight more of a sense of, if the victory is not as large as they thought, that maybe they can spin that as some kind of victory, already reports of some shakeup within the campaign, and a desire from the Clinton team to get a little bit of breathing space from Barack Obama, so they cannot only retool her message, retool her campaign, but try to go on the attack, quite frankly, and see if some of that can actually resonate with voters and sink in to stop Barack Obama, to slow him down a little bit.
What‘s been striking to me today is that change still the overriding theme here that is motivating voters. We saw it in Iowa. We‘re seeing it here in New Hampshire, but that the Hillary Clinton argument will be, that‘s not good enough, that Barack Obama is simply not ready, that he hasn‘t been tested, that he hasn‘t been vetted.
Now, they‘re blaming the media for that. They may want to try to provide some of the vetting themselves by putting out some storylines here. That‘s what I think we‘re going to start to see.
And this ultimate electability argument as well, I think you will see more Republicans starting to gear up and make the argument against Barack Obama. And that ties back into John McCain, who has been making the argument in the past few days that he can make a very convincing argument against Barack Obama, from a national security point of view, a campaign built around the threats that the country still faces.
OLBERMANN: Is there any estimation at this point, David, at what point, at what margin an Obama victory, presuming, again, one—and we don‘t have any results. We do not have any projections at this hour. The polls have not closed and won‘t for another 43 minutes.
Is there a point at which all the interpretation of how good a night it was, relatively speaking, for Hillary Clinton, or how little of the expectations Senator Obama actually reached, is there a magic number of victory at which point it‘s moot; it‘s just an Obama clean victory and everybody else was just watching?
GREGORY: Look, I think we have to remember that, going into New Hampshire, the Clinton team viewed this as the fire wall. This is where they stop Barack Obama.
Well, that‘s now gone away. You talk to people within the Clinton world today, people in the campaign, close to the campaign, they talk about the fear of a crushing defeat for Hillary Clinton. They talk about former President Clinton getting in the way, not being used effectively, about Hillary Clinton not presenting herself effectively, and about, you know, a strategic mistake, in terms of misinterpreting how forceful this idea of change would be as a motivator, particularly for young voters, what we saw in Iowa, what I have seen in the crowds for Barack Obama, and that I have been out with him here in New Hampshire.
So, all of those things coming together for some kind of change in direction—they are looking—that is, the Clinton campaign—looking for some reason to keep fighting for another day, to get to February 5 as a new, final stand for her.
OLBERMANN: David Gregory with the big picture at our NBC News headquarters at the Manchester Armory in New Hampshire—thank you, David. We will get back to you again throughout the evening many times.
OLBERMANN: And, when we return, obviously, more from New Hampshire—new numbers coming out from our exit polling that Norah O‘Donnell will analyze for us.
MATTHEWS: This is MSNBC‘s live coverage of the New Hampshire primary
the results coming soon.
More—back in a moment.
OLBERMANN: We rejoin you with MSNBC‘s live continuing coverage of the New Hampshire primaries.
And we actually have a 1 percent total being cleared in terms of vote totals. I don‘t think these are going to be much use in terms of a final predictor.
With 1 percent of precincts reporting—this is largely Dixville Notch and the greater Dixville Notch region...
OLBERMANN: ... the suburbs included and the church precincts, if I understand it correctly -- 59 percent, in other words, 17 votes. We have the 27 votes in the Democratic primary to tell you about.
Are there Republican numbers, too?
Well, there are: 18 votes. And they have been split—all right, more than 18 votes, because, obviously, McCain has 46 percent of them, and Mike Huckabee is in second. I am imagining that the numbers for third place might grow a little bit from one or two votes.
MATTHEWS: And most of those voters are in fact employees of the Balsams Hotel, a wonderful place to stay.
MATTHEWS: NBC‘s Norah O‘Donnell is tracking our exit polling right now, and has some interesting economic issues.
MATTHEWS: It‘s amazing, Norah. They‘re actually the employees of a
hotel up there
NORAH O‘DONNELL, NBC CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: I know.
MATTHEWS: And that‘s why they—I have been staying up there, and it‘s—I mean I have stayed up there—and it‘s quite a nice place.
O‘DONNELL: Yes. Well, it‘s a good tease of the future results to come.
But, in the meantime, you know, we did poll voters as they exited. And, so, we‘re getting a pretty good sense about what issues were most important to these voters in New Hampshire. And, as you might imagine, you know, with the mortgage crisis that‘s been rocking homeowners, with oil prices hitting $100 a barrel, the economy, it turns out, was a major concern for both parties today.
Well, first, let‘s talk about the Democrats. What we‘re seeing is, the economy was even more important to Democrats than the war in Iraq and health care, although you can see it‘s pretty close there. One in three Democrats said, for them, the economy tops the list of the most important issues facing the country.
And get this. When it comes to the economy, Democrats in the Granite State are truly unhappy. Look, if you add the folks who say not so good—see there—to the ones that say poor, that‘s nine out of 10 Democrats who feel the economy is in bad shape.
So, as you can see, Democrats were also pretty sour about the economy four years ago, but a lot more today say that it is in poor shape. See that number down at the bottom. So, that‘s significant.
There doesn‘t appear to be much optimism for the future either. Fifty-nine percent of Democrats today said they are very worried about the direction of the economy over the next four years. That‘s much, much higher than in 2004.
Now, for the Republicans, one in three feel that the economy looms large among their concerns. You can see that there. The Republican view of the economy is more favorable than the Democrats‘, but it‘s not exactly rosy. Meanwhile, almost half of the GOP voters today said the economy is good. About the same amount were highly critical, characterizing it as not so good or poor.
So, you know, these numbers are really significant, because what we‘re learning from the people that we have polled today is that—that the reason, in part, that they voted is because of the economy. They are really worried about pocketbook issues—Chris.
MATTHEWS: OK, thank you, Norah.
Up—coming right now, NBC News Washington bureau chief Tim Russert, who is joined in Washington—actually, he‘s also joined by Tom Brokaw.
Tom—I mean Tim.
TIM RUSSERT, NBC WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF: Hi, Chris.
TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS: There‘s just a middle letter—just a middle letter separating us.
Tim, you go ahead, as long as I. is O.
RUSSERT: I have been talking to some folks, Keith and Chris, about where this campaign goes. And we can report a couple things.
Both John McCain and Mitt Romney purchased television time in Detroit. Romney is going to actually go to Grand Rapids tomorrow. The Republican campaign is going to go forward, no matter who wins tonight.
And that will be a big battle in Michigan between Romney, who was born in Michigan—his dad was governor—and John McCain. Obviously, whoever wins here will have some momentum, but that will be a real showdown in Michigan.
Also, on evangelicals—remember, we talked in Iowa how 60 percent of the Republicans who voted in Iowa were evangelicals. So far tonight, the voters leaving the voting booth, only 20 percent of those voting in the Republican primary identify themselves as evangelicals. That will not be good news for Mike Huckabee, I believe. And I am very anxious to see how that plays out for Mr. Huckabee.
On the Democratic side, we have two important numbers: What percentage of the voters will be women, and how old will those women be? And that will give—unlock, I think, a real view into Obama vs. Clinton.
And, lastly, the younger voters—what percentage of the vote will be younger voters? In Iowa, it was, 20 percent were under the age of 21. Will we see the same thing in New Hampshire? When we can answer those questions, we will have solved the riddle of New Hampshire and have a much better idea as to how big this Obama momentum really is and whether or not Hillary Clinton is in a position to really fight for another day in a significant way.
BROKAW: Oh, I‘m sorry. I‘m taking my cue right off Tim.
Actually, earlier today, I was told that some of Romney‘s closest friends were urging him, if he loses New Hampshire, not to go on to Michigan, because there is the possibility that he could lose there. And they said, in the language of the time, “You would damage your brand.”
They think that he does have a political future in the Republican Party. It‘s hard to imagine that, if John McCain is the nominee, that he would be on the ticket, but stranger things have happened in politics, obviously. But, apparently, Mr. Romney is determined to go on to his home state, where his dad did serve as the governor there for three terms.
The interesting question on the Democratic side is—of course, is—is how the—if Hillary Clinton does lose tonight, its margin, first of all, is it double digits or is it single digits, so she can claim some kind of a Pyrrhic victory, and then portray herself as, I suppose, the candidate of the insurgency, holding up a brighter light on Barack Obama in the coming campaigns and especially on tsunami Tuesday, the first weekend in February—the first Tuesday in February, when we will have all those big states in play? A lot of that will be resolved before the night is out.
So, I think you have to look, as Tim indicated, at who votes for these two candidates on the Democratic side, women and especially young people and independents, and then what they say about the chances in the fall about who can win the presidential race, when it comes down to a general election.
OLBERMANN: Tom and Tim, I would like your opinions on—on this point that what you just mentioned, Tom, obviously raises, this idea—it seems to me a little dangerous to tell your constituency, which—which is the implication of this—this Hillary Clinton plan that‘s slowly coming into focus here—vote for this campaign by—by tsunami Tuesday, or we go home.
Does an electorate like being dared like that, Tim? Do you think that‘s a good idea? Or is that awfully risky?
RUSSERT: Yes, I think it‘s very risky, Keith.
You know, Nevada is next up, a week from Saturday. As we reported last night, the Culinary Workers Union is going to endorse Barack Obama, which is pretty much tantamount to winning that caucus. They—they—the union insists they can bring 15,000 members into a caucus which could be as little as 40,000 or 50,000 votes.
And then on to South Carolina, which is 50 percent African-American, and Obama keeps gaining with that particular constituency. So, I think it‘s highly risky.
I think the other risk for Hillary Clinton is California, which is an open primary. Republicans and Democrats can—and independents can all vote. And New York, her home state, I think she will watch that very closely for any change there, because it‘s certainly not a state that she would want to risk her reputation by endangering her political future by losing.
But it‘s a long way off. The Clinton people insist they have money. They insist they‘re going on. They‘re going to retool the campaign, try to reframe the issues.
I think Bill Clinton‘s been the most aggressive in trying to make the point about rolling the dice, or risky, or a fairy tale. I expect to hear a lot more of that in the coming days.
BROKAW: I think the danger in that regard is, Keith, that I‘ve been talking to some democrats today who were very solidly on the Hillary Clinton team and are now beginning to step back a little bit because Obama is so acceptable to them. Philosophically, he‘s in line with what they think. He is an African American. One of them said to me today, this is very exciting, it‘s good for the party. It‘s certainly good for the country. I think what the Clinton people have to worry about is that they will have, if you will, a torrent of people leaving their campaign if she doesn‘t run very strongly tonight, and by running strongly, there has to be a very tight second place and give them some reason to stick with her, because they are so desperate to win next fall, and all the indications are based on the polls that we‘re seeing here today of the people who voted and why they voted and what they thought about who could win next fall, it‘s Obama still in front on those other measures that we like to look at.
And as we analyze any election, besides just the quantitative difference between them. There is a quantitative aspect tonight to all this as well, who can win next fall, who can attract the independents, who can bring a new generation of voters into the arena. Having said all that, let‘s be conditional. We still don‘t know what has happened today in New Hampshire. The votes have been cast and before too long they will be counted and then we‘ll have a much better ability to talk about this in more realistic terms.
OLBERMANN: And we don‘t know, certainly, whether or not this “Ransom of Red Chief” kind of strategy, to invoke O. Henry, the story of the kid they kidnapped and the kids don‘t want him back and they wind up paying the parents to take the kid back might play out poorly or well for Senator Clinton if she uses that.
BROKAW: Can I just say something, Keith? I must say that you and Chris bedazzle me. You go from metaphors about middleweight boxers to the O. Henry story. I can‘t keep up here.
MATTHEWS: Joey Giardello (ph). I thought that was a good one myself.
OLBERMANN: For Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert and Joey Gardella and O. Henry, great thanks to all four of you. We‘ll get back, hopefully, as often as possible with Tim and Tom. Thank you, gentlemen.
MATTHEWS: Can I match all of those?
MATTHEWS: It seems to me that Hillary Clinton‘s campaign was not to use the parlance we all use, positioned well. You remember in the great movie “Lawrence of Arabia” where the Turks aimed all their guns at the sea, and the Arab revolt came in from the desert. They crossed the Nefu (ph). They weren‘t supposed to be able to do that. It could be tonight we could see this latter-day Lawrence, Barack Obama, cross the Nefu and come in behind the Clintons into their own base, the very base that they are absolutely confident of.
They will never be taken from the African American side, never taken from the liberal side. They own that base for the party. And here you see the possibility that they‘re going to lose Aqaba to the Arabs or to the enemy in this case .
OLBERMANN: Or South Carolina, if you will.
MATTHEWS: To someone who wasn‘t expected to be able to make that kind of salient. It was supposed to be a more traditional attack on her, perhaps from the center or somewhere else, whereas Bill Clinton back in 1992 was able to quickly reposition himself when Mario Cuomo pulled out of the race or didn‘t enter it. He was able to quickly position himself not as a centrist DLC guy, but as a classic traditional constituency Democrat against their insurgent Paul Tsongas. He was able to readjust. Hillary has not adjusted to the Obama threat at all, so far.
OLBERMANN: Well, let‘s see as those early closing polls begin to spit numbers into the computers, we now have six percent of the vote actually in and right now—if we could just all go home now, I think the Clinton camp would be more than happy with this outcome, a 36-36 tie at a total of about 13,000 votes with John Edwards at 17 percent in third place. That‘s the Democrats. Again, six percent in. Way too early to call it a final. Way too early to do any kind of projecting. Even with these numbers among the Republicans at six percent, which are matching up surprisingly well with the last polls, McCain 38, Romney 29, Huckabee 11%. Again, very early.
OLBERMANN: Maybe the most significant number is what six percent means.
Six percent means there are 8,500 votes.
MATTHEWS: And you have to wonder how representative Democrats who get their votes in early are of most Democrats. Anyway, we‘ll have more with the exit polls as we continue tonight and the real poll results. Plus, the “New York Times” columnist, that great liberal Frank Rich will join us and stay with us all night for speeches and analysis and concession speeches, and perhaps some tears, perhaps some laughter, but certainly, it looks like some history.
You‘re watching MSNBC‘s live coverage of the New Hampshire primary.
OLBERMANN: We‘re back from NBC News headquarters here in New York with MSNBC‘s live coverage of the New Hampshire primary. Let‘s check in with Patrick Buchanan, who is up in New Hampshire and Rachel Maddow who is elsewhere in New York. Rachel, I want you to start and tell me what you think the significance might be of Hillary Clinton choking up a bit the other day.
RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA: Well, Hillary Clinton choking up a little bit was covered like it was the biggest news item yet of this political cycle. I was surprised, honestly, by how much it got. Immediately when I got it, I felt sympathetic toward her, but if it‘s news-worthy that a candidate cries or tears up, why is it that that led all the newscasts last night, but when Mitt Romney cried in public three times in less than three weeks in December, we didn‘t hear a peep once about it.
MATTHEWS: What‘s your point?
MADDOW: I think there is a double standard. I think it‘s being covered because the media has this schadenfreude, this excitement in Hillary Clinton—anything bad happening to the Clintons, particularly anything bad happening to Hillary Clinton. And so that‘s covered as if it‘s news-worthy on its face, but the double standard, the way it‘s not covered when other candidates do it, shows that it‘s just a Hillary-specific thing.
MATTHEWS: A hard charge there, Pat Buchanan. This is schadenfreude, a joy to everyone else‘s tragedy, a nice long German word to explain that. The media is sadistic, a shorter Latinate word. Do you think the media and other political colleagues are sadistic toward Hillary Clinton and her plight?
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC ANALYST: I do think some media, Chris, are gleeful at what is happening to the Clintons and Hillary Clinton. I think the reason they covered this is because it is newsworthy. Hillary Clinton, contrary to what I heard earlier, has been the front-runner for the Democratic nomination. She looked like the sure thing, the next president of the United States.
And if you see someone in that moment, like Ed Muskie when he was supposed to win the nomination in ‘72, break up in front of the “Union Leader,” that is a major news story, and this was representative, I think - hold it—of a break really in Hillary‘s spirit that suggested she‘s going to lose and may lose the nomination.
MADDOW: Pat, why wasn‘t it news when Mitt Romney started crying? It‘s not like Romney is some seat-level candidate for the Republicans. He‘s possibly their best hope. He cried three times.
BUCHANAN: Chris and I covered that speech when he got emotional and we indicated that he had gotten emotional and said it was a very powerful moment .
MADDOW: But then he cried on MEET THE PRESS. Then he cried on MEET THE PRESS, then he cried while imaging that his sons might be in Iraq.
MATTHEWS: Well, let‘s be a little analytical here. It‘s one thing to cry about the fact that your religion—in his case, the LDS Church, the Mormon Church, had moved away from racist practices of not allowing African Americans to be bishops, which all white people are allowed to do, and being overwhelmed emotionally by the fact that your church is now right with God as you see it, and being upset that you‘re losing a campaign for public office. Isn‘t there a difference in quality there, Rachel?
MADDOW: But no. This was covered as if this said something about Hillary Clinton‘s ability to be president, that she cried. Did that mean she wasn‘t tough enough? Did that mean that she was breaking down under the strain? When Mitt Romney cried, he cried recounting having cried before about his church desegregating in the 1970s. He cried when he was moved by his own rhetoric during his religion speech, then he cried again when he was imaging if his sons had joined the military and had found themselves in danger in Iraq.
BUCHANAN: But Rachel, this was the day before the most important primary in America. The front-runner and the putative president of the United States breaks up in front of all these cameras. It is a huge, huge news story, far bigger than Mitt Romney who is not the front-runner for the Republican nomination, doing it well before the day of the caucuses. It is a huge story and there‘s no denying it. I do think reporters and journalists are gleeful about it. Some of them are.
OLBERMANN: Hold on.
MADDOW: If he cried five times in public, would that have made it a story?
OLBERMAN: Rachel, hold on. Rachel, Pat, hold on. I have a contrarian point of view. I think you‘re both wrong. What about this—where was the coverage of the rest of that statement? Where was the coverage after the tearing up, where people just clicked it off right there and said, oh, this is about a presidential candidate. I don‘t care if it‘s Ed Muskie or if it‘s Hillary Clinton or if it‘s Chris Matthews standing there crying or not even crying, but seeming to just show a little emotion.
But the second part of that was, hey, you know, and by the way, some of us are ready to compete here and some of us are ready to be president and others aren‘t, and some of us are right and others are wrong. There was a seamless, no-pause segue out of tears into an attack on her principal opponent. Isn‘t that the story?
MADDOW: What it means is that she held it together and stuck to her talking points through it. So maybe that has people saying she was too emotional and couldn‘t hold onto the thread. Maybe that should be a counter argument for that.
BUCHANAN: I think you‘ve got an argument, Keith. Look, she went into something authentic and general, deeply moved when she was communicating with this person about how she felt. But then once she recovered, she moved right back onto the attack in Clinton mode. It is suggestive of exactly what you‘re dealing with, a human being here at the same time she can go right back onto the sort of automaton that a candidate becomes.
MATTHEWS: Your old boss and our old president Richard Nixon used to account for this. He said being tired. It‘s when you get near the end of a campaign, whether it‘s in a national debate or on television somewhere, and you‘re simply out of juice. You‘re out of the thing that allows you to get past the difficult moment. And I think that was the case. I think she simply tired and therefore emotionally exposed.
It doesn‘t surprise me. We‘ve all been there. Thank you. Maybe not you, Pat. Thank you, Rachel Maddow, thank you Pat Buchanan. Let‘s bring in the panel, MSNBC‘s Joe Scarborough, “Newsweek‘s” Howard Fineman, the “Washington Post‘s” Eugene Robinson and “The Nation” magazine‘s great and illustrious Katrina Vanden Heuvel.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, “THE NATION”: You don‘t want to hear sexist charges.
MATTHEWS: The Katrina part I love. It‘s so close to a hurricane.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: Chris, for the record, I asked Buchanan this morning if he ever cried in a campaign and he said he did. A 17-year-old girl was tearing up and he hugged her and broke down. I then asked John Edwards whether he had ever cried, in a campaign, and he of course is critical of Hillary Clinton for crying. And he sat there seriously, stared at me for a couple minutes and said, “No, I never have.”
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tough guy, I guess.
SCARBOROUGH: I‘ll tell you what, that‘s a tough dude, I guess. I don‘t know a politician who hasn‘t tiered up at some point. So anyway, let‘s forget about the crying game and talk instead about what we‘re going to be looking at tonight, what the takeaway‘s going to be from New Hampshire. These poll numbers are starting to come in. I‘m just blown away. Forty-three percent of people that voted in the democratic primary, independents, 38 percent of the people that voted in the Republican primary, independents. What if John McCain wins by a couple of points over Mitt Romney, and yet Romney‘s the guy that carries the most republican votes? What impact does that have moving forward? Do we have John McCain once again winning New Hampshire but then being beaten up in South Carolina and other Republican states?
HOWARD FINEMAN, “NEWSWEEK”: Well, I think that‘s a good question, Joe. I‘m not sure where he goes after this. If you look at the other states down the line, McCain‘s not leading in Nevada, he‘s not leading in South Carolina, he‘s not leading in Florida, he‘s not leading in California. He‘s really not at the top of the charts in any of those other states.
SCARBOROUGH: And as Chris said, when you get to South Carolina, when you get to Florida, when you get to these close primaries, they ain‘t independents like New Hampshire. DeLay was right, it is new territory.
FINEMAN: Well, that‘s true on both sides. I mean, if Hillary has any hope, any hope after tonight, it‘s probably going to be that in those closed big-state primaries, and there are a few on February 5th, she might be able to salvage herself. In the case of Mitt Romney and others, they have to find a way to go after McCain in those kind of states, and South Carolina will be one of them.
SCARBOROUGH: Katrina, let‘s talk about the democrats for a second. This race right now, only about seven, eight, nine percent in, a little bit closer than we expected. Let‘s say it‘s three, four percentage points, Obama beats Hillary Clinton with a huge Democratic turnout. You‘ve got 43 percent, according to our exit polls, of independents voting. That would mean most likely Hillary Clinton would carry the Democratic voters within her own primary. Is that a victory for her?
VANDEN HEUVEL: Let me just say quickly—I wanted to go back to something Dee Dee Myers said, not about Hillary Clinton as a front-runner, but how the race should not be over quickly, though it may be. It‘s a disservice to voters, it‘s a disservice to our democracy. We come out of the longest election preseason in our history, and suddenly, it might be over. You know what kind of change we need? We need to bust open the system, this money-drenched political system in this primary.
I think Obama has the capacity with the momentum, the wind at his back to redefine an alignment, where you have independents and you‘re also reaching out to the base. I think in Nevada he can do that, and I think in South Carolina for sure, where as we talked earlier, you have half of the Democratic Party African-Americans who see him now as a viable candidate, plausible, coming out of New Hampshire and Iowa.
SCARBOROUGH: But you know on the Republican side, though, again, let‘s talk about—let‘s say McCain wins tonight by a couple points, four, five points, but it‘s independents who are getting the victory. Your home state of South Carolina‘s going to break his heart again, isn‘t it?
EUGENE ROBINSON, “WASHINGTON POST”: Oh, I think it probably will.
SCARBOROUGH: You think it will!
ROBINSON: My home state is going to go for Huckabee, I really do. I think he‘s resonating there, the polls show that .
SCARBOROUGH: But how important is New Hampshire if you have these independents that are driving a process that gets much more closed after it‘s over?
ROBINSON: Two things about that. Number one, a lot of the independents in New Hampshire aren‘t all that independent. I mean, they‘re independent because you get to be independent in New Hampshire, you get to vote early, you get to influence the process, and you know, they like to go back and forth between the Democratic and the Republican primaries, and in other states, in the closed states they pick one party or the other. The other thing, at least on the Democratic side, New Hampshire is really not that representative of the Democratic coalition. There is so few African Americans, for example.
ROBINSON: So you can‘t generalize about South Carolina or Florida or a lot of other states .
SCARBOROUGH: Well you say that about New Hampshire, but Howard, we hear that about Republicans in New Hampshire, also, that it‘s not that representative of the state, and yet it‘s supposed to elect presidents.
FINEMAN: Here‘s the thing, both Iowa and New Hampshire are very close states in the poll. They‘re a razor-thin margin between Republicans and Democrats, so they‘re worth looking at from that point of view. But I think the results likely out of New Hampshire tonight are going to mean this is still wide open on the Republican side, wide, wide, wide open. It‘s going to be a long process among the Republicans, I think.
SCARBOROUGH: Very long process.
VANDEN HEUVEL: I think it‘s going to be internal a brutal process, because they‘re looking .
FINEMAN: Don‘t sound so happy.
VANDEN HEUVEL: But think about it. Two years ago, Tom DeLay, dominant political force, now fractionalized, factionalized.
SCARBOROUGH: We shall see. All right, back to you, Keith. What you got?
OLBERMANN: Joe Scarborough, the polls in New Hampshire will be closing across the state in just a few minutes. We think we know what to expect, at least at the top of where does the race go from here. Let‘s welcome NBC News analyst, editor of “The Cook Report” Charlie Cook. Charlie, good evening.
CHARLIE COOK, NBC NEWS ANALYST: Good evening, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Early returns are in. Big turnout, we know about that, obviously with less than 10 percent. The vote count doesn‘t really mean anything, or does it? See any surprises in the numbers you‘ve already seen?
COOK: Well, I think—you know, it‘s ironic on the Democratic side that all of these states moved forward in the process and all it‘s done is make Iowa and New Hampshire that much more important. If this is a close contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton tonight. She stays alive, we get - you know, this thing goes for a while. But if it‘s any kind of a big margin at all, if it‘s four, five, six points or more, something like that, I think it‘s going to be incredibly hard for her to come back, because she‘s going to have to do—for her to beat Barack Obama, she would have to tear his head off, and at that point, you would wonder whether the nomination would be worth having.
OLBERMANN: The big picture on this—you have written about this enthusiasm gap with Democrats turning out at least anecdotally. I don‘t know that anybody‘s done an actual done a head count, but they seem to be bigger, they see to be enthusiastic and greatly so, ready to choose, ready to follow whoever they favor. But the Republicans not seeming that long. Is that a characterization and what does that mean long-term? Is that any relevance looking ahead to November?
COOK: I think that‘s right. I think Democrats at least prior to Iowa were like kids going into a Baskin Robbins and they were looking up at the sign and seeing all those flavors and they all looked so great, and they were agonizing trying to figure out which flavor they want the most.
But then—at least in Iowa, they all surged towards Obama. On the Republican side, it‘s like when you go into a restaurant with a really short menu and you‘re looking and none of them seem just right. They‘re all just kind of off a little bit. And so Republicans had a tough decision because they really weren‘t crazy about any of them. Democrats could have gone three or four deep with their choices.
But I think that you‘re going to have Hillary Clinton—she has got to come in really, really close tonight or win this thing, because I think this locomotive, it is steaming up and it looks like it‘s about to pull out of the station, and I wish I could say I predicted it, but I didn‘t. This Obama thing, it turned out to be a hell of a lot bigger than I ever thought.
OLBERMANN: Nine minutes until those polls close and we‘ll see how big the thing is, at least as of tonight. Charlie Cook of “The Cook Report” and NBC News. Great thanks, Charlie.
COOK: Thank you.
OLBERMANN: And when return, “New York Times” columnist Frank Rich as we await the closing of the polls in New Hampshire at the top of the hour, coming up. You‘re watching MSNBC‘s continuing coverage of the New Hampshire primaries only on MSNBC.
OLBERMANN: We rejoin you with MSNBC‘s live coverage of the New Hampshire primaries. Polls closing at the top of the hour across the state. We won‘t be making a projection on who has won until then, and that‘s only at the earliest.
MATTHEWS: We‘re joined right now by the “New York Times” columnist who appears in the big piece, about 1,500 words every Sunday in the opinion section of the newspaper. Frank, I know you don‘t want to give projections, and there‘s no use doing it at this point because we‘re about to get the real ones.
FRANK RICH, “NEW YORK TIMES”: Exactly.
MATTHEWS: But this night in the Democratic Party‘s history, its significance, please.
RICH: Well, it‘s enormously significant because you basically have this guy who, to a lot of people, came out of nowhere, even if he didn‘t, who has caused this storm and has completely rocked the establishment of the party, the establishment of the party being the Clintons who were running Hillary Clinton as an incumbent, basically. And it seems if what we hear is true, the Democrats are in essence rejecting a very popular incumbent.
MATTHEWS: Is this more of a rejection than a crowning?
RICH: I think it‘s a mixture of both. I think the biggest rejection here really is of George Bush, and George Bush‘s Washington, to speak loosely. I think that people are so eager to turn the page from that, that someone fresher, not associated with that Washington in any way—and by the way, not associated with enabling the war in Iraq—has a better crack than he would have otherwise.
OLBERMANN: If coverage, Frank, of Iraq has quieted down, you are arguing still that it has a lot to do with the success early on, certainly in Iowa, of both Mike Huckabee and especially Barack Obama. That would seem to be a disconnect there. What‘s your reasoning behind it?
RICH: My reasoning is that if you look at the polls, it shows that most Americans do believe that the surge has made some progress and tamped down violence. Yet those same polls over the past six weeks show that Americans still think the war was a mistake, they still want us out as soon as possible, and they still don‘t like President Bush. So it‘s there, even if subliminally. And I think every time Hillary Clinton or her usband has mentioned Iraq to try to somehow say that Obama was not an opponent, or whatever they‘re saying, it‘s very bad for Hillary Clinton.
OLBERMANN: As we may have seen last night when she invoked al Qaeda and the Gordon Brown situation.
RICH: Yeah. I just—I think that‘s not a winner for her. And I always thought maybe it didn‘t make any difference whether she apologized for her vote or not, as John Edwards did, but now I‘m beginning to wonder if it might have made a difference if she had.
MATTHEWS: Well, let‘s talk about .
OLBERMANN: Chris, we‘re out of time. Frank Rich from the “New York Yimes.” sorry to squeeze you with the clock.
MATTHEWS: I want more Frank!
RICH: Thank you.
OLBERMANN: If you can get into one of the commercials we can have you on again. Polls across New Hampshire set to close in a few minutes. We await the winners in New Hampshire. Top of the hour we‘ll have something to tell you, we hope. Stand by.
KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR: The Democrats in New Hampshire, too close to call. The Republicans, too early to call. After as frenetic a five days as an American primary has ever seen, the polls are closing at this hour in New Hampshire. The data from precincts which closed earlier, combined with exit polling is far from clear. NBC News can characterize the Democrats as Obama and Clinton in a tight race, which is too close to call.
Among the Republicans, McCain has a lead over Romney, but it is too early to make projection in that race. So, it is not over as we start to quote Yogi Berra. Good evening from our head quarters in New York. This is MSNBC‘s continuing coverage of the New Hampshire primary. I‘m Keith Olbermann, alongside Chris Matthews.
We don‘t have any answers yet. We have these hard numbers let‘s run through these first. It‘s too close to call, as these numbers would suggest. The fact that this is not over as the polls, Chris, 38 to 36 percent, no projection, no winner in the Democratic race, is that by itself a foot hold for Hillary Clinton?
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: It depends. If she ends up losing by four or five points, as someone said not long ago, that‘s still a big problem. Charlie Cooke made that observation. What is winning, what is losing. I think we‘re in the terrain where it means what it says. If you lose, you lose. She will have lost two in a row. It‘s hard to call anything a moral a victory.
We all know the Clintons. When Bill Clinton lost New Hampshire back in 1992 by eight points, having been ahead after 20, he declared himself the victor, the comeback kid. And a docile press corps went along with it.
OLBERMANN: Perhaps, we‘re less docile this time.
MATTHEWS: I think this country has grown up quite a bit in those years.
OLBERMANN: At 11 percent, let‘s see what the Republicans look like.
The hard numbers so far, and this is much closer to the expectation. Again, the advisory from our decision desk is it‘s too early to suggest this is going to hold up. But it‘s McCain at nine points with about 12,000 votes between himself and Mr. Romney, and 10 percent of the Republican primary reporting so far.
Those are the hard numbers. Let‘s bring in NBC‘s Tim Russert and Tom Brokaw. Tom with us in New York and Tim in New Hampshire. Interpret, if you will, Tim, the idea that, unlike last week at the close of activity, we had a projection in the Democratic race, we don‘t have one tonight.
TIM RUSSERT, NBC NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF: We sure don‘t. We are very anxious to see this raw vote and how it compares with the exit interviews we‘ve been doing and the accuracy of the exit interviews. You know, Keith, you talk about the expectations, right after Iowa, several Clinton advisers said to me, if we can keep it within five points, it will be very good for us. Then they said, yesterday, if we can keep it in single digits, it will be good for us.
So everybody is going to work hard on spin. And I think Chris is correct in saying, let‘s see what the vote is. Let‘s see who wins and by how much. The one thing I‘d like to talk about for one second is what we talked about Iowa. That is we can‘t over-complicate this. What we‘re seeing here in New Hampshire is a huge amount of independents playing on the Democratic side, and also those numbers in our exit poll about the anger and frustration with people going in the Democratic booth. Fifty percent say they are angry or dissatisfied with the president; 93 percent on the Democratic side.
When you take Iowa and New Hampshire, two swing states, that‘s a very significant statement of the level of anxiety and anger at Washington that we found in back to back states. Obviously, that‘s not as important as who wins or loses tonight. But it is significant and I think worthy of note.
MATTHEWS: Tom, it seems to me that New Hampshire has been a pretty good state for the Clintons, I always thought, looking at it. The president has been successful up there in general elections. He was—he won there handily in ‘96. He could come back up there and really help his spouse do well. I thought that for months.
We‘ll see what happens tonight, if that‘s still the case, if he still has that selling power that I always thought, many people thought he had up here?
TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS: Everything is so compressed now, Chris. You remember that the difference between Iowa and New Hampshire in the past has been at least two weeks. We‘re down to five days. It was just earlier today on this channel and a lot of other channels that people were kind of mocking what President Clinton had to say on behalf of his wife. There were lots of projections that this was going to be a big surge for Barack Obama. That was the perception going into tonight for a lot of the people who are just tuning into politics.
So if she does come close tonight, within that three to four or five point margin, my guess is tomorrow, we‘ll hear them both saying, we are the comeback kids, and they will portray themselves—I talk about them as a team—as a kind of insurgency. I think the other numbers that we have to pay attention to, of course, is why people voted for her or Barack Obama, and what the general universe in the Democratic party feels about who can win in the fall.
That‘s something that she‘s not been able to move, in terms of a number. There still a re very high unfavorables for Hillary Clinton, and how that will play out in the weeks to come, especially on Tsunami Tuesday, could be very telling.
MATTHEWS: Tim, tonight, if it is close, around 10:00, two hours from now, we know the Clinton track record is to call a press conference—or rather a rally, assemble the meal tickets, anyone they can find and get into a small room, create a lot of ra ra, and the semblance of a victory party. Is that a big part of tonight‘s call, not just the numbers, but the ability of one or the other candidates to simulate victory?
RUSSERT: Absolutely. Presidential campaigns have a huge psychological component. Right now, the Clinton campaign needs any bit of good news. They were beaten soundly in Iowa and they know that. They were calling people all weekend trying to raise money. They need to be able to reassure their supporters and their donors that their campaign is alive and well, and going to fight in future states. Obviously, a close outcome in New Hampshire would add to that and they would boast about it tonight.
It‘s interesting, in terms of the events leading up to tonight, the campaign tracks showed Obama ahead, all the campaigns that were polling. Think of the events. We had Senator Clinton getting a bit emotional and yet finishing her comments, trying to distinguish herself from Obama. We had Bill Clinton making the impassioned plea that Obama should be betted and tested much more than he was.
Did that last minute appeal from both Clintons have an impact on the voters? We‘ll know that in about two hours.
OLBERMANN: Tom, there‘s almost whiplash going on here. If Barack Obama or the tidal wave, or as he described it the wave—tidal has been added by others—if that does not produce a large margin, is it all of a sudden, after last weeks dramatic, historic moment, is this suddenly a disappointment for Barack Obama? Is the cycle that fast that your triumph out of nowhere, your triumph over the history of American politics, lasts five days?
BROKAW: I have felt for some time, and I think I have said it on this broadcast before, Keith, that we all ought to take a deep breath, and that I think the country deserves to get in on the dialogue of who we want our presidential nominees to be and what are the issues that are important to them. We had a pretty good test in Iowa and New Hampshire so far, too northern latitude states, mostly white, no urban issues before them.
We had some very tough economic news today. AT&T reporting that they are going to have a significant downfall because of unpaid telephone bills. The secretary of the treasury, Hank Paulson, talking about a second wave of foreclosures coming. Country Wide, the most widely held of the mortgage companies, taking a real shot today in its stock prices and that dropped the market, as you know, almost two percent today.
So there are lots of issues out there that folks want to look at these candidates and see what they have to say about them. Frankly, I think the process should be able to serve Americans beyond New Hampshire and Iowa. There‘s no question about it, if you get a blowout in those first two states, you do get a lot of momentum. Maybe, this will be a chance for this campaign to move on, both on the Republican side and on the Democratic side. I don‘t think that‘s bad for the country at all.
OLBERMANN: Especially with those news stories, as you mentioned, Tom, concurring with the exit polls from both parties saying the economy the number one issue for Republicans and Democrats who went into those booths in New Hampshire today. Tim Russert, great thanks. Tom Brokaw, great thanks. We‘ll get back to you presently.
Let‘s go around the campaigns. We‘ll start with Lee Cowan at Obama campaign headquarters. We‘ll mention this again, in the form of a question, the NBC News characterization at 8:00, which is the earliest anybody makes any characterization, the New Hampshire Democratic primary, Obama and Clinton are in a tight race which is too close to call. Is that good news or bad news at Obama campaign headquarters, Lee?
LEE COWAN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I think it‘s a little nail biting here, to say the least, although the campaign would say that this is very similar to the way Iowa started. It started out rather slow and it wasn‘t until some of the bigger area‘s started coming in that Barack Obama started to open up that lead in front of Hillary Clinton.
People started filing in here about an hour ago. They are expecting about 1,500 people here. That‘s as many as the fire marshal would allow in this building. We haven‘t seen any of the top campaign advisers here yet. We do understand the senator and his wife Michelle are not here. They are watching the returns somewhere else. They haven‘t even had dinner yet, waiting for these results to come in. They‘re watching them just as closely as we are, Keith.
OLBERMANN: Lee Cowan at Obama headquarters. As we continue to look at all of the campaign headquarters with the polls now closed, as the backgrounds now begin to fill up. Andrea Mitchell is covering the Clinton campaign and is at the headquarters at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester. Andrea, once again, no characterization on the race, too close to call, too early to call. Is that good or bad news?
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, of course, they would wish that too close to call could continue. The fear, of course, would be that it‘s not their voters that are coming in late. Their concern would be they have already counted a large proportion of their votes. All of the tracking, their own and every other campaign, indicated to them that this was going to be a very, very tough night indeed.
In talking to them all throughout the day today, they were expecting a pretty big loss. So if they can narrow this, if they can pull closer to Barack Obama, or even be too close to call for a while, I think they would not only spin that as a catch up and a victory of sorts. Even though the raw numbers are not with them, they would be very, very pleased.
OLBERMANN: Andrea Mitchell at campaign headquarters for Senator Clinton, great thanks. We have a call to make in the Republican part of this primary. The projected winner is John McCain. We saw those hard numbers giving him a lead of about eight or nine percent over Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. But this lining up with what those polls looked like going in. There it is, at 37 percent, with 12 percent of the vote in, NBC News is able to project, based on these events, the winner of the New Hampshire primary will be John McCain.
Kelly O‘Donnell of NBC News is at McCain campaign headquarters, where I imagine this is going over pretty well.
KELLY O‘DONNELL, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, news travels fast here. The eruption of applause, you may be able to hear “Mac is Back” being chanted. There‘s been a really up beat mood. When you‘ve been talking about the psychology of these campaigns, it‘s really been on the upside here for the few hours we‘ve been here, as the crowds filter in.
This is a tight room. It‘s the same one they used back in 2000, when McCain won then. The crowds are certainly big tonight. The enthusiasm is big. Now that this race has been called for John McCain, it means one very important thing, the man who was out of it last summer is now the winner of a primary. That will afford him a chance to go forward and contest this nomination, try to win it.
For the man who is the oldest one in the race, at 71, age has been an issue. The whole issue of change has been discussed at length. McCain has said the kind of change he‘s been about is being the first to go against Secretary Rumsfeld a couple of years ago, to urge support of the surge in Iraq, that kind of change, against this generational push we‘ve seen on the Democratic side.
People here are very happy. We‘ve already seen that the state chair is coming forward to thank supporters.
OLBERMANN: Kelly O‘Donnell drowned out as happy McCain supporters celebrate what is their projected triumph at the New Hampshire primary. Kelly, we‘ll get back to you, perhaps when it gets a little quieter.
Now, let‘s go over to what must be an entirely different environment, the Mitt Romney campaign, where the former governor of Massachusetts now has to face the fact that Mike Huckabee won Iowa. John McCain is going to win New Hampshire, based on NBC News projections of exit polls and those early results, as you‘re seeing the hard numbers in front of you. Nearly 8,000 votes to nearly 6,000 votes, with still a very small percentage of the data actually in.
But the projection is in for how that is going to down in Bedford, New Hampshire at Romney headquarters. Let‘s go to Ron Allen. Ron?
RON ALLEN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Keith, there is one guy on the stage playing guitar, and nobody out here is singing along. There‘s a lot of blank stares, a lot of people just looking at the screen in some level of disbelief that this has happened. Romney was optimistic. He thought he was going to win.
This is the second time now, Iowa followed by New Hampshire, a state where he had a lead and lost it. The way they‘re going to spin it, however, is that this is a solid second place finish. I can hear the words coming out of their mouths now. They are going to say they were second in Iowa, second here, won Wyoming, a very quiet win over the weekend. They are also going to say that here they beat Thompson. They beat Giuliani.
They‘re probably also going to say that here they beat Huckabee, which is going to throw the race wide open, is what the Romney camp is going to try to portray this as. They are also looking forward to Michigan, which is the next state up, next Tuesday, a state where Romney could have an advantage because he was born there, his father was governor there and so he hopes to get a lot of backing there as well.
Again, the margin seems to be pretty significant, eight or nine points. It also seems to be another situation where a particular constituency, independents here, may have helped John McCain over the top, as the case in Iowa, where the evangelical community pushed Huckabee over the top. So a lot of bad news here for Romney. He had been saying all along that to win the nomination, he thought he could win Iowa and New Hampshire and that would catapult him to the front. It‘s not happening.
So they are retooling. This week, though, I can tell you that when they came back from Iowa, there were really trying to retool their campaign and say that this was going to be a race between Romney and McCain. They were trying to portray it as an insider versus an outsider, an artist of change, another word we‘ve heard some much.
But, some disappointment here in the Romney camp. The guy is still playing by himself on the stage. Keith?
OLBERMANN: An extraordinary analogy and an apt one from Ron Allen at the headquarters of the apparent runner up, Mitt Romney, although we don‘t have a firm prediction on that. That is almost a certainty. The NBC News projection, if you have not heard, is John McCain the victor in the Republican primary. The first part of the night being decided, the other one being decided as too close to call at this hour.
In the interim, NBC‘s David Shuster is at Huckabee headquarters in New Hampshire with reaction already to the John McCain victory as McCain joins Huckabee again—to use the reality show analogy, the indemnified area. David, what‘s going on?
DAVID SHUSTER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Keith, great satisfaction as the word is spreading through the crowd that John McCain has been declared the winner in New Hampshire. We just spoke to Alice Stuart (ph), who is Governor Mike Huckabee‘s spokeswoman. She says, we like John McCain, or, as the governor says, we love John McCain.
Clearly, they feel great satisfaction in part, because they believe that John McCain bore the brunt of the negative ads that Mitt Romney ran in New Hampshire, like Mike Huckabee did in Iowa. Great satisfaction here, Keith, that the negative adds, in their view, that were aimed at John McCain did not work. They believe that this sets up Mike Huckabee very well for the states ahead.
They are going to take even greater satisfaction, Keith, if the results come out that they have beat Rudy Giuliani, Ron Paul, Fred Thompson. If that is how this shapes up and they do finish in third place, they will be very, very satisfied, very happy here tonight at Huckabee headquarters.
OLBERMANN: Are they then satisfied with the prospect of a three horse race? Is that close enough for them to be considered on a par with Romney sort of staggering towards his home town and McCain coming of this victory here tonight?
SHUSTER: Keith, that‘s absolutely right. They did not want to see Romney go from a second place in Iowa to a first place in New Hampshire. They wanted somebody to beat him here, possibly McCain, given that McCain wasn‘t so competitive with Huckabee in Iowa. They believe that Romney is weakened and that Huckabee, by virtue of not having spent a lot of time here, not having spent very much money, and really having invested in the future and South Carolina, that they benefit from a three way race, involving McCain, involving Romney, headed towards South Carolina.
So, to see Romney wounded, to see Romney kept from getting a victory tonight, they believe is extremely helpful to them. They say that they will worry about John McCain at a later time.
OLBERMANN: David Shuster is at Huckabee headquarters for us. Thank you, David. We have a quote now from John McCain about this projected victory tonight. Let me read it to you; “we showed the people of this country,” says the senator, “what a real comeback looks like. We‘re going to move on to Michigan and South Carolina and win the nomination.” So spin with victory, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Yes, well John McCain apparently has won tonight in New Hampshire. You have to wonder whether that just doesn‘t—remember that game of 52 card pick up, where you just throw the cards in the air? One guy wins in Iowa, one in New Hampshire, perhaps Romney comes back in Michigan, perhaps Huckabee wins in South Carolina, perhaps Rudy wins in Florida. We could have a really flat field going right through to February 5th.
OLBERMANN: Or it‘s some sort of tournament, only we don‘t know how many times you lose before you get knocked out. Right? Is Romney still in this? Is a Michigan victory absolutely essential? We heard Tim Russert reporting before that today, they made advertising buys in Michigan as a last stance, really, and that some other people—Tom Brokaw was suggesting—some people told Romney, don‘t go to Michigan. The danger of you losing is much more than you losing any shot at this nomination. It could hurt you long term.
MATTHEWS: I don‘t think he‘ll run again after this. I think that this will be the time for a close out sale. I think he‘ll go right through to Michigan, spend whatever money he needs to get one more shot at it. By the way, if he does win in Michigan, he‘s once again in the battle of those who have won one primary. In his case, he picked up the Wyoming victory as well.
Let‘s bring in the panel, MSNBC‘s Joe Scarborough, “Newsweek‘s” Howard Fineman, “The Washington Post‘s” Eugene Robinson and “The Nations” Katrina Vanden Heuvel.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thank you, Chris. All I can say is, if Mitt Romney is having people calling him up, saying, get out of the race, take them off of speed dial. Block their emails. They‘re idiots. This race is wide open.
Look, you have Huckabee winning in Iowa. You have McCain winning in New Hampshire. Where McCain goes from here, a hundred dollars for anybody that tells me that. You probably get Romney winning in Michigan. Then you go to South Carolina, Fred Thompson is already down there. Guess what he‘s doing tonight, attacking Huckabee.
This race is so wide open, Katrina. Did John McCain start something big, a great comeback, or is tonight a stay of execution.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, “THE NATION”: I think it was a stay of execution. You talk about field wide open. I would talk again about a party that is in disarray, that doesn‘t know where it is heading. You‘re looking ahead to some really bitter internal struggles. McCain is a heretic in his party.
SCARBOROUGH: He is a heretic in his party. You have a guy that has the most liberal voting record on immigration. You‘ve got the guy that‘s got the most liberal voting record on tax cuts.
HEUVEL: He‘s sane on the opposition to torture. He‘s hitched his fortune to Bush‘s surge, which the spin is it‘s doing well, which it isn‘t. Anyone who talks about being in Iraq for 100 to 1,000 years or a military man—how can you be a military man and talk in those ways? It‘s the most reckless undermining of the military.
SCARBOROUGH: I don‘t want to speak ill of John McCain tonight. We congratulate him. He‘s an American hero. You know what? This is great for everybody that said he was buried six months ago. I‘m happy for John McCain tonight. Where does he go again. This guy teamed up. Republicans, in a close primary won‘t forget, he and Ted Kennedy were the ones pushing that immigration bill. He was one of two Republicans that voted against George Bush‘s tax cuts, which Republicans think are one of the few things that George Bush did right.
EUGENE ROBINSON, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: I think the question is, Joe, who was left standing at the end of the Republican process? I‘m not sure. Every candidate seems to have either a fatal flaw or be unacceptable, completely unacceptable to some component, some important component of the Republican coalition. So, I think you are going to see this hop scotch pattern.
Romney probably wins Michigan. Huckabee comes back in South Carolina. Fred Thompson could win somewhere. Maybe Rudy wins, maybe not. I think Rudy—even though this is kind of going according to plan with the others splitting these primaries and Rudy comes in, I fundamentally that‘s a bad plan, not to compete.
SCARBOROUGH: It may be a bad plan, but Howard Fineman, if you were to ask Rudy‘s people a month ago, hey Rudy, I‘ll tell you what we‘ll do, we‘ll let Huckabee win Iowa, we‘ll let McCain win New Hampshire. We‘ll let Romney win Michigan. We‘ll let somebody else win South Carolina. They would have been thrilled. This is great for Rudy Giuliani.
HOWARD FINEMAN, “NEWSWEEK”: It‘s perfect for Rudy, absolutely perfect for Rudy, if he‘s kept his money, if he‘s not spent it and he can get on the air big time in Florida. He could still win Florida.
SCARBOROUGH: Rudy‘s not concerned about John McCain. Rudy‘s concerned about Mitt Romney still, because he is the guy that‘s got the money. He‘s got the checkbook.
FINEMAN: So far what Mitt Romney is known for in this campaign is nasty ads. He‘s one of the nicest guys people knew in politics. All he has done is run nasty, negative ads. That‘s why he‘s finished second in both these places.
SCARBOROUGH: He‘s Mr. Olympics, right. The guy—
FINEMAN: He‘s not running on Mr. Olympics though.
SCARBOROUGH: They got the guy that was sitting with two silver medals right now and that‘s about as good as anybody in the field.
FINEMAN: Here‘s the reason why things are so divided in the Republican party; in the NBC exit polls, you have 51 percent of Republican voters saying they are either dissatisfied or angry about George Bush. Now what McCain is doing is he is taking advantage of the dissatisfaction, but also supports Bush militarily. That‘s he won this primary.
SCARBOROUGH: Again though, how many independents voted? Forty percent independents in New Hampshire. You go to a close state like Florida, I will guarantee you George Bush has got 65 to 70 percent approval ratings.
HEUVAL: On nasty ads, Swift Boat is coming back. Swift Boating defined 2004, when you think about smearing, and Swift Boats have come back and they have given 60,000 to McCain and 70,000 to Romney, which is an ominous sign heading into the general election.
SCARBOROUGH: You know what I wonder? I wonder where James Carville is going to get his money after tonight, because James Carville‘s already written the memo and he‘s going to tell Hillary to go on the attack. You talk about some Swift Boating, we‘re going to get on both sides.
FINEMAN: It‘s going to be the swift armada.
SCARBOROUGH: We will see if it crashes on the rocks of reality. Chris Matthews, the only thing tonight has done, you‘re exactly right, 52 card pick up. It looks right now like Rudy Giuliani wins as well as John McCain.
MATTHEWS: I‘m looking at some of the early vote here. It‘s a possibility that Ron Paul could overtake Rudy Giuliani at this point. It‘s so interesting. They are both about eight to nine points there. Very, very close with only 13 percent of the vote in. I can see a huge story there of Ron Paul, the libertarian, is able to overtake Rudy Giuliani. That is going to very much damage his Florida scenario, his big state scenario.
Let‘s check in right now with David Gregory in New Hampshire, David.
DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, it‘s very interesting, you look at John McCain‘s projected victory here and the composition of the vote here in New Hampshire. While he wins among independents. As we‘ve been talking about, 40 percent of the vote up here, that breaks strongly for John McCain. But I‘ll be really interested to see the real breakdown on the Republican side. Among Republicans in New Hampshire, who, by the way, tend to be more moderate than they will be in primary states. That‘s where it‘s been a tougher fight between McCain and Romney.
That gives Romney some encouragement as he goes on, goes on to Michigan, which he said he will do, which Mrs. Romney has said he will do. I interviewed Governor Romney the other day. He said no matter what happens here, he presses on. He has the checkbook and there‘s enough of the chaos theory within the Republican race that he thinks he can keep going for now.
The fight then becomes for John McCain, as it was in 2000, can he win among Republicans? That‘s the fight down in Florida. Can he also make the case, by the way, as he has started to do here, that is the one who can best take on a Democratic opponent. The exit polling here indicates that he is much better suited to do that than Governor Romney.
OLBERMANN: David, there‘s your lady and the tiger argument here about the independents. We were faced with this thing with Obama in Iowa last week for the Democrats, and now this number is going to come up again. Is it—there‘s a double edged sword here. If it‘s mostly independents who have propelled McCain to victory tonight, the other Republicans can then say, we are more likely to get the nomination that he is.
Is not the point, whether you are McCain or Obama or Bloomberg or whoever else might be running in this thing in the fall—is not the point of the general election to get those independents that are now showing up for John McCain tonight and showed up for Barack Obama in Iowa last week and for all we know, did so tonight in New Hampshire as well.
GREGORY: You said it, Keith. It‘s a double edged sword. As much as a candidate like John McCain wants to make the general election argument, say, hey guys, the Republican party is in trouble, if you haven‘t seen the polls. George W. Bush—look at the exit polling in New Hampshire, how dissatisfied, 49 percent of Republicans dissatisfied with the Bush administration, 93 percent of Democrats. We need to think about the general election.
But you had Tom Delay on earlier tonight and his talking about conservative principles and getting the party back there. Down in South Carolina, in states like Michigan, as you go through the south, the party wants to get back to its conservative roots. Conservative members of the party are the ones who are going to show up in large numbers in some of these other states outside of New Hampshire in these primaries. Those are the ones that John McCain has to demonstrate he can carry. It‘s not just a vote for independents, he has to be able to carry his own people in his own party.
That‘s why we still have so much of an open race on the Republican side. You talked about Rudy Giuliani waiting in the wings. Mike Huckabee who is really a evangelical candidate right now, if you look at the exit poll numbers so far here. It would be interesting to see the final raw numbers here. He goes down to South Carolina and makes the stand there.
So you have a Republican race that is so divided, where you have got individual candidates playing to individual strengths within the Republican constituency, nobody coalescing just yet.
OLBERMANN: David Gregory at NBC News headquarters in Manchester, we‘ll get back to you later tonight. David, thank you. Let me do the read again, exactly how we‘re characterizing these things. In the New Hampshire Democratic primary, Obama and Clinton in a tight race which is too close to call. That was the advisory from our decision desk at 8:00 Eastern time.
On the Republican side, it is now McCain, the projected winner. We‘re getting a few more hard numbers coming in. There‘s the projection of McCain winning the Republican side of things. That with about 14 percent reporting. He has 37 percent of the vote to Romney‘s 28 percent. So the hard numbers are a little early, but the projection is there for the Republicans and not the Democrats.
When we come back, Norah O‘Donnell with more on the exit polling on why McCain won. You‘re watching MSNBC‘s live coverage of the New Hampshire primaries. We continue after this.
OLBERMANN: This is MSNBC‘s coverage of the New Hampshire primaries. Half of the field has been decided. John McCain is our projected winner. After a hard fought battle in which he replaced then leader Mitt Romney in the polls, the hard numbers, with 15 percent of the precincts reporting. Heavy turnout for the Republicans. Even heavier for the Republicans. Thirty-seven to Romney‘s 28 and Huckabee‘s 12. And the second tier candidates including Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul battling for the scraps at around 10 percent or less. The Democrats, characterized by NBC News and the decision desk has a tight race and too early to call. Going against the earlier polling. The one advisory, as you watch this, in a virtual tie. The difference of less than 2,000 votes. Much of the expectation of the Obama camp was that the younger Democratic would be showing up later on in the day. That‘s the argument at this point.
What we have in terms of hard numbers includes exit polling, MSNBC‘s Norah O‘Donnell is tracking the exit polling with some insight back into that Republican decision that has already been determined. Why McCain has won, Norah?
NORAH O‘DONNELL, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: It was a very big win for John McCain. We‘ve been crunching the numbers to find out just why he won. You can tell from the exit polls tonight what made the difference. He was the leader on voter judgments about his ability to handle international situations. Almost have of GOP voters decided either the war on Iraq or terrorism as the most important issue facing the country. And McCain led by a large margin among both of those groups of voters. Of the Republican voters that said Iraq was the issue, McCain beat Romney two to one. Among those who mentioned terrorism, again McCain took those voters with a percentage of 43 to Romney‘s 24 percent.
We also saw big move to McCain with voters today who said he was best able to become the commander in chief. And of course one of the reasons we saw Mitt Romney did not do better, they say he ran the most unfair campaign. See that, thirty percent right there. Also, McCain‘s success was made by the independent voters. About four in ten of GOP voters were independent. He won that group by a sizable margin.
And Keith, I heard you talking about this earlier with David Gregory. What about those registers republicans? He just edged out Mitt Romney, among the Republicans, it was very, very close. But McCain did win according to these exit polls among Republicans as well. Much larger when it came to those independents. They helped make the big difference.
OLBERMANN: Exactly what we saw last week in Iowa with the Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton. The victory was within the party but also expanded by those independents.
Norah O‘Donnell tracking the exit polls for us. Let us hit on that. The dangerous international voter situation. With Rachel Maddow who is here in New York and Pat Buchanan who is in New Hampshire, all right, Pat, interpret these numbers, then Rachel, you reinterpret them. On Iraq is two to one favorite over Romney on handling Iraq. On terror, McCain was about one and three quarters favorite over Romney.
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC ANALYST: That‘s very bad news for Rudy Giuliani who would be relying on the terrorism in Florida which is his last chance state. This was an out standing victory for McCain. It‘s a decisive victory and I think it carries him forward into Michigan and into South Carolina where Huckabee is clearly the front-runner right now. Romney has two second place finishes and one win out in Iowa Keith and Michigan becomes very important because I don‘t think Romney can win South Carolina. But this is a wide open race still. If they all get to February 5, I think it‘s really undecided. You notice how Huckabee was enthusiastic about McCain‘s win. I think that‘s because he feels that in the longer run, McCain can be beaten out there in Republican primaries, but it might be tougher with Mitt Romney.
But Romney has got to start looking for her first win.
RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA: What I think is interesting, Pat, a lot of the times these are decided not necessarily on what the largest number of voters think, but which voters feel some so intensely they can be counted on to turn out and vote in great numbers on it. If Republican voters are going to make the primary based on the war and on terrorism and not on domestic issues, it‘s very bad for Mike Huckabee, that‘s very bad for Mitt Romney. It‘s good for both McCain and Giuliani in their respective states.
But heading into Michigan, looking at the Michigan polls right now, the “Detroit News” has Romney up by two, MRG has McCain up by three and Rasmussen has Huckabee up by one. So heading into Michigan, it‘s as wide open as it can be. It may come down to what Republican voters think is the most important issue, not which candidate they think has more negative adds or something.
BUCHANAN: Right, and in Michigan, you have your economic troubles there. It‘s one of the few states that really has seen unemployment rise. But I will say this. If Republicans are thinking about foreign policy and defense, they are going to go now I think for McCain. And this suggests the kind of presidential campaign McCain would run which would be very hard line against the Democrats who want to get out of Iraq. That would be his key issue.
And the country, of course, is very much in favor of not losing in Iraq, but getting out of Iraq. This thing is really tossed up in the air. No question, John McCain is back and he‘s a serious candidate for the nomination. It‘s a three way race - go ahead .
MADDOW: What I think it‘s really going to be interesting to watch. If it comes down to the war on terrorism being the issue for Republican voters, how are Giuliani and McCain going to run against each other? McCain is essentially running as the guy who has been around for a long time who has personal military experience. Giuliani is running as the mayor of 9/11. But they have both all but 100 percent endorse President Bush‘s way of dealing with both terrorism and the war. So they can‘t be change candidates on that issue.
BUCHANAN: On that face off now, I would give it to McCain for this reason. The victory in New Hampshire. The momentum going into South Carolina. And also the very fact that I think McCain on defense issues and foreign policy issues is very, very strong. Whereas Giuliani is a terrorism issue almost alone. So if it comes down to a battle- the two will split the vote, but I would bet McCain will come in higher than Rudy Giuliani.
MADDOW: We‘ll have to see it but I think those two fighting is going to be fun to watch.
OLBERMANN: All right. Pat Buchanan, all right. Rachel Maddow. Of course the one caveat with all of that is the number one issue according to the exit polling for Republicans in New Hampshire, like the number one issue for Democrats, not counterterrorism, not immigration, not George Bush‘s presidency, but the economy. We‘ll see how that continues this idea of 52 card pick up in the Republican side of events.
As we mentioned, although McCain is the projected winner on the Republican side. The Democratic race is still too close to call. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the two senators, with Hillary Clinton in the numerical lead with 17 percent of the votes in as you can read the numbers, I‘m just being redundant right here. That‘s it. Too close to call. Also those who were expecting a continuing wave from Iowa for Barack Obama, it has not happened. At least it has not happened yet. There is no projection at this point. And we don‘t know when there will be one.
MATTHEWS: Let‘s bring in right now Ed Rendell, the governor of Pennsylvania. He was of course chairman of the Democratic Party back in the last presidential election, actually two presidential elections ago, Governor Rendell, I‘m not going to ask you whether or not Hillary Clinton should throw in the towel or not because it looks like it‘s wide open tonight.
GOV. ED RENDELL, (D) PA: It is. I remember when I ran for governor, in ‘86, first 15 percent of the statewide vote was Philadelphia, I was up like 12 points. One of my volunteers, Vicky Delio (ph) from New York got in the car because she wanted to come to the victory party. By the time she got to the top of the Scuco Expressway (ph), I was down 15 points. So you don‘t know. It‘s awful early.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about the Democratic Party. The good news for you governor as a Democrat is the turnout. Something stirred in the Democratic Party. The combination of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, we can take to the bank, has excited the voters.
RENDELL: There‘s no question about that. I think our voters are pumped for two reasons. One, because they want to replace George Bush and what they believe a continuum with any Republican presidential candidate.
And two, there‘s real enthusiasm obviously for Barack Obama. You‘ve seen that and it‘s extraordinary. But don‘t underestimate the enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton. That enthusiasm exists for women, that enthusiasm exists for a lot of people who benefited by the Clinton years in the White House.
So whoever emerges as our candidate, there‘s a strong wave. I feel very good. Again, it‘s 10 months away, but I feel good sitting here as a Democrat.
OLBERMANN: Do you worry, governor, about answers to questions about that. Last week after Iowa we had John Edwards on my show. And asked him particularly if the headline out of Iowa wasn‘t a 91 percent growth in turnout from the year 2004, and obviously he has his own race to run but he said no, it‘s about change candidates. Can you turn a light switch on and off the Democratic unity? Does it go back on at some point or do you worry sometimes it may stick in the off position if it‘s put in that position?
RENDELL: That‘s a good point Chris, I mean Keith. But under normal circumstances, I‘d agree with you. But this year the desire among rank and file Democrats, and among a lot of independents, too, to get rid of the Bush administration, and get a progressive administration back into power, it‘s so strong that I believe, look, you‘re not going to see a wave for 10 months, but I think you‘re going to see steady enthusiasm and real passion.
I look for 2008 to be an all time, at least a modern day record.
MATTHEWS: Hillary Clinton would have said, maybe a couple weeks ago, the idea of a first woman president and the first African-American vice president serving together was unbelievable. But when you look at the excitement for Barack Obama as I and the other reporters saw in New Hampshire, as you look at the results our of Iowa and the unclear results tonight but the fact that the national polls show Hillary and Obama very close, you think maybe this could be a ticket. Why not? Why do we think so traditionally and say one has to win and one has to go home?
RENDELL: You‘re absolutely, Chris. Remember, when Bill Clinton picked Al Gore, that was political heresy. You don‘t pick two people from neighboring states. Never done before. And yet it turned out to be a pretty dynamic ticket that energized Democrats and independents throughout the country so I‘m not saying it‘s impractical. My hope is, and I‘ve been listening to you guys for a couple days now, my hope is if it is close tonight and if it has a long life, this primary battle, that it doesn‘t turn nasty. Because if it turns nasty, that would be hard to construct a ticket based on Obama and Clinton.
There are a wealth of good candidates. If Barack Obama was our candidate, I think Joe Biden with his foreign policy and terrorism experience would be perfect. We have got a whole host of good candidates.
MATTHEWS: You‘d be actually better. Because you‘re very good at slicing up the opposition. The Democrats have not been well served by their last two vice presidential nominees. Neither Al Gore, neither Joe Lieberman certainly. They‘ve certainly been wanting to join the club Dick Cheney was the boss of or John Edwards who was running for his own campaign four years hence. Neither wanted to play the role of the VP nominee which you know to take apart the nominee for the presidency of the other party. If you don‘t do that job, you don‘t really deserve to get the big one, do you?
RENDELL: I think that‘s right, Chris. Politics is obviously a contact sport. But you have to take them apart fairly and on substance. I think if you look at the poll, the Romney polls from tonight, 30 percent of the people who voted were turned off by those ads. The ads have to be substantial and they have got to point out real problems. You have to be able to say, hey, guys, do we want to go back to the days when a woman was forced to have an abortion in the back alley with a hanger? You don‘t want to do that. Do you want to have health care for all Americans and contain health care costs? Those are things you have to point out.
And there are weaknesses in what I believe the approach has been of the bush administration. I haven‘t heard of a difference among any of the candidate about a different approach.
MATTHEWS: You‘re making my point. You‘d be a great VP running mate.
RENDELL: There you go.
OLBERMANN: All right. Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, great. We‘re going to cut away and go to Romney headquarters where the man who is going to finish second tonight in New Hampshire is about to address his supporters.
Former governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts.
MITT ROMNEY, ® PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you so very much. I spent the last 45 minutes writing some very carefully thought out notes on exactly what I want to say right here. But there‘s no podium. So I‘m not going to use that. I‘ll just tell you things I feel from my heart. Well, another silver. It‘s not another gold but I got another silver. Now there have been three—there have been three races so far. I‘ve gotten two silvers and one gold.
Thank you Wyoming - and but tonight, congratulations go to Senator John McCain for running a first class race, congratulations on the gold, senator, great job. Let‘s give him a round of applause.
I know, we‘d rather have it. But he did a good job and out-competed us. I want to say thanks to you for the work you have done. Particularly my national chair here, Senator Judd Gregg (ph) and his wife Cathy Gregg (ph) who is my state co-chair. Where‘s Bruce Keogh (ph), my other state co-chair, where‘s Bruce? He‘s over here. Normally, we have our chairs on the stage with us, not serving the soft drinks. Come on up here, Bruce.
And of course, there‘s Bruce. Thank you, Bruce. Our campaign manager. Where‘s Jim Merrill? Come on up here Jim Merrill. Get up her Jim. You all know, my sweetheart Ann. And all of my family is here with us.
There‘s been quite an experience for us. It‘s been quite an experience for us, I‘ll tell you. We thought we knew New Hampshire. But now we really know New Hampshire with almost 250 events we‘ve done across the state, we‘ve learned why it is that New Hampshire is the first primary in the nation. There‘s a reason for it.
The people in this state get really to know the candidates, ask them questions, learn about their heart and their character. People in New Hampshire hoped their hearts and homes to us and for that we will always be grateful. Thank you so much, New Hampshire.
You know, in all those events, as we‘ve listened to so many people across the state, we hear time and time again a similar message. And that is that people are frustrated and they are concerned about the future of our country, particularly our leadership in Washington. They feel that Washington is broken and they‘ve heard time and again promises that haven‘t been fulfilled by Washington. They‘ve heard they are going to stop illegal immigration, but they haven‘t. They‘ve heard Washington say that they are going to get us off of our dependence on foreign oil, but they haven‘t. They‘ve heard Washington say that they‘re going to get people insured that don‘t have health insurance, but they haven‘t.
They have heard Washington say they are going to improve the schools and make them the best in the world, but they haven‘t. They‘ve heard Washington say they are going to protect our jobs and make sure that the jobs that we have are the best in the world but they haven‘t done it. They‘ve heard Washington say they‘re going to balance the budget, but they haven‘t done that.
They have heard Washington say that they are going to make life easier on the middle class and reduce the burdens on the middle class but they haven‘t.
You‘ve finally got it, didn‘t you?
And I believe it‘s time to send somebody to Washington who will actually get the job done.
Thanks, you guys. I don‘t think it‘s going to get done by Washington insiders. That sending insiders back to Washington, just to change different chairs. That‘s not going to get the job done. I think you have to have somebody from outside Washington who‘s proven he can get it done in one setting after another.
And as you know, I had the privilege of working in the private sector for 25 years and helped with a number of other of people to make businesses stronger. Not every time successful. I learned from the successes and the failures, and then went off to the Olympics and again with a great team of people helped make that successful. And then in the position as governor of Massachusetts got the chance to make that state more successful. We did something no one thought would be possible. We did get health care on track for the citizens in our state, balanced the budget all four years. Rebuilt our rainy day fund.
I‘ve been able to get the job done. And I don‘t care who gets the credit. Republican or Democrat. I have got no scores to settle. I don‘t worry about who‘s going to be the hero and who‘s not going to be. I want to make sure that the America that this family inherits and your family inherits and it remains strong and the hope of the earth. This is the greatest nation on earth.
This—this—this is the greatest nation on earth, not because of our beautiful landscape, but because of the American people but the heart and character of the American people and the things they believe. The fact that Americans believe in hard work. The fact that Americans love opportunity and they love it above dependents on government. The fact that Americans are willing to take a risk for the future and sacrifice for their families that we are a family oriented people. The fact that by and large Americans believe in God and even those who don‘t believe in God believe in something bigger than themselves. The fact that Americans are patriotic. I will strengthen America as your president.
When I come back here next November I will fight across this nation, on to Michigan and South Carolina and Florida and Nevada and states after that.
I‘ll fight to be back here in November in those states and in others. But I‘ll also fight to make sure we strengthen this great country by strengthening our families and our homes where our kids learn the American values by strengthening our economy.
Look, if people wonder what direction America is going to head if they choose a Democratic leader like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, all they have to do is look at a state like Michigan which has had Democratic leadership, where taxes have been going up and jobs have been going and where the industries are struggling.
We want to make sure we strengthen our economy. And finally where we strengthen our military to make sure we‘re safe here at home and abroad. I will strengthen America and I will stand up for the values we believe in. I will make sure America is as it has always been the hope of the earth.
Thank you so much. Thank you.
OLBERMANN: Just 300 days to go till the election. Mitt Romney who finished second left out one detail that prior to tonight no Massachusetts senator or governor had ever lost a New Hampshire primary. He has. He‘s conceded to John McCain who the projections are will win the primary.
On the Democratic side of things, we do not have a winner. We do not have a projected winner. We have early hard numbers coming out of the voting, as you see with 24 percent reported now, it‘s a six point lead for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama which would come to be good news, one would suppose, to Ann Lewis, the senior advisor to the Clinton campaign who joins us now with those hard numbers. Thanks for your time tonight, Ann.
That has to be good news no matter what part of that holds up, it‘s got to be good news for you.
ANN LEWIS, CLINTON CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISOR: Listen, it is good news.
We‘ve been having good news for the last three days in New Hampshire. Hillary‘s been getting great crowds and a terrific response. She‘s been talking to people about the difference between talk and action. We have a number of good candidates on the Democrat side who say the right thing. We only have one candidate who‘s been out there doing the right thing.
And Hillary is talking to New Hampshire voters as she will be across the country about what she‘s done and the difference she‘s made. We want them to know you‘ll know what she‘ll do as president because you‘re going to know what she‘s done.
OLBERMANN: That construction, which she used a lot yesterday and presumably did today throughout the state, does that have, is that something of a razor‘s edge to dance on, when she ties it in as she did yesterday to preparations for counterterrorism for the next president?
LEWIS: No, not at all. I think it‘s a strong place to turn on. For most people I know it‘s a matter of common sense. If you‘re asking someone, can you do this important job? Remember, we‘re picking the next president of the United States. And these are tough times. Look at what‘s happening to the economy. Look at the challenges in international policy. When we decide who we want to be the next president, you want to be sure we are choosing the person who is up for the job. One of the best ways I know to make that decision is look at their track record. Look at what they‘ve done. And for people who say we have to change the direction of this country, Hillary is ready to say, look at the change I‘ve made already and you can see the kind of changes I‘m going to make.
OLBERMANN: Ann Lewis of the Clinton campaign as we close out another hour of coverage. Thanks for standing by with us, Ann. We are waiting now as the Republicans back up like delayed flights at Logan Airport. We are waiting comments from Governor Huckabee and from Senator McCain, who we pointed has won.
In the interim, Tom Brokaw joins us now for this six percent, no five percent now Clinton lead over Obama with a quarter of the vote in.
Is the fact hat we still have a horse race at this point a nominal victory for Hillary Clinton no matter what happens from here, Tom?
TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: I think we have to wait until we get more returns than this. But trends indicate that it‘s going to be a very, very close race. And after all she‘s been through in the last 48 hours, and the projections that it could be a blowout for Barack Obama including projections for some of her ardent supporters who backstage and in hushed tones were saying I think she‘s an excellent candidate. They were bailing on her earlier today. If she pulls it off or comes as close as it appears that she is very likely to come, then we‘ll hear from Bill and Hillary Clinton about being the comeback kids and this country deserves a longer dialogue.
Yes, I do think that she‘s found new life here tonight if these patterns hold up and all the indications are that they will. It‘s going to be a long evening, but it appears it‘s going to be also a very tight race.
And it‘s one of the reasons we all love politics. When the founding fathers rejected the idea of British supremacy in this country, we decided then we wouldn‘t have coronations, we said we‘d still have elections. And we‘re having an election tonight.
MATTHEWS: Do you think this protects the jobs of those running Hillary‘s campaign? So much talk about Mark Penn‘s jobs insecurity. Do you think this will keep their jobs, if it‘s this close?
BROKAW: I don‘t know. I think that‘s probably an issue for the campaigns, not the voters. But I do think, Chris, is what I‘ve said repeatedly as I think I‘m sure we‘ve seen in the past. My favorite theory in American politics which has always served me well, the unforeseen will occur. You have to keep that in mind. And with this very tight race tonight we‘re seeing one more example of the UFO victory.
John McCain‘s victory last summer, as much as I‘ve admired John for his personal courage, I thought his campaign was over. Here he wins New Hampshire and goes on from here. I do think that the country wants a dialogue about these very important issues before us. A new president will have a war on two fronts. Will likely have a tough economy. Here‘s what‘s going now with Governor Huckabee who is ...
MIKE HUCKABEE, ® PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I love you guys. Thank you, very much. I have a great, great friend who is highly decorated Marine from Vietnam. He made a statement once, he said, I‘ve never lost at anything I‘ve done. He said sometimes the game ended before I got finished playing.
Tonight, I was able to call Governor Romney and Senator McCain and congratulate them on finishing ahead of us. But, ladies and gentlemen, a few weeks ago, we were in not even sixth place. And nobody thought we would even be one of the contenders in New Hampshire.
MIKE HUCKABEE ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And nobody thought that we would even be one of the contenders in New Hampshire. But something over the past...
HUCKABEE: But because so many people in this state just worked their hearts out—and it wasn‘t like we had a whole lot of money to help you with. So you made up for it with hard work, phone calls, e-mails.
Frankly, I‘m not sure what all some of you did. I don‘t even want to know. But thank you for getting it done, because tonight, we‘re going to come out here with the continued momentum.
And I want to just tell you from the depths of my heart that we thought that if we could finish in the top—we kept saying four or five, we‘d feel pretty good about that, knowing just how tough it‘s been to try to break through. But tonight, you‘ve given us so much more than we could have imagined just a few days or weeks ago.
And over the last few days, we‘ve seen that momentum build, and the excitement at our rallies, and the enthusiasm of our people, and the size of the crowds. And we sensed that we were going to do better than a lot of people thought, that this old unknown southern boy could possibly do up here in New England.
Janet and I want to pay—just pay special tribute to our leaders here, Fred Bramante and Cliff Hurst, our co-chairmen here, have been magnificent, and from the first day they signed on. My heartfelt thanks to them for a great job of leading our campaign here.
Thank you, guys. Thank you.
And Fred does want me to remind everybody that today is Elvis‘ birthday.
So I just wanted to throw that in.
To all these wonderful people on the stage with me from New Hampshire who have given their—not just their time, but, really, they‘ve put their reputations on the line for us. And, you know, when they came on board, you have to understand, people were saying, you‘re going to endorse who?
And I want to say how much I appreciate the people in New Hampshire for standing with us. And it wasn‘t because that they could see a few weeks ago some obvious victory. It was because they saw, in this country, the opportunity to really bring the kind of leadership that you and I all know. We really need to take America up and not down, and that‘s what we‘re going to continue to do.
So many others, Senator Bob Clegg, has headed up our legislative effort.
And I hope Bob is up on this stage.
Thank you, Bob, for a great job. Where were you a while ago?
But all over this state, people like you and others who couldn‘t even be here with us in Manchester tonight, certainly recognized the incredible, hard work that‘s been put forth. Ladies and gentlemen, we‘ve had the time of our lives.
If there‘s any sadness tonight, it‘s not where we finished, because, frankly, we‘re pretty happy about that.
But there is some sadness. And let me share what it is.
Over the past year or so, I‘ve had the incredible joy of making regular visits in and out of New Hampshire. And it got to be where I just knew I was going to be up here two or three times a month, and I‘d get to see what has become really not just some casual acquaintances and some friends, but people that have grown as close as family. And I want to tell you something. I always had thought that southern hospitality was extraordinary and special, and I thought that it was unique to those of us who live in the Deep South.
You guys have proven to me that love, friendship, kindness, hospitality and family is not geographical. And tonight, I want to express to you, from the depths of my heart, the appreciation that Janet and I feel for all that you have done to make us feel like we‘re part of you. And you‘re part of us.
And we‘re going to miss coming back over and over every month. But let me tell you something, we‘re going to be back in New Hampshire, because after we secure the nomination, we have got to come up here and make sure we carry New Hampshire.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did I tell you about a summer home?
HUCKABEE: And I promise, if we keep coming, I‘ll even learn how to say chowda.
One final word. Deb Vanderbeek has been our campaign manager here in New Hampshire and has been more than magnificent. She put together a great staff, and they did more work with fewer people than anybody‘s campaign could ever have imagined and hoped for.
I told her tonight before we came out, I said, “Deb, if I had it all to do over, I would want to make sure you know that I wouldn‘t ask anybody to manage this campaign in this state other than you.”
And I thank you so much, Deb, for a great job.
We may even get a halfway decent night‘s sleep tonight. We sure are feeling better about you guys.
And then from here, we‘re going to head to South Carolina. We‘ll be down there in Greenville. A big rally to kick off in Michigan, in South Carolina, in Florida in the next three days. What you help us continue will be carried right on through. And it won‘t be long we‘re going to be able to secure this nomination and on to the White House and on to leading America.
Thank you, folks! God bless you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
KEITH OLBERMANN, CO-HOST: Just 301 days until the actual election.
That‘s Governor Mike Huckabee, third place finisher in New Hampshire. Invokes Elvis Presley and almost everybody except the guy who used to bring Elvis his scarves and his water, Charlie Hodge (ph).
That third place, we‘re assuming, is solid, even though 30 percent of the vote, Huckabee has 12 percent to Giuliani‘s 9 percent and Ron Paul‘s 8 percent. That probably will hold.
There‘s the front three among the Republicans. McCain the winner. That‘ has been projected. And Romney has already conceded. Now Huckabee is in third place.
We‘re expecting Mr. McCain shortly. And of course, the Democratic side.
Here‘s the back half. Rudy Giuliani, slightly ahead of Ron Paul, which might be the second most interesting number of the night, where that turns out.
And then on the Democratic side, with 32 percent of the vote in, it is Hillary Clinton by 4 percent now. The difference at 28-17. The percentages, 40-35. And this one characterized by NBC News as too close to call for an hour and seven minutes since the polls closed. We have not had an answer to this one.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, CO-HOST: You know, it really begins to look like an election here.
MATTHEWS: Elections that take time, they grow slowly, like an old Polaroid film. Gradually taking shape.
It is about three to four points throughout the last hour or so. It does seem to be taking shape here. You don‘t see much shift now in the margin after all the votes have been counted now, up to 32 percent of the vote reporting.
I do find that number by Giuliani fascinating. As you said, some of these third and fourth places matter.
Here‘s Giuliani. I was watching him today on television going around to all the voting booths, checking with people, trying to get a few more—scrounge a few more votes, if you will. And I realized that that 300 or 500 votes he was scrounging by just personal contact may have saved his butt, because if he had come in behind Ron Paul today, that would have been a real embarrassment going into the Florida strategy.
OLBERMANN: Well, and right now...
MATTHEWS: It‘s already pretty far back.
OLBERMANN: Right now, his margin—and again, less than a third of the vote in—his margin is literally 399 votes ahead of Ron Paul.
MATTHEWS: Right. I mean, it‘s not exactly a lot to bet on when you‘re saying that‘s what protects him from oblivion here, because the one after that on the count here is Fred Thompson.
OLBERMANN: Is Fred Thompson.
MATTHEWS: Who gathered about 600, 700 votes today with little campaigning.
So Rudy did almost as badly as you can do up here in New Hampshire.
OLBERMANN: And yet, Tom Brokaw, who rejoins us as we await Senator McCain‘s triumphant speech, if not victory speech, per se, it still maps out to some degree as a good night for Rudy Giuliani as long as he does not come in, in fifth place behind Ron Paul, correct?
TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS: Well, it depends on, I suppose, how you define “good”.
He has not made any showing in Iowa and New Hampshire. In the immediate trail ahead of us, he is not strongly positioned, certainly in Michigan. In South Carolina, he still has some standing there, although he had very early difficulties with his campaign and his campaign manager.
So he‘s playing a big game here hoping that Florida will be his firewall. The question is, how high will the flames be by the time it gets to Florida?
John McCain will come out of here very rejuvenated tonight. It‘s clear that Romney doesn‘t want to give up the fight.
And every time I look at Huckabee, I think of how appealing he must be to so many people in the Republican Party. He‘s charming. He has the kinds of conservative credentials that many of them like on moral values. And he also talks as much as Obama about changing the culture in Washington.
So, it seems likely, given the way the calendar is now taking shape, that Huckabee could stay in this fight.
I think up Giuliani has got some difficulties. I think I said earlier this week that one of the things that has hurt Giuliani is that the war in Iraq seems to be going better. The possibility of a terrorists attack in this country is not as high in the concerns of people as other issues, like the economy, for example, and changing Washington.
And then, he had that long run of very bad news about his personal comportment as mayor that had nothing to do with 9/11, having to do with security for his girlfriend, and also for some of the activities for Giuliani and Associates which came out of 9/11.
MATTHEWS: Tom, stay with us.
We‘re going to hear right now—we‘re all waiting, of course, for John McCain to give the real victory speech. We heard the runner-up and the second runner-up give their victory speeches. The real winner of today‘s New Hampshire Republican primary is yet to come.
Here he is right now as I speak, John McCain and Cindy McCain, to accept victory.
CROWD: John McCain! John McCain! John McCain!
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you, all.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
CROWD: Mac is back! Mac is back! Mac is back! Mac is back! Mac is back! Mac is back!
MCCAIN: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
First, I‘d like to thank my wife Cindy and my seven children...
MCCAIN: ... and all of our campaign team who did such a wonderful job.
And I‘m very grateful.
My friends, you know, I‘m past the age when I can claim the noun “kid,” no matter what adjective precedes it. But tonight, we sure showed them what a comeback looks like.
CROWD: Mac is back! Mac is back! Mac is back!
MCCAIN: Thank you. Thank you.
When the pundits declared us finished, I told them, I‘m going to New Hampshire, where the voters don‘t let you make their decision for them. And when they asked, how you going to do it? You‘re down in the polls, you don‘t have the money. I answered, “I‘m going to New Hampshire and I‘m going to tell people the truth.”
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MCCAIN: We came back here to this wonderful state we‘ve come to trust and love. And we had just one strategy, to tell you what I believe.
I didn‘t just tell you what the polls said you wanted to hear. I didn‘t tell you what I knew to be false. I didn‘t try to spin you.
I just talked to the people of New Hampshire. I talked about the country we love, the many challenges we face together, and the great promise that is ours to achieve—the work that awaits us in this hour, on our watch, to defend our country from its enemies, to advance the ideals that are our greatest strengths, to increase the prosperity and opportunities of all Americans, and to make in our time, as each preceding American generation has, another, better world than the one we inherited.
MCCAIN: I talked to the people of New Hampshire. I reasoned with you. I listened to you. I answered you. Sometimes, I argued with you.
But, I always told you the truth as best I can see the truth, and you did me the great honor of listening. Thank you, New Hampshire, from the...
CROWD: Mac is back! Mac is back! Mac is back!
MCCAIN: Thank you. Thank you, New Hampshire, from the bottom of my heart.
I‘m grateful and humbled and more certain than ever before that before I can win your vote, I must win your respect. And I must do that by being honest with you and then put my trust in your fairness and good judgment.
Tonight, we have taken a step. But only the first step toward repairing the broken politics of the past and restoring the trust of the American people and their government. The people of New Hampshire have told us again that they do not send us to Washington to serve our self-interest, but to serve theirs.
MCCAIN: They don‘t send us to fight each other for our own political ambitions, but to fight together our real enemies. They don‘t send us to Washington to stroke our egos, to keep this beautiful, bountiful, blessed country safe, prosperous and proud. They don‘t send us to Washington to take more of their money and waste it on things that add not an ounce to America‘s strength and prosperity.
They don‘t help a single family realize the dreams we all dream for our children. They don‘t help a single displaced worker find a new job, and the security and dignity it assures them. That won‘t keep the promise we make to young workers that the retirement they have begun to invest in will be there for them when they need it.
They don‘t send us to Washington to do their job, but to do ours.
MCCAIN: My friends—my friends, I didn‘t go to Washington to go along to get along or to play it safe to serve my own interests. I went there to serve my country.
MCCAIN: And that, my friends—and that my friends, is just what I intend to do, if I am so privileged to be elected your president.
CROWD: Mac is back! Mac is back!
John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain!
MCCAIN: Thank you.
I seek the nomination of a party that believes in the strength, industry and goodness of the American people. We don‘t believe that government has all the answers, but that it should respect the rights, property and opportunities of the people to whom we are accountable.
We don‘t believe in growing the size of government to make it easier to serve our own ambitions. But what government is expected to do it must do with competence, resolve and wisdom.
In recent years we have lost the trust of the people who share our principles, but doubt our allegiance to them. I seek the nomination of our party to restore that rust, to return our property—our party to the principles that have never failed Americans. The party of fiscal discipline, low taxes, enduring values, a strong and capable defense that encourages the enterprise and ingenuity of individuals, businesses and families who know best how to advance America‘s economy and secure the dreams that have made us the greatest nation in history.
MCCAIN: The work...
CROWD: USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!
MCCAIN: The work that we face in our time is great, but our opportunity is greater still. In a time of war, and the terrible sacrifices it entails, the promise of a better future is not always clear. But I promise you, my friends, we face no enemy no matter how cruel, and no challenge no matter how daunting, greater than the courage, patriotism and determination of Americans.
We are the makers of history, not its victims.
MCCAIN: And as we confront this enemy, the people privileged to serve in public office should not evade our mutual responsibility to defeat them because we are more concerned with personal or partisan ambition. Whatever the differences between us, so much more should unite us. And nothing—and nothing should unite us more closely than the imperative of defeating an enemy who despises us, our values, and modernity itself.
We must all pull together. All pull together in this critical hour and proclaim that the history of the world will not be determined by this unpardonable foe, but by the aspirations, ideals, faith and the courage of free people in this great, historic...
CROWD: USA! USA! USA!
MCCAIN: ... in this great historic task.
We will never surrender. They will.
CROWD: John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain!
MCCAIN: Thank you.
The results of the other party‘s primary is uncertain at this time tonight, but I want to congratulate all the campaigns in both parties. I salute the supporters of all the candidates who work so hard to achieve a success tonight and who believe so passionately in the promise of their candidate. And I want to assure them that, though I did not have their support, and though we may disagree from time to time on how to best advance America‘s interests and ideals, they have my genuine respect, for they have worked for a cause they believe is good for the country we all love, a cause greater than their self-interest.
My friends, I learned long ago that serving only one‘s self is a petty and unsatisfying ambition. But serve a cause greater than self-interest, and you will know a happiness far more sublime than the fleeting pleasure of fame and fortune. For me, that greater cause, it‘s always been my country, which I have served imperfectly for many years, but have loved without any reservation every day of my life.
MCCAIN: And however this campaign turns out—and I am more confident tonight that it will turn out much better than once expected....
CROWD: Mac is back! Mac is back! Mac is back! Mac is back! Mac is back!
MCCAIN: ... I am grateful beyond expression for the prospect that I might serve her a little while longer. And that gratitude imposes on me the responsibility to do nothing in this campaign that would make our country‘s problems harder to solve or that would cause Americans to despair that a candidates for the highest office in the land would think so little of the honor that he would put his own interests before theirs. I take that responsibility as my most solemn trust.
So, my friends—so, my friends, we celebrate one victory tonight and leave for Michigan tomorrow to win another.
CROWD: Michigan! Michigan! Michigan! Michigan! Michigan! Michigan!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love you!
MCCAIN: But let us remember—let us remember that our purpose is not ours alone. Our success is not an end in itself.
America is our cause—yesterday, today and tomorrow. Her greatness is our hope. Her strength is our protection.
Her ideals, our greatest treasure. Her prosperity, the promise we keep to our children. Her goodness, the hope of mankind.
That is the cause of our campaign and the platform of my party. And I will stay true to it, so help me God.
Thank you, New Hampshire. Thank you, my friends. And God bless you as you have—God bless you, as you have blessed me.
God bless you as you have blessed me. Enjoy this. You have earned it more than me. Tomorrow, we begin again.
OLBERMANN: Just 301 days until the presidential election. And John McCain -- 301.
Hush over there, Scarborough. Scarborough says it‘s 299.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God.
OLBERMANN: All right. Calm down.
He‘s still on the stage.
You can‘t boo a candidate while he‘s still on stage, the night he won, Joe.
Do I have to teach you everything about politics, all of a sudden?
JOE SCARBOROUGH, CO-HOST: Thank you, Keith. Thank you.
I‘ll tell you, one thing I can teach—and we were all talking about it over here—it is absolutely remarkable.
OLBERMANN: Don‘t read the speech?
SCARBOROUGH: That at this moment—yes, please. If this is your introduction to America in 2008, do not have your head looking straight down into a speech that is—Howard Fineman, you said, what did it look like?
HOWARD FINEMAN, “NEWSWEEK”: Well, it looked like every adviser that he‘s ever had had given him one paragraph.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One sentence.
FINEMAN: One sentence. And he read them all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But he dropped them on his way to the podium. And resorted them and ran...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, having seen him yesterday up there, he deserves it. If he wants to talk all night, let him do it, because this is his big, big, big moment.
SCARBOROUGH: And Gene, you were saying, though, I mean, after the third time he misread a line.
EUGENE ROBINSON, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: Yes, just say whatever at that point...
SCARBOROUGH: Enough is enough.
ROBINSON: ... and just move on. I think it was not a—not a good performance.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It deflated his victory. That‘s not going to move him forward heading out...
FINEMAN: Well, to be serious about it for a second, these speeches are an important time for the candidates to set the tone and introduce themselves, or reintroduce themselves, in his case, around the country.
SCARBOROUGH: Do you remember how in 2004, we had a back and forth about John Kerry‘s speech, and we both talked about, there are times when politicians introduce themselves to America. And when you get that introduction—and this is John McCain part two—when you get that introduction, you better get it right, because that‘s...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, think about Obama, 2004. Think about Obama, Iowa night. Now, he read that speech. He was the only one of the three leading candidates, but he did it with a grace and a passion, which you did not see with Mr. McCain tonight.
FINEMAN: In the opposite way, I hate to bring it up again, but don‘t forget Howard Dean in 2004.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That mike was in—you need directional (ph) way.
Can we remember that? And Mr. Dean is doing a terrific job...
SCARBOROUGH: Gene, we don‘t want to talk about Howard Dean. But seriously, though, talk about John McCain‘s speech tonight.
ROBINSON: Well, we‘ve kind of covered the speech. I mean, it was a chance to do what Mitt Romney did a few minutes ago.
SCARBOROUGH: Actually, we were talking about Mitt Romney may have given his best speech of the campaign...
ROBINSON: I thought he connected. He was the old Mitt Romney. The old Mitt Romney who was governor of Massachusetts and who found kind of a middle path between extremes and managed to build coalitions and get things done. He sounded much more presidential than he‘s been sounding.
FINEMAN: What else was good about Mitt Romney tonight is that he was positive. He was positive, decent as the day is long guy that a lot of his friends say he really is, as opposed to the guy whose campaign advisers and consultants are feeding him all these negative lines and negative ads.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, it‘s amazing you say that, because I saw Mitt Romney tonight, and I thought that this was the first time I saw the man. And about five minutes into that speech, I was asking myself, where has he been?
Why was he comfortable tonight? Has he decided hid can let go of...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He‘s more of an underdog tonight. I think he‘s been the money candidate...
SCARBOROUGH: And he‘s strolling to Michigan.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He‘s going to speak a little more honestly. But I was interested in Huckabee. Where does Huckabee—where does he go from here?
SCARBOROUGH: Oh, Huckabee—do you want to know?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: South Carolina and Florida.
SCARBOROUGH: He goes South Carolina, he goes Florida, he goes Georgia.
OLBERMANN: We‘re going to—Joe, we‘re going to New Hampshire right now.
That‘s where we‘re going for the moment.
Let‘s go up to David Gregory in Manchester for one quick note here, and we‘ll remind you before we get to David, that the Democratic race is now 39 percent Clinton, 37 percent Obama. That thing is tightening up. We will get back to that in a matter of seconds.
DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS: Keith, yes, it‘s an amazing part of this story, but I want to talk a little bit about John McCain.
I‘ve been talking to some top Republicans who say, undisputedly now, he has got a clear path, in their estimation, to the nomination. They call him a front-runner at this point and they point to the margin between McCain and Romney.
These Republicans saying it will be difficult for Romney to make the argument that he still can stay in this thing with that deficit to John McCain. A lot of questions about whether John McCain can carry Republicans down into the South, where he faces Mike Huckabee in South Carolina, especially among Evangelicals there. McCain‘s support of the war, support of the surge can be very helpful, Republicans say, down in South Carolina. Can change his fortunes in South Carolina, particularly if he can go on to Michigan and score a victory there, as we‘ll remind people, he did in 2000. Keith?
OLBERMANN: David Gregory, thank you for that perspective.
As the Republicans have basically put themselves to bed for the night, the Democratic race is still too close to call, 39 to 36. So they‘re in the latest numbers at 44 percent. It went slightly back up in favor of Hillary Clinton. Many were expecting perhaps some characterization of this based on exit polling. At 8:00, an hour and a half has now elapsed and we don‘t have it yet and we‘re not going to predict it yet. It is too close to call. Keep watching this space.
In the interim, there is other information coming out of that exit polling that is solid and reportable. MSNBC‘s Norah O‘Donnell is tracking all that stuff and has some insight as to why. And that‘s not just the general question about life, but just about tonight‘s primary.
NORAH O‘DONNELL, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Keith, you want to know why this Democratic race is so close tonight? Well there are some really interesting results in the exit poll and data that we got tonight that shows us why.
First on the Democratic side, we thought with the Iowa caucus results so close to New Hampshire, that it would have a big impact on how people were thinking. Well look at this. One key area that we were looking at is when folks made up their mind. Well nearly four in 10 said the made up their mind in the last three days. Of course remember, this was the period when Barack Obama was supposed to be benefiting from this big move of his Iowa win and picking up a lot of voters. Right? But apparently, not today. This is key.
Look at how those late deciders cast their ballots. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are splitting the votes. That‘s really amazing. That‘s not big move at all for Barack Obama and that‘s perhaps one reason why Hillary Clinton is doing well at this hour.
And of course, we‘ve been talking a lot about gender on the Democratic side. There is a gender gap we are finding but what‘s perhaps surprising is that Hillary is doing much better among women today in New Hampshire than she did in Iowa. Women were a majority of the voters today in New Hampshire, 57 percent. And here, Clinton is leading in a big way. It‘s a double-digit lead among women today. That is really key. We have to stress that because remember, she lost women in Iowa. That was a big part of the story. That‘s not happening in New Hampshire. That‘s why this is a tight race today.
Looking at men, Obama has a big lead among men in New Hampshire. That was also true for him.
One other thing we of course, we‘re always talking about younger voters that were part of the big story for Obama in Iowa. Young voters, those under 30, were a bigger part of the New Hampshire Democratic electorate today than four years ago. Obama is doing well on this group. He‘s also doing well in the group under 30. But when we look at older voters, 40 and older, 43 percent to 32 percent of those turning out are going for Hillary.
So Hillary is doing well among older voters. And they are a larger part today. So all of that is really interesting as we are trying to find out why this is such a close race at this hour.
OLBERMANN: Norah O‘Donnell with the exit polling and that is fascinating stuff, Norah. And in fact, let‘s put those two things together.
Tom Brokaw continues with us at the other end of the hall. Tom, Hillary is significant ahead of Obama in the exit polling on women voters, 47, 34, having lost that category by 5 percent to Obama in Iowa. And last three day deciders, a 38, 38 tie in New Hampshire.
Is it possible to make that correlation, to put those two statistics together and suggest that emotion, personality, letting the guard down yesterday may have helped Hillary Clinton significantly into this position where we see with 45 percent of the vote in, she‘s ahead by 3 percent?
BROKAW: Well I don‘t know whether you‘d say significantly or not, but I do think that New Hampshire has a long, long history of saying we‘ll decide on our own terms. Don‘t take us for granted.
Last Friday night, Tim and I were with two New Hampshire political operatives, one a third generation, the other a fourth generation New Hampshire said. They both said, look, the Independents probably will go to either McCain or to Obama, but don‘t overlook the fact that she has a very solid grip on women. And the Democratic organization in this state headed by a former Democratic women governor, Jeanne Shaheen and yesterday, I do think that her showing of vulnerability which was real in my judgment probably did give some people some pause. And the assumption has been both in terms of his appearances and everything said on this channel and almost every other news channel that has been covering this campaign in the last 24 to 36 hours is that Obama is going to win this one going away. And New Hampshire residents like to make the judgments for themselves. They‘ve been doing it for as long as I can remember.
I just had a wonderful note from a friend of mine watching the McCain speech. I think that John McCain won in New Hampshire in part because he‘s perfectly cast for that state. He‘s a war hero. He‘s roguish. He‘s been there before. We remember in 2000 when he won by 18 points.
And then he made that speech tonight and my friend in Montana e-mailed me saying “I‘ll bet McCain‘s victory speech led his supporters into deep regret and the owners of NyQuil into despair.” Which his probably a pretty good summery. I think John McCain will be better served by returning to form which is improvisational, on the stump, taking questions and presenting himself as an authentic against the hype politician, even though he has served in the Senate for a long time at this point..
OLBERMANN: Well at least nobody here tonight can be accused of kicking this man when he was down. We did it while he was—
BROKAW: The other thing about McCain, you have to say this, everybody was writing him off last summer. His staff, his longest serving staff, his closest friends left. The campaign was in deep financial difficulty. And John McCain got on the trail with Cindy, on his own again. And it does remind you, as I‘ve said here before, this is a guy who spent five and a half years being tortured almost every day. And as he alluded to the fact and his appearances today and again tonight, he‘s been through it before. He‘s there for the long haul. I must say, physically he‘s looked better in the last couple months than I‘ve seen him in some time.
MATTHEWS: You know along those lines, Tom, Anthony Eden once said, a hero to most of us, that it‘s one thing to be courageous perhaps in a moment of impulse during a war, during a battle and that‘s unbelievable. But here‘s another kind of courage which is to withstand repeated failure and disappointment and surprising setbacks.
And McCain does that over and over again, guys. Over and over again this guy has a hard time. He has a hard time with his own party. He has a hard time in losing in South Carolina after his family was in many ways ridiculed and I think abused in that campaign primary in South Carolina in 2000. And he came back and he came back and tried to make friends with the cultural right. He tried to make friends with the president. He tried to win. He lost the campaign fight in many ways several months ago and he kept coming back. And he found a new strength, at his age, as well as taking those barbs for being old. And he took it and he keeps going.
And I think that‘s a special kind of courage, guys. And he made one mistake. He used a prepared speech tonight. But we can - can‘t we all put that in perspective? Obviously he read the speech, thought it was pretty good and decided to read it. That was a mistake.
Anyway, thank you Tom. We‘re watching the Democratic race which of course is the big story tonight. It is an incredible story if you think about it. This race which is now still fairly close, 4,000. It looks like Hillary has been holding onto that lead since we began the count tonight. You can‘t discount it anymore. She‘s firming up that lead, she‘s holding on to it.
Nothing is clear yet by our analysts. Nobody knows who‘s going to win officially at NBC. But look at that tonight because if she wins tonight, she‘s got a leg up on the predictors, on the pundits, on people like me who were reading the polls now for three days and believing them. She‘s able to say, not only am I the comeback kid, I‘m the victor. And that‘s much better than the comeback kid.
And Barack Obama I will still say has given the most inspiring speech that I have heard. And so this race is real between two very interesting combatants in this Democratic Party. Let‘s go right now to Mike Barnicle who is up in Manchester. Michael, surprises, surprises, but you know politics is as somewhat said an hour ago, phenomenal. It is not predictable.
MIKE BARNICLE, MSNBC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, politics is incredible and the emotion of politics is incredible. And it proves once again that you have to play the games, you have to have the elections.
But I have to tell you, the scope of the conversations between you and Keith, I have found phenomenal. You‘ve gone from Joey Giardello to Lawrence of Arabia to Winston Churchill. It‘s amazing. By the way, Keith and Chris, you should know that the bellman here, the head bellman here at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester is very pleased because John McCain read one of his lines that he submitted to him. I had to get it in. Everybody else has been jumping on it.
OLBERMANN: Oh, dear.
MATTHEWS: He needs Bob Shrum.
OLBERMANN: Just wait a second. Put me back on a second for a second.
NBC News would like to issue a quick apology to Senator John McCain.
OK, let‘s go back to it now.
BARNICLE: You know Chris, this is right up your alley. I bumped in Lou D‘Allesandro, state senator Lou D‘Allesandro here in Manchester, New Hampshire, state senator from Manchester, in the lobby of the hotel just behind us here.
He supported Hillary Clinton. He‘s a longtime power and state Democratic politics. This was 5:00 in the afternoon and I asked him what he thought was going to happen. He said I‘m going to tell you one thing. He said it‘s not going to be anywhere near what your polls are showing. It‘s not going to be 10 points. It‘s going to be closer to five. It turns out that he has been closer than any of the polls that all of us have been reading. And again, it gets back to your original point that it‘s such a marvelous thing when the American people here in New Hampshire come out and vote on Election Day. You really, when they get inside the booth, the pollsters be damned, go away the pundits, see you later, they are going to vote their heart. And emotion plays a huge part in it. And clearly, you‘d have to think that the emotion shown by Mrs. Clinton just this past weekend, just yesterday, might have had somewhat of a significant impact on this race.
MATTHEWS: I wonder Michael, us being men, that it may have helped her with women. Norah pointed out, Norah O‘Donnell just a few moments ago that her numbers among women were dramatically to her advantage. You never know in this situation. We‘ve never seen anything like it where you have a male, Barack Obama, run against a female.
At what point does tough combat give way to sympathy? And at what point to people say give her break? And at what point does somebody say she‘s breaking under pressure? What is the standard here? Is it, you have no emotion, that you‘re tough, or is it you‘re human?
BARNICLE: New Hampshire is a very unique place. It‘s not the west side of Manhattan. It‘s not southern California. It‘s not Florida. It‘s not a big state. You‘ve got working class towns like Laconia and Claremont and Manchester itself. Nashua, New Hampshire to the south of here, they‘re all working class towns.
Many, many homes here, households here have the two parents both working. Not hedge fund managers. Maybe the wife is working in the Dunkin‘ Donuts. They‘re hard working people up here. And that may have been a factor, the one that you just alluded to, the sympathy factor.
Was she ganged up on at the debate? Why did she break down in exhaustion in tears? You can just sense the women in the state, some percentage of them are saying leave her alone. Leave her alone. It‘s tough enough being a woman. It‘s tough enough being a waitress. I‘ve got worry about the kids, I‘ve got to worry about health care costs. Leave her alone. You can sort of now sense that that may have happened.
MATTHEWS: You know, I remember Richard Nixon back in ‘68 when he gave that great speech about the little kid out in Yorba Linda, the poor kid listening to the train go by at night and thinking that some day he could follow it into greatness and great American history. And afterwards, his voice cracked a bit when he made that change. And then later on he talked to the speech writer, of course Bill Safire, and he said, what did you think of that my speech? And Safire said pretty good. And Nixon said what did you think about that part where my voice cracked? Nixon had that figured out all along. Anyway, I know Hillary Clinton was completely spontaneous the other day. But let‘s bring in the panel on that point. It could be big girls don‘t cry, Gene Robinson, but it could be if they do, they win.
ROBINSON: It could be, or it could be that the campaign‘s organizing efforts among women were better in New Hampshire than they were in Iowa.
SCARBOROUGH: It could also be a lot of people were thinking what Gloria Steinem wrote in the “New York Times” that if Barack Obama with two years experience was a woman, he would never be able to get away with what Barack Obama the man has been getting away with. I think Gloria Steinem got it dead right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But Joe, you‘re also talking about what Hillary Clinton needs to do from here on out. She needs to remind people why it‘s a first to elect a woman as president. She‘s lost that mantle of change running in a restoration candidacy.
ROBINSON: Does she run as an incumbent?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, she‘s run an incumbent race and I thought the debate was very important too. When she got angry and drew the distinctions between her healthcare plan and Obama, you suddenly say there was real fire and passion before the vulnerability.
FINEMAN: I actually think this is as much about Obama as it is about Hillary. I think what the voters in New Hampshire are saying tonight in what is a too close to call race is not so fast. We just begun this process, we can‘t short circuit it by picking a nominee effectively.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In January, we have eight months before the election. They said slow down, let‘s take a look. We‘re in tough times, there‘s a recession coming. There‘s still a war. We don‘t really know who Barack Obama is. And I think Hillary and Bill were able to put just enough questions in the minds of people.
SCARBOROUGH: You know what‘s interesting really quickly though is everybody talking about - I had a friend from Florida, a Republican friend from Florida call me up and tell me how shrewd I am. He said Joe, you keep talking about how great Barack Obama is. You keep talking about his inspirational speeches. You keep talking about Republicans. He said, you‘re doing this on purpose, aren‘t you? I said no I‘m inspired by him. He said can you imagine this summer in July when Democrats wake up and realize they are going up against a Rudy Giuliani or a Mitt Romney with a guy that‘s only been in Washington for two years. This guy is saying please give us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I still think Obama—let‘s not do the full spin narrative tonight. I think Obama can win. Obama can win.
SCARBOROUGH: Of course he can.
FINEMAN: But he can‘t win this easily.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course and there shouldn‘t be coronation.
SCARBOROUGH: Are we going to coronate after five days?
ROBINSON: There will not be a coronation and I think that‘s right. It‘s an important election. And Hillary Clinton has electability problems as well. So it‘s a lot for Democrats to think about.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you take the three top issues in my view, ending the war, the economy and divisiveness.
SCARBOROUGH: This is not about issues. I hate to be this divisive.
This is about women, professional women.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Educated women.
SCARBOROUGH: And this is also about educated women, boomer women.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who didn‘t get old when younger women were voting for Obama.
SCARBOROUGH: If I could just finish, we could do all the subsets for women. But we‘ll just say this is about women and it‘s also about Democratic base activists. That‘s what it‘s about.
FINEMAN: They heard Obama on the health care issues. It‘s so ironic, because after ‘93, Hillary ran away from the idea of mandates, that everybody get healthcare. Now, she‘s for everybody having to get to care. That allowed her to go on the attack against Obama saying his plan doesn‘t cover everybody. And I know that that hurt Obama because he was running radio ads top to bottom all over the state of New Hampshire this week and I was listening to them as I was driving around.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But he still pulled it out it in the exit polls.
In the exit polls, health care was his issue.
SCARBOROUGH: But does everybody agree up here that women played a huge role in what‘s happening tonight?
FINEMAN: Dramatic different from Iowa, just look at the exit polls.
SCARBOROUGH: Earlier, you were saying boomer women said enough is enough. We‘re not ready to turn the page yet. Younger woman can vote for Obama if they want, we like Hillary.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There‘s been this argument. Andrew Sullivan in the “Atlantic” about how you move beyond the Clinton era, you turn the page on the boomer dispute. But the boomers also have an investment in some of those battles. And Hillary Clinton does speak and did in that debate as a fighter.
SCARBOROUGH: Weren‘t there a lot of women, also though—we were talking about the tearing up - weren‘t there a lot of woman also that may have been sympathetic, feeling like everybody was kicking her?
ROBINSON: Sure, sure, I think so. And empathetic, certainly in feeling look all the candidates go through sleep deprivation and craziness and reach that point. She allowed that to be visible, uncharacteristically and I think it worked.
SCARBOROUGH: OK Keith Olbermann, back over to you. And John Edwards did help her kick yesterday.
OLBERMANN: Fifty-seven percent of the voters, according to the exit polling in New Hampshire, have been women.
However one thing as we‘re talking about Hillary‘s comeback, you throw the board up one more time. It is now back down to 2 percent, her margin over Barack Obama. This thing is changing by about a percent one way or the another every 10 to 15 minutes. This could be extra innings.
MATTHEWS: Years ago in “New Republic,” I wrote an article about the mommy party, the daddy party. The Democratic Party is heavily women as you say, 57 percent of participants today were women. And of those, 47 percent to 30 percent, they voted for Hillary. A dramatic shift in the electorate. There‘s always been more women Democrats, but now they‘re voting for a woman. You‘re watching MSNBC‘s live coverage of the New Hampshire primary.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to MSNBC‘s live coverage of the New Hampshire primary results. The Democratic race, look at it, you can read it yourself. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. But we must say, I know I can‘t speak for the experts here, I‘ll simply speak for the chart we‘ve been showing. Hillary Clinton is winning this race so far if you look at the numbers coming in in raw form. And that‘s the way it‘s been going all night. Hillary in the lead with about a three to four percent lead all night consistently since we started counting the raw vote tonight. I haven‘t heard any really argument why that count isn‘t at least indicative of where this is going to end up when we have approximately 200,000 votes counted. That‘s a way off tonight. A couple hours off, you have to do the projects.
General Wesley Clark has been a stalwart supporter of Hillary Clinton. Of course he ran for president himself four years ago. General Clark, your thoughts. This campaign has yet to come to an end. It looks like it‘s only beginning.
GEN. WESLEY CLARK (RET.), CLINTON SUPPORTER: Well I think Hillary came out of Iowa. I think she was determined. I think she was very effective in her communications. She wanted to explain to the voters of New Hampshire and the people of America why she wanted to be president and what she stood for. And Chris, she‘s got game. I mean this was a tough, tough thing to come out of Iowa and come into New Hampshire with an election in only five days.
I was in Iowa and I could feel it. Yesterday, there was a change even between the morning and the afternoon. I was going around to various stations in southern New Hampshire, I was making phone calls to people in the afternoon by 4:00, 5:00, you could call four or five people who said they were uncommitted and you‘d get 75 percent of them would say I‘m voting for Hillary.
And I saw the energy in the rally last night at the Manchester Airport. I saw young people coming to the rally. I thought oh, something is changing here. She reached out and she communicated. It‘s too early to call this election. But I think it‘s clear that Hillary is fighting, she‘s making her case and she‘s got traction with the electorate.
OLBERMANN: General, you‘re the first one from the Clinton camp who‘s actually used that term comeback. Could somebody who was the conceded front-runner in the entire nominating process a week or two weeks ago, strong front-runner a month ago, be making a comeback just two weeks later? Is something wrong about the truncation of the process?
CLARK: I don‘t think so. I think what you saw was that Hillary was I think the front-runner in all the national polling. But she was never the leader on the ground in terms of detailed work in Iowa. And once the campaign really kicked into high gear - you remember you had the Philadelphia debate and Chris and Tim Russert, they really grilled Hillary. I think she was held to a very tough standard of accountability.
I think there was a lot of piling on. I think people took a really close look at Hillary, maybe because she was the front-runner. I don‘t know. But she really worked and she‘s really put this together. And I think it‘s a tremendous achievement.
I was there in New Hampshire four years ago. I didn‘t compete in Iowa. I know what it‘s like to face that wave. I know what it‘s like to face the enthusiasm and the people who weren‘t tuned in before and suddenly the national media take over and they are saying oh, I guess so and so and you‘re saying no, no, no, wait, wait, wait, I‘ve got these ideas.
Hillary said that. She fought through that and she kept her chin up. She kept her wits about her. She understood why she was in the race, what it meant to her, what she wanted to do for the country.
And you know Hillary has been in the forefront of change for women and for children and families for a generation. She‘s got a track record to prove it. I think the voters of New Hampshire took a look at this and said, we want not just talk. Talk is important, communication is important, but let‘s see a record of action. What‘s the track record here? And Hillary‘s got it in spades.
MATTHEWS: Well speaking of track records, I have to give the entire credit for that performance at the Drexel University to Tim Russert. He did that quite by himself with the help of Brian Williams. Anyway thank you, General Clark, for coming on tonight.
Chuck Todd is NBC‘s political director. He is standing by in
Manchester. Chuck, can you look through the numbers that have coming in?
There are about 3 to 4 percent consistently for all the way back to 8:00.
What do you make of it?
CHUCK TODD, NBC POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, there‘s, I think, three things that play. And particularly when you talk to the Clinton and Obama campaigns. The Clinton campaign believes two moments helped them this weekend. One was the ABC debate where there was a sense of almost piling on of her. And where she talked about that sometimes this likeability stuff, that it hurt her feelings. And then of course, the moment yesterday and they‘re crediting that a lot because when you look at the numbers there is a massive gender gap, Chris. This is a huge thing.
She‘s up 13 points among women. Obama is up 13 points among men. This is a big divide. In fact, I talked to a couple of Democratic operatives that are very worried that whatever comes out of here, that we‘re going to have now suddenly a gender war of sorts inside the Democratic Party that should favor Senator Clinton a lot.
But also the Obama people are worried more people went to McCain than they ever thought and they‘re worried some of their vote may not have turned out because of these tracking polls that showed him way ahead.
MATTHEWS: And you wonder if you can build a general election campaign on sympathy. Anyway, thank you, Chuck Todd.
OLBERMANN: A race between Senators Clinton and Obama in New Hampshire still too close to call. We will watch the numbers move and they‘re still at 2 percent. Stay with us. More after this.
KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR: Two hours since polls closed in New Hampshire and two remarkably different outlooks in the respective races for president. At this hour, NBC News says the New Hampshire Democratic primary still too close to call. On the Republican side, NBC News projecting John McCain the winner in the Granite State. The senator representing the Desert Southwest, the adopted son of New England conservatives and independents. Both times he has been on the ballot, first in 2000 and again tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, ® PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I‘m passed the age when I can claim the noun kid no matter what adjective proceeds it. But tonight we sure showed them what a comeback looks like.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: The winner in Iowa just five nights ago, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee seemingly gratified just to be in the top three this evening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE HUCKABEE, ® PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to say how much I appreciate the people of New Hampshire for standing with us. And it wasn‘t because that they could see a few weeks ago some obvious victory. It was because they saw in this country the opportunity to really bring the kind of leadership that you and I all know we really need to take America up and not down. And that‘s what we‘re going to continue to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani still battling Ron Paul for fourth place. Viewing the wide open field as good thing, saying tonight that perhaps he has lulled his opponents into a false sense of security.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, ® PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Think of it as the kickoff. This is the kickoff in what‘s going to be a very long and—very tough game but one that we are going to come out and, by the time it‘s over with, by February 5th, it‘s going to be clear that we‘re going to be the nominee of the party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Nothing is clear yet in the democratic contest tonight in New Hampshire. With 59 percent of the vote counted, it is Hillary Clinton by two percent over Barack Obama. The county in fourth place at this hour, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson playing the role of pundit in his concession speech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL RICHARDSON, ® PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And so we know that from the results tonight there is not going to be any premature coronation. This race is going on and on and on. And as we head out west, the fight goes on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: And good evening again from our headquarters in New York. This is MSNBC‘s continuing coverage of the New Hampshire primaries. Alongside Chris Matthews. I‘m Keith Olbermann. We‘re going to head to Clinton and Obama headquarters in just a moment, but as you keep mentioning, this is a genuine race. We will not have a projection on this one. We will have to wait to get the final score, I imagine.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Right. And you know what we haven‘t heard from is the third man in this race, the third person, of course, that‘s John Edwards. Where is John Edwards tonight? No voice from him. I don‘t know how he continues this race. It gets very difficult for him. It looks more and more like a two-person race as we sit here.
OLBERMANN: Is it not worth his while even at 17 percent here after a strong showing in Iowa to hang in through at least South Carolina?
MATTHEWS: Well, South Carolina is problematic for him as the ethnic breakdown of that state will tell you. Half the people who vote in the Democratic primary in South Carolina are African American. The Clintons have a tremendous base among African Americans as we know from history and, of course, Barack Obama is the first real chance for an African American ever to win our presidency in our lifetime, ever in American history. It‘s hard to see where John Edwards even fits into that scenario in a state where he was born.
OLBERMANN: We don‘t know who at this point who will have one victory or two victories going into South Carolina. So let‘s, with the race between Obama and Clinton too close to call, let‘s go first to NBC‘s Andrea Mitchell who is at the Clinton campaign headquarters in New Hampshire. Andrea, good evening again.
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good evening to you. There is cautious optimism here among the top people in the Clinton campaign. They feel that they were surprised to see that they swung some districts in Concord and Salem. They thought they were going to lose those districts. They won them and won them big. But they are not completely optimistic because they say that Hanover is not in yet, Hanover, Dartmouth College, young people. Obama was there this morning giving a big speech. He was there yesterday in West Lebanon (ph). So they are not yet completely confident that they really have a very different attitude here.
And as we‘ve been saying, they think that the turning point was the debate on Saturday night when Edwards and Obama ganged up on her and she fought back. There might be some perception, particularly among the women who did turn out for her tonight that this was unfair. And also the way she showed her emotions. A couple of other things happened. She stopped giving her stump speech and started taking questions from the rally crowds for an hour and 20 minutes other day in Nashua. And also talking to reporters, letting Chelsea Clinton be seen and actually go out with a camera crew and be photographed and heard, making phone calls. So she really let the barriers down. And then the final thing was that her husband fought back as well. And that is being perceived as a positive thing. The Clintons showed New Hampshire their heart and soul. And that they really wanted the fight to keep this race going. Keith?
OLBERMANN: Let‘s say it‘s the worst case scenario even from the Clinton point of view, Andrea, and that now three percent lead does get affected by the Hanover College young vote and Obama wins by one percent or two percent. It‘s not the blowout that even the Clinton camp was muttering about under its breath as we started tonight. No matter what happens from here on in, will they view this with some authority behind that viewpoint as a victory? Is there a floor beneath their candidate‘s feet right now no matter what happens the rest of the way?
MITCHELL: Yes, absolutely. And I‘ve got to tell you, I do not think that is spin. I think they have a legitimate reason to say we came back from what everyone predicted was going to be possibly a double-digit defeat. I interviewing people today from the campaign and I just talked to them again. They said, we got up this morning thinking we were going to lose by 12, 15 points. So if they can pull this within a point or two, they‘ve got to feel good about this and they can at least regroup, go south, go west and start thinking about Nevada, South Carolina, and, of course, Super Tuesday.
OLBERMANN: Andrea Mitchell with moving expectations both in a poignant and geographically and also in the other sense.
MATTHEWS: There‘s another way to look at this whole thing. Can I just suggest another way of looking at this whole thing?
OLBERMANN: All right. Please.
MATTHEWS: This is a basketball game tonight. Meaning it will be decided in the last couple of minutes before the buzzer. Couple seconds. This looks like we‘re going to get a result tonight. It‘s going to be clear. Someone‘s going to win. I wouldn‘t put it past the Clintons if it looked like it was moving toward a victory for Barack to pull a quick press conference while it is still vague and say it‘s too early to tell. Go to bed with some sort of vague victory statement. I‘ll know throughout this evening what their game plan is because it will be there.
But it seems to me there is a good chance they will try to move preemptively, , claim some sort of tie, if this thing‘s moving as the Hanover vote comes in towards Obama. It will be interesting to watch the gamesmanship tonight. They have pulled this before. Declaring comebacks when they‘ve lost by eight, having been ahead by 20. They are quite able to try to create a new confected reality.
I‘m watching this.
OLBERMANN: Hence my question to Andrea, if it‘s a one-point loss, that‘s a victory.
MATTHEWS: The headlines will say Obama won.
OLBERMANN: Let‘s find out what the mood is then at Obama headquarters.
MATTHEWS: If they win. If they don‘t, it will say Obama lost at this point.
OLBERMANN: Is that the read from Obama headquarters, Lee Cowan?
LEE COWAN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I think Chris is right in the sense that this is going to go right down to the wire tonight. At least that‘s what everybody here is opening. But there‘s still a lot of head scratching as to exactly what is going on. None of the polls here showed that this race was getting closer and closer toward the end. They all showed that Barack Obama was getting further and further ahead in most of the polls.
One thing that most people are pointing out is that we talked all day about how big the turnout was, especially on the Democrat side. Some places ran out of ballots, they had to ask for more. Traditionally we thought that was going to be a good thing for Obama because a lot of the younger folks were getting out and voting but 60 degrees, it was very warm, good weather. And maybe some of the older people came out as well and that may have been partly what we were seeing here. Is that some of the older folks went out who do tend to be for Hillary Clinton and maybe the warmer weather brought them out and that‘s what made the difference here.
OLBERMANN: Lee, is there—as they try to figure out what went wrong or what has not gone right so far, is that same construct that we heard from Andrea Mitchell over at Clinton headquarters that they‘re concerned about, is that the hope at Obama headquarters, that the Hanover vote, the Dartmouth vote, the young vote, presumably the Obama crowd vote has not yet come in, not yet been counted? Is that what they‘re banking on?
COWAN: That‘s what everybody is hoping for. The importance of that place was shown in where he decided to do his last big rally, which was there this morning, at Dartmouth College. So, I mean, the youth vote is what really put them over the top in Iowa. They thought they were going to see more of that here than they have seen so far tonight. They thought they would do better with women than they are doing here tonight. So I think when that Hanover vote comes in that could be a pretty good indicator of where it‘s going tonight.
OLBERMANN: Lee Cowan at Obama headquarters and he is right about the women, 47-34, Clinton over Obama. Chris, in Iowa, of course, that was 35-30 Obama over Clinton. When you ask where John Edwards was, we‘re waiting for his comments in a few minutes. Obviously he‘s not going to win this. It will be very interesting to see what he says this night compared to what he said in Iowa after the strong second place finish there.
MATTHEWS: Well, this was fairly predictable until a week or so ago. The Democratic Party is still largely driven largely by women, issues like healthcare, education, child enrichment, parental issues like Social Security and Medicare. The Democratic Party has made those issues its preserve. Those are the ones they‘re primarily interested in.
OLBERMANN: What was number one in the exit poll for both parties tonight?
It was the economy.
MATTHEWS: Right. That‘s of interest to every family, by definition.
OLBERMANN: All right, fine.
MATTHEWS: Clearly, Hillary Clinton—we‘re going to know more because we‘re going to get more anecdotal information over the next couple days of people who saw her on television break down to some extent. She did not break down.
OLBERMANN: Got teared up is the way to describe it.
MATTHEWS: Possibly watered up a bit. But I think that was—I have to say that I thought the debate Saturday night, and I was in the room, was a draw. I wasn‘t clear at all that she won it. But maybe she was good enough to seem good enough here for women who wanted to root for her anyway.
By the way, we keep forgetting, this is the first campaign a woman can actually win the presidency in, ever. So it‘s just as striking as a pioneer opportunity for women voting, especially older women voting who may figure this is their last chance to elect a woman president.
OLBERMANN: What was the number from just five years ago, six years ago, that there was a survey of girls who thought 40 percent of them thought they would not see a woman president in the next 10 years and still some large number, 30 - 35 percent thought they would never see a woman president? That‘s from five years ago.
MATTHEWS: There‘s only one candidate still. Not even another on the horizon. Where are the governors? Where are the big state women governors? Where are they? Name one. They don‘t exist. Michigan, she‘s a Canadian. She can‘t make it.
OLBERMANN: Granholm. Unless we change the Schwarzenegger rule to bring her in.
MATTHEWS: That would be the Schwarzenegger-Granholm rule I‘d think you‘d have to call it.
OLBERMANN: All right. We haven‘t checked in with Pat Buchanan and Rachel Maddow going head to head on the issues in a little while. Let‘s bring them back in now. Pat, what about this still too close to call Democratic race and the shift particularly for women from Iowa and how they voted for Barack Obama handily there, to how they voted for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire?
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC ANALYST: This is an astonishing development. Look, the pollsters were dead wrong. They were predicting seven, eight to a dozen points for Obama. The press was dead wrong. We had virtually canonized Obama and said he had been born in Bethlehem and now you‘ve got a race where Hillary Clinton is running three or four ...
MATTHEWS: I don‘t think you were on that list of apostles.
BUCHANAN: Three or four points ahead of this fellow. Something has happened. There is a hidden vote here somewhere, or my guess is this, the New Hampshire voters said, look, the press has been telling us Obama‘s the second coming. We don‘t think so. The press has been telling us she‘s gone, and the women came out and said, no, she‘s not. What New Hampshire did was stand up and body slam the national establishment, the press corps, the pollsters, the whole bunch that came in here as well as Barack Obama‘s folks who must be in a state of shock tonight.
MADDOW: Pat, I will tell you that on the influential press on the left Web site, talkingpointsmemo today, do you want to know who they‘re blaming for women voters breaking for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama? Who they‘re blaming for this late showing for Hillary Clinton? They‘re blaming Chris Matthews. People are citing particularly Chris not only for his own views but also for as a symbol of what the mainstream media has done to Hillary Clinton.
MATTHEWS: What Web site is this?
MADDOW: Talkingpointsmemo.com. You‘re being cited anecdotally, not ...
MATTHEWS: My influence in American politics looms over the people. I‘m overwhelmed myself.
MADDOW: People feel that the media is piling on Hillary Clinton. They‘re coming to her defense with their votes.
OLBERMANN: Rachel, we‘re going to have to interrupt you. And Pat we‘re going to have to interrupt you. And Chris, we‘re going to have to interrupt you even though you decide how American politics plays out based on what we just saw. This is Edwards‘ headquarters in New Hampshire where Senator John Edwards, as you see with her back to you, Elizabeth Edwards has just turned to greet the crowd. This is the camp of not the second place finisher in an extraordinarily tight race for second place last time, but the third place finisher as usual, Elizabeth Edwards will evidently introduce her husband, the former senator, and let‘s—we will, in fact, let her do that. Here is Mrs. Edwards.
ELIZABETH EDWARDS, JOHN EDWARDS‘ WIFE: Thank you.
The people behind those cameras may not know it, the people who are watching on television may not know it, but you all are family. We love you. Thank you so much for everything you have done.
And it is so fitting that this is taking place at an old mill. John‘s story starts in a mill. It starts when he worked sometimes in the summer times and after school in the mill in which his father worked. Sometimes sweeping floors around men and women who worked hard to try to make a better life for their children, which is exactly what America‘s been all about. We stand on the shoulders of our parents and our grandparents and try to keep the promise that they kept to us, to make a better world. That‘s what John plans to do as president of the United States, to make this world as good for his children as it has been for him because of the hard work of his parents and grandparents.
And this is one of the things he learned, and you—every one of the people in this room knows this, you never get anything you don‘t work for. No one ever promised Wallace Edwards it was going to be an easy job to try to work his way up from when he got out of high school going to that mill to work his way up to a supervisor. But he knew that if he kept plugging at it every day, making a little bit of progress every day to that goal, he would one day be able to achieve it.
This day we have taken steps, not as big of steps that we wanted but steps in which we are enormously proud, not only of John and of the message but of you.
The goal is still in sight. And what is that goal? So make our next president of the United States, John Edwards.
OLBERMANN: And as John Edwards makes his way, we‘ll be polite and say it‘s deliberately to the stage, in this moment. Let‘s just recap those numbers. Thirty nine percent at this point for Hillary Clinton, 36 percent for Senator Obama. Seventeen percent for Senator Edwards. Sixty two percent reporting so far. So there‘s a lot to go yet. And there is no way to project this thing which, by itself, is something of an upset.
Republicans went much more easily. John McCain, 37-31 over Mitt Romney. But John Edwards who did significantly better in Iowa than he did in New Hampshire has managed to make these appearances after primaries and caucuses to a very efficient control of television time. There is a stagecraft in almost a literal sense of the word.
MATTHEWS: You know, to completely shuffle from what it was in Iowa if you think about it. Edwards coming in third here, having come in second, Obama coming in second, having come in first.
JOHN EDWARDS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you so much for coming here tonight. You know, last week, last week I congratulated Senator Obama when he finished first and I finished second in Iowa. One race down. Tonight I congratulate Senator Clinton and Senator Obama, two races down.
Forty-eight states left to go.
CROWD: Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards!
J. EDWARDS: Thank you.
CROWD: Edwards! Edwards! Edwards!
J. EDWARDS: So up until now, about half of one percent of Americans have voted. Ninety nine percent plus have not voted. And those 99 percent deserve to have their voices heard because we have had too much in America of people‘s voices not being heard.
I have met too many Americans whose voices have not been heard in this democracy. Just this past week I spent time with a family of Nataline Sarkisian (ph), Nataline is a 17-year-old girl who just a few weeks ago desperately needed a live transplant. Her parents had health insurance with one of the biggest insurance companies in America. They asked for the insurance company to pay for her liver transplant operation and they rejected them.
Then the doctors came to her aid. They spoke up on her behalf. The nurses spoke up on her behalf. And then the insurance company said no again.
Finally, the family stood up and fought. They started to march and picket along with many other Americans in front of the offices of this insurance company. And the insurance company finally gave in, but it was too late. And a few hours later Nataline lost her life.
A few months ago I met a 51-year-old man in the mountains of Virginia named James Lowe. James had been born with a severe cleft palate. Because he had a cleft palate he could not speak. A simple operation would have fixed his problem but he had no healthcare coverage, so he couldn‘t pay for it. Finally someone voluntarily fixed his cleft palate. And now he can speak.
The problem is they fixed it when he was 50 years old.
James Lowe lived for 50 years in the United States of America not able to speak because he had no healthcare coverage.
Tonight a man or a woman whose name is unknown who served this country patriotically and wore the uniform of the United States of America will go to sleep under a bridge or on a grate, homeless. You know, we‘ve had too many Americans whose voices have not been heard in this democracy. That‘s what this battle is about. It is not about me. It is about the cause of giving voice to all those whose voices are not being heard in this democracy.
CROWD: Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards! Edwards!
J. EDWARDS: And tonight we stand at a crossroads in the history of America. It is not that we don‘t know what it is we aspire to. We know exactly what we aspire to. Universal healthcare, attacking global warming, and protecting the environment, ending poverty in the United States of America, standing up for American jobs and for the creation of American jobs, the question is not what we aspire to. The question is how do we get there, what will it take?
Four years ago I spoke a great deal about the need for hope and inspiration in America. During this campaign I‘ve spoke about the need for principled action and the need for change in the United States of America. We know what needs to be done. The only question is whether we have the backbone and the will and determination to go there. And here‘s what I have to say about this, because of people like Alexis, who is a young woman who spoke to me this afternoon who has a serious health condition and who has made thousands and thousands of phone calls on my behalf, because of the men and women of organized labor, the carpenters, the steelworkers, the service employee workers, because of those who have called and knocked on doors and worked tirelessly on behalf of this cause, this cause to create the America that all of us believe in, because of that, I want to be absolutely clear to all of you who have been devoted to this cause and I want to be clear to the 99 percent of Americans who have not yet had the chance to have their voices heard, that I am in this race to the condition that I intend to be the nominee of my party, and for—and I am—and I am in this race until we have actually restored the American dream and strengthened and restored the middle class of America.
And so I ask all of you here and all of you that can hear the sound motor vehicle voice, the 99 percent whose voices have not yet been heard in this democracy, to join us in this grassroots campaign to create the kind of America that all of us believe in. God bless you. Thank you for being here. My privilege to be with you. Thank you.
OLBERMANN: Senator John Edwards who finishes third in the New Hampshire primary and he is about to come back and stand just to the right of your screen, the gentleman wearing the sweatshirt for Edwards, if that looks familiar to you at all, that‘s the actor James Denton who plays Mike the plumber on which television show, Chris Matthews?
MATTHEWS: I don‘t know.
OLBERMANN: I‘m going to use your trick from last week. Ever seen “Desperate Housewives”?
MATTHEWS: No. I never did.
OLBERMANN: Anybody on the panel watch “Desperate Housewives”?
That‘s it. One out of—OK. So now you know. We‘ve got a Chuck Norris moment in here.
MATTHEWS: But I do like Teri Hatcher.
OLBERMANN: OK. Good. You got half. You get half a point for that. The
position of John Edwards in this is obviously third place. Sixty three
percent reporting. Clinton, 39 percent. Obama, 36 percent. Some of what
we heard from John Edwards was identical to what he said in Iowa, the
reference to the young woman whose liver transplant came tragically too
late. The brief mention to homeless vets, the man with the cleft palate, they were all addressed in the Iowa speech as well. John Edwards vowing to continue on through the course of the race. I guess that‘s what was said there.
MATTHEWS: Well, we‘re now in the protocol situation for a statement by Hillary Clinton, I think, or not.
Usually you have to hear from the person who believes they lost. We‘ll have to hear at this point—at some point in the next hour or so perhaps after the networks have made a call. If we make a call or anyone else does, to hear from Barack Obama. That would be the protocol. And then we would hear from Hillary Clinton sometime after that if she is declared the winner.
OLBERMANN: Well, it‘s a 4,000 vote margin and three percent margin right now. And as has been pointed out, whether or not what happens in New Hampshire can be determined entirely by the vote from Hanover, from Dartmouth, is a bit of number work they can‘t possibly do by myself in my head. But with it that close, what is the protocol here?
MATTHEWS: You wait until someone concedes. And then the victor declares victory. Usually the person concedes after it‘s official. And no one is official that I know of. We‘re certainly not official yet. We heard talk anecdotally at least that the Hanover numbers from the campus of Dartmouth which is obviously a lot of young kids, young voters who presumably, based on everything we have seen in this race will be pro-Obama.
But that said, absent any knowledge of what the turnout was up there. So we don‘t know.
OLBERMANN: And we would have gone in based on looking at our Iowa numbers and say the women voters will probably be close between Obama and Clinton and they have not been anything like that. Exit polling suggesting 47-34 to Hillary Clinton. Let‘s bring in NBC‘s Brian Williams and Tim Russert who join us again from our headquarters in New Hampshire.
Gentlemen, I think Chris‘ analogy is best, Tim, it‘s a basketball game.
Where are we in it? Are we third quarter or fourth quarter already?
TIM RUSSERT, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: We‘re in the fourth quarter. But anyway this ends, it is a very good night for Hillary Clinton. And the Obama people will acknowledge that. Her tracking polls, his tracking polls, all the public polls had Obama considerably ahead. But something happened here, certainly in the last 24 hours. Whether it was Senator Clinton‘s emotional plea, Bill Clinton‘s anger, the voters of New Hampshire saying, hold on, not so fast, let‘s keep this debate going. Like the voters in Iowa said, hold on, not so fast. We‘re not going to coronate Hillary Clinton but there was a seismic shift in opinion over the last 24 hours.
And psychologically, this news, this late night for Hillary Clinton is such a shot, an injection of hope and optimism for her donors and supporters, that‘s the only way it can be reported, it‘s a big night for Hillary Vlinton.
TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: And Chris and Keith, I‘m with Tim and I‘m with portions of the opinion by Pat Buchanan earlier tonight. Yes, a lot of people have a lot of explaining and analysis to do. I think what (inaudible) it‘s completely immaterial. She‘s pulled off a stunner here tonight. The Obama folks are saying wait for Hanover. Remember, there‘s a college subplot here. University of New Hampshire not in session, Dartmouth is. The politics on the campus of Dartmouth are a bit complex, while Obama did have an event there in the last 24 hours. So it‘s all about Hanover.
But as Chris has been saying and Tim has been saying, the people of this state hand over their vote like a gift. It‘s why you hear so many people in New Hampshire saying, I haven‘t heard enough yet, I‘ve got to hear from him or her. They really have almost en masse decided this goes on from here, and this is how we feel. And perhaps predicated on the media coverage they have seen.
RUSSERT: And, Chris and Keith, you know, you look at these exit polls, it is really striking, 57 percent of the voters in the Democratic primary were women. They opted for Clinton 47-34. And listen to this, women without children, 50 to 31 for Clinton. This is a huge gender divide in this state, whether it was different than Iowa where younger women who had voted for Obama—Obama carried women in Iowa, that changed here with Clinton, or it‘s the contrarian nature of folks from New Hampshire, there was a big shift these last 24 hours. And that means this race goes on big time, Nevada, South Carolina, hotly contested.
OLBERMANN: Tim, does the math work really on this idea about Hanover and Dartmouth? Dartmouth with enrollment of about 5,700?
MATTHEWS: Apparently not.
RUSSERT: I‘m sorry, Brian.
MATTHEWS: OK. We‘re going to—we‘re about to make a projection here on NBC News, is making...
OLBERMANN: There it is.
MATTHEWS: There, Hillary Clinton has won the New Hampshire primary of the Democratic Party for 2008. She has pulled a stunning upset. All the polls, all the polls we‘ve been reporting now for days have pointed to a substantial victory by Barack Obama, the senator from Illinois. He has failed to achieve that test. She has left herself now having come back from a loss in the Iowa Caucuses to win the New Hampshire Primary with the help of a tremendous turnout by women voters, overwhelming the number of male voters, 57-43.
She has got the lioness‘ share of the voters to vote for her. She has beaten the odds. She has beaten the pollsters, the pundits. Every one of us, I think, included, who have been trying to follow this campaign and understand it. I think something happened. It must have happened fairly recently or else these pollsters should find another means of employment.
OLBERMANN: Well, the entire industry was apparently mistaken. It had nothing to do with...
MATTHEWS: But every poll.
OLBERMANN: And that‘s my point.
MATTHEWS: At least on the other side there was some disagreement. In the case of the Democratic primary, these polls were relentlessly pro-Obama.
OLBERMANN: And even the ones within the Clinton camp. And speaking of the Clinton camp, let‘s go directly now to headquarters in New Hampshire where Jay Carson from the Clinton campaign is standing by, spokesman and veteran Clintonian.
Jay, exactly what happened here, other than your candidate winning?
Do you understand what happened here and why?
JAY CARSON, CLINTON CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN: Well, I‘ve got to tell you, Keith, I can barely hear you because these people behind us just found out that we won tonight. Look, this turned around on Saturday night. She started answering everyone‘s questions. And the people of New Hampshire clearly answered two questions, who can be the best president and who can win in November? Their answer was a resounding Hillary Clinton, and that is what we are seeing tonight. People have really been responding to her and we felt that starting on Saturday and here we are tonight. It‘s great.
OLBERMANN: You—did you have an expectation of this? Because every report we‘ve heard from in that room tonight, dating back to 5:00 and 6:00 this afternoon, was that you guys were bracing not just for a loss to Senator Obama, but a significant one, perhaps in double digits.
CARSON: Well, look, Keith, I think this is a good lesson for us to be careful what we read. You know, yesterday there was a Web site that had a death watch on us. Today all the stories about who is still going to be around on our campaign tonight, and then tonight we won.
So look, you know, she got out there. She made the case that the American people and people of New Hampshire need talk and not just action, and the people responded. We‘re going to have a great night and we‘re going to go on. We‘re going to keep on fighting and we‘re going to fight all the way through February 5th.
And we feel like the whole country is going to respond to that message. People want talk, not just—people want action, not just talk after seven years of George Bush.
OLBERMANN: As the noise crests behind you, if you can still hear me, Jay...
CARSON: I can barely hear you, Keith. I‘m trying. It‘s a good noise to hear in the background.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OLBERMANN: Well, we‘re going to let that die down for a second.
Chris, as we let the noise—all right. Here, we...
CARSON: It‘s a high-class problem.
OLBERMANN: Right. It‘s the problem you want to have on a primary night, Jay.
CARSON: That‘s right. This is better than deafening silence, I can tell you that much.
OLBERMANN: All right. That‘s not going to hold off enough. Stand by, Jay. Let‘s go back to Brian Williams and Tim Russert. All right. There‘s the call. The ball game—the basketball game is over. Do we have any better idea how this final score got to be what it was than we did a minute and a half ago, Tim?
RUSSERT: As we were saying, Keith, it‘s all about a gender gap. The women of New Hampshire gave this victory to Hillary Clinton. Secondly, independent voters who, the thinking had been, would line up in the Democratic column, a sizable number of independents decided to go in the Republican primary and vote for John McCain. I think those two factors, as we talked about a couple hours ago, independents and women, how would they vote, which primary, and how would they divide themselves between Obama and Clinton. Now we have our answer.
The women of New Hampshire have put Hillary Clinton back into this presidential race in a big way. Now interestingly enough, there had been talk in the Clinton camp about perhaps skipping Nevada next week, skipping South Carolina and trying to go right to Super Tuesday. No more.
They now have to compete in Nevada and South Carolina, which Barack Obama, I think, would welcome at this late hour. But make no mistake about it, the women of New Hampshire, the independents, and perhaps the contrarian spirit of this state let the debate continue, and that‘s exactly what‘s going to happen.
WILLIAMS: That‘s right. Two points, the people of New Hampshire always hate a fait accompli, and when you skip a state, as you know, it can really anger the base when it has been done. So that‘s a big problem. Will this union endorsement will be key for Barack Obama, or not, when this thing gets to Nevada?
MATTHEWS: I think we should stay the self-flagellation here for a second because—let me bring in Tom Brokaw.
Tom, we were all watching Hillary Clinton, we were watching Bill Clinton in the last couple of days. In their public appearances it was clear they felt the pressure, they, too, believed, especially Hillary, we saw that in her emotional sort of bearing the last couple days. She saw the pressure she was under. She was looking at internal numbers that showed she was in big trouble. She fought her way back. But that‘s not to say the polls weren‘t reading something those last several days.
TOM BROKAW, FMR. NBC ANCHOR: Chris, I was watching you earlier today and you kept referring to the Suffolk University poll as being the anomaly in the group, because it showed a 1 percent margin between Obama and Hillary Clinton. And it turns out that that was the poll that was correct. And the others were wrong. So my investment advice to you tonight, Chris, is, invest in the Suffolk University poll.
MATTHEWS: I think, Tom, that was on the Republican side. I‘m going to check on that. I think that was where they were off. But maybe you‘re right.
BROKAW: Well, no, it was on both sides, actually.
MATTHEWS: Was it? Well, maybe the Suffolk poll knew something that no one else on the planet knew.
BROKAW: Well, let me just read you some of the headlines of the last 24 hours here. So yesterday, with a picture of Hillary on the front page of The Boston Herald, “Panic,” in The New York Post with Hillary. The end of the Clinton era, a lot of pundits saying that on this channel and on all the other channels as well.
One of her long-time friends and a person who is close in her campaign was saying tonight, well, she can have a future as a Senate majority leader, maybe that‘s what she ought to be thinking about. So all of that conventional wisdom was turned on its head. This is one of the great triumphs in recent years in American presidential politics. Hillary Clinton is back.
And the rest of us who were saying out loud that this was not going to happen, you know, we‘ve got a lot of explaining to do.
OLBERMANN: But, of course, one lesson from headline succeeding headline succeeding headline is that we should wait for all the headlines rather than just pick the one that has happened the most recently and maybe that‘s it. Tom, stand by. Tim and Brian are still with us. But Andrea Mitchell is at Clinton headquarters, talking about standing by for the latest headline, with a triumphant Terry McAuliffe, something we would not have probably said going into this evening.
Andrea, if you can hear me, go ahead.
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC CHIEF FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: I sure can. This is not something that he would have predicted.
Terry, you have been with the Clintons all night. What is their mood?
What was their reaction?
TERRY MCAULIFFE, CLINTON CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN: Well, listen, we were sitting most of the night, having some pizza, watching. This thing was so close. But we felt excited. We knew early on it was going to be a very close race. A lot of people, Andrea, said that it was going to be a blowout, it was on TV all day, 10, 15 points. We knew that wasn‘t the case.
Barack came in here with a huge lead, a big bump out of Iowa. They watched that debate. And I think they saw Hillary Clinton and she contrasted the records. And I think then the humanizing moment yesterday, I think that‘s what did it.
It‘s now a one-on-one race. Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama as we go forward. We‘re excited. It‘s a great night. My phone has been ringing off the hook, so I‘m pretty pumped up.
MITCHELL: Gee, I wouldn‘t have known. Terry, tell me, what did Hillary Clinton say when she first realized that she had won?
MCAULIFFE: Well, Hillary is always very superstitious. I actually spent most of the night with the president watching the returns. And he knows every district inside and out. And she would go back to another room and do stuff and all of that. She is always superstitious, you know, on election nights. And then when I left the thing, it looked good, but it had not been called because it took us 25 minutes, we‘re out in Concord.
She felt good. She was excited. I mean, this is a big night. You know, listen, it has been a long campaign. But we knew the folks in New Hampshire would deliver. And they delivered because Hillary will deliver for them. Hillary is going to deliver for them health care, get our troops out, and we knew at the end of the day that the New Hampshire voters would come through and they came through.
MITCHELL: And what did Bill Clinton—I mean, we saw Bill Clinton angry at Obama, striking out, angry at New Hampshire for having called this election within five days of Iowa. What did you say when you talked to him? You were en route here, you called back to the house, what did you tell him, what did he say to you?
MCAULIFFE: Well, listen, what he had said here is, listen, there are contrasts in people‘s records. And that‘s what elections are all about. He knows his wife better than anybody. As he always said, his wife was more prepared to be president than even he was. So he wants to make sure that the contrasts come out.
But, Andrea, that‘s what elections are all about. He was—I mean, listen, we‘re excited tonight, we‘ve got a long way to go. We‘ve got 24 more contests until February 5th. But winning here tonight in Iowa—in New Hampshire, after Iowa, this is a big deal. We‘ve got to look forward, it‘s on to Nevada next. And we don‘t take anything for granted. Hillary Clinton is going to have to earn every vote.
MITCHELL: Is she going to keep with this new strategy where she answers questions, talks to reporters, shows a little bit more of the human side, abandons the stump speech?
MCAULIFFE: Yes. Absolutely. Hey, listen, she wants to deliver for the people and she knows that she has got to get out there and talk about the issues all through the rest of the campaign, so.
MITCHELL: And you‘re going to campaign everywhere? You‘re not going to bypass anything?
MCAULIFFE: Oh no. We always said that. I told you earlier today, Andrea, when people said we weren‘t going to win, I said that to you today, we‘re out there—we‘re in this for the long haul. We have the resources, we have got the momentum. My phone has been ringing off the hook. Donors calling. How do I get on board? You know how it goes in this business. You‘ve always got to stay optimistic.
MITCHELL: How quickly things change. Any personnel changes?
MCAULIFFE: No, but we‘ve always said we would bring more people in to help us, which is a good thing. We‘ve got about 27 days until February 5th when there‘s 23 states in play. We need all the help we can get. And we‘re just excited for tonight.
MITCHELL: A bigger roll for Maggie Williams, the former chief of staff in the White House?
MCAULIFFE: I certainly hope so. I love Maggie and she needs to come in and help, as well do others. People need to all come in. Those who believe in Hillary Clinton and believe she will change the course of this country need to come in and help this campaign.
MITCHELL: OK. Thank you very much.
And the Clintons are en route now, we understand, from Concord, which was about 25 minutes away. But they‘re probably fairly close, so we should be hearing from them fairly soon. Back to you guys.
OLBERMANN: Andrea Mitchell with Terry McAuliffe, thanks, Andrea, and thanks, Terry.
And what we heard, after Iowa, John Edwards declared it was a two-person race and basically tried to excise Hillary Clinton from the equation and said that there were two agents of change, himself and Obama. Terry McAuliffe just returned the favor and excised John Edwards from the race, in his opinion.
We have also, let‘s stop and take the moment here, as we are projecting now that Hillary Clinton has, in fact, won or will win a projection here. They will win the New Hampshire Primary after every indicator beforehand suggested this could not happen, it will happen.
We have now two results so far in this primary season. The Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire Primary. And I think it is befitting to, as two students of American history put—particularly American political history, I think it‘s fitting if we note that we have two results here. The first one won by an African-American and the second by a woman in a country that as late as 1920 did not permit women to vote and as late as 1860 in this country still had slavery, or later, depending on where you were.
MATTHEWS: Well, the other big story—perhaps it‘s a mini story, but Hillary Clinton has done something Bill Clinton was not able to do, win the New Hampshire Primary. He must feel a bit like William Bendix, “what a revoltin‘ development.” But the fact is she not only exceeded expectations, she won when everybody thought she would lose. She won the primary that he lost and lost by 8 points, rather substantially.
She now moves on, perhaps, to these other states, to Michigan, to—we‘ll see how that culinary union actually does go in its endorsement tomorrow now, because there was lots of talk and reporting that they may go with Obama. But it looks like she has got the shot of getting that endorsement now.
OLBERMANN: Well, speaking of going with Obama and talking about etiquette and who is saying what when, if it is following to form, that is Barack Obama going to his headquarters and likely to tell us that he is, in fact, the second place finisher tonight. I can‘t imagine he‘s going to say anything else.
The projections have not been uniform. Projections have not been uniform. The Associated Press has projected this race, as has NBC News. And that, to my knowledge, has been it to this point. But apparently Senator Obama will come up and confirm what we‘ve been telling you for the last 10 or 15 minutes, that this is Hillary Clinton‘s race after Obama performed so well in the Iowa Caucuses and was expected perhaps to do better in the New Hampshire Primary.
The result has been exactly opposite of what we‘ve been expecting. That, of course, is South Nashua High School in New Hampshire. And that is Senator Obama making his way slowly to the stage.
MATTHEWS: You know, he shares something with John Kerry, who spent Election Day in 2004 -- all day on General Election Day in November believing that he had won the presidency based upon the exit polls of all the networks, only to find himself losing the election basically because of Ohio, and obviously the deficiency in the overall popular vote.
But here‘s the man who spent a good part of the last three days believing he was heading towards a big victory, perhaps a—what do you call it, a shutout victory, that would have actually been enough shock and awe to knock Hillary back on her heels. Instead, he now faces defeat and the need to explain it to his people. This is a real test of politics. Can you stand on that stage and explain unexpected defeat? So tough.
OLBERMANN: And to deal with a reality that the exit polling was showing to us earlier, that 38 percent of those who voted today in New Hampshire decided in the last three days where to go. We will now see what the senator has to say in this context. And also, again, we refer back to that number. The exit polling here suggesting that women went for Hillary Clinton, 47 percent to 34 percent, after having gone for Obama in Iowa, 35 percent to 30 percent.
But even the expectation gradient here, all those numbers going into the Iowa Caucuses suggested that Obama was going to win or do extremely well in the Iowa Caucuses. That‘s not what we‘ve been dealing with here. Every range of political opinion survey, every model, every statistical survey that we have basically suggested that this outcome was not going to happen.
Even the internal polling at Clinton headquarters suggested this was not going to happen. And this, of course, begs the question, do we even bother to try to figure out what‘s going to happen next?
MATTHEWS: Well, you have to ask whether people who are being polled on the telephone or whatever, are giving honest answers.
OLBERMANN: Or, honest...
MATTHEWS: Honest—no, seriously.
OLBERMANN: Well, not necessarily honest, but even just whether or not they know their own answer.
Here‘s the senator.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CROWD: Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama!
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you.
CROWD: Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama!
OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, guys. Thank you so much.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: Oh, thank you, New Hampshire. I love you back.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you. Well, thank you so much. I am still fired up and ready to go.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you. Well, first of all, I want to congratulate Senator Clinton on a hard-fought victory here in New Hampshire. She did an outstanding job. Give her a big round of applause.
OBAMA: A few weeks ago, no one imagined that we would have accomplished what we did here tonight in New Hampshire.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: No one could have imagined it. For most of this campaign we were far behind. We always knew our climb would be steep, but in record numbers you came out and you spoke up for change. And with your voices and your votes, you made it clear that at this moment in this election, there is something happening in America.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: There is something happening when men and women in Des Moines and Davenport, in Lebanon and Concord come out in the snows of January to wait in lines that stretch block after block because they believe in what this country can be. There is something happening.
There‘s something happening when Americans who are young in age and in spirit who have never participated in politics before turn out in numbers we have never seen because they know in their hearts that this time must be different.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: There‘s something happening when people vote not just for party that they belong to, but the votes, the hopes that they hold in common, whether we are rich or poor, black or white, Latino or Asian, whether we hail from Iowa or New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina, we are ready to take this country in a fundamentally new direction. That‘s what‘s happening in America right now. Change is what‘s happening in America.
CROWD: We want change! We want change! We want change! We want change! We want change! We want change!
OBAMA: You, all of you who are here tonight, all who put so much heart and soul and work into this campaign, you can be the new majority who can lead this nation out of a long political darkness. Democrats, independents and Republicans who are tired of the division and distraction that has clouded Washington, who know that we can disagree without being disagreeable, who understand...
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: Who understand that if we mobilized our voices to challenge the money and influence that stood in our way and challenge ourselves to reach for something better, there is no problem we cannot solve. There is no destiny that we cannot fulfill. Our new American majority can end the outrage of unaffordable, unavailable health care in our time. We can bring...
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: ... doctors and patients, workers and businesses, Democrats and Republicans together, and we can tell the drug and insurance industry that while they get a seat at the table, they don‘t get to buy every chair, not this time, not now.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: Our new majority can end the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas and put a middle class tax cut in the pockets of working Americans who deserve it. We can stop sending our children to schools with corridors of shame and start putting them on a pathway to success.
We can stop talking about how great teachers are and start rewarding them for their greatness by giving them more pay and more support.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: We can do this with our new majority. We can harness the ingenuity of farmers and scientists, citizens and entrepreneurs to free this nation from the tyranny of oil and save our planet from a point of no return.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: And when I am president of the United States, we will end this war in Iraq and bring our troops home.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CROWD: Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama!
OBAMA: We will end this war in Iraq. We will bring our troops home. We will finish the job. We will finish the job against al Qaeda and Afghanistan. We will care for our veterans. We will restore our moral standing in the world. And we will never use 9/11 as a way to scare up votes because it is not a tactic to win an election. It is a challenge that should unite America and the world against the common threats of the 21st Century: terrorism and nuclear weapons, climate change and poverty, genocide and disease.
All of the candidates in this race share these goals.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (OFF-MIKE)
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: All of the candidates in this race have good ideas. And all are patriots who serve this country honorably.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: But the reason our campaign has always been different, the reason we began this improbable journey almost a year ago is because it‘s not just about what I will do as president, it is also about what you, the people who love this country, the citizens of the United States of America can do to change it. That‘s what this election is all about.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: That‘s why tonight belongs to you. It belongs to the organizers and the volunteers and the staff who believed in this journey and rallied so many others to join the cause. We know the battle ahead will be long. But always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.
We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics. And they will only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks and months to come. We‘ve been asked to pause for a reality check. We‘ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.
But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: For when we have faced down impossible odds, when we‘ve been told we‘re not ready, or that we shouldn‘t try, or that we can‘t, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: Yes, we can.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: Yes, we can.
CROWD: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!
OBAMA: It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation. Yes, we can. It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom through the darkest of nights. Yes, we can. It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers whose pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness. Yes, we can.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: It was the call of workers who organized, women who reached for the ballot, a president who chose the Moon as our New Frontier and a king who took us to the mountain top and pointed the way to the promised land. Yes, we can, to justice and equality!
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
CROWD: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!
OBAMA: Yes, we can, to opportunity and prosperity. Yes, we can heal this nation. Yes, we can repair this world. Yes, we can. And so tomorrow, as we take the campaign South and West, as we learn that the struggles of the textile workers in Spartanburg are not so different than the plight of the dishwasher in Las Vegas, that the hopes of the little girl who goes to the crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of L.A.
SEN BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will remember there is something happening in America, that we are not as divided as our politics suggest, that we are one people. We are one nation. And together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast, from sea to shining sea; yes, we can!
Thank you, New Hampshire! Thank you! Thank you.
KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR: To the chants of “we want change” Senator Barack Obama finishing second narrowly in the first formal primary, as MSNBC News projecting Hillary Clinton to win this primary, which I think Senator Obama concurs with. The chant of we want change ringing oddly considering that change tonight was an unexpected Hillary Clinton victory.
The polls were so wrong, so off, with one or two exceptions, that two cable news networks actually projected this outcome only after Senator Obama conceded. So the—in one case, the candidates were ahead of the projections. Senator Obama with a speech that was, as given previously, as he won the Iowa caucuses, done with the aid of tele-prompters. Nothing wrong with that. Certainly those of us in this business who use a tele-prompter, we can‘t be critical of that.
But it does lend a different tone to things. And I‘m wondering how this matches up, as we wait for Senator Clinton having won tonight to address her crowd. I‘m wondering how this whole picture matches up to that famous “Chicago Tribune” headline, Dewey defeats Truman.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: I know. I go back further to the Landon (ph) prediction, based upon telephone calling, when they didn‘t have telephones, regular people. I want to get back to Tom Brokaw, just to check up on our notes here. You pointed out that the only poll that had it anywhere right, in term of predicting this defeat by the man we‘re looking at in the victory for Hillary Clinton, was the Suffolk University/WHDH poll. That‘s our NBC affiliate up here in Boston.
Barack Obama was projected to win by one point, one point in that poll. All the other polls we were looking at averaged about an eight-point advantage for Barack Obama. This one showed him only winning by only a point.
Now, the problem with that poll is it completely got wrong, that very poll, the Republican side. They predicted Romney to win a substantial victory. He lost. So even the pollsters that were right about the Democratic race or close to right were wrong about the other one. Tom, we‘re going to have to go back and figure out the methodology on some of these.
TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: You know what I think we‘re going to have to go back and do? Wait for the voters to make their judgment.
MATTHEWS: What do we do then in the days before the balloting? We must stay home, I guess.
BROKAW: No, we don‘t stay home. There are reasons to analyze what they‘re saying. We know from how the people voted today, what moved them to vote. You can take a look at that. There are a lot of issues that have not been fully explored during all this. But we don‘t have to get in the business of making judgments before the polls have closed and trying to stampede, in effect, the process.
Look, I‘m not just picking on us, it‘s part of the culture which we live these days. I think that the people out there are going to begin to make some judgments about us, if they haven‘t already, if we don‘t begin to temper that temptation to constantly try to get ahead of what the voters are deciding, in many cases, as we learned in New Hampshire, when they went into the polling booth today, or in the last three days. They were making decisions very late.
MATTHEWS: You know, Tom, there are whole universities that depend almost entirely for their identity, their brand, on their polling operations, whether it‘s Quinnipiac or Marist or whatever. It seems like so many people depend on getting out an early estimate of what is about to come.
BROKAW: You know, yes, but I think that‘s a lot less important than letting this process go forward in the way that it should. I think people probably are not as honest with pollsters when they get called anymore because they‘re called constantly and they do change their minds. We‘re in a culture now, Chris, in which attention spans are very short, which people make quick decisions and change them equally quickly.
So we have to be very careful about that. What we ought to do is invest in the American people and their wisdom. They‘ve always decided what‘s best for them.
MATTHEWS: Tom, we‘re watching now the Clintons coming into the room there to be greeted by the victorious Clinton forces. There‘s Hillary Clinton looking ebullient, I think is the word, after a very tiring week.
BROKAW: You know, Chris, I‘m sure she heard some of Obama and she knows that she still has a formidable trail ahead of her, because that was, once again, a very impressive political speech. But this is her night and her night plus. You can pick any metaphor that you want, the debut of the Mets, winning the Super Bowl, getting a big, big prize, because yesterday she was in a very emotional, almost meltdown moment, saying it‘s very hard to go forward, the night before --
SEN HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you.
BROKAW: People said they like Obama better than you. Now let‘s listen to Hillary Clinton on the most triumphant night of her political career.
CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you.
I come tonight with a very, very full heart. And I want—I want especially to thank New Hampshire. Over the last week, I listened to you and in the process, I found my own voice. I felt like we all spoke from our hearts and I am so gratified that you responded. Now together, let‘s give America the kind of comeback that New Hampshire has just given me.
You know, for all the ups and downs of this campaign, you helped remind everyone that politics isn‘t a game. This campaign is about people, about making a difference in your lives, about making sure that everyone in this country has the opportunity to live up to his or her God-given potential. That has been the work of my life.
We are facing a moment of so many big challenges. We know we face challenges here at home, around the world, so many challenges for the people whose lives I‘ve been privileged to be part of. I‘ve met families in this state and all over our country who have lost their homes to foreclosures, men and women who work day and night but can‘t pay the bills, and hope they don‘t get sick because they can‘t afford health insurance; young people who can‘t afford to go to college to pursue their dreams.
Too many—too many have been invisible for too long. Well, you are not invisible to me. The oil companies, the drug companies, the health insurance companies, the predatory student loan companies have had seven years of a president who stands up for them. It‘s time we had a president who stands up for all of you.
I intend—I intend to be that president, to be a president who puts you first, your lives, your families, your children, your futures. I believe deeply in America and our can-do spirit, in our ability to meet any challenge and solve any problem. I believe in what we can do together.
In the future, we will build together. There will be no more invisible Americans. So we‘re going to take what we‘ve learned here in New Hampshire and we‘re going to rally on and make our case. We are in it for the long run! And that is because we are in it for the American people.
This victory will serve notice that people across our country know what‘s really at stake, that we will all be called upon to deliver on the promise of America. We‘ll be called upon to deliver on the promise that the middle class will grow and prosper again; to deliver on the promise that government will be of the people, by the people, and for the people. not just the privileged few; to deliver on the promise that every generation will have their shot at the American dream; to deliver on the promise that we‘ll have the will and the wisdom to end the war in Iraq the right way; to deliver on the promise to take care of our brave veterans and restore America‘s standing, respect and credibility around the world.
We know that for the promise of America to be real, we are called upon to deliver on that promise. And if you join in this call to greatness, we will, together, answer. So tomorrow, we‘re going to get up, roll up our sleeves and keep going.
I invite you to come join us at HillaryClinton.com. We‘re going to tap into all of the spirit, the talent, and just the plain grit of this great nation again. We are determined to tackle our toughest problems and stand up for those who most need a champion, because we are determined to make America work again for all of our people. We came back tonight because you spoke loudly and clearly.
You want—you want this campaign to be about you, because there is so much at stake for our country. I have so many people to thank. I want to thank the two most important people in my life, Bill and Chelsea. I want to thank them for their incredible commitment, their passion, and their heart.
I want to thank my entire family, particularly my mother, who is watching tonight. I want to thank the extraordinary team here in New Hampshire that never faltered one minute! That team—that team had a great staff. It had volunteers and supporters from across the state and this country.
I want to thank the young people across New Hampshire who came out.
They asked the hard questions and they voted their hearts and their minds.
And I really appreciate it.
And finally, I want to say how much I respect our Democratic candidates. Senators Dodd and Biden, who were in the race earlier, have given grace service to our country. Governor Richardson, Congressman Kucinich, Senator Edwards and Senator Obama, they all—they all have put themselves on the line day and night on behalf of this country we love so much.
This campaign will transform America because we will take on the challenges. We will seize the opportunities. Every single day I am not going out there on my own, I‘m going out there accompanied by millions and millions of people who believe, as I do, that this country is worth fighting for! Thank you, and god bless you!
MATTHEWS: That was Hillary Clinton, of course, accepting the victory of tonight‘s Democratic primary in New Hampshire. An amazing big comeback for her from what looked to be a big defeat over the last several days. She pulled off the victory. Everyone is calling it a victory for her. She has now received it. Obama has conceded. Edwards has conceded. Richardson has conceded. A big night for Hillary Clinton.
Let‘s go back to Brian Williams and Tim Russert. Brian, your thoughts on that speech?
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Well, I‘ll tell you, two—I thought two extraordinary speeches from these two Democrats. Different speeches, of course, reflecting the differences between them. I‘m sitting here thinking about New Englanders, who are, after all—it hasn‘t been all that long in our history—the sons and daughters of the Puritans who arrived here. And look at what New Hampshire‘s done.
They‘ve taken the results of Iowa and said to these two political upstarts, who. And they‘ve said to a 71-year-old former Naval aviator, former POW, we‘re going to hand you our cherished vote and we trust you to reflect our values on the Republican side. And they have said to a woman senator from the state of New York, here is our cherished vote.
They saw her have a moment yesterday. She was verclempt. As Mike Huckabee put it, I think correctly, it was a genuine human reaction. He said today, you know, we‘re all tired. And they saw that happen and they saw some of the press coverage and they reacted. And we saw both candidates tonight. They reacted to the results of this vote. And very importantly here in New Hampshire and across this country, both Democratic candidates were decent to their opponents in these speeches.
What a night. Hillary Clinton has pulled off a stunner. This has made modern political history.
TIM RUSSERT, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: There‘s no doubt about it, one of the greatest political upsets in American political history, underscored. These are two heavyweight contenders. Each now has won one primary and one caucus. It guaranties this race goes on, Nevada, South Carolina, and all of Super Tuesday.
Super Tuesday, which has many open states where independents and Republicans can vote, many closed states where just hard-core Democrats can vote. This is the political equivalent of Ali-Frazier. And each fighter, each candidate is going to keep making their case. And each town, each state is going to make their own individual judgment.
New Hampshire is not going to imitate Iowa. Iowa didn‘t imitate New Hampshire. Nevada, South Carolina, these voters are going to wait until the event gets to their area. They‘re going to go size up this man, size up this woman, and decide who they want to represent the Democratic party. Strap yourselves in.
MATTHEWS: On this big night, gentlemen, Brian and Tim, thank you for joining us. Let‘s go right now to Tom Brokaw. Your thoughts on these two great speeches tonight?
BROKAW: Well, there were two very powerful speeches. Barack Obama is an extraordinarily gifted orator. I think everybody agrees with that. He‘s a real thoroughbred in American presidential politics. When I was hearing yes, we can, I was thinking it was 1963, of course, when Dr. Martin Luther King launched the civil rights movement effectively with the March on Washington and I have a dream. And this was, of course, part of the dream that there could be an African-American that could be in contention for the presidency of the United States.
And Hillary Clinton, who has been through so much in her personal and political life, and has always been a fighter and a survivor. We remember all of this obviously when she was first lady and politically controversial, and then personally humiliated by her husband‘s behavior. When she ran for Senate in New York, a lot of people said that‘s presumptuous of her and she can‘t possibly win. Of course, she did very well, as you know, Chris, in upstate, conservative New York.
And tonight, she makes this very powerful comeback. And there will be people going back into her campaign thinking maybe it is possible that she can now win the nomination. And all this has happened in just the last five days or so. There‘s already been a subtle change in her campaign, not just in her demeanor over the last 48 hours. But in her appearance tonight, the sign was change will be coming to America.
And we saw a no Bill Clinton on stage with her, no Madeline Albright, no Wesley Clark on stage, a lot more young people. They are changing the complexion of this campaign as well, Chris.
MATTHEWS: That was quite a youthful cheering section about her. Tom, hold on there. Let‘s bring in Howard Wolfson, who is communications director for Hillary Clinton‘s campaign. Howard, I listened to you and I found my own voice. Explain that evolution, if you can.
HOWARD WOLFSON, CLINTON CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR: Well, you know, on the trail here, as you probably observed, Senator Clinton was taking question after question, really listening to the voters of New Hampshire, answering their questions, and really showing who she was. And you and she had a moment at one point that I saw that I thought was quite nice. And people here really responded.
I thought there were a couple of very key moments. Certainly in the last 24 hours we saw one of them. And I also think the debate was a key moment in which Senator Clinton drew some important contrasts on the issues, on the record with Senator Obama and people responded, especially over the last 48 hours.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you, I know it‘s a tricky position as the communications director, but let me ask you to perhaps showcase some of the moments people have said for the last couple of hours were critical to her comeback. One was her comment on the Saturday night debate, the Charlie Gibson ABC debate, where she responded to a question from Charlie where he did put to her the charge almost, the indictment that some people didn‘t like her, and she said, you‘re hurting my feelings.
And later on this same kind of sort of plaintiff acknowledgement of hurt when she talked about the pressure on her during the last couple of hours during the campaign. Do you think the appeal of Hillary Clinton is always going to be a mix of the appeal of her strengths and a bit of empathy for her as a woman?
WOLFSON: Well, I certainly think that the American public is looking for strength in a president and Hillary Clinton has that. I also think that the American people wants to know who their presidential candidates are. They want to get a sense of what makes them tick. They want to know what motivates them. I think over the past week here in New Hampshire, voters got to see that from Hillary Clinton, maybe in a way that they hadn‘t previously.
You know, this is a very grueling, intensive process. The candidates, all of them really, to their credit, were working full out from December 26th in Iowa until January 3rd in Iowa. And then they came right to New Hampshire and went five days without any sleep, getting up every day at dawn, working well past dusk to midnight sometimes. And you get to see what somebody is made of under those conditions. And I think people like what they saw when they saw Senator Clinton this past week here in New Hampshire.
OLBERMANN: Howard, mechanically speaking, given how universal all polling was, even internal candidates‘ polling about this, that the closest thing seemed to be the one poll that we‘ve quoted throughout the evening that came out of Suffolk University, that only had Obama winning tonight by one percent. All of the polling was wrong. Mechanically, what changed? One of the exit polls suggest 38 percent of the voters made up their minds in the last three days. Is that sufficient to explain this, or how mechanically, demographically, do you explain what happened tonight?
WOLFSON: Well, look, I think much to his credit, Senator Obama came into New Hampshire under—carrying with him a tremendous amount of energy. And he was really riding a wave out of Iowa. And I think that began to change at the debate when we began to draw some contrasts on the issues on the record. Then I think people who took a look at this race in the last 48 hours decided they liked what they saw from Senator Clinton.
She was speaking from the heart. She found her voice. And I think most of the people who were making up their minds over the last 24, 48 hours broke towards us. You know, people in Iowa take this process so seriously. People in New Hampshire take this process so seriously. And I think people in New Hampshire were willing to give both candidates a second look and they liked what they saw from Senator Clinton, especially here in the last 48 hours.
OLBERMANN: Five hours ago, Howard, we were told by Dee Dee Myers that Senator Clinton was not at any point really the front-runner in this race. I‘m not going to ask you to contradict that statement, which would be rendered inoperative by the events of the last five hours. Is she just for the record, now, is she the front-runner now?
WOLFSON: I never used that term before and I‘m certainly not going to use it now. This process, as we said, as we said out of Iowa, this is a marathon. And it goes from here to the states of Nevada and South Carolina and then so many large states on February 5th.
You know, I think something else happened here in New Hampshire. People said, you know, we want to have an opportunity to look at these candidates. We want to size up their records. We want to put them through their paces. We want to have an opportunity to participate and I think that‘s what Americans all around the country are saying.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you, Howard, about the Hillary Clinton that you know and love, the person you worked for and work with. Is there any plan to try to bring her out? She used the phrase tonight, I listened to you, and I found my own voice. Well, clearly she felt that she had evolved in finding her voice. Is that something that‘s going to becoming a part of this campaign, this perhaps more spontaneous appeal to the people?
Is there something here beyond what she said? I mean, I found my own voice is something we all say in talk radio. We say it in writing columns. It takes a while to find out what your voice sounds like. Has Hillary Clinton through all her years in public life been too scripted and only now under tremendous pressure been able to find a way she really feels when she speaks?
WOLFSON: It‘s a very good question and I appreciate it. Adversity really does test people. And, you know, we were down by 15 points here three weeks ago—I mean three days ago. Senator Clinton, like all the candidates, was exhausted.
And I think from that experience, she was speaking from the heart. She was saying what she felt. She was taking questions from people. She was reacting to the moment. And I think people appreciated it. And I think that‘s something that Senator Clinton is going to continue to do going forward.
It‘s something that she recognized here in New Hampshire. People want to know what motivates these candidates. They want to know what makes them tick. They want to know why they‘re doing what they‘re doing. And I think here in New Hampshire, Senator Clinton began to tell a little bit more about that and people clearly have responded in tremendous ways.
You don‘t make up a 15-point deficit in two or three days to somebody who had come out of Iowa with the head of steam that Senator Obama had without making a tremendous impact on people. That‘s what‘s happened here.
MATTHEWS: Well, I‘ve seen her now address large crowds in the last couple of days. Thousands of people under tremendous stress when it looked like she was losing this primary campaign, based upon all the polling, and she stood out there for several hours at a time taking every question, just like Bill did back in ‘92 in this same kind of in-the-round arena, exposing herself to just about every kind of question.
And of course, last night, before a hothouse crowd of thousands of people with the cars lined up for the longest time to get into that arena, she stood there and took the heat under what looked to be a difficult time in terms of the polling again. And I give her a lot of personal credit. I will never underestimate Hillary Clinton again. Thank you very much for coming on tonight, Howard Wolfson.
WOLFSON: Thank you, Chris. Thank you.
MATTHEWS: MSNBC‘s Norah O‘Donnell has been tracking our exit polls and has new numbers tonight showing how she did it, how Hillary Clinton won tonight—Norah.
NORAH O‘DONNELL, MSNBC CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: That‘s right, Chris. And tonight, we know from these exit polls why Hillary Clinton won. First, she won among women who make up 57 percent of the electorate.
Remember, she didn‘t do that in Iowa.
Tonight, she also lowered the age gap. In Iowa, she won voters over age 60. This time, she won those over 40 years old. And just one interesting note, she did not best Barack Obama overall among independents, though.
Now let‘s break it down. Let‘s talk about the battle of change versus experience. A majority of the Democratic voters in New Hampshire say, no question, they want change. And as you can see from the numbers tonight, Barack Obama certainly scored big with those voters.
Voters thought experience was less important than change, but here‘s what‘s interesting. Of those voters who say experience is the most important quality, take a look at these numbers from New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton got 71 percent of those voters on experience. That‘s huge. Obama only got 5 percent of those votes. So here Hillary Clinton also picked up votes that had gone to Biden in Iowa. And that made a difference for her.
Also, we had a little bonus round for you guys tonight. There was one really interesting question that we had from the exit polling. We asked Democratic voters how they would have voted if Bill Clinton had been eligible to run for a third term. Well, look at how it breaks out. The vast majority of Obama voters would have stayed with him if Bill had been on the ticket, 73 percent would have voted for Obama, 23 percent for Bill Clinton.
But among those who voted for Hillary, it‘s a different story. More voters would have actually cast their ballots for Bill Clinton had it been possible to vote for him than Hillary Clinton. But I guess Hillary Clinton got the last word tonight, because, of course, she scored this upset victory in tonight‘s primary—Chris and Keith.
MATTHEWS: And of course, he lost the New Hampshire primary when he ran for president. She has one-upped him already.
OLBERMANN: In the hypothetical impossible he won this primary, but not in reality.
MATTHEWS: Small consolation.
OLBERMANN: We‘re going to expand next week‘s polling to include the possibility of voting for Superman. We‘re going to throw that one in there too for another hypothetical.
MATTHEWS: Oh, I thought that was a good question. I think we‘re always going to have to look at the role of Bill in these...
OLBERMANN: It‘s interesting, but...
MATTHEWS: ... things, because there‘s so much—within the Democratic base, let‘s put it that way, a lot of regard for that fellow, a lot of it, within the base.
OLBERMANN: Who do the Republicans right now turn their heat beams on?
Who do they give the two-minutes hate against?
MATTHEWS: Well, they‘re going to have to hit both of these people. I do think they get more relishing going after Hillary. Barack is the new kid on the block. He‘s African-American and with all the problems in our history that have been facing African-American men and women both, they are difficult to attack politically in this environment, I still think—or I do think, I should say, still.
I think it‘s going to be tricky to get personal or down and dirty, to put it lightly, with a fellow like Barack Obama who seems so young and clean and new on the clock. I did think he looked incredibly attractive up there with his wife—his beautiful wife, Michelle. Again, they are one hell of an attractive couple up there. When they took the stage there, it reminded me a bit of Jack Kennedy and Jackie back in ‘56, when they lost the nomination for vice president.
There‘s something nice about it. But I must say, there was a fatal tone to his speech tonight. I sensed in his speech a true concession that he lost. That struck me. The other candidates like Romney acted like he hadn‘t lost. Edwards acted like he hadn‘t lost. He looked like a man who had been defeated today.
OLBERMANN: Your point before this speech...
MATTHEWS: Look at his face.
OLBERMANN: Your point before this speech was well-taken. The adversity moment, where we feel like we‘ve been into this campaign for five years, we are really into it literally a week in terms of getting any substantive responses, and this was the adversity test, the first adversity test.
MATTHEWS: For him.
OLBERMANN: For him. Did he...
MATTHEWS: To be whacked after you think you‘re walking into a victory speech, to be whacked this late in the evening and told, no, you‘re not getting the victory, you‘re not going to win the first primary. You‘ll be the loser tonight and tomorrow and the next day and throughout the next week.
OLBERMANN: We think Hillary Clinton passed her adversity test based on the outcome tonight, I don‘t think there is any question about that. Did Barack Obama pass his adversity test?
MATTHEWS: I thought he felt the moment and he felt defeat. I don‘t think he faked it. Maybe that‘s a good thing. Maybe that‘s a healthy thing.
OLBERMANN: Tom Brokaw wants in on this point and we are most respectful for his opinion—Tom.
TOM BROKAW, FMR. NBC ANCHOR: Is this going to make Barack Obama a better candidate or not? If he had had a coronation, it probably wouldn‘t have been good for him in the long haul. Now the country will get a real chance to examine him even more carefully, not only what his positions are, but what kind of a candidate he‘ll be over the long haul. Because this is not a process that ends on February 5th. It goes through November of next year.
And the country deserves a chance to see not just what kind of candidate they may have, but what kind of a president they may have. So it‘s good all the way around. Obviously, she‘s going to be a stronger candidate coming out of all this. And there‘s a very good chance that Barack Obama will be a better candidate too. We‘ll have to wait and see in all that regard.
We can speculate and speculate, but it‘s like I always say, sports writers before the Super Bowl always say they know what‘s going to happen and then, Keith, the ball is kicked off and guess what?
OLBERMANN: Well, as Red Barber used to say when asked for a prediction, if I knew that in advance, think how much money we could save on the travel.
MATTHEWS: Yes. I said the other night, I think it is still true more than ever, when I think about it that I said that this is the only competition nationally in which you have the playoffs first, then the regular season. The regular season is before us. Let‘s bring in the panel right now, starting with Joe Scarborough.
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “MORNING JOE”: Well, I‘ve got to tell you, I have not seen an election like this before. It‘s absolutely stunning and for people that want to wring their hands and they want to attack the pollsters and the pundits and say, how dare they try to decide how the people of Hew Hampshire are going to vote before the people of New Hampshire decided how they were going to vote, that would be like criticizing, if we‘re doing sports analogies, sports writers.
Howard Fineman, we were talking about this before, they‘re like criticizing sports writers for saying that the Yankees were ahead of the Red Sox three games to nothing in 2004. That was the case at the time. It was an incredible comeback and you can ask anybody, including members of Hillary Clinton‘s team, Howard Fineman, 24 hours ago and they would tell you, without spinning, that they were going to be facing carnage today. They were going to be facing double-digit defeat. They were going to be facing a campaign shakeup. They were terrified. But something happened over the past 24 hours.
HOWARD FINEMAN, NEWSWEEK: Well, in the lobby of Manchester Hotel last night, I saw a very prominent Hillary supporter, somebody Chris Matthews knows well, and she was basically looking for a way to get off the ship. OK? Now I‘m sure she scrambled right back on and is ready to find more people whose cash she can bundle for the Hillary campaign. I think we‘re going to see what kind of guy Barack Obama really the now, as Tom Brokaw was saying.
SCARBOROUGH: And let‘s talk about that, the adversity moment. I remember last week watching, it seemed like a month ago, Hillary Clinton in Iowa. She had lost. It was a stunner. But she went up there and immediately you could see grace under fire. Tonight, Barack Obama‘s speech, really, it was just as good as any speech I have ever seen a political leader give, and he as sure as hell wasn‘t reading notes.
FINEMAN: No, it was very good, it was very gracious, it was very much in character for him. He showed his emotion, he showed his gracefulness. He was engaged in a way that I don‘t think he really was in that debate that he mailed in the other day on Saturday. Let‘s see how he does now. We‘ve got Nevada, we‘ve got South Carolina. Let‘s see how he fights and let‘s what happens.
SCARBOROUGH: Katrina, what was the defining moment? You know, you go back to these defining moments that change an election. Ronald—let‘s just—we‘ll stay in New Hampshire. Ronald Reagan grabbing the mike, saying, I paid for the mike, Mr. Green (ph). Ed Muskie tearing up in 1972. What was the defining moment that flipped, again, a double-digit lead in 24 hours?
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, EDITOR, THE NATION: I think it was what Hillary Clinton spoke about tonight in saying she found her voice. I think she re-discovered the rationale for her candidacy, which is to make her own history, to remind women and people of the state that there is a first in electing a woman.
I was struck tonight by the different cadences. Obama, there‘s hope and there‘s grace but there‘s also harder edge. There was a populism in his voice tonight which I think both candidates, Hillary and Obama, are going to have to pick up from Edwards.
We‘re on the verge of recession in this country and Edwards, let‘s not forget, has played a valuable role in driving a populism and a debate about who controls this country, the people or the corporations. And you could hear that in both of them tonight listening to their voters and speaking for a transformational change.
SCARBOROUGH: And, Gene Robinson, we were sitting here comparing speeches tonight. And we, earlier this evening had talked about John McCain looking at his speech. An older man looking at his speech, seeming lost at times. And then we contrast that with Barack Obama, again, delivering one of the better speeches I think you said that you‘ve heard in political history.
EUGENE ROBINSON, THE WASHINGTON POST: I thought it was an amazing speech, seemingly delivered off the cuff. He has become a better and better speaker. But obviously this race is about more than eloquence.
You know, I kind of suspect that, you know, in the end, when the history is written, we will find that Obama, you know, outworked, out-organized, out-hustled Hillary Clinton in Iowa. I think she did that to him in the last few days here in New Hampshire.
SCARBOROUGH: But nobody saw that. That‘s the thing, the Clintons didn‘t see it. And you know what, I went to speeches, I went to these events. Barack Obama‘s, they packed in thousands of people. I went to an event last night with Hillary Clinton and there were—they filled up a high school auditorium, half the people in there were from Massachusetts. There was polite applause. The people in the press were nodding off in the back. She delivered this speech that was uninspiring and yet tonight she has shocked the political world.
ROBINSON: Well, I‘ll tell you what some people will suspect. Here you have polls, you know, the day before the primary showing Obama way ahead. And he finishes, you know, 15 points lower than that. A lot of people will suspect a “Bradley effect.”
You know, Tom Bradley...
SCARBOROUGH: Oh, Tom Bradley. You‘re...
ROBINSON: Not the Bill Bradley effect. We were talking about Bill Bradley‘s endorsement being, you know, not necessarily the greatest thing. I‘m talking about Tom Bradley, the mayor—African-American mayor of Los Angeles years ago, ran for governor of California. Polls showed him on election eve that he was going to cruise to victory and he lost. And Doug Wilder of—the first...
SCARBOROUGH: Wait, wait, wait, but are you really saying right now that the people of New Hampshire may have—I won‘t say, be racist, but are you saying that they did not want to go in that booth and vote for a black man?
ROBINSON: You know, I actually think that probably was not—certainly not a major factor in the decision, it was a very narrow loss. I think other factors were bigger. I think people will raise that, though, because it happened in our memory.
VANDEN HEUVEL: But I mean, I think it was the women breaking for Hillary which played such a huge role in her victory.
SCARBOROUGH: It wasn‘t just the women—I think it was the women breaking, but Howard, I think also, it was the fact that Hillary Clinton—and Tom Brokaw brought this up, Hillary Clinton was savaged. She was beaten up. The long knives were out. The New York Post headlines that we all saw that said “Panic,” and that face. You had The Boston Globe headline saying “She‘s so yesterday.” It was vicious. It was hateful.
And the people of New Hampshire, and I think especially women, came to her defense of a lady that they had been with since 1992.
FINEMAN: Well, it didn‘t seem fair, but also Hillary talked about real specific things in the lives of people. I think Barack Obama got a little caught up in the last week or so in the notion that he was making history. History is a great thing.
SCARBOROUGH: But you have got to make it first.
FINEMAN: No, he did make it in Iowa. But he got into this, let‘s do it for history. But it‘s really about people. They don‘t care so much about history, they care about the real details of life.
SCARBOROUGH: All right. Well, thank you all so much. We‘re going to be talking to Barack Obama tomorrow morning. “Morning Joe” starts at 6:00 a.m., in about two minutes. Let‘s head right now though back to Keith.
OLBERMANN: Yes. You had better go home because you have got to be
back in here. See if you see yourself—as you go out the door, see if
you see yourself coming back in. All right. Joe, good night. The panel
will remain with us. And when we come back, we‘ll go back to New
Hampshire. NBC‘s Brian Williams and Tim Russert, one of the questions to
ask, where does Barack Obama go from here? Will he listen to New
Hampshire and find his own voice? You‘re watching MSNBC‘s coverage of the
New Hampshire Primaries. Stay with us.
OLBERMANN: This MSNBC‘s continuing coverage of the New Hampshire primaries. One, we project, and the candidates agree by John McCain on the Republican side and by Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side in one of the titanic upsets of, certainly, political—primary history, if not politics as a whole. Continuing alongside Chris Matthews, I‘m Keith Olbermann. And let‘s go back to New Hampshire and NBC‘s Brian Williams and Tim Russert.
Let me ask you that question I sort threw out before the break, Tim. Where does Barack Obama go from here? We have a star of the week in the Democratic primary system, maybe even less than, maybe a star of the day. Does he in fact listen to New Hampshire and find his own voice now?
TIM RUSSERT, HOST, “MEET THE PRESS”: Well, he has to. And he has to get to Nevada and get to Nevada quickly, because a week from Saturday is the caucus. And a week from tonight is the debate with the Democratic candidates moderated by Brian Williams. That takes on a whole new level of importance.
I thought Howard Wolfson‘s analysis was exactly correct tonight. He credited the debate performance and the campaigning and the issues that she touched upon. Obama is going to have to do the same thing. Reintroduce himself to the people of Nevada, talk about winning, talk about losing. Tell people who he is from his very core—Brian.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC ANCHOR: I was just going to say, I‘ve been listening to the panel. Number one, the “Bradley effect,” whether people are going to decide it was in effect in this case is very real and talked about among people in the political business. Let‘s not forget the Gantt race in North Carolina few years ago.
I thought the finding her voice line tonight was brilliant, and appropriately placed. I too have never seen Howard Wolfson as good as he was tonight, the sweater aside.
WILLIAMS: He‘s a grizzled pro in this business, very good at what he does. And tonight he was authentic and contrite and so good as her representative.
And also there was something buried in the Obama speech. He mentioned Lebanon, New Hampshire. I was there with him yesterday. I think anyone who came around the corner as we did, had that been any candidate, and I watched it through the eyes of the candidate, his still new political staff, a veteran Secret Service agent and a driver from here in New Hampshire, it took your breath away, the hundreds of people lined through the streets of this small town.
Then again, if you were Hillary last night at the rally at the airport, you would have come away from that thinking something is happening here, because that was a big coming together. They turned out hundreds of people and packed the place.
RUSSERT: And, Chris and Keith, while we‘re sitting here absorbing this extraordinary political upset, let‘s not forget the Republicans. And a question I‘ll ask you, and all across America, who is the Republican frontrunner, guys? Who is it? Huckabee wins Iowa. McCain wins New Hampshire. He goes to Michigan to try to knock off Romney. Huckabee heads to South Carolina. And Rudy Giuliani is in Florida waiting.
They‘re only five days into this political primary season and look at this race on both sides. Amazing.
OLBERMANN: Tim, let me ask you one question here. Who in this Democratic race—based on the expressions of the surprise in the speeches, which group was more surprised, was it the Clinton group or was it the Obama group?
RUSSERT: Oh, man. Both stunned. I can‘t underscore how everybody, their tracks—I‘m not going to reveal any state secrets, but I‘ll say it, Obama had himself up 14 points, Clinton had herself down 11 points. That matched the public polls. All day long the Clinton people were saying, if we can keep it less than double digits, it will be a psychological win.
All the while, should we put out our staff changes today before the loss or tomorrow after the loss? Maybe we should skip Nevada and South Carolina. I cannot tell you what was coming out of that campaign. And then when the exit polls were being analyzed for the first time in brief snatches being reported, people were trying to extrapolate, saying, is this going to be closer than we think?
I‘ve never seen a political process so shaken and dumped over. The pollsters, the pundits, the candidates, the candidate staffs, all of them totally stunned, Keith, totally.
OLBERMANN: Brian, add in on this, because it almost gets lost, we almost lose the forest for the trees of the individual contributing factors here. There was a lot of surprise to go around. Who got more of it?
WILLIAMS: Well, it‘s a terrific question. I think it‘s divided equally. I had a Howard Fineman moment. I had a Clinton loyalist from Clinton White House one when I covered the White House say to me this afternoon, talked about Hillary Rodham Clinton‘s campaign in New Hampshire in past tense saying, “she ran into an ideal here, a movement.”
It was over, the campaign in New Hampshire. I can‘t tell you, and those pictures of Obama this morning, bringing the coffee and donuts out to the press corps, this thing was set in type—talk about “Dewey defeats Truman,” and on its way to the printers, if not coming off the press.
RUSSERT: You know, Keith, on the Republican side, the Romney camps and the McCain camps both saying this thing us too close to call. We don‘t know what‘s going to happen. And we all agreed with that. I mean, this is a remarkable night in American primary history.
And it only, to me, indicates there‘s a lot more to come, because this is guarantied to go through all of Super Tuesday and there are so many variations on this theme. And these candidates, already exhausted, are going to have to reach so far deep inside now to keep this going, because they have another full month, 24-7 ahead of them.
MATTHEWS: Well, you know, Joe, and I would like to see an inquest on these polls and the methodology, because we have always learned eventually what went wrong with polling back in the ‘36 race, of course, with Alf Landon, the underdog against Franklin Roosevelt in his reelection campaign, that was a poll which showed that Alf Landon was going to beat Roosevelt but it turned out it was taken on the telephone and very few people had telephones back then who didn‘t have any money, because nobody had any money.
And then of course, the polling that was done in ‘48, of the infamous Truman-Dewey race, that was—the polling ended like in early October. They just stopped polling way too early. I think there‘s going to be some examination here. And hopefully it‘s fruitful to determine whether there was an ethnic factor here. I‘ve always thought that pollers—pollsters who call people up and ask them how they‘re going to vote, speak in perfect English, in standard English, they speak with a kind of politically correct manner, and it encourages a politically correct answer.
I‘ve often thought that if an Archie Bunker voice were to come over the phone and ask people how they were going to vote, you would get a more honest answer. Anyway, that‘s as it stands now. Every one of these pollsters can‘t have had terrible methodology. There must be an underlying factor here of people giving different answers than they intended to act upon when they went into that voting booth, or unless people didn‘t even know how they were going to vote.
And I think there‘s something common to all of these pollsters. We‘ll find out. I think we‘re going to get some readings on this in the days ahead, gentleman, as to—Tim, do you expect that? I expect somebody is going to have to come up with an explanation here.
RUSSERT: They‘ll try. But in Iowa, Chris, The Des Moines Register poll nailed it. And it was exactly the same players. So I think there is more at work here, I do. I think the people of New Hampshire in the end, the late deciders collectively decided they wanted to hear more of this debate.
And they thought Senator Clinton was entitled to that, for whatever reason. Whether it was her emotion or Bill Clinton‘s anger or the way they perceived Barack Obama. Whatever. The contrary nature of New Englanders.
But there was a mixture here and they let everyone know about it tonight and they surprised the world. And so be it, they‘ve spoken. Now Nevada and onward. Look out. Strap yourself in, guys. This is going to be an amazing ride for all of us.
OLBERMANN: Hey, Tim, one last final question. What happens to that culinary institute union endorsement right now?
RUSSERT: Great question, Keith. That was done. Tomorrow morning, they were going to announce for Obama. Now we‘re hearing that the national union is urging the local union in Nevada to stay neutral. And that‘s going to play out all night tonight and tomorrow. And that could have enormous repercussions, ramifications, yes.
WILLIAMS: I‘m flying to Nevada tonight. We‘re doing “NIGHTLY NEWS” out of there tomorrow night. Tim and I will be there, can‘t say this enough, next Tuesday night with the Democrats.
OLBERMANN: And the culinary union—which I don‘t know how the word “institute” got into that. It was a brain freeze nearly at midnight.
WILLIAMS: Yes, I don‘t know, that‘s a cooking academy near Hyde Park.
But that‘s good.
MATTHEWS: Anyway, thank you, Brian, and thank you, Tim.
In the next hour, we‘re going to hear from all the candidates. The best moments of their speeches tonight. Again, the big winners are Hillary Clinton and John McCain. And tomorrow, Hillary, Obama and McCain will all be on the “Today” show. That‘s tomorrow morning on the “Today” show, all the winners, and a couple of losers.
And tomorrow night on MSNBC, all politics all the time, our coverage of the New Hampshire Primary continues after this.
KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC ANCHOR: A new day in New Hampshire at this hour, in what appears to be a new beginning for the Clinton campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. Senator Barack Obama has conceded the New Hampshire Democratic primary to Senator Hillary Clinton on a night when only one prominent poll even suggested Clinton would come within a point. NBC News having projected her victory this evening.
Her husband having been dubbed the comeback kid after 1992‘s contest in the Granite State, Mrs. Clinton now seeing herself as the sequel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We all spoke from our hearts and I am so gratified that you responded. Now together, let‘s give America the kind of comeback that New Hampshire has just given me!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: And she added she had listened to New Hampshire and she had found her own voice. Senators Clinton and Obama, it should be noted, leaving New Hampshire with the identical number of delegates, nine apiece, with the overwhelming majority of Americans still to vote. Senator Obama leaving New England with his themes of unity, change and positivity still in tact.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Whether we are rich or poor, black or white, Latino or Asian, whether we hail from Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina, we are ready to take this country in a fundamentally new direction. That‘s what‘s happening in America right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Having finished second in Iowa just five short nights ago, tonight former Senator John Edwards all but certain to come in third. The 2004 vice-presidential candidate vowing to stay in this race for the top job for the duration, 230 days from now, if not beyond, until the Democratic convention in Denver.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to be absolutely clear to all of you who have been devoted to this cause and I want to be clear to the 99 percent of Americans who have not yet had the chance to have their voices heard, that I am in this race to the convention, that I intend to be the nominee of my party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: On the Republican side, three candidates having conceded already to Senator John McCain. NBC News having projected his victory early in the evening. The almost home field advantage not enough to bring former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney victory, but good enough for second place. Mr. Romney, as is his habit, translating all of these results thus far into podium finishes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There have been three races so far. I‘ve gotten two silvers and one gold. Thank you, Wyoming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Good evening again from our headquarters in New York. This is MSNBC‘s continuing coverage of the New Hampshire primaries. With Chris Matthews, I‘m Keith Olbermann. Gee, I can‘t figure out what the headline is.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR: I‘m looking through this amazing amass of numbers and it‘s interesting, the people who voted for Hillary Clinton, amazing, I‘m looking at 84 percent of the people who had a strongly unfavorable opinion of Barack Obama voted for Hillary Clinton. I‘m not sure what that means except that‘s a very fierce sort of antipathy toward him. Maybe we‘re—
OLBERMANN: That 84 percent of those who had that emotion then voted for Clinton. What are the options at this point?
MATTHEWS: They could have voted for Edwards or the others who are still in the race. It‘s interesting, though. It‘s really strong, 84 percent. Well, maybe not. I‘m looking through these numbers. I think it‘s interesting. The women vote cuts off at 40. Younger women below that age voted for Barack. Among Democrats, it‘s very interesting, among people who see themselves as Democrats, who were branded Democrats in their identity, 45-34; she really killed them among Democrats.
OLBERMANN: Well, of course, it was so close among Democrats with the independent numbers thrown out and that analysis of those numbers was mocked last week. And it turned out to have some validity in terms of the prediction that nobody made here.
MATTHEWS: This will matter a lot when we get to states like Connecticut and New York, states where you can only vote if you are a self-identified registered Democrat, where Hillary will really do well.
OLBERMANN: It‘s a big flag. We‘ve said this all night, it‘s a wonderful thing to have and it‘s wonderful pennant to be able to wave, in terms of the general election, but it may not be so good in the nominating process, which seems kind of counter-intuitive.
MATTHEWS: Yes, you want the independents --
OLBERMANN: You want the independents to be voting for you.
MATTHEWS: That‘s the old argument, the NDC, November doesn‘t count, crowd, the people on the far Democratic left. It‘s interesting, the patterns here are somewhat clear; men obviously prefer Barack over Hillary. Women, Hillary over Barack.
OLBERMANN: Which was not the case in Iowa.
MATTHEWS: It was mixed there. Look at this, no college degree, Hillary, a college degree, Barack. In other words, the more educated—that‘s sort of anecdotally obvious to people. The real college types tend to like Barack. Again, that break off among women. I wish we had more women on this panel to talk about it around us, because there‘s such an interesting age break off there, where women under 40, and the other case it was 60, women under 60 in Iowa, as Norah pointed out, voted for Barack.
What is it about the age difference? Jack Dremond (ph), the great old political pundit, used to say no woman over 65 will vote for woman any time. That was the old traditional view. That was 20 years ago and those women are over 85 now. But there is something lose in the land here about younger women not having that feminist drive to vote woman per se. It‘s interesting how that breaks.
OLBERMANN: Let‘s see what‘s coming out of the championship camp tonight, the Clinton headquarters where Andrea Mitchell has been eye witness to one of the great surprises. I can‘t use the term upset but let‘s call it a startling surprise at the campaign headquarters tonight. Andrea, if you can, address Chris‘ point here on Hillary Clinton finally proving victorious with women.
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, that was the big factor—I think what we will end up thinking is the big factor here, because surprisingly she lost women to Barack Obama in Iowa. That was a real setback to her. That made them initially rethink their campaign. And also the young people. She did not connect with young people at all in Iowa. She clearly, while not winning young people here, broke a little bit better with them.
You saw the way she redesigned the campaign. She took charge personally, she and her husband. Did you guys notice that she came out alone tonight? There was no Bill Clinton, no Chelsea, no mom, none of the others who represented the previous generation. She did not make the same mistake in her victory speech tonight that she made in her concession speech in Iowa.
I think a lot of things went into this. The fact that in that debate on Saturday night, as Howard Wolfson was saying, and Jay Carson suggested earlier, that she did get ganged up on by both John Edwards and Barack Obama. That I think turned a lot of heads here, women‘s heads. I talked to a lot of women in the crowd and also women I know in New Hampshire. I‘ve got family here, I know a lot of people around this state. And they really took notice of the fact that she was one against those two men.
And then I think a real turning point was when she let her hair down, if you will, and showed a little bit more about what she was thinking, not just that she was thinking about herself and her own frustration, fatigue, whatever, but she was expressing it in terms of the needs of the country.
Now, Keith, I know you have pointed out and we‘ve all pointed out that she immediately pivoted to attack Barack Obama. And, in fact, on our evening news piece on “Nightly News” that night, we showed all of it, not just the emotion, but the immediate switch to go after him. So we did show both sides of that.
But that was also part of it, showing the contrast and going after his record. So it‘s a very careful balancing act and I think that she‘s got to figure out where to go from here. You will see more of the conversational Hillary Clinton and I think they‘re going to try to expand on what they started here in New Hampshire.
MATTHEWS: Do you think, Andrea, because you‘re so close to it—do you think they‘ll change their attitude toward press relations? You and I were at the presser the other day that you had said was long in coming. Do you think there‘s going to be more forthcoming appearances by her and her people and not just the press conferences but perhaps more on programs, on cable and broadcast television?
MITCHELL: Well, let‘s put in a plug here, because they‘re probably listening. You know, the campaign turned around after she started doing more of that. So who is to say which was the decisive factor? I think it was frankly when she patted you on the cheek.
MATTHEWS: We‘ve got to show that tonight. Here it is.
OLBERMANN: You reached first. That wasn‘t reported anywhere.
MATTHEWS: It‘s all relevant. You know, it‘s true, Andrea, looking across at the Republican victor tonight, John McCain. I have always believed that John McCain understood modern communications better than a lot of his rivals. He‘s always been a familiar face on programs like HARDBALL and the other programs, on all the networks. He hasn‘t just done Fox like a lot of Republicans do.
He seems to understand it‘s important to show yourself in conversation, give and take, whether it‘s a town meeting with one of us or a regular TV conversation. And that‘s interesting because that‘s also been simultaneous with his comeback.
MITCHELL: Let me just paint a portrait for you. Last July, I‘m on a plane in one of those small commuter flights, coming up here to New Hampshire for the first joint appearances here between Hillary Clinton and her husband, Bill Clinton. And in the back of the plane in a middle seat in economy, having just gone broke and fired his closest advisers, is John McCain and his son, Jimmy, who was about to ship out for Marine boot camp, carrying his own bag.
He had nothing but guts. And I went back, you know, and we chatted for a while on the flight and afterwards, as we walked out. He was trudging along, but he‘s not lost his spark or his spirit or his dedication. I‘m telling you, the Clinton people think that John McCain is going to be the nominee.
OLBERMANN: Andrea Mitchell, who has done such great work tonight at Clinton Headquarters. Certainly, obviously, it was worth our while and obviously worth yours to be able to watch that up close and personal. Thank you, Andrea.
Let‘s go to Obama campaign headquarters. Lee Cowan, where the post-mortum began. Just the tone at this hour—the picture says a thousand words about who won and who lost tonight. Lee, wrap it up for us.
LEE COWAN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: You know, Keith, what I thought was interesting about that speech is it didn‘t sound a whole lot like a concession speech. I think if you changed a couple words in there, it would almost just as easily have been a victory speech. It was very forward looking. He starts talking about Nevada. He starts talking about South Carolina.
He went back to the themes he had been hitting on on the campaign trail for the last couple of days, especially after the debate when Hillary Clinton brought up the whole notion of false hope. He hit that again tonight in that speech. He brought it up on the campaign trail in a different way, in a little bit more of a biting way. But a lot of people thought that Hillary Clinton had actually given Barack Obama his closing argument after that debate, because it really did seem to strike a chord when he started talking about well, JFK would have looked at the moon and thought it was too far away, or Martin Luther King would have looked at his dream and said, we‘re not going to be able to do that.
That kind of—when he phrased it that way in his stump speeches, it drew a huge reaction and a lot of people thought that was going to work. Maybe it didn‘t.
OLBERMANN: Another question, was there any discussion there among any of the Obama staffers with these internal tracking polls, the ones that Tim Russert mentioned at the end of our 11:00 hour—and let me repeat this, the Clinton camp had their own candidate down by 11 points, Obama winning by 11. The Obama camp had their candidate winning by 14. When you have those sort of things, is it possible that the Obama did not get their voters out to the polls in New Hampshire, or took them for granted in some way, or perhaps, the voters thought this has already been decided, we‘re not going to go? Could that have been any factor? Is anybody postulating that there?
COWAN: Nobody‘s really saying anything, although we talked a little bit earlier about the turn out. The turn out just easily—we all thought that would be good for Barack Obama, but it could have been because of the good weather that we had a lot of older voters that came out. And those older voters tended to vote for Hillary Clinton. So that could have been where some of the disparity went.
But it still was very close here. But I do think there‘s a lot of scratching their heads, trying to figure out exactly what did happen here, because there was a certain confidence. There was a swagger in his step. There was certainly a sense on his part that just given the crowds, forget the polls, just look at the number of people that came out to these rallies, the overflow rooms, look at the enthusiasm of all these people, that is what they were really getting their sense from that things were turning their way here, and that things were going to repeat what we saw in Iowa. And it just didn‘t come to fruition for some reason.
OLBERMANN: As we suggested, Lee, surprise in bucketful and carload lots for each of the candidates tonight. Any sense there—usually you can feel a political surprise or any kind in a room. It almost hangs there like mildew. Was there an extraordinary amount of it in that room? Was it palpable?
COWAN: I think because it was such a long night, there wasn‘t that moment where all of a sudden things started not going their way. It really hadn‘t been going their way all night. He was behind all night long. So there wasn‘t that moment like oh, my gosh, we‘ve lost it. It was a slowly evolving sense that this isn‘t going our way.
OLBERMANN: Lee Cowan, who did great work at Obama campaign headquarters, again, another witness to history. Thank you, Lee.
MATTHEWS: Thank you, Lee. Now to the Republicans. MSNBC‘s Tucker Carlson is at McCain campaign headquarters. Take some time, Tucker. You know John McCain very well, personally. Tonight, it‘s his campaign.
TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC ANCHOR: This morning at a polling place outside Nashua, McCain kind of summed it up when he said there‘s not a superstition I don‘t indulge in. I believe in luck. This is a man not given to deep or at least public introspection. You would be hard pressed to get any kind of—more than cursory explanation from McCain himself for why they won today.
The campaign is saying essentially three things, one, the war in Iraq turned around. McCain points to that first and foremost. Two, the Republican party is a party battered and ready to take criticism. I think many people believe McCain flamed out in 2000 when he turned his critique on his own party. They resented it, particularly in South Carolina, and he blew up.
The third reason is the relative weakness of the Republican field, Mitt Romney in particular. You will hear the McCain people, heard them at breakfast, lunch and dinner today, go after him as a phony and make the argument that in the end he‘s just—Republican voters aren‘t going to eat that dog food. They just don‘t like the way it tastes. Mitt Romney is doomed.
We‘ll find out in Michigan. Here‘s their plan. They have to beat Mitt Romney in Michigan, after which they believe—and I think a lot of people do—the Romney campaign would be finished. They have to beat Mike Huckabee in South Carolina. And from that point, you know, they‘ve got to beat Rudy Giuliani in Florida.
But if they get the first two, Michigan and South Carolina, they believe he will be the nominee. And it‘s starting to look more plausible.
MATTHEWS: What is their thinking about South Carolina, because they lost to President Bush back when he was Governor Bush in 2000 in a wicked campaign, as you know? How do they beat the southern Baptists in a state which is southern Baptist? I shouldn‘t say that, because John McCain is Baptist now. He is a church-going Baptist.
CARLSON: He left us in the Episcopal church to become a Baptist. Some of us resent that. There‘s so much mythology about that 2000 campaign which I covered. I was there. There was a lot of nastiness. But in the end, I think any fair-minded observer would have to conclude that McCain heavily contributed to his own defeat, again, by attacking his own party. Maybe it was justified, maybe not, but they didn‘t like it.
The informal campaign slogan of the 2000 McCain campaign in South Carolina was burn it down, which you may remember, was the slogan of Stokley Carmichael (ph), one of the Black Panther leaders. So it was almost designed to alienate conservative Republicans in that state.
Again, it‘s a new world for the Republicans eight years later. They know their party has failed. They know it has sold out its on ideals, at least in Congress. They‘re dissatisfied with President Bush, even in South Carolina. If there‘s any time a Republican can take a critique of his own party to Republican voters, it‘s right now, and John McCain, I think, is the guy to do it, they say, and I think there‘s something to that.
The electorate has changed, is the bottom line.
MATTHEWS: Thanks a lot, Tucker. Good night, and thanks for that great coverage tonight. Let‘s go to Mitt Romney‘s headquarters and NBC‘s Ron Allen. Ron, your thoughts, is Mitt Romney really facing defeat, total defeat, if he can‘t win in Michigan next Tuesday?
RON ALLEN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, that certainly seems to be the conventional wisdom, Chris, but I don‘t think that Romney would agree with that at all. Everything that he says seems to suggest he‘s going to be in this for the long haul. The guy is—I don‘t know him very well, but one thing I have learned about him is that he is really truly an optimist.
He‘s really a bright—look at the glasses half full kind of guy. I think that‘s very genuine. Maybe that‘s some of his faith, maybe it‘s more his Harvard MBA and Harvard law degree that made him a pretty bright guy. I think they‘re going to crunch the numbers. They‘re going to crunch the data. They‘re going to look at this whole situation and they‘re going to try to figure out a way to push forward.
Plan A did not work. They didn‘t win New Hampshire. They didn‘t win Iowa. That was certainly Plan A. And they‘re going to move on to Plan B. They‘re going to try to win Michigan. If that doesn‘t work, they are going to move to Plan C. But I think they are going to keep going forward and they certainly have the money and the resources to do it.
You know, they still think that John McCain is a loser. They still think that John McCain represents the past. They still hearken back to those days when there were polls showing that there were voters concerned about his age. They‘ve attacked him on the immigration issue. They‘ve attacked him on the votes against the Bush tax cuts. So they still think he‘s somewhat vulnerable. Think they he had a natural constituency here, independents, as Mike Huckabee out in Iowa, evangelicals. Those are the cards they‘re playing.
They‘re also saying—and I don‘t know how true this is. It‘s true that they do have two silver medals and a gold, as they put it. But are two second-place finishes really that valuable and a win in Wyoming? Are they worse off or better off than Giuliani or somebody else? They think they‘re in a pretty good position. Some of it is spin, but of course the game goes on.
MATTHEWS: Thanks a lot. Good night, Ron. Thanks for all the reporting tonight on the Romney campaign, which came up short tonight, but came in second once again, the only candidate who has done at least a place position twice in a row now.
OLBERMANN: David Gregory has been looking big picture for us from NBC News headquarters in Manchester, New Hampshire. Let‘s wrap up the evening with David. Obviously, we know what the headline is. Do we have an explanation for it yet?
DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: You know, I don‘t, not yet, Keith. I think it‘s—as we‘ve been saying all night, something has happened on the Democratic side in the last 24 to 48 hours. Clinton advisers, as they have been saying tonight, point to a couple of things. Hillary Clinton being more like Hillary Clinton, what they describe her as, speaking more from the heart, letting her emotions show, reaching women, maybe a different way to make the argument that she was a victim in this process, in some way was being ganged up on, whether it was in the debate or in other ways.
Also, going on the offensive a little bit with Barack Obama, trying to offer some kind of reality check on Barack Obama that he—she said a couple of days ago, it‘s a lot of poetry, but let‘s not forget the prose. Hillary Clinton is about the prose in this campaign. She‘s about experience. She‘s about whether she can start on day one and be the president. She is trying to appeal to rank and file Democrats on that score as well.
She‘s also trying to capture some of what this change argument really is, to try to find a role for the former president, for her husband, that can be constructive, where he can be channeled in a certain way. where she can lose some of the vestiges of the old Bill Clinton campaign and administration and chart her own new course.
I think that‘s part of it for her on the Democratic side. And it‘s a big story. And a couple thoughts as well on the Republican side, in terms of where we go forward now as well.
OLBERMANN: And regarding again the Democratic side, do you want to go and make a prediction about Nevada?
GREGORY: No. I think what‘s interesting here is that now both sides have to look at this very hard. Does the Clinton campaign now decide to stick—change their strategy that they‘ve been talking about over the last 24 hours, not sort of fall back to February 5th, but now really try to contest Nevada and South Carolina.
You know, a lot of discussion in the last couple of days that if Barack Obama kept winning here that he goes into South Carolina, and African-Americans, who are 50 percent of the Democratic primary vote, fall in behind him, a sense that hey, white voters are actually voting for this guy; we‘re going to get behind him. Does that change? I heard talk from the Clinton camp about sending Bill Clinton to South Carolina and start working the African-American vote now.
So she‘s got some momentum coming out of here. That may change that strategy. I don‘t think it changes the general view that February 5th is a very big night for them. But I think they recognize that they want to try to make it a one on one race, but John Edwards is not out yet. If you look at the percentages, where does his vote go if he stays in or if he pulls out? If you look at it both ways, it becomes a real factor. It seems difficult, if you look at the debate the other night, when John Edwards was sort of joining Barack Obama in attacking Hillary Clinton—it seems hard pressed to believe that his voters would go to Hillary Clinton.
OLBERMANN: David Gregory from NBC News headquarters at Manchester, New Hampshire. Great work, great thanks and have a good night, David. So Hillary Clinton obviously the big winner tonight in one of the epic nights in American political history. If you missed it or even if you did not, here is some of her victory speech earlier this evening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I listened to you and in the process, I found my own voice. Now together, let‘s give America the kind of comeback that New Hampshire has just given me.
This campaign is about people, about making a difference in your lives, about making sure that everyone in this country has the opportunity to live up to his or her God-given potential.
Too many have been invisible for too long. Well, you are not invisible to me.
The oil companies, the drug companies, the health insurance companies, the predatory student loan companies have had seven years of a president who stands up for them. It‘s time we had a president who stands up for all of you.
I believe deeply in America and our can-do spirit, in our ability to meet any challenge and solve any problem. I believe in what we can do together.
We will all be called upon to deliver on the promise of America. We‘ll be called upon to deliver on the promise that the middle class will grow and prosper again; to deliver on the promise that government will be of the people, by the people, and for the people. not just the privileged few.
We know that for the promise of America to be real, we are called upon to deliver on that promise. And if you join in this call to greatness, we will, together, answer. So tomorrow, we‘re going to get up, roll up our sleeves and keep going.
I am not going out there on my own, I‘m going out there accompanied by millions and millions of people who believe, as I do, that this country is worth fighting for! Thank you, and god bless you!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Well, we could probably sum this up by saying that the damndest things happen in New Hampshire. Let‘s take another look at our projected winners, Clinton and McCain. But just to show the numbers at 91 percent reporting, that three percent margin has been holding for Hillary Clinton now. It wobbled left and right, and Barack Obama is left waiting for 7,000 or 8,000 votes from Dartmouth University that are not going to come in. Let‘s sum that up.
MATTHEWS: Dewey is still waiting for the farm vote to come in. Let‘s go back to Pat Buchanan and Rachel Maddow.
PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Chris, I think the important thing that we ought to look at is not what the candidates did but what the people of New Hampshire said. In the final three days, what they said, I think, is we‘re tired of Hillary Clinton being beaten up as she is by the other Democrats and by the press, and we don‘t want the media telling us who our Messiah is going to be.
And older folks above 40, and women especially, came out and rescued Hillary Rodham Clinton. Now, this has great portent, I think, for the future, because Barack Obama, he got the young people and he got the educated, the ones with the PHD.s. Now when this goes to South Carolina, Chris, I think what is going to happen is Barack Obama may very well win that and do very well among African-Americans, and the Democratic party will break down into a youth, African-Americans and educated against the Humphrey coalition, sort of McGovern versus Humphrey, working class women, elderly with Hillary.
And this looks like really the paradigm going forward for the Democratic nomination.
RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA RADIO: But Pat, before they get to South Carolina, they‘ve got to get to Nevada. And as you know, Hillary Clinton is way ahead in the polls heading into Nevada. One thing that‘s been kind of unremarked upon tonight is that in Barack Obama‘s speech, which to me didn‘t sound much like a concession speech—I thought it was kind of an amazing speech, actually, he pivoted to this new slogan, yes, we can. That‘s the motto of organized labor.
He‘s heading into Nevada, guns blazing, name checking Nevada in the speech, and the Culinary Workers endorsement and now the Hotel Workers endorsement, both in play there. He‘s going to fight hard for Nevada. And you got to go back to 1992 to find Democratic results where you had a different first place finisher in Iowa and New Hampshire. In 1992, the guy who came in third in both of those contests got the nomination. His name was Bill Clinton, of course.
BUCHANAN: Look, yes, we can. That is the Hispanic cry in the illegal immigration battle and he‘s reaching out to those folks, no doubt about it.
MADDOW: No, he‘s not reaching out to immigrants. He‘s reaching out to labor there. That‘s a labor call.
BUCHANAN: OK, look, that does not invalidate the breakdown that is coming, it seems to me, which is the women in the Democratic party, those over 40, certainly those over 50, are not going to have the candidate of youth and the candidate of the African-Americans imposed upon them. That‘s what New Hampshire said. And now you go to South Carolina and it‘s going to be looked at in that I think paradigm.
When that happens, I think there‘s real potential for a very savage split in the Democratic party along the lines of ‘72, only it‘s not over the war. It‘s over tomorrow versus not yesterday but today. Listen, I wouldn‘t claim who is the front-runner, but if I were in Las Vegas tomorrow, I bet you the odds on Hillary Clinton winning this nomination rises dramatically.
MADDOW: I think that the savage split right now is still on the Republican side, where it‘s impossible to forecast what‘s going to happen. It‘s impossible to find a candidate that a big important section of the Republican king makers don‘t hate.
On the Democratic side, again, I‘ve got to dissent from the chorus here, and say, if you look at the last year of polling in New Hampshire, it was Hillary Clinton way ahead the whole time, until the last two percent of that graph, when Barack Obama picked up. We‘re pretending like this is a huge, massive, historic upset; he didn‘t pull off his last-minute upset of her. That‘s all that it means.
I‘m not sure the Democratic sac right here is all that rent. I think the Republicans are still a lot more divided here.
MATTHEWS: We‘re going to have leave on that point. Rachel Maddow, Patrick, thank you very much forgiving us your thoughts all night. Keith, here we go.
OLBERMANN: Ahead, we will hear from the Republican winner John McCain, plus the comments, the speeches of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. You‘re watching MSNBC‘s live coverage of the New Hampshire primaries. We continue with more after this.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to MSNBC‘s continuing coverage of the New Hampshire primary.
On the Republican side, John McCain won a race that he had to win.
Here‘s part of his victory speech tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: So, my friends, we celebrate one victory tonight and leave for Michigan tomorrow to win another.
UNIDENTIFIED SUPPORTERS: Michigan! Michigan! Michigan! Michigan!
Michigan! Michigan! Michigan! Michigan! Michigan! Michigan! Michigan!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love you!
MCCAIN: But—but let us remember, let us remember that our purpose is not ours alone. Our success is not an end in itself. America is our cause—yesterday, today and tomorrow. Her greatness is our hope. Her strength is our protection, her ideals our greatest treasure, her prosperity the promise we keep our children. Her goodness, the hope of mankind. That is the cause of our campaign and the platform of my party. And I will stay true to it, so help me God.
MCCAIN: Thank you, New Hampshire. Thank you, my friends. And God bless you as you have—God bless you as you have blessed me.
UNIDENTIFIED SUPPORTERS: Michigan!
MCCAIN: God bless you as you have blessed me. Enjoy this. You have earned it more than me. Tomorrow we begin again.
MCCAIN: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: Let‘s bring in the panel right now.
Gene Robinson is a columnist for “The Washington Post,” one of my favorite columnists. I read him all the time.
And Katrina Vanden Heuvel is the editor of “The Nation” magazine.
I have to start, let me ask Gene...
OLBERMANN: Don‘t forget Howard.
MATTHEWS: Right. There‘s Howard Fineman behind the camera. There you are.
Take over, Gene.
I just want to know—and Katrina—are you ready to endorse from your magazine at some point?
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, EDITOR, “THE NATION”: You know, “The Nation” magazine is a magazine of issues, not personalities or candidates, Chris. What I‘m inspired by tonight is that you have issues that have been driven into this debate and taken up by the leading candidates, that were driven into this debate by a rising tide of progressive politics and independent organizing—an end to the war in Iraq, health care for all, end of this tyranny of oil and fair trade. And so I think those issues are ones that we‘re going to see play out, as Rachel spoke about, in Nevada, where you have union people, you have growing Latino population and you have an economic populism and a desire for an insurgent candidacy, which Hillary is going to have a hard time grappling with. Just—and tonight, she spoke from the heart.
But let‘s not forget, the Clinton candidacy is still an established candidacy in a year in which people are seeking anti-establishment change.
EUGENE ROBINSON, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: Chris, you know, there are a couple of things in the exit polling that I find really interesting. And I don‘t think we really understand what happened on the Democratic side tonight. There‘s a question, when did you make up your mind and who did you vote, for basically. People who say they decided in the last three days, there‘s no difference between the ones who voted for Obama and the ones who voted for Clinton. It‘s like 37 percent to 36 percent—actually, Obama is 1 point ahead.
So if there was this huge movement to Hillary Clinton over the last three days, it doesn‘t seem to have been captured in the exit polling.
There‘s, also, essentially, no difference on whether voters considered themselves very liberal, somewhat liberal, moderate, whatever. Those people, in been roughly the same numbers, voted for Clinton and Obama. So it wasn‘t an ideological question. And it doesn‘t seem to have been so much a question about issues as about personal qualities and leadership qualities. And on that on that—on that issue, there was some difference.
But it‘s just fascinating. I don‘t think what we know what happened.
FINEMAN: If the late deciders didn‘t break overwhelmingly for Clinton, that might support your theory about the Bradley effect.
ROBINSON: Well, it could.
The other thing I‘m interested in is Latino voters. Katrina mentioned it. Hispanics are key to the fight in the Democratic Party. We haven‘t discussed them hardly at all. They‘re a huge factor in Nevada and they‘re going to be a colossal one on Tsunami Tuesday, on February 5th. Both campaigns—all three, really—Hillary, Obama and Edwards—have to make inroads into that constituency. I think the Hispanic vote could well be the thing that decides the Democratic nomination. We haven‘t talked about it much tonight...
FINEMAN: ...but that‘s crucial.
HEUVEL: And you know what?
MATTHEWS: Explain why.
HEUVEL: When—I‘ll tell you...
MATTHEWS: Howard, you have to explain why.
Is it because...
HEUVEL: It‘s the...
MATTHEWS: Well, let‘s talk it through.
HEUVEL: ...it‘s the future of this country, Chris.
MATTHEWS: No, no, let‘s talk about the particular aspect of the candidates.
ROBINSON: Well, they‘re key states. They‘re key states.
HEUVEL: But, I mean, you have, in the Republican Party, when you look at those debates, it looks like a restricted men‘s club. It looks like a bridge back not only to the 20th, but the 19th century. And you have—and you have a diversity in the Democratic field...
HEUVEL: ...which speaks to the new demographics in this country, where many states will soon be majority minority. And I think that‘s powerful.
FINEMAN: I didn‘t mention that to prompt a speech about the Republican party. What I‘m saying is in the Democratic primaries and caucuses, Hispanic votes—starting in Nevada—are going to be crucial. And it‘s one thing for Bill Clinton to go to down to South Carolina and try to bring back the black vote for Hillary. It‘s going to be another thing to see which candidates can really make inroads in Nevada and a lot of other states, which is what—with what is now a crucial constituency in the Democratic Party.
MATTHEWS: Let me paint by numbers here. Hillary is white. Barack is black. That leaves brown.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
MATTHEWS: That‘s what it‘s about, right?
ROBINSON: Exactly. That‘s exactly what it‘s about.
MATTHEWS: OK. I don‘t want to make it too complicated here. But if you‘re Hillary Clinton and you‘re going to try to win this against an African-American candidate, who may well be the pioneer of this coming century in terms of opportunity for African-Americans in American politics, you‘ve got to find some other field of play.
OLBERMANN: The panel will stay with us.
Stay with us, panel.
Coming up next, more from our exit polls—why Barack Obama did not win tonight.
What is inside those numbers that gives us a clue?
You‘re watching MSNBC‘s continuing coverage of the New Hampshire primaries.
OLBERMANN: From NBC News headquarters in New York, we continue with MSNBC‘s continuing coverage of the New Hampshire primary.
Here is what Barack Obama told his surprised—to say the least—supporters after he, in a big surprise, lost the race to a surprised Hillary Clinton tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am still fired up and ready to go.
OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you. Well, first of all, I want to congratulate Senator Clinton on a hard-fought victory here in New Hampshire. She did an outstanding job. Give her a big round of applause.
OBAMA: You know, a few weeks ago, no one imagined that we‘d have accomplished what we did here tonight in New Hampshire. No one could have imagined it.
OBAMA: For most of this campaign, we were far behind. We always knew our climb would be steep. But in record numbers, you came out and you spoke up for change. And with your voices and your votes, you made it clear that at this moment, in this election, there is something happening in America.
OBAMA: There is something happening when men and women in Des Moines and Davenport, in Lebanon and Concord, come out in the snows of January to wait in lines that stretch block after block because they believe in what this country can be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OLBERMANN: Senator Barack Obama earlier this evening.
MSNBC Norah O‘Donnell has spent the evening literally above the fray here, analyzing our exit poll and trying to figure out how Barack Obama lost tonight—can you see the New Hampshire primary from there?
NORAH O‘DONNELL, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I can see everything from up here, yes. Quite a perch up here.
And in case you haven‘t heard, I‘ve been crunching the numbers tonight, along with our whole team here at NBC News. And so we decided to take a look at what happened to Barack Obama.
Why didn‘t he get anything close tonight, in the final numbers with what those polls were showing early on?
And here‘s what we‘re seeing in what is record-breaking turnout tonight.
Hillary Clinton—she won because she won among women. She also won among registered Democrats and she won among voters over 40. That‘s the key to her victory. And New Hampshire—and in New Hampshire, women made all of the difference. They were 57 percent of the electorate. And Hillary Clinton won women by double digits over Barack Obama. That‘s why Barack Obama did not win in New Hampshire tonight.
That is a big turnaround from Iowa, where she lost among women. Barack Obama didn‘t get the surge of young voters and first timers that he needed. Those voters were a big part of his victory in Iowa. But they didn‘t help him in New Hampshire tonight.
There‘s no question he also had a big lead among voters who wanted change. But that was no bigger than those who talked about experience in there. And, see, Obama got 55 percent there to just Clinton, 28 percent.
Now, when it came to the question of experience, among those voters who said experience was the most important, take a look at this—Clinton got a whopping 71 percent of the vote. That‘s up 49 percent from Iowa. And what‘s interesting here, she was able to take advantage of Senator Joe Biden‘s departure from the race. He got 12 percent of that vote in Iowa of those who valued experience. It looks like Hillary benefited from Joe Biden dropping out of the race.
Also, Barack Obama actually lost a little ground among voters who said that empathy was the most important candidate quality—that they wanted a candidate who cared about them. Obama got just about 19 percent of their vote down from 24 percent in Iowa. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton nearly doubled her vote among this group.
And one other interesting note for tonight. This primary narrowed down, in many ways, to a two person battle. Two candidates, of course, had dropped out of the race after Iowa. And we found tonight that John Edwards was far less of a factor than he had been last week. But Barack Obama could not capitalize on that tonight. He was not able to build on those strengths that he showed in Iowa. That‘s why Barack Obama did not do as well tonight.
OLBERMANN: Norah O‘Donnell at exit polling central above us here.
And our NBC News political director, Chuck Todd, is going to go a little bit further out onto a limb, I suspect, here, to try to figure out where the—where polls went all wrong. And, again, yes we‘ll say mea culpa in terms of the news polls. But let‘s mention now, this is an opportune time to give you the number that Tim Russert revealed about an hour ago, that the Obama internal polls had him winning by 14. The Clinton polls had Obama winning by 11. So everybody was wrong, pretty much.
What‘s the theory—Chuck?
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, look, you can only go back—you know, and I go back in recent history and you try to find races where you had these gigantic poll shifts, where the final pre-election polls differed so dramatically from the actual result.
And the one thing they all have in common is something that Eugene Robinson brought up earlier, and that is race.
It was Tom Bradley in California governor‘s race in 1982. The polls had him ahead—ahead by a fairly healthy margin over George Deukmejian. He ended up losing.
And Virginia governor, 1989, Doug Wilder had a double digit lead going into the final—in the final weekend. He won by a very narrow 1 point margin.
Harvey Gant, the 1990 Senate race with Jesse Helms—one of the most divisive races, frankly, that this country had on race. That was, again, pre-election polls had Gant ahead, Helms wins.
So you can‘t help but look at that—and particularly you‘ve got to wonder what this sends—the message that this could send to African-American Democrats, who may look at this and say, well, of course, that‘s what happened. You know, a lot of times when I‘ve noticed this and when you talk to African-American Democrats, they sat here and they‘ll see this race stuff a lot quicker than us in white America. And I think that this is—it‘s at least, you‘ve got to explore it. You‘ve got to look at it. History has taught us this—recent history—when it‘s come to dealing with African-American candidates.
Now, we did not see this with Harold Ford‘s race in Tennessee last cycle. We did not see this with Duvall Patrick, who is now the governor of Massachusetts. So, you know, I want to bring up those two races, too.
But, still, the last times we‘ve had these dramatic efforts—these dramatic shifts, it has involved race.
OLBERMANN: But, Chuck, not to discount this in the slightest, but why would this not have been applicable in Iowa?
TODD: Well, I think there‘s two ways to look—there‘s one way to look at this. In Iowa, a very public caucus. In New Hampshire, you have a voting curtain.
And, you know, the privacy of the vote versus not—you know, it‘s just—you‘ve got look—you‘ve got to ask yourself, is that the difference?
We don‘t know. We‘ve got two new contests coming up over the next—the next, I believe it‘s now 19 days. We‘ve got one other primary behind a voting curtain in South Carolina and one is a public one, a caucus in Nevada. So it‘ll be interesting to see if there‘s anything here or if there‘s nothing to this.
OLBERMANN: All right, Chuck Todd.
We‘re going to pick up on this point with our panel.
We have to take a break first.
You‘re watching MSNBC‘s coverage of the New Hampshire primary.
MATTHEWS: We‘re back here on MSNBC‘s continuing coverage of the New Hampshire primary. A big night—a big surprising night. It was won by John McCain and, most surprisingly, by Hillary Clinton.
Let‘s bring in the panel.
And, Gene, I want you to pick up on this. We got that input just now from Chuck.
And the question now is, is this going to be the looming story, that we can‘t trust the voters in the polling because of the ethnic factor?
ROBINSON: Well, you know, it‘s a question that‘s going to be on a lot of people‘s minds. And, fortunately, we‘ll get to see, in the next—you know, in a week we‘ll get to see whether this carries over to Nevada, whether it carries over to the other primaries. You know, I really think, as you look at the data, there are a couple of possible explanations for what happened tonight. One, clearly, I think, is, you know, what we called the Bradley effect...
ROBINSON: ...or race. Another thing that seems to have happened is a very, very high turnout among women over 40, basically—unusually high. Fifty-seven percent of voters were women. And it could be that women, you know, decided fairly late in the game—women who were predisposed to vote for Hillary Clinton but weren‘t necessarily predisposed to turn out, decided, you know, darn it, I‘m going to go and vote for Hillary because—either because of the way they‘re treating her, they‘re being unfair to her or whatever.
So those are a couple of theories. And we‘re going to get to test them in the next few weeks.
HEUVEL: You know, Chris, I‘m reminded of Basil Paterson, the first African-American to be nominated by the Democratic Party in this state for a statewide office, lieutenant governor. His son, David Paterson, was standing behind Hillary Clinton, by the way, in Iowa. People didn‘t recognize him, but he is part of a new generation of African-American leaders.
But Basil Paterson said a few months ago, after his son was inaugurated as lieutenant governor under Eliot Spitzer, you‘d be a charlatan to think that we haven‘t come a long way in this country on race, but you‘d be a fool to think that we don‘t have a long ways to go.
And I think that‘s something worth thinking about as we look at this historic field—the first woman, the first African-American vying for—to be president.
FINEMAN: And I would also say that it‘s Barack Obama‘s burden and blessing that he can‘t really, I don‘t think talk, about this a whole lot. His whole message is about bringing the country together. He can‘t start complaining about miscalculations in the polls.
HEUVEL: I thought his speech was sharper-edged tonight.
OLBERMANN: Howard—I‘m sorry, Katrina, we‘re out of time.
Howard Fineman, Eugene Robinson, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, great.
For Chris Matthews, I‘m Keith Olbermann. A pleasure, as always, sir.
MATTHEWS: As always.
OLBERMANN: We will rejoin you.
And, first, we will leave you now with some of the sights and sounds of this night in New Hampshire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The primary forecast, the political atmosphere is heating up and so is the weather.
JOHN EDWARDS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you want real change, you should vote for John Edwards.
RUDY GIULIANI ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can have change for good, change for bad.
MITT ROMNEY ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We‘ve got to change this country.
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But I‘ve already made change.
MITT ROMNEY ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I‘m somebody who knows how to bring change.
MCCAIN: But I agree, you are the candidate of change.
MIKE HUCKABEE ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Everybody take a shower this morning?
Let‘s see and make sure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And there it goes.
OLBERMANN: Eight hours to go before the polls closed and they were running low on ballots.
MATTHEWS: But it‘s been a huge turnout in New Hampshire.
TIM RUSSERT: We have talked Independents. They‘re flexing their muscle tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We now have a call to make in the Republican part of this primary.
GIULIANI: We‘ve got a lot of work to do.
ROMNEY: Well, another silver.
HUCKABEE: We‘re going to be back in New Hampshire, because after we secure the nomination, we‘ve got to come up here and make sure we carry New Hampshire.
OLBERMANN: The Democratic race is still too close to call. Keep watching this space.
MCCAIN: Tonight, we sure showed them what a comeback looks like.
MATTHEWS: OK. We‘re going to—we‘re about to make a projection here.
MATTHEWS: Hillary Clinton has won the New Hampshire primary of the Democratic Party. I think she‘s pulled a stunning upset.
EDWARDS: Two races down, 48 states left to go.
OBAMA: We‘ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. There has never been anything false about hope.
CLINTON: I want especially to thank New Hampshire. Over the last week, I‘ve listened to you. And in the process, I found my own voice.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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