Congratulations to Hillary Clinton and John McCain, winners last night in New Hampshire. That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
The big story is the collapse of American polling. Most of the polls are dead wrong, and that is both disturbing and positive in a way. It shows that the folks still make the call.
Remember the initial vote day exit polling in 2004? It had John Kerry winning the presidency.
Well, the positive aspect of this is fairly obvious. You vote, somebody wins. The pollsters don't really know what you're going to do, and that's a good thing.
Barack Obama should be happy tonight. He almost beat a very powerful woman in a state that's almost totally white.
The only head-to-head Democratic race before Super Tuesday will be in South Carolina, where there are plenty of black voters. Nevada is just a caucus state.
But it's not about race really. It's about demographics. Senator Obama ran strong in New Hampshire without the color factor. And that bodes very well for him.
Senator Clinton finally wised up and dropped the robot routine. That will serve her well. Americans like to vote for real people.
On the Republican side, John McCain should move to New Hampshire. They love him there. Now the pressure is on Mitt Romney to defeat McCain in Michigan next week. If the governor loses there, darkness descends on him. In South Carolina, Mike Huckabee is expected to do well.
So it's a wide-open race for the GOP. In fact, anything could happen with Rudy Giuliani staking his hopes on Florida in three weeks.
So this is a great presidential race, very interesting and too close to call, especially for people like me who are better picking football games and voting patterns.
However, our analysis of the presidential race has been dead on. Unlike other networks, we are not rooting for anyone, and we bring scrutiny to all. As the field narrows down, we'll get tougher in our analysis because there's so much at stake here.
But in the end, the folks, you are far more important than we in the media and the pollsters. You guys make the call. And that is the way it should be.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
As you may know, a few Iranian gunboats buzzed some American warships in the Persian Gulf.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am coming to you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Inbound small craft, you are approaching a coalition warship operating in international waters. Your identity is not known. Your intentions are unclear.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will explode after a couple of minutes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will explode after a few minutes?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
After that threat the Iranians sailed off into the sunset, and despite the obvious threat, U.S. naval commanders acted with restraint, and we think they are patriots. But next time, Iranians, watch out.
On the pinhead front, Senator Larry Craig's lawyers now say his men's room situation is constitutionally protected speech. Can we just let this nonsense go, Senator? Pinheads.