Are you watching? I'm hanging out with CNN, where Wolf Blitzer is talking about entrance polls. (Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in a tight race, with Edwards trailing.) They've got a camera at a 53-person caucus that's taking place in someone's living room in Persia, Iowa. It's folksy and boring. And every single person is white.
UPDATE #1: Now, we're wandering the hallways of a middle school, where there are are caucuses in the gym, the cafeteria, the library, and the auditorium. CNN is doing some terrific camera work with a journalist in the hallway, swaying about under a curved ceiling with a lighted trophy case in the background. They've got a nice Americana vibe going. White Americana.
UPDATE #2: It's a Norman Rockwell illustration. Don't you love these people? From that middle school hallway, we're hearing a description of the human drama of having to abandon the sticker of your first choice and stick on the second choice. Now, we're being told there are lots of women, older women. And 60% of the Republicans are evangelical Christians.
UPDATE #3: Bill Bennett offers commentary "as a former philosophy professor": "We've been watching pictures out of Kenya, of people with machetes killing each other, watching pictures from Pakistan, the Bhutto thing. People like to make fun of Iowa, but there they are, in their homes, you know, welcoming each other and talking. There's no violence. There's no killing. There's no imposition of will. It's a great country. It's a great system. An incredible thing."
UPDATE #4: "It's a clash of generations of epic proportions." 17 to 29 year olds are 57% for Obama, 11% for Clinton. With the over 65 voters, Clinton is at 45% and Obama at 17%.
UPDATE #5: CNN projects Huckabee as the winner of the Republican caucuses. "A dramatic, dramatic development... A huge win... " says Blitzer.
UPDATE #6: Maybe I should be watching Fox. I see from the NYT blog that Romney just conceded on Fox.
UPDATE #7: "Did you want to knock his teeth out?" Chris Wallace asks Huckabee's campaign chairman Ed Rollins, referring to this story. Wallace also asked him about this Town Hall blog that reports an evil conversation of his that was overheard. Rollins admits it all but says it was a private conversation with his wife. Rollins has an insanely nasty edge that's totally at odds with Huckabee's image. This is how he acts when he's just won a big victory? The hell? From that Town Hall blog: "He distinctly talked about going negative in South Carolina and told someone on the phone to 'put some good in there if you have to, with the bad. Do what you gotta do.'"
UPDATE #8: Fox declares Obama the winner of the Democratic caucuses.
UPDATE #9: CNN declares Obama the victor too.
UPDATE #10: Juan Williams: "For a black man to win... astounding... historic... a 95% white state..."
UPDATE #11: I'm leaning toward Fox now. Bill Kristol, Fred Barnes, and Juan Williams are better commentators than the group over on CNN (led by Bill Bennett).
UPDATE #12: Giuliani on Fox, talking to Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes. How to not seem irrelevant? The words "Tested. Ready. Now." appear on the backdrop screen behind Giuliani's glistening pate. Colmes is badgering him about various policies and scandals. Not enough about the amazing Huckabee.
UPDATE #13: It's John Edwards. "The status quo lost, and change won. And now, we move on..." He's almost claiming Obama's victory as his own.
UPDATE #14: Hillary speaks. Thanks for voting ... for a Democrat....
UPDATE #15: Dodd drops out. Do we even care if he endorses someone?
UPDATE #16: Huckabee speaks. With Chuck Norris at his shoulder. "A new day in American politics." The banner behind him reads: "I like Mike." We need to be more concerned "about going up" — he says, pointing heavenward — and not just to the left or right.
UPDATE: #17: Finally, Barack Obama. "To end the political strategy that's been all about division, and instead make it about addition. To build a coalition...."
UPDATE #18: Biden drops out.
UPDATE #19: What a night! It feels historic, doesn't it? Not just for the reason stated by Juan Williams (see update #10), but because the old, predictable candidates were upset, upset by 2 fresh, new individuals who, it seems, invented themselves and succeeded by revealing what they were to us.