Undefeated New England leads San Diego, 14-12 heading into the fourth quarter of the AFC title game.
Meanwhile, the Packers and Giants are set to kick off at 6:30 PM EST at balmy Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The temperature is hovering around zero, with wind chills in the negative-20s, and they’re expected to drop. It could be Ice Bowl II.
UPDATE: The Patriots won, 21-12, and the Giants prevailed in overtime, 23-20. So it’ll be New York (13-6) vs. New England (18-0) in the Super Bowl — the unstoppable unbeatens vs. a wild-card team, the #5 seed in the NFC, led by Peyton Manning’s little brother. Hmm… would a Giants win be the biggest upset since Super Bowl III?
In the wake of John Edwards’s humiliating showing (4 percent!) in Nevada yesterday, Mickey Kaus asks, “What would it take to get Edwards out?”
Of course, most of the talk of “getting out” is on the GOP side, where it’s widely assumed that Fred Thompson will drop out after giving a past-tense-y speech last night in response to his weak third-place finish in his “last stand” state, South Carolina. (Hey, at least he denied Romney the bronze!) But NRO Jim Geraghty makes the case for Fred staying in:
[T]here’s no reason for Fred Thompson to leave the race. He’s apparently put more effort into Louisiana than the other candidates (they vote Tuesday), and there’s a bunch of deep red states he can fight in on Super Duper Tuesday, including his home state of Tennessee.
If there were a clear frontrunner, and this thing was all over, I could see it. But if he really finds some of his other rivals as not-conservatives who are unacceptable to carry the Republican mantle, why not stay in this thing until the end, collect as many delegates as he can, and at the very least, throw them to the one he finds most acceptable at the GOP convention?
That makes perfect sense. It’s clear Thompson isn’t going to win the nomination at the polls, but: so what? The punditry is lagging seriously behind the reality here. The MSM really needs to wrap its head around the concept that this is a delegate battle now; it is not about “winning the nomination at the polls” anymore, at least not necessarily. (”McCain has momentum!” Who cares? “If McCain wins Florida, it’s over!” Bulls***!) So the mere fact that somebody is stuck hopelessly in fourth or fifth place is not, by itself, enough reason to drop out of the race.
This contest could well end up more like a haggling session in the Israeli parliament than like a “one person, one vote” election. Do the minor parties in the Knesset “drop out” just because they only have a handful of members? No — they leverage what strength they have, and sometimes they become kingmakers! Why shouldn’t the minor candidates in this wildly unpredictable race do the same?
For instance, current Israeli prime minster Ehud Olmert owes his position to both the Shas Party (which controls 9.53% of the Knesset) and the Gil Party (5.92%). If either party left his coalition, he’d be toast. Fred Thompson’s percentage in South Carolina was better than Shas and Gil combined! :) And if he stays in the race, there’s a good chance he’ll rack up at least a Gil-sized share of the delegates. (Tennessee alone would give him 2.3%, if he gets a majority here.) That might be enough to throw the nomination to his preferred candidate. If he drops out now, he suddenly goes from “undetermined, but possibly huge, amount of leverage” to “guaranteed zero leverage.” So why should he drop out again?
Oh, right. To be McCain’s vice president. But wait — doesn’t he help McCain more by staying in, and thus taking votes away from Huckabee? So again: why? And remember, “he’s not going to win” isn’t a good enough reason.