FHM Online has a bunch of new pictures of Megan Fox. Well, “new” is a relative term; the pictures are apparently from an old photoshoot, but many of them are newly published, both online and in the July issue of the U.K. edition of FHM. Here’s the cover:
See also some previously published FHM photos here, here and here. All links are probably SFW, but she’s scantily clad — in her underwear, to be specific — which is why I’ve refrained from posting any of the pics, except the magazine cover.
(Hat tip: Perez Hilton, via Becky. Yes, that’s right, Becky.)
I realize I’m incredibly slow in blogging about this story, but just in case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard, Kevin White is no longer Notre Dame’s athletic director.
Kevin White was hired as Duke’s athletic director Saturday, leaving Notre Dame for a school with an elite basketball team and a football team that has had 13 straight losing seasons and has not been to a bowl since 1994.
Notre Dame appointed Missy Conboy as its interim athletic director. The school said there is no timetable for a permanent replacement.
White will replace Joe Alleva, who was hired as LSU’s athletic director in April after a decade of leading the Blue Devils’ 26 sports programs.
“Kevin White is in the first rank of athletics directors nationally and will make a perfect fit at Duke,” university president Richard Brodhead said.
White had been at Notre Dame since 2000. He hired football coaches Tyrone Willingham and Charlie Weis, and hired former Duke assistant Mike Brey as the men’s basketball coach. …
White helped Notre Dame plan a $26 million renovation of the basketball arena and expand the school’s nonrevenue sports. He and his wife were made honorary alumni three days before switching jobs.
But White was widely criticized by Irish fans because the football team hasn’t won a national championship since 1988 Ã¢â‚¬â€ the longest stretch in school history Ã¢â‚¬â€ and some fans place much of the blame on White.
He gave Bob Davie a contract extension in 2000, then fired him after the next season. White replaced Davie with George O’Leary, who resigned after less than a week on the job after he admitted he had lied about his academic and athletic past. White’s next hire was Willingham, who lasted just three years.
In all, the Irish football team had four winning seasons, three losing campaigns and one .500 finish during White’s tenure.
I apologize for not blogging this sooner. My parents were in town this past weekend, visiting us and the baby, so my free time for blogging was limited. Even so, as I mentioned in comments on another post, I actually drafted a whole post about this on Saturday, only to have my computer crash before I’d saved it. I then intended to post something Monday or Tuesday, but got totally consumed with blogging about the rapidly changing Hillary Clinton-related developments, and never got around to it.
Anyway. Yeah. Kevin White, gone. I can’t say I’m shedding any tears over it. What do y’all think?
P.S. Duke sucks.
ABC says Hillary Clinton will drop out on Friday and “ced[e] the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama.”
I’ll believe it when I see it.
UPDATE: For some reason it didn’t auto-post, but CNN sent out a breaking-news alert at 7:10 PM stating: “Sen. Hillary Clinton will officially end her campaign for the presidency by the end of the week, multiple sources tell CNN.”
UPDATE 2: This isn’t just based on anonymous sourcing now. Here’s the official statement from the campaign: “Senator Clinton will be hosting an event in Washington, DC on Friday to thank her supporters and express her support for Senator Obama and party unity.”
Politico’s Ben Smith writes:
Clinton delivered something approaching a victory speech Tuesday night, just minutes after the media reported that Senator Barack Obama had clinched the nomination with a majority of the pledged delegates. But reality began to sink in Wednesday, as party leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, declared Obama “the nominee” and close supporters like Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel lost patience with her delays. …
Clinton had convened a conference call with congressional supporters Wednesday to plead for time. Instead, a Clinton backer said, her supporters laid down the law: Time had run out, and she needed to leave the race this week.
More from NYT’s Adam Nagourney:
Her decision came after a day of telephone conversations with supporters on Capitol Hill about what she should do now that Mr. Obama had claimed enough delegates to be able to clinch the nomination. Mrs. Clinton had initially said she wanted to wait before making any decision, but her aides said that in conversations, some of her closest supporters said it was urgent that she step aside. The news was first reported by ABCNEWS.com.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We pledged to support her to the end,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Representative Charles B. Rangel, a New York Democrat who has been a patron of Mrs. Clinton since she first ran for the Senate. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our problem is not being able to determine when the hell the end is.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Here are the final "popular vote" numbers, courtesy of Real Clear Politics. Leaving aside the fact that the "popular vote" is a fundamentally flawed and illegitimate metric for determining the "winner" of the Democrats’ byzantine primary and caucus process, the results are as follows:
Thus, the answer to the question I posed back on May 7 — can Hillary Clinton "win" an "arguably plausible" popular vote tally? — turns out to be "no." She only wins if she does one (or both) of the two indefensible things that I’ve been decrying all along: awarding herself a unanimous victory in Michigan that would make Saddam Hussein proud, and/or disenfranchising four whole states that did nothing wrong.
Stepping back from those controversies, though, a bigger-picture view of the "popular vote" reveals just how freakin’ close this election was. The most Obama-friendly scenario has him winning by 151,844 votes, which is just 0.4% of the total cast. The most Clinton-friendly scenario (giving her the unanimous Michigan victory and excluding the caucus states) has her ahead by 286,687 votes, or just 0.8%. Basically, the popular vote was a tie.
Now, that said, if the 13 caucus states had held primaries, Obama probably would have had a more substantial edge. For instance, although he won by a whopping 79.5% to 17.2% in Idaho, he netted only 13,225 votes there, because only 21,224 people voted. If Idaho had held a (real) primary, Obama’s percentage margin would likely have been more akin to his 56% to 38% win in the state’s non-binding primary, but turnout probably would have been more on the order of 175,000 or thereabouts (judging from Kerry’s total in 2004). That translates to a margin of roughly 31,500 instead of 13,225. Repeat that effect in the other 12 caucus states — Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Washington and Wyoming — and you’re probably talking about an additional several hundred thousand votes for Obama if all 50 states had held primaries.
Nevertheless, it’s clear that the battle for the nomination was achingly close, and the central reason Hillary lost is because of the strategic gaffes committed by her incompetently managed campaign. She and Obama essentially split the Democratic Party right down the middle, but Obama came away with a clear delegate majority for the simple reason that he ran a better campaign than she did. This obviously burns her up inside, and helps explain her current irrational behavior. She’s sitting there thinking, over and over again, "I should have won this thing, I should have won this thing." And that thought process makes it incredibly difficult for her to acknowledge defeat.
And you know what? In a sense, she’s right. She should have won. If her campaign had merely matched the strategic competence of Obama’s campaign, such that she’d essentially tied him in delegates as well as votes, she’d very likely have ended up being the nominee, precisely because of the electability arguments she’s been making. If this race were truly a tie, the superdelegates would be very open to those arguments, and she’d probably win the floor fight in Denver. But because her campaign arrogantly failed to compete in various states, and thus allowed Obama to rack up an unassailable delegate lead in February, she clearly lost the pledged-delegate count, which is the closest thing we have to an accurate reflection of the "winner" and "loser" of this byzantine process. As a result, it’s game, set, match, Obama.
So, Hillary, you’re right: you should have won the nomination. But nobody stole it from you. It’s your own damn fault you lost, and putting your party through hell in a futile attempt to make up for your own campaign’s blatant strategic errors is hardly the mark of a leader.
I was going to delete the blog sidebar thingy that was counting down to "MT, SD primaries," which stated (under "Upcoming events" at left) that those elections are "-1 days" away. But then it occurred to me to do something different. Instead of deleting the countdown, I’ve changed its text to read "Obama clinches," and I’m going to leave it there until Hillary Clinton drops out of the race and endorses Obama. So, this way, we can keep a running tally of how long Hillary continues her campaign even after she’s lost.
This is sort of like how, back in 2006, I left the "Shannon’s due date" countdown in place until Shannon actually had her baby — at which point it said "-7 days." I wonder if Hillary will beat that record? (For what it’s worth, the Democratic National Convention begins in 82 days.)
Her NYT column today contains this bit of sheer nonsense:
[Hillary Clinton] has told some Democrats recently that she wanted Obama to agree to
allow a roll call vote, like days of yore, so that the delegates of
states she won would cast the first ballot for her at the convention.
She said she wanted that for her daughter.
Memo to Maureen: there is always a roll-call vote, at every single convention, not just in "days of yore." Obama does not have the ability to "allow" or "disallow" such a vote, because it is the roll-call vote that will make him the nominee, as opposed to the "presumptive nominee."
Watch Obama’s speech (in particular the opening portion, about Hillary), and then watch Hillary’s speech, and tell me, which one of these candidates really wants the Democratic Party to be united?
Hillary’s claim that she wants the party to be united is, at this point, an utter and obvious lie. Her speech last night was sheer demagoguery, deliberately using rhetoric — about the "popular vote," about Michigan and Florida, about electability, and so forth — that will keep her supporters in a frenzy of anger and/or denial about the outcome of the election.
I said beforehand that it would be unforgivable if she made these sorts of arguments last night, and she made them, and it is indeed unforgivable. Absolutely unforgivable. On the very night when the party should have begun coalescing once and for all around its presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton continued to stoke the fires of intraparty civil war, instead of beginning of the process of standing down and backing off.
I’m not saying she needed to concede last night, but she needed to be gracious and conciliatory and valedictory, not combative and defiant and demagogic. She needed to explicitly attack McCain’s candidacy, not implicitly attack Obama’s legitimacy. She needed to speak the language of unity, not merely pay lip-service to it. She failed — she deliberately chose to fail — on all counts.
This notion out there that we should "respect" Hillary by not acknowledging the repugnance of last night’s speech, and of her recent campaign tactics generally, is completely back-asswards. It’s disrespectful to be anything other than repulsed, because such a reaction requires a belief that Hillary doesn’t know perfectly well what she is doing. To give Hillary a pass is to assume she’s a witless child, which she most certainly is not. She knows precisely what she’s doing — and it is the exact opposite of "uniting the party." She is willfully undermining her party’s nominee.
If you don’t believe me, just watch the beginning of John McCain’s (widely panned) speech, in which he made a blatant — and somewhat ham-handed, in my view, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t work — play for disaffected Hillary voters.
McCain’s efforts in this regard, aided and abetted by Clinton’s rhetoric, are already bearing fruit:
[T]he RNC’s convention office in St. Paul has received numerous telephone
calls in the last few hours from people who identify themselves as
Clinton supporters asking how they can help Sen. McCain.
HillaryGrassrootsCampaign.com, an organization with upwards of
half-a-million supporters, announced today it is committed to breaking
ranks with the Democratic Party and supporting Senator Hillary Clinton
in the general election - regardless of her status as the party’s
will be more developments like these, and no matter what she says
publicly about "unity," Hillary can’t wash her hands of them. She created
this monster. If you tell people, over and over again (even unto the
very night that your opponent clinches victory!), that their votes aren’t
being counted, that they aren’t being "respected," that they’re
"invisible," and that their chosen candidate, despite having lost, is
the legitimate winner — no matter how untrue all of those things are
– many of them are going to start believing what you’re telling them.
Hillary’s dead-woman-walking "campaign" has become one giant Big Lie.
At this point, the only way Hillary can even begin to redeem herself is by aggressively countering this stuff — not merely by dropping out and endorsing Obama, which she will inevitably do at some point, but by explicitly walking back her combative, divisive rhetoric. She needs to passionately make the case to her supporters, particularly women, that Obama’s their man, and McCain isn’t. She needs to find a plausible way to openly contradict her past statements about "elitism," electability, the "commander-in-chief test," and so forth. She needs to be the one who convinces her supporters that Obama is really and truly the legitimate nominee, that the "popular vote" doesn’t matter, that nobody was "disenfranchised," that no one is "disrespecting" her "18 million" supporters. Above all, she needs to make perfectly clear that she was not robbed, that she lost fair and square.
She needs to do all this, irrespective of the fact that it will leave some of her most fervent supporters feeling "betrayed." She can’t use their fragile emotions as an excuse, because she created those emotions with her shameless demagoguery. (That’s what demagoguery does. That’s its whole purpose.) Like I said: she created the monster. Some of the damage she’s done is irreparable, which is why she can never fully be forgiven for her actions. But she can take a small step toward reconciliation by undoing as much of the damage as possible.
Somehow, though, I don’t think she’ll be walking back her rhetoric on any of these key points. Oh, she’ll make the case for Obama on policy, and argue that he’s better than McCain, for the sake of appearances. But, having planted the "she was robbed" seed in her supporters’ brains, she’ll let them stew about it, and she’ll tell herself that if they want to stay home — or vote for McCain — because of that, well, there’s nothing she can do. Like so much of what she says, that’s a lie. But maybe it’ll let her sleep at night.
Personally, I am not a Democrat — I’m an independent — and although
the portion of my brain that views politics as a sport can’t help
"rooting" for Obama (he’s exciting! he’s inspiring! he’s shiny!), the
rational part of brain, which governs my actual vote, is totally undecided
between Obama and McCain. Thus, my anger at Hillary is more based on my
internal sensibilities — about right and wrong, about proper and improper
behavior, and, above all, about truth and untruth — than on fear
of what she’ll do to Obama’s chances in November. And yet I’m pretty damn angry. So I
can’t imagine how intense the anger must be among committed Democrats who are 100% behind Obama. They have to be livid. At this point, she’s got be reaching Bush/Cheney/Lieberman levels of earned hatred, yes?
Oh, and as long as we’re talking about Hillary hurting Obama’s chances, check out this video clip that the Republican National Committee sent out last night:
This is Exhibit A, B, and C for why the unity ticket is wolf-face crazy. Can you imagine how much worse it would be if she were his runningmate?
UPDATE: Here’s another clip the RNC is circulating:
Now, the question is: Where do we go from here? And given how far we’ve come and where we need to go as a party, it’s a question I don’t take lightly. This has been a long campaign, and I will be making no decisions tonight.
[At this point, her supporters cheered wildly, and some chanted, “Denver! Denver!”]
But this has always been your campaign. So, to the 18 million people who voted for me, and to our many other supporters out there of all ages, I want to hear from you. I hope you’ll go to my Web site at HillaryClinton.com and share your thoughts with me[.]
As NRO’s Jim Geraghty writes, it’s fairly obvious where this path leads:
She wants people to visit her web site and help her decide what to do next.
Can you see what’s next? “I wanted to concede, but my supporters didn’t want me to.”
Luckily, Hillary’s “18 million” aren’t the only people who know how to use the Interwebs. So, I invite you all to follow this link, and give Hillary the advice she so desperately needs. For example:
Incredible. She justifies her continuing the campaign by saying that she finished the campaign. She doesn’t concede that Obama has a majority of delegates, let alone that he’s won. She repeats her bogus popular vote argument. She congratulates Obama’s campaign on its “achievements,” but barely musters a single good word about him.
I don’t know what the fallout will be, but at minimum, I’d say that anybody on her staff who cares about their party has a moral obligation to publicly quit and endorse Obama.
The more I think about it, the more it seems that Hillary’s entire speech was manufactured to rile up her supporters — instead of priming them to shift their allegiance to Obama. Yes, there’s a situation with Michigan and Florida. But is it really fair for Clinton to claim that her 18 million supporters nationwide have been made “invisible?” Who’s supposed to be the bad guy here, scary Howard Dean? Clinton is offering more fighting rhetoric. But the fight should be over.
Isaac Chotiner, who calls the speech “A Total Disgrace”:
[H]er speech tonight has been combative and petty (mentioning the states she won, saying the primaries ended in South Dakota, not Montana, claiming a popular vote win), with scant praise for the Democratic nominee. If Clinton wants people to believe that she cares more about the Democratic Party than her own career, she is failing badly.
I have no problem with her reminding people of her campaign highlights–or postponing an actual concession. But implying that Obama can’t win in November? Whether or not she believes that, she has no business saying it now. And suggesting that she’ll fight on until her supporters are no longer “invisible” and get “some respect”? What on earth is she implying there?
I probably shouldn’t write any more about this woman and her staff. Suffice it to say that I’ve found her behavior over the past couple of months to be utterly unconscionable and this speech is no different. I think if I were to try to express how I really feel about the people who’ve been enabling her behavior, I’d say something deeply unwise. Suffice it to say, that for quite a while now all of John McCain’s most effective allies have been on Hillary Clinton’s payroll.
The speech tonight was a remarkable one for a candidate who has lost the nomination, though not remarkable for a Clinton. It was an assertion that she had won the nomination and a refusal to concede anything to her opponent. Classless, graceless, shameless, relentless. Pure Clinton.
Her narcissism requires that she deprive her opponent of a night, or a second, of gratification or attention. And she has now won, in her Bush-like version of reality, 18 million votes. Her invitation for her supporters to email their suggestions to her website is pure theater, a way of keeping herself in the spotlight and maneuvering her delegates to demand a second spot on the ticket. The way she is now doing this - by an implicit threat, backed by McCain, to claim that Obama is an illegitimate nominee if she does not get her way - is designed to humiliate the nominee sufficiently to wound him enough to lose the election.
Either way, she is clearly intent on getting Obama defeated this fall if she is not offered the vice-presidency. And if she gets the veep nod, the way she has gotten it will allow her to argue that a November loss was not her loss. It was his. And she will run again in 2012.
She will not go away. The Clintons will never go away. And they will do all they can to cripple any Democrat who tries to replace them. In the tent or out of it, it is always about them. And they are no longer rivals to Obama; they are threats.
What Democrats needed from Clinton tonight, aside from at last CONCEDING to Obama, was to go after McCain with everything she had: this would have been a first step to pulling her supporters into the larger Democratic fold. Instead, incredibly, she chose to continue her veiled critique of Obama. Instead, incredibly, she chose to emphasize and repeat all of her lies: that she won the popular vote, that she has “more votes than any other candidate who’s ever run in the primaries”, and, most damagingly, insinuating that somehow, this election was “stolen” from her. We see, more clearly than ever, that this is not about defeating Republicans in 2008: it is, for her, solely about her own career.
If I had any respect for Hillary Clinton going into tonight, after watching her speech, it is now gone.
She is now running for a nomination that she has lost. She cannot win it. The game is over.
She is, however, clearly willing to put John McCain in the White House if she doesn’t get her way. Now, I don’t think she has the power to do that, but she seems to think that she does, and she thinks that is a legitimate negotiating tactic.
The most pathetic part of the speech was her appeal for fundraising dollars. Because of her own mismanagement, her campaign is millions in debt. She’s wealthy — she can afford it. But yet she asks her constituency, which she says is struggling to get by, to help her pay off her own debts.
Absolutely no class — and completely self-absorbed.
Obama won tonight and she still can’t concede. Take a flying leap. You lost. You nasty woman. She can’t decide what she wants to do, whether she concedes or not. So she wants people to email her and help her decide. … She’s just a nasty nasty woman. I’m so glad the Democratic leadership gave her space and her time to grieve. How’s that working for you?
FinneganOregon, a Daily Kos diarist:
I am sitting here listening to her speech this evening and my jaw has slowly dropped to the floor.
This woman has no class.
She deserves absolutely nothing. Not a f***ing thing.
The only dissenting voice I can find in the liberal blogosphere is Al Giordano, who says, “I think that Senator ClintonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s speech was fine. She didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t concede. (The Field didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t expect her to.) But nor did she declare that sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to go on a Kamikaze mission. … Everything is good. SheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s getting out. She just has to negotiate her terms. But she stopped short of starting an internecine Civil War in the Democratic party. And nothing in her tone or words indicated otherwise.”
Needless to say, I completely disagree. In fact, I’m baffled; Giordano must have been watching a different speech than I was. I think Dana Goldstein, quoted at the top of this post, is 100% right: “Hillary’s entire speech was manufactured to rile up her supporters — instead of priming them to shift their allegiance to Obama.”
P.S. See also Noam Scheiber.
“Thank you so much to South Dakota. You had the last word [sic; that would be Montana -ed.], and it was a good one.”
“I want to start tonight by congratulating Senator Obama and his supporters on the extraordinary race that they have run.” (She then proceeded to say some other nice things about him, battling through a few hecklers at one point. I couldn’t quite make out what the hecklers were saying, but I think it was anti-Obama.)
“And it has been an honor to contest these primaries with him, just as it is an honor to call him my friend. And tonight, I would like all of us to take a moment to recognize him and his supporters for all they have accomplished.”
“Now, 16 months ago, you and I began a journey to make history and to remake America…” blah blah blah
UPDATE: “You asked yourself a simple question: who will be the strongest candidate?” (Crowd yells “Hillary!”) “Who will be ready to take back the White House and be commander-in-chief…” Hmm, where is she going with this?
UPDATE 2: “Our campaign carr[ied] the popular vote with more votes than any campaign in history.”
Hillary Clinton just implicitly called the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party illegitimate.
Now she’s babbling about swing states. What a freaking creep.
UPDATE 3: Now she’s talking about “count[ing] every single vote!” Unbelievable!!
I don’t know why I’m continually surprised by Hillary’s shamelessness. Someone tell me again, why the HELL would Obama want to make this utterly contemptible woman his V.P.?
She really doesn’t know when to stop, or have any idea what she sounds like to people who aren’t either idiots or sycophants. This speech isn’t remotely conciliatory or valedictory. It’s a blatant attempt to undermine her own party’s nominee on the very night he clinches the nomination. Absolutely beyond belief.
UPDATE 4: I don’t want hear her say another freakin’ word about “party unity.” It’s like Loeb said: “Every time Mrs. Clinton claims she has a popular majority, she’s…making it that much more likely that her supporters will stay home in November. If she really wants a united party, she needs to stop.”
Clearly, she has made a conscious decision not to stop. Unreal.
Now she asks rhetorically: “What does Hillary want?” … “I want the 18 million Americans who voted for me to be respected, to be heard, and no longer to be invisible.” (!!!)
What does Hillary really want? She appears to want Obama to lose in November. That’s the only rational explanation for this speech, at this time, given in this way.
UPDATE 5: The crowd chants, “DENVER! DENVER!”
See?!? What did I tell you about rhetorical momentum?? This is exactly what I meant!! Using rhetoric like this, even now, she is creating a situation where many of her supporters will view not fighting to the convention as a betrayal! Now watch her use that as an excuse.
“Now, the question is, where do we go from here? … This has been a long campaign, and I will be making no decisions tonight.” The crowd goes wild. You know what decision they want!
UPDATE 6: She’s telling people to “go to her website” and tell her what to do!! This is the Ross Perot strategy — “I do what the volunteers want!” So she’s deliberately creating rhetorical momentum, so she can say that she’s staying in the race because her supporters demanded it!!
FINAL WORD: Hillary Clinton had one last chance, tonight, to exit the stage with dignity.
She missed it.
Barack Obama has enough delegates to clinch Democratic presidential nomination, CNN projects. Coverage on CNN and CNN.com Live.
Wolf Blitzer, Wolf Blitzer says Barack Obama, Barack Obama is the presumptive nominee.
UPDATE: Here’s the video:
Fox News’s delegate count in the scroll at the bottom of the screen has Obama at 2,128 delegates, 10 more than the “magic number” — but he still doesn’t have a little check-mark next to his name, like McCain does. Not sure what’s up with that, or where they’re getting their numbers from. (Maybe the Associated Press?)
CNN, meanwhile, has Obama at 2,114 delegates, four away from securing the nomination. I think that means Wolf Blitzer, Wolf Blitzer will be declaring Obama the nominee at 9:00 PM, if not sooner. (By the way, yes, I still have cable at the moment. Long story.)
The Huffington Post has a running tally, naming names, and they claim he’s at 2,110 delegates, eight away.
Obama’s campaign says he’s at 2,108, ten away.
However you do the math, it’s clear that Obama will be able to accurately say in his speech tonight: “Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.”
Obama is now 12 delegates away from the nomination, without considering any “private commitments” or making any projections of tonight’s results.
That means he’ll definitely be able to declare victory as soon as Montana is “called” for him, even if South Dakota is still too close to call (or, for that matter, if it’s “called” for Hillary). Even a one-vote win in Montana gives him 9 delegates, and there’s no way he won’t get at least 3 delegates in South Dakota.
UPDATE, 7:22 PM: Now he’s 10 delegates away. CNN is quoting the same number. If he gets a few more endorsements, the mere fact of the polls closing in South Dakota may put him over the top.
UPDATE, 7:29 PM: CNN says he’s now within 7 delegates.
You know what would be hilarious? If Obama gets within 1 delegate of clinching, and then Donna Brazille — an undeclared superdelegate on CNN’s “best political team on television” — announces her endorsement live on CNN, thus putting him over the top. :)
UPDATE, 7:45 PM: Now 6 delegates to go, says CNN.
Obama will get at least 7 delegates in South Dakota unless his vote total is less than 41.66%. He’ll get at least 6 delegates unless his vote total is less than 38.88%. He’s essentially guaranteed at least 5 delegates, since he’d have to dip below 27.77% to get less than that, which pretty clearly isn’t going to happen.
So, assuming the exit polls do not suggest a West Virginia-style blowout by Hillary (i.e., in a range where a 73-27 victory is conceivable), the mere fact of the polls closing in South Dakota should add at least 5 delegates to Obama’s column.
That means that if just one more superdelegate endorsement happens before 9:00 PM EDT, South Dakota puts him over the top — even if Hillary wins the state. No need to wait for Montana.
Paging Donna Brazille!
UPDATE, 8:04 PM: CNN says Obama is 5 delegates away.
This appears to be based on CNN’s own independent reporting, talking to superdelegates. Obama’s own delegate countdown is stuck at T-minus 10, presumably because he wants pledged delegates to put him over the top.