STILL THE ONE. Pierce referred to him obliquely -- but the Orleans soft-rocker who upset Sue Kelly in New York's 19th District is John Hall . Readers: meet John Hall . --Sam Rosenfeld

    SHOW ME STATE. CNN just projected Claire McCaskill as the Senate victor in my home state, Missouri. What a night. --Sam Rosenfeld

    THE GOOD OLD DAYS. Over at, MSNBC, I think Ted and Chuckles just went off the rails. Chris Matthews had old Enron Ed Gillespie on, glumly chatting over the demise of a whole passel of GOP "workhorses." (Aside -- There has been nothing more fun tonight than seeing Republican strategists do live shots while the banquet room gets packed up behind them. They were stacking chairs over Enron Ed's left shoulder.) And Matthews started talking about the halcyon days of divided government and bipartisan comity ... in the mid-1990's! Wait. Wasn't there something peculiarly and distinctly partisan about those years? Oh, yes. THEY IMPEACHED THE PRESIDENT, FOOF! And a note to my friend Keith O -- Orleans really sucked. Always did. Glad the singer won, though. --Charles P. Pierce

    EXIT STRATEGY: WRATH OF THE MATH. David Gergen just speculated on CNN that Donald Rumsfeld will "fall on his sword," meaning he'll submit his twice-rejected resignation. Bush , of course, has pledged that Rumsfeld is his man. The only situation I can see whereby Rumsfeld is out at the Pentagon is if Claire McCaskill and Jim Webb win, giving the Senate to a 51-seat Democratic majority. At that point -- faced with a Democratic congress, endless investigations, subpeonas, document requests, the whole megilla -- it makes sense for Bush to reluctantly accept Rumsfeld's resignation and appoint Joe Lieberman as defense secretary. Bush will yield huge plaudits from ignorant pundits and deliver the Senate, once Republican Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell appoints a GOPer to Lieberman's seat, back to the Republicans, thanks to Vice's tie-breaker vote. Meanwhile, an unwinnable war will grind on. --Spencer Ackerman
  • MSNBC.

    MSNBC. Got to disagree with Ez . I thought MSNBC was the best -- quicker with the calls, sharper with the analysis, and Matthews and Olbermann has to be the strangest TV news team since Ted Baxter and Chuckles The Clown got snowbound together on election night at WJM. CNN was the night of the living dead. Bill Bennett ? The politician once known as J.C. Watts ? To say nothing of John King and Candy Crowley , who talked all night as though they were waiting for Brent Bozell to leap out of the wings and bite them. --Charles P. Pierce
  • Bold Solutions? Why Can't the Columnists Talk About Them?

    New York Times economic columnist David Leonhardt seems to do a Jekyl and Hyde routine, alternating insightful analysis with painful renditions of the conventional wisdom. Mr. Hyde is out in all his glory today . First, he talks about the solution to the Social Security crisis (while correctly noting that Medicare poses a much bigger problem). Well, who told him that it's a problem? Yes, the projections show that we will have to do something in the next 40 years to change the program to fully fund projected benefits. But, it really isn't that hard to sit down and make up modest shortfalls, the Greenspan commission figured out a solution in less than a year back in 1983. There is no obvious reason that we can't put off these decisions for 20 or 30 years when we have a better idea of what the future looks like, After all, the country does have real problems today. Second, he goes through the story about health care costs requiring restrictions on expnesive drugs and procedures. In a...

    EXHIBIT A. Before the "Democrats Only Won Because They Ran A Bunch Of Republicans" meme gets set in stone, people should realize that the result in Tennessee pretty much obliterates a good piece of that theory. Harold Ford makes Bob Casey look like Emma Goldman , and he got handled pretty well by the nebbishy Bob Corker . (And the voters down there should be ashamed that the odious TV ad worked as well as it did.) Ford talked about Jesus, guns, and his own heterosexuality, and he lost to a guy so nondescript that he has no shadow. --Charles P. Pierce

    "THE VOTES ARE IN AND WE WON." Spencer is happily prescient. Conservative Democrat or not, it's nice to have a Democrat in a crucial race who understands politics . In a recount, you have to seize the initiative and establish the right narrative: Webb did it. Good for him. --Scott Lemieux

    A QUESTION FOR BUSH'S PRESS CONFERENCE TOMORROW. "Mr. President, you said last week that 'However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses.' Did the American people just vote for the terrorists last night?" --Spencer Ackerman

    THE BIG ISSUES. CNN's election coverage has been really superb. Smart, fair, informative analysis that managed to keep the focus on actual results without tumbling into constant political speculation or prophesizing. And the War Room style worked well, with Wolf Blitzer and Company wandering around a massive set rather than sitting at a table. Visually, that worked far, far better than the traditional seated set-ups of the other networks. It also allowed the anchors to take up less visual room, and give more to the giant screen and its sweet, sweet election results. --Ezra Klein