Wednesday, May 07, 2008

My wife and I were just watching the Democratic presidential primary coverage on CNN, which is only tolerable due to the presence of Anderson Cooper. I find him strong in the two areas I think are most important in a news show host.

First, he's knowledgeable. I don't know whether the man stays up till the wee hours doing his homework or he just absorbs it like a politician absorbs free lobbyist lunches, but Cooper's rarely caught flatfooted.

Second, he's funny. On the rare occasions Cooper is off the mark, he freely admits it and then is quick to poke a little fun at himself. I suppose you could say he takes the job seriously, but doesn't take the job seriously.

I know he also was involved in something called "The Mole", but I have tried to avoid looking into it.

This evening, as the Indiana primary ground to a close, the entire CNN crew was fretting over the slow release of vote totals from Lake County. That area contains Gary, IN, and Hammond, IN, and held the possibility of changing the outcome of the election.

While every other county in the state had reported a sizable chunk of its totals, Lake County had failed to announce anything. Not a sausage.

So while John King, Wolf Blitzer and everyone else did their best to speculate, guess and not-so-guardedly hint at nefarious doings as the reason for the lack of information, some smart cookie got Tom McDermott in a Chicago studio. McDermott is the mayor of Hammond, and he reported that his city's totals had been turned in to Lake County by 7:30 p.m., and, when asked by King, that he had no idea what was taking so long.

In fact, McDermott said (and I'm paraphrasing here, but the words are close):

"I'm not in charge of the dissemination of information by Lake County. All I can do is turn in the results to the county and wait."

McDermott then added he did know Clinton won his city, along with a number of other towns in the area.

When this exchange ended, Blitzer then jumped in with a brilliant question, asking what was taking so long in Lake County. I can only assume Blitzer was either lost in thought at the monumental ridiculousness of his own name.

As I write this, I do not know the outcome of the election, although I think Clinton will hold on for a very narrow victory. Of course, none of this really matters, because 1) Democratic delegates are awarded by the margin of victory, not as a winner-take-all proposition, and 2) Clinton is toast anyway.

Props to King for working that awesome map -- and for the quote of the night in reference to the possibility of Lake County reporting 100% of its vote at once:

"Sometimes you just get a big dump."

Otherwise known as "The Larry King Show."

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