The novelty midnight votes at Dixville Notch and Hart's Location are over and John McCain's grabbed an early, utterly insignificant lead.
In Hart's Location, Democrat Obama received nine votes, Hillary Rodham Clinton received three and John Edwards received one. On the Republican side, McCain received six, Mike Huckabee received five, Ron Paul received four and Mitt Romney one.
In Dixville Notch, on the Republican side, McCain received four votes, Mitt Romney two and Rudy Giuliani one. On the Democratic side, Obama received seven votes, John Edwards two votes and Bill Richardson one vote.
Since Andre Marrou won the 1992 general election vote in Dixville Notch, there's a little disappointment among Paulites. As of now Paul's at 17.3 percent, for what it's worth.
Also, I wasn't at the event where Hillary Clinton choked up, but it rebounded across the state all day. Count me in the unsympathetic, callous, John Edwards camp. The complaint about facing "difficult odds" rang a little hollow: She's not doing well now, but I have months of chest-pounding Hillary Hub stories and press releases about her incredible poll numbers, and heard a solid year of talk about her inevitable nomination. And I can't read her mind—I can assume she did it to keep composure—but she was very handy with her talking points: "Some of us are right, and some of us are not. Some of us are ready, and some of us are not. Some of us know what we will do on day one, and some of us haven't thought that through." I've seen too many hand signs and giant billboards reading READY to disassociate that from campaign talk. But if Clinton was steadying herself by repeating her message (she's said some combination of those words probably 100 times this week), it makes sense.
That said, it's not fair to pile on Clinton for this. Barack Obama has kept discussion of his youthful drug use off the table with the hint that it's racist to even ask him about it. That was the landmine Clinton apparatchik Bill Shaheen jumped on when he said Republicans would ask if Obama had ever "sold" drugs. Can't ask a female candidate if her tears are real; can't ask a black candidate if he ever slung dope.