Uncategorized | 9:43 pm | January 8, 2008 | By Thomas Kaplan

LIVE: Primary night at Obama HQ

NASHUA, N.H. — Welcome to primary night in the Granite State. We are live from Nashua South High School, where Senator Barack Obama will speak tonight to supporters after the results from today’s primary come in. Our live blog is below.

OBAMA CONCEDES; CLINTON WINS NEW HAMPSHIRE

12:22 a.m. | We’re signing off.  This place is still in shock.

11:06 p.m. | Clinton is giving her victory speech, but the sound doesn’t work here in the press room and no Obama staff can be found. Reporters are cursing, absolutely livid.

11:01 p.m. | In front of a screaming, clapping, chanting crowd, Obama congratulates Clinton but vows to fight on for change. Because he loves change! But beneath the deafening cheers, cheers that were supposed to convince a national television audience that Obama had not lost his momentum, was an palpable, paralyzing shock. Even as they clapped wildly, the faces of Obama’s supporters were empty.

In a final bit of painful irony, the rally ended, as most of Obama’s do, with Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”

An Obama victory in New Hampshire was supposed to be exactly that.

10:42 p.m. | U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes, D-New Hampshire, is firing up the crowd before Obama speaks. “We stand together for hope. We stand together for change,” he said.

10:34 p.m. | THE AP PROJECTS CLINTON WILL WIN NEW HAMPSHIRE. The room here is silent, with all eyes fixed on CNN. In the next room, the crowd at the Obama rally is chanting, and I feel pity for them.

10:28 p.m. | “It could be a very long night,” says Wolf Blitzer on CNN. Who probably is not starving to death right now. And who probably is in a climate-controlled studio, not in a drafty gym.

10:27 p.m. | Edwards concedes to Obama and Clinton. “The goal is still in sight,” Elizabeth Edwards says. John says he will stay in until the convention, as we reported earlier this week.

10:20 p.m. | Obama is still at his hotel, his campaign says. The big question here is how the college towns will factor in when they report. They could tilt the scale toward Obama, his campaign seems to think.

10:13 p.m. | With 62 percent of precincts reporting, Clinton is up by three points.

10:03 p.m. | What if this is like Florida in 2000 and we’re here all night? I ask because, well, I am really hungry. They need to feed us! How can they keep us here and not feed us? At least if I were inside the rally, I could feast (my eyes) on the beautiful “Change” signage. Here in the barren press room, I feast on nothing.

9:57 p.m. | Weird. On the left screen is MSNBC, with no sound. On the right is the Obama rally. And over the speakers is the unmistakable voice of CNN’s Anderson Cooper ’89. Are they trying to confuse us?

9:56 p.m. | They just killed the sound on MSNBC in the press room. It’s bad enough they’re making the crowd at the rally listen to the Counting Crows. Why do we have to listen to it, too?

9:55 p.m. | 54 percent reporting; Clinton up by two points.

9:37 p.m. | Oh no! There is a 2005 Buick LaCrosse parked illegally here. It must be moved “immediately,” the loudspeaker booms. Where is our security? Stop having your dogs sniff my digital camera, Secret Service, and secure our perimeter!

9:35 p.m. | John McCain is getting destroyed over his soporific acceptance speech. That was so bizarre. We saw him speak two days ago in Salem, N.H., and he was fiery and alive as can be. Tonight, he looked senile.

9:32 p.m. | Exit polls show that of voters who decided for whom to vote in the last three days, the divide went 50-50 between Hillary and Obama. So much for Obama’s momentum, MSNBC says.

9:25 p.m. | The crowd keeps randomly bursting out in concerted cheers of “Obama! Obama! Obama!” here in Nashua, as if on command. Why? I don’t know. Do they need to practice chanting the word “Obama”? Quoth Allen Iverson: “Practice? We’re talking ’bout practice?”

9:21 p.m. | With 39 percent reporting, Obama has drawn within 3 percent — about 2,800 votes.

9:15 p.m. | With 34 percent reporting, Clinton still clings to a four-point lead.

9:14 p.m. | The media room here is a very odd place to be right now. The Obama rally is nowhere near ready to begin, and none of us have anything to do except watch MSNBC (and then post on our blogs whatever they report).

9:13 p.m. | McCain is delivering his victory speech right now. “Mac is back!” How cute. Somewhere, Senator Joe Lieberman ’64 LAW ’67 is smiling.

8:59 p.m. | Huckabee is conceding now. For his campaign, however, third place is not bad news in the slightest. “Frankly, we’re pretty happy with that,” Huckabee said.

8:56 p.m. | “It is good news, and we’ve been having good news for the past three days in New Hampshire,” Clinton adviser Ann Lewis said on MSNBC. “She’s talking to people about the difference between talk and action.”

8:55 p.m. | With 23 percent reporting, Clinton’s lead is up to six points.

8:50 p.m. | With 21 percent reporting, Clinton’s lead has shrunken slightly to four points.

8:47 p.m. | Mitt Romney has conceded the primary to McCain. He prefers to look at his devastating loss as a “silver medal.”

8:29 p.m. | With 13 percent reporting, Clinton has opened up a five-point lead on Obama.

8:25 p.m. | Remember when, this summer, everyone thought McCain was finished? When reporters confronted him and demanded to know when he planned to drop out? How things change!

8:18 p.m. | I wonder if the Secret Service would allow pizza delivery to the press filing room. Would the bomb-sniffing dog have to inspect it? And, if yes, am I hungry enough to eat pizza covered in bomb-sniffing dog slobber?

8:15 p.m. | CNN also projects that McCain will win the primary. The network also projects that former Senator John Edwards will finish in third place among the Democratic contenders.

8:12 p.m. | NBC News has projected that Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, will win the New Hampshire primary.

8:05 p.m. | Connecticut Senator Christopher J. Dodd — who dropped out of the presidential race last week — has received 22 votes. Yet, he still trails fellow dropout Joe Biden, with 54 votes. Some people just can’t win.

8:04 p.m. | With 11 percent of precincts reporting, Hillary Clinton LAW ’73 leads Barack Obama, 38 percent to 36 percent, according to The Associated Press. For the Republicans, John McCain has a nine-point lead over Mitt Romney.

8:01 p.m. | “So, it is not over … We don’t have any answers yet … It’s too close to call,” Keith Olbermann just said on MSNBC. Patience, grasshopper. The polls have been closed for all of 30 seconds.

8:00 p.m. | Polling places across New Hampshire close.

7:10 p.m. | Unlike the filing center at the debates Saturday night, the last time this many members of the news media gathered in one place, there is no food to be found here at the Obama HQ. There was, briefly, a few cases of bottled water, but those are long gone. I also see one empty package of Cheez-Its, its 12 individual packets nowhere to be found.

6:58 p.m. | The set-up for the rally itself is similar in style to that of Senator Hillary Clinton’s rally last night in Manchester — in other words, it is impressive. But we’re not actually in that room. In an adjacent gymnasium, the more than 300 reporters on hand will watch the rally via a large projection screen. Well, not a screen — the image is just projected onto the all of the gym. We also have a second projector displaying MSNBC’s coverage of the returns.

— Thomas Kaplan

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