10:56 ET — Leading up to the 11 pm hour when polls in the west will be closed Chris Mtthews pondered on what it means if Obama wins. “If this happens in the next few minutes and we announce it every reality we grew up with in terms of ethnicity will be different.”
10:53 ET — Mark McKinnon on ABC: "The fat lady has not yet sung. She’s just warming up."
10:41 ET — Brian WIlliams finally comes close to an admission about the end, talking about the great history of Chicago’s Grant Park, "History that’s about to be doubled tonight."
10:21 ET — MTV’s Kim Stolz reporting from the McCain viewing party in Phoenix, Ariz. "Although McCain’s camp still remains optimistic, there’s a sense of reality filling the room," she said. Talking about Obama’s victory in Pennsylvania, she said this makes a McCain victory look a little less probable.
10:17 ET — I am starting to wonder who MSNBC will have actually call the election. I am betting on Matthews, but interested to see if the collegial spotlight sharing that has gone so well tonight among him, David Gregory, Keith Olbermann, Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow will continue through that momentous, historic tell. Surely they have worked this out in advance, but you never know. It is live TV — Melissa Grego, Executive Editor
10:04 — MSNBC shows more Grant Park images. David Gregory says Obama is at home having dinner right now. Keith Olbermann notes everyone in business clothes like they came from work. Similar scene in Harlem, ny.
Chris Matthews: As people look at these images I must say, although, we have to be careful about not getting ahead of the story. The world is looking at America once again with wonder … it’s great to see America surprising the world again in a positive way. And these crowds are sending a message to the world that something is happening here.
9:43 — CNN didn’t call it, but John King very clearly went through a state-by-state scenario where McCain won’t get more than 266 electoral votes. He said that McCain won’t win Iowa or any of the West Coast states.
9:40 ET – MSNBC is flirting hard with calling this race
David Gregory shows images of grant park “where the celebration will be. Or people think there will be a celebration”
Then to Chuck Todd
Chuck todd: “There’s a potential path here for obama to 270 that is very real and I don’t know yet if there’s a path that is plowed anymore for john mccain.”
9:30 ET — Starting with the Obama win in Pennsylvania, firmed with the Ohio win and reinforced with the way the close race in Florida is looking, the chatter on MSNBC seems to have turned toward the assumption that this election is going Obama’s way.
Conversation turns to a post-mortem tone. Examples:
Gene Robinson: “Everybody is concerned with the economy. Obama came to them with a message that they responded to. … John McCain with his handling of the economic crisis gave a lot of people the feeling that he was not the one to bring relief.”
Rachel Maddow: “The American people don’t believe the Republicans can help with the economy.”