Forget Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The most exciting matchup of the night was between Karl Rove and his employer, Fox News.
A little after 11 p.m., Fox News and every other news outlet called the presidential race for Obama. Rove, the mastermind of George W. Bush's campaign and now a political commentator on Fox, didn't buy it. Why? According to Rove, who appeared to be going through extreme denial that Mitt Romney had lost, there were too many outstanding votes in Ohio to give the state to Obama, tipping the race in his favor. No one else at Fox took his side. And to prove him wrong, Megyn Kelly walked down the hall in a live action shot to the "decision desk" that called the race and interviewed the men in charge.
Their response was essentially that while some counties haven't reported all the Romney votes yet, there are too many votes unreported in Democratic territory like Cleveland that it wouldn't matter. "There just aren't enough Republican votes left for Mitt Romney to get there," said decision maker Chris Stirewalt. Rove was apparently listening in. The jolly Fox host Bret Baier tried to describe Rove's reaction - the GOP strategist was writing things down, and pointing at Fox personality Bill Hemmer."A lot of things are going on right now," Baier said.
They cut to commercial. Then they came back and Rove was as defensive as ever. While the crowd in Chicago cheered and danced on the split screen, there was Rove, saying that all the votes in Ohio's Hamilton County needed to be cast. The projection, he said, was a "very early call. Charles Krauthammer came on to talk about it. Then they cut back to the screaming crowd in Chicago. And it was Kelly who turned the page.
"They are not listening to Karl," she said. "They don't care what Karl said."