In a shocking press conference yesterday morning, DNC Chairman Howard Dean announced that he made the sole decision to cancel the rest of the primary election season as well as the 2008 Democratic National Committee Convention in Denver.
Citing the flattering attempts by President Bush to broker a deal between the three candidates and increased pressure from the Democratic Party's major donors, Chairman Dean said he finally gave in and told John McCain that the DNC had unanimously approved an endorsement for his presidential election. Here's his full statement to the press:
"It was with heavy regret and much sadness that the DNC has had to come to this decision. After much bickering during the ten year primary campaign between Senators Clinton and Obama, we decided that it is in the best interest of this party to cancel the remaining primary elections and the convention in Denver. I have had private meetings with John McCain, and he has safely assured me that 'we're going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we're going to California and Texas and New York … And we're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan, and then we're going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House! YeaAHah!!!' He cleary repeated what I told America in Iowa during the 2004 campaign but that's alright because it is his America now. Ladies and gentlemen of the press, it is my pleasure to introduce to you, the next president of the United States of America, my good friend, a true Veteran who needs no introduction, the distinguished Senator of Arizona, John McCain."
McCain appeared on stage with him at that time. "Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Members of the press corps, I am as stunned and shocked as you are that we are standing on the stage together. This is America's best interest and I thank you for allowing me to become the president of the United States of Canada."
The press in attendence did a spit-take at that comment. "I mean the United States of America," McCain quickly corrected. "It's early. I haven't had my coffee yet.
When Illinois Senator Barack Obama was told of this, all he could do was weep and say, "Yes, he can win the presidency. Yes, we can agree that John McCain is the change that we seek."
Asked for comments, all New York Senator Hillary Clinton could do was say, "I'm so saddened by this but I'll be back in 2012. The Las Vegas line looks great."
Television commentators were some of the first to chime in.
Hardball's Chris Matthews said that "This is unprecedented. Never in America's history has such an historic election become more historic. This makes the debates a moot point now. The press was just starting to let you know about Barack Obama, the real Obama, and then this happens. I'm astonished. Maybe I should run for president as an independent?"
CNN's Wolf Blitzer couldn't believe it. "It's a cold, wet Tuesday morning but if you were in DC this morning you would have thought that there was a downpoor with all the tears and wet eyes. John McCain is the Democratic and Republican nominee. Is this a good thing for America? I don't know."
Anderson Cooper wanted to get his two cents in. "I don't believe what I just saw. It's amazing. It's different. It's unbelievable. It's now our job to keep them honest."
It was only a matter of hours before The Daily Show with Jon Stewart got word of this. Opening up the show, Jon cancelled his usual monologue and clips and replaced them with a statement, "Ladies and gentlemen, the Democratic Party has jumped the shark! If you missed it this morning, Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic Party, decided to forgo the Pennsylvania primary as well as the other remaining primaries in wanting to avoid a floor fight at this summer's convention. Roll the clip!" The clip of the earlier comments were shown. "If you had your money on John McCain being elected in November, you were on the money. The Democrats gave up before the swiftboating even began!"
Not wanting to be outdone, Stephen Colbert in last night's show decided that the word of the day was to be mockery. "You made a mockery out of the electoral process, Howard Dean. You should be ashamed of yourself. This is a bad move. I, I don't want to have anything to do with you. Forget being placed on notice, Chairman Dean, you are dead to me! Go f*** yourself!" Colbert swore to the audience.
We'll have more as the story develops...