With an 1,800-vote lead over Republican Sen. George Allen, Jim Webb just told his supporters that it's important to respect the Democratic process. But just when it sounded like he was about to concede that there's still a lot of counting -- and maybe recounting -- to be done, Webb said: "The votes are in, and we won."
We'd like to tell you what else Webb said, but CNN, which carried several minutes of Allen's non-concession speech, cut away for a commercial right away.
If Webb is indeed claiming victory, he and his strategists have learned a lesson from six years ago: Declare yourself the winner, then force the other guy to be the one who wants to overturn the will of the people.
Webb may have good reason for his confidence. Word is that there are a lot of absentee ballots still to be counted from Northern Virginia, where Webb should be able to expand his lead over Allen.