PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC analyst: This is an astonishing development. Look, the pollsters were dead wrong. They were predicting 7-8 to a dozen points for Obama. The press was dead wrong. We had virtually canonized Obama and said he had been born in Bethlehem and now you’ve got a race where Hillary Clinton is running three or four points ahead of this fella. Something has happened. There is a hidden vote here somewhere, or my guess is this: The New Hampshire voters said, look, the press has been telling us Obama’s the second coming. We don’t think so. The press has been telling us she’s gone, and the women came out and said, no, she’s not. What New Hampshire did was stand up and body slam the national establishment, the press corp., the pollsters, the whole bunch that came in here as well as Barack Obama’s folks who must be in a state of shock tonight.

RACHEL MADDOW, Air America: Pat, I will tell you that on the influential -perhaps influential on the left — Web site, talking points memo today, do you want to know who they’re blaming for women voters breaking for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama? Who they’re blaming for this late showing for Hillary Clinton? They’re blaming Chris Matthews. People are citing specifically Chris not only for his own views but also as a symbol for what the mainstream media…

MATTHEWS: What Web site?

MADDOW: It’s cited anecdotally…

MATTHEWS: My influence over American politics looms over the people! I’m overwhelmed myself.

MADDOW: People feel that the media is piling on Hillary Clinton. They’re coming to her defense with their votes…

So was there, in fact, what amounts to an anti-Chris Matthews vote that emerged in New Hampshire? And if so, why might Hillary Clinton have been the beneficiary?

Here are a couple of thoughts on those questions. And Matthews himself provided some clues last night as to why an anti-Matthews voter might be motivated to pull the lever for Clinton.

After telling a story about how Nixon once planned to make his voice crack during a speech to look more sympathetic, Matthews continued: “I know Hillary Clinton was completely spontaneous the other day but let’s bring in the panel on that point. It could be that big girls don’t cry,.. but it could be that if they do they win.”

And later:

MATTHEWS: This is a basketball game tonight. Meaning it will be decided in the last couple of seconds before the buzzer… I wouldn’t put it past the Clintons if it looked like it was moving toward a victory for Barack to pull a quick press conference while it’s still vague and say it’s too early to tell. Then go to bed with some vague victory statement. I’ll know throughout this evening what their game plan will be because I’ll be there. There’s a good chance they will try to move pre-emptively claim some sort of tie — if this thing’s moving, as the Hanover vote comes in, towards Obama. It will be interesting to watch the gamesmanship tonight. They have pulled this before. Declaring comebacks when they’ve lost by eight - having been ahead by 20. They’re quite able to try to create a new confected reality. I’m watching this.

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.