With the presumptive Democratic nominee running 30 points behind Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in West Virginia, the sound we're most likely to hear when the polls close in Appalachia tonight is the Confederate rebel yell boiling up from the swamps of time.
We heard a little bit of that yell last week when Mrs. Clinton gave an interview to USA Today that sounded like it could have been the winning oration in the 1948 "Li'l Miss Dixiecrat" competition.
"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," Mrs. Clinton told a reporter before citing an Associated Press piece "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states [Indiana and North Carolina] who had not completed college were supporting me."
Asked if she was being racially divisive in her appeal to superdelegates, the candidate was unapologetic.
"These are the people you have to win if you're a Democrat in sufficient numbers to actually win the election," she said. "Everybody knows that."
The rebel yell picked up speed over the weekend when Amy Poehler, brilliantly channeling the candidate during the opening sketch of "Saturday Night Live," made her covert appeal to racial resentment a little more overt:
"My supporters are racist," Ms. Poehler as Hillary said, ticking off several reasons the superdelegates should back her claim for the nomination over Mr. Obama's.
"If and when I am the nominee, Sen. Obama's African-American supporters will be disappointed, perhaps, but they will rally to me.
"If, however, Sen. Obama is the nominee, my supporters will refuse to vote for him. Partly because I will secretly tell them not to, but mainly because they are racially biased [audience laughter and applause] and would never vote for an African-American candidate. I'm not bragging. That's just the way it is."
The rebel yell roared with a vengeance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" yesterday when political commentator Pat Buchanan and the Congressional Quarterly's Craig Crawford defended Mrs. Clinton's statement as perfectly reasonable in a heated exchange with a visibly disgusted Chris Matthews.
Note to Mrs. Clinton: You are definitely having a bad day when one of your most prominent defenders in the media is Pat Buchanan and the other is the only mainstream reporter in America who didn't think Bill Clinton was engaging in coded speech when he compared Mr. Obama's primary victory in South Carolina to Jesse Jackson's in 1984 and 1988.
So, tonight the polls will close and Mrs. Clinton will have easily collected 99 percent of the white vote in West Virginia. She will crow about her electability in a smug but meaningless victory speech on a stage featuring dozens of "hard-working Americans, white Americans" standing behind her waving flags.
Bill and Chelsea will grimace through it all, knowing that the jig is up and that the dream of the next phase of the Clinton dynasty has come to an ignoble end.
While no Confederate battle flags will be visible, they will feel it in the air. Mrs. Clinton's greatest victory will be a triumph of the kind of identity politics that makes a nation smaller.
Still, she will resist the urge to dip Skoal and spit juice into a coffee can on live television.