Howard Cosell, moderating from ESPN Heaven:

We. Have. Just. Seen. The political battle for all time. Tonight, ESPN-H brings you key excerpts. Replay the clips

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Smokin’ Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHouse Judiciary Republicans mockingly tweet 'Happy Birthday' to Hillary Clinton after Barrett confirmation Hillary Clinton tweets 'vote them out' after Senate GOP confirm Barrett CNN: Kayleigh McEnany praised Biden as 'man of the people' in 2015 MORE — heavily favored — before the fight. In her dressing room, wearing a pastel athletic suit:
“I’m no Gore; I’ll end this in four.”

Barack Hussein Obama, wearing dark suit and tie, in reply:
“Time for a new champ; take it from me. I’ll float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

The combatants are face to face in the center of the ring. They are glaring. Checking their notes. Opposing water bottles are inspected by ring officials.

“This fight is governed by the Atha-letic Commission of the Democratic National Committee. Shake hands, and come out fightin’.”

A clang of bells, and the fight starts.

“They circle each other, warily. Oh my gosh. Hillary Clinton is down, she’s down, floored in Round 1. Wait! Barack Obama has let her back off the mat.” She’s wobbling. Will he finish her off? This would be a huge upset!

Round 2:“We are in the second round. It is a fresher Hillary, ahead on points. This is shaping up as a real brawl for the ages.”

Hillary Clinton, to her corner women:
“I’ve found my voice — this guy is fodder; I’ll get him next round, back in Nevada.”

Barack Obama, dancing lightly on both feet:
“Nothing would be finer than to trounce her in the Carolinas.”

The fight proceeds, round after bruising round.

“A left by Clinton (California), a right (New York). Obama can take a punch! But wait, he’s fighting back, and now Hillary is taking a series of blows. I’ve never seen such a solid beating. He hits her with blow after blow — a left, a right — he’s calling the shots: the Virginia reel, the Maryland crab, the Wisconsin cheese, the Connect-icut. He’s won, 10 rounds in a row! She’s doing the rope-a-dope! This fight may be over …”

Hillary Clinton, in her corner, breathlessly:
“Don’t count me out. This guy can’t finish me off.”

Barack Obama, in his corner, to a handheld mic:
“My managers say I have the fight. Just don’t get knocked out. I’m pacing myself for the main event.”

Hillary Clinton responds:
“He can’t close the deal. My championship is for real.

“Just a minute, fight fans. Outside the ring, Bill Clinton is red-faced; I’ve never seen a fighter’s corner gone so crazy. He’s screaming at the refs, ‘Unfair, unfair!’ berating the press … ‘You are disrespecting her …’ ”

A hush now. “This fight is over,” Cosell whispers, “Fight fans — here’s the verdict”:
The referees declare, eight rounds, Obama; seven rounds, Clinton. The winner is …

“I’ve never seem anything like this — there is a near riot, bedlam. Fans of both competitors are railing and flailing and screaming.”

Screams from fans:
“We’ve been screwed, gypped!”
“Turn the page! Turn the page!”
“She fights like a girl. Call his pastor!”
“Five more rounds!”

Cosell: “The Clinton seconds are screaming.”
“She got in more punches. So what if he won more rounds and got more points!”

Later, Cosell:
“The cameras have been turned off. The two fighters are alone, embracing in the middle of the ring. They are totally spent. I’ve never seen any fight to equal this. And this is only a preliminary bout …”

Cameras out, for advertisements. Tomorrow night, Obama vs. McCain for the championship!

Ronald Goldfarb is a Washington, D.C., attorney and author.