If you stick a wire across a battery, obviously it is going to discharge the battery. This will be due to a voltage difference between the two terminals. However, the equation $V = IR$ tells you how to calculate the voltage change due to circuit elements, plug in $R=0$ for a perfect conductor and it would seem that the voltage should stop immediately after entering the wire (take a infinitesimal chunk of wire as your element and apply the equation). Of course real wires have some negligible resistance, but that doesn't seems like it should compensate enough, even if it compensated in the correct directions, but if you think about it resistance would cause impediment so shouldn't it keep the electrons -yet again- right at the terminal?
Another effect of electrodynamics to consider would be the electron repulsion, imagine all the electrons moving out of the positive terminal and into the wire in the first instant of time. In the next instant yet another group of electrons comes out to occupy the same space. To prevent that the electrons from before scuffle over to the next chunk of wire?
I'm probably just misunderstanding some equation, maybe the $V=IR$. I'm remembering now it's the voltage drop, so the voltage drop is zero in that first infinitesimal, so the voltage between the negative and each point is the same? This seems contrary to the loop laws and the idea of electron crowding. The voltage being due to electrons crowding would cause a continuously varying voltage because the closer you get to the source the more crowded it would get. Kirchoff's voltage laws state that, for a closed loop, the sum of the voltage differences is zero. $V=IR$ tells you that the voltage drop everywhere is zero. The only thing left to analyse is the battery itself, how can anything cancel out the battery off the whole wire was a flat zero? Perhaps this is one of the cases where that law breaks. Therefore it is expedient to revert back to first principles.
The battery works by creating a charge imbalance, chemical reactions ferry electrons through a soup via ions. In the end your wire is fed electrons on one end and electron holes on the other. The resulting emf causes current to flow so that the charge imbalance can correct itself via Coulomb's law force is proportional to the charges over the square of radius. Since radius comes into play it's clear that the length of the wire must be considered. So why isn't length a part of any of the voltage laws? Ok I give up on that approach, I can't see any relation between that and voltage.
Edit: Ok so here's another way to look at it, the terminals are just studs of metal. If you think of two terminals as being really long so that the chunk of wire under consideration is right between them the voltage across it is just the voltage of the battery. But if you do the same thought experiment with all the other chunks of wire then they all have a voltage drop equal to that of the battery which is nonsense. Basically how can I define voltage as a property of small chunks of the circuit?