Huckabee, Obama Face the Future

In the Iowa caucuses, Barack Obama wins on the Democratic side, Mike Huckabee on the Republican.

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BILL WOLFF (Announcer): From NPR News in New York, this is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT.

(Soundbite of music)

MIKE PESCA, host:

This is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT. We are news, we are information, and we are crazy for the caucuses.

I'm Mike Pesca, in for Alison Stewart.

RACHEL MARTIN, host:

And I'm Rachel Martin. It is Friday, January 4th, 2008.

PESCA: You know, Rache, oh, God.

MARTIN: Yes, Michael?

PESCA: It's a great day to be doing…

MARTIN: An American?

PESCA: I'm just saying it's a great day to be doing a radio show.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PESCA: I'm jazzed.

MARTIN: We have so many…

PESCA: I've got jazzed hands.

MARTIN: …things we need to talk about. You do, you do.

PESCA: We should put some video on this because they're shaking with excitement.

MARTIN: I see you. Why?

PESCA: Well, you know, I just wanted to wake up last night and peek at the results. I've been up ever since 11:30.

MARTIN: You're such a political nerd.

PESCA: I have…

MARTIN: And you had to wake up at three.

PESCA: Yeah, 3:30. I have what's known as Iowadrenaline(ph).

MARTIN: Iowadrenaline.

PESCA: Iowa - it's a little more curable than Joemanthem(ph)…

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PESCA: …but I'm really excited.

MARTIN: I can tell. Well, even if I didn't see you…

PESCA: I mean, I don't understand, if you're plugged in, you're not either concerned, maybe horrified, maybe thrilled, maybe surprised but something's going on. It's a good day.

MARTIN: Do you think everyone is not excited?

PESCA: No. I'm just saying if you're, like, a really good plugged-in American.

MARTIN: Okay. Well, we're going to tell you why you should be excited because it is important, you know. Things happen. Stay tune, we're going to tell…

PESCA: I hope…

MARTIN: …you all about it.

PESCA: …I hope we don't have to bring that horse to water. I hope you'll, at least, meet us half way. So, yes, we'll talk to John Harris from Politico.com. He'll come in to break it down for us.

MARTIN: We should also let you know that we do have an open thread on our blog explaining - if you're curious about the caucuses, if you want to just vent about them, go online, check it out. Also coming up in the show, no more smoking in France. There's a ban on smokes in bars, restaurants and cafes. It went into effect January 1st. We're going to check in to France and see how the smokeless laws are treating them there.

PESCA: And we'll also talk about the new movies coming out, which are basically no new movies coming out. But we'll talk about other new movies that maybe are coming out in future weeks. Hello, Rambo.

Daniel Halloway is here with a list of movies, and we'll chat about it with Dan. So we've got a lot of non-caucus stuff but a lot of caucus stuff, which brings us to this - the BPP's big story.

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Mr. MIKE HUCKABEE (Former Republican Governor, Arkansas; Presidential Candidate): I hope we will forever change…

Mr. JOHN EDWARDS (Former Democratic Senator, North Carolina; Presidential Candidate): We are going to bring the change…

Senator BARACK OBAMA (Democrat, Illinois; Presidential Candidate): …and our time for change has come.

PESCA: The real question is: What kind of change will it be? Iowa caucus results are in, and the big winners are Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee.

On the Republican side, Huckabee rode a wave of momentum to a 34 percent showing in Iowa, outpacing Mitt Romney who finished with 25 percent of caucus-goers. Fred Thompson and John McCain each pulled 13 percent; Ron Paul, 10 percent; and Rudy Giuliani, who really took the caucuses off, he got 4 percent.

MARTIN: Huckabee, who's a former Baptist minister and Arkansas governor, got more than 80 percent of his support from evangelicals. He had this to say last night.

Mr. HUCKABEE: We carry those convictions, not so that we can somehow push back the others, but so we can bring along the others and bring this country to its greatest days ever because I'm still one who believes that the greatest generation doesn't have to be the ones behind us. The greatest generation can be those who have yet to even be born. And that's what we are going to prove.

(Soundbite of cheering)

PESCA: Meanwhile, among the Democrats, Barack Obama earned the support of 38 percent of caucus-goers. John Edwards got 30 percent. Hillary Clinton, 29 percent. Obama had this to say in Iowa last night.

Sen. OBAMA: In lines that stretched around schools and churches, in small towns and big cities, you came together as Democrats, Republicans and independents to stand up and say that we are one nation, we are one people and our time for change has come.

(Soundbite of cheering)

MARTIN: John Edwards, meanwhile, said his second-place finish showed voters are also ready for, well, change.

Mr. EDWARDS: The Iowa caucus-goers said: Enough is enough. We are better than this. We are going to bring the change that this country needs.

PESCA: Ah, yes, the vaunted mandate for change, an especially big factor in the election without an incumbent. Perhaps that mandate for change explains why President Bush got so few votes last night.

MARTIN: The candidates who took the biggest hits last night were Clinton and Mitt Romney, unless you count Democrats Joe Biden and Chris Dodd who dropped out of the race entirely. Both Romney and Clinton are expected to do better in New Hampshire's first in the nation primary on Tuesday.

PESCA: Yes, unless you count Joe Biden and Chris Dodd, and unfortunately for them, few people did.

MARTIN: Ouch.

PESCA: Wednesday CNN/WMUR New Hampshire polls shows Clinton in the lead over Obama, 34 to 30 percent there. Edwards has 17 percent.

MARTIN: For the GOP, McCain and Romney are tied for first place, each grabbing 29 percent of potential Republican primary voters. Giuliani has 12 percent and Huckabee goes from the top of the heap in Iowa to the bottom in New Hampshire with 10 percent.

PESCA: That was the last poll. I'm sure there'll be big changes in the next one. And that is the BPP's big story.

So what we do now is we normally toss to a girl named Rachel Martin, if I could find her.

Hey, Rachel.

MARTIN: Hey.

PESCA: You got the news?

MARTIN: I do.

PESCA: Do it.

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