Finally, a First-Place Finish for Romney

Michigan hands the Republican presidential hopeful his first victory of the primary season.

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

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ALISON STEWART, host:

This is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT, news, information and a calming presence in the turbulent sea of news.

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STEWART: I'm Alison Stewart.

RACHEL MARTIN, host:

Good morning. I'm Rachel Martin. It is Wednesday, January 16th, the year 2008.

Some of these guys I heard saying is this a yoga podcast? I didn't download this.

STEWART: (Singing) Om, sha-ni-na(ph).

MARTIN: Exactly.

STEWART: My head almost exploded last night. I could have used a calming presence in the turbulent sea of the news.

MARTIN: What happened last night?

STEWART: I actually - I didn't know what to watch on television. I finished all my work. I had spent the afternoon with my mom and dad, and I thought, okay, there's primary coverage. And then there's the debate, and then there's "American Idol," and there's primary coverage. Debate, "American Idol," primary. And then my head just sort of almost exploded, so I went to sleep.

MARTIN: You just couldn't deal with the choices.

STEWART: I just gave up.

MARTIN: See, that's why you have to be like me. I just bought a new TV, which is really exciting, but the cable guy hasn't come yet. So I just get one channel, and it's very snowy. And I can only watch from a distance, or else I get a really get a bad migraine.

STEWART: My headache.

MARTIN: But it helps with the choice thing.

STEWART: It was too much.

We have a jammed packed hour of THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT for you. We're going to get more info on the FDA ruling yesterday that clears the way for cloned meat -cloned meat, you heard me - to be sold in your very own supermarket. But will it actually make it to the stores anytime soon?

We'll find out a little bit more.

MARTIN: Also, Dennis Kucinich - denied. The Nevada Supreme Court tossed out a court order that said NBC had to include him in last night's Democratic debate. So who lost out here? Kucinich or the American voting public? We'll discuss it.

STEWART: Jared Sandberg from the Wall Street Journal, friend of THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT, is going to talk about dreaming about work. I don't know if you've done that or not. We've also a performance by the Moldy Peaches. If you've seen the movie "Juno," then you know about their music. It's featured prominently throughout the film. They're going to play a couple of songs for us. We'll also go to Celeste Headlee for today's headlines in just a minute.

But first, here is the BPP's Big Story.

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STEWART: Romney got the gold. The former CEO of the Salt Lake City Olympics turned politician is back in the thick of the Republican presidential race after winning yesterday's Michigan primary. Now, he took 39 percent of the vote, beating out John McCain, who got 30 percent, and Mike Huckabee who pulled 16 percent. No other candidate had more than 7 percent.

MARTIN: The former Massachusetts governor had this to say last night in Michigan, where his father was governor in the 1960s.

Mr. MITT ROMNEY (Former Governor, Massachusetts; Republican Presidential Candidate): The lobbyists and the politicians realize that America now understands that Washington is broken, and we're going to do something about it.

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MARTIN: Michigan has lost nearly 300,000 manufacturing jobs since the year 2000. Exit polls revealed the economy was a huge issue for voters there. Romney told Michigan residents he would work to get those jobs back, while McCain said those jobs were gone for good, but would replaced with new jobs centered on green technology.

Both candidates made reference to their respective stances on the issue last night. Here's Romney.

Mr. ROMNEY: We said we're going strengthen the economy. I will never accept defeat for any industry here in America. We'll fight...

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STEWART: But McCain, well, he's moving on. He gave this speech in South Carolina, which has a Republican primary in three days. But about Michigan, the senator says he has no regrets.

Senator JOHN McCAIN (Republican, Arizona; Republican Presidential Candidate): My friends, we fell a little short tonight, but we have no cause to be discouraged or to second-guess what we might have done differently. We did what we always do. We went to Michigan and we told people the truth. We always tell them the truth.

MARTIN: Romney's victory means that three different candidates have won the first three Republican primaries. If Republicans continue taking turns winning, our calculations show that Alan Keyes will take the February 16th primary in Guam. It could happen.

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STEWART: On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton won with 55 percent, but the victory brought her no delegates. The Democratic Party stripped Michigan of its delegates after a dispute over the date of its primary.

MARTIN: And Clinton's two main rivals, Barack Obama and John Edwards, weren't even on the Michigan ballot - uncommitted came in second, with 40 percent of the vote.

STEWART: So, dare I ask? What's up next for the candidates? Howard Dean?

Mr. HOWARD DEAN (Chairman, Democratic National Committee): We're going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico. We're going to California and Texas and New York, and we're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan. And then we're going to Washington, D.C. to take back the White House. Aaagh!

MARTIN: Oh, man.

STEWART: Well, that was close.

This Saturday, Republicans do have their primary in South Carolina, the first state the Dean mentioned, while Democrats will hold a caucus in Nevada. A week later on January 26th is the Democratic primary in South Carolina.

MARTIN: And that is the BPP's Big Story.

Now, here's Celeste Headlee with even more news.

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