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'New York Times' Backs McCain, Clinton

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'New York Times' Backs McCain, Clinton

Election 2008

'New York Times' Backs McCain, Clinton

'New York Times' Backs McCain, Clinton

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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The nation's so-called paper of record gives a nod to presidential hopefuls — Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain — and smacks former mayor Rudy Giuliani. Meanwhile, Democrat Dennis Kucinich is dropping out of the race.

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

(Soundbite of music)


Hey, good Friday, everybody. We are live from Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan. This is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT - news, information, and the media won't have Dennis Kucinich to kick around anymore.

I'm Alison Stewart.

TOURE, host:

I'm Toure.

And I have not been lulled into a false sense of security.

STEWART: By Rudy Giuliani?

TOURE: By Rudy Giuliani.

STEWART: That's what he said last night at the debate. We've all been lulled.

TOURE: He wants to lull everybody else, but he's not doing it. It's Friday, January 25, 2008.

STEWART: I got to - you know, I went to bed early because we have such early hours, and I got a very hilarious e-mail from my husband who had to watch the debates because he works at MSNBC. And he put some fun into the thing(ph) like, I'm so bored just in the middle of it because it wasn't really a fiery debate. But they did get off some shots on Hillary Clinton, not necessarily each other, which was kind of interesting.

TOURE: I mean, especially after the last Democratic debate, the expectations of…

STEWART: I think so.

TOURE: …Hillary drama is very high now. I don't think we got it last night. I stayed up a little later than you did because I was waiting for the blows to fly and…

STEWART: No, it didn't happen.

We'll talk to John Harris from He'll go over the debate with us a little bit to talk about that stake out of Hillary and also gives a preview because, of course, tomorrow is the big day in South Carolina for the Democrats.

TOURE: We are talking today about rejected New Yorker cartoons. They're not good enough for David Remnick, but they're good enough for us.

STEWART: Mm-hmm. The economy - we all know it's in rough shape, in "Second Life" as well. The banks have been shuttered in the virtual world.

TOURE: What?

STEWART: Find out why. Plus, we'll also go through the week in Iraq. We'll talk to Rachel Martin in just a moment for today's headlines.

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

(Soundbite of music)

STEWART: Two big announcements from two big papers.

First, the New York Times lays out its endorsements today. And you know what? It starts out, kind of like that letter you get when you don't get the job.

TOURE: You know, kind of, like, we've got a lot of great candidates. It was really hard to choose just one. Unfortunately, we cannot offer you a position as leader of the free world and commander in chief at this time.

STEWART: Well, they didn't really write that. But here's the deal. They tried to let the losers down easy, calling Barack Obama, quote, "the incandescent, if still undefined senator from Illinois. John Edwards, he's enlivened the race with his own brand of raw populism." So that leaves the one who got the nod, yes, Hillary Clinton endorsed by the Times.

TOURE: They're not denying Obama's appeal. But they say the tie-breaker is Clinton's experience. They say Mrs. Clinton is more qualified right now to be president.

STEWART: On the GOP side, would a hometown paper endorse a hometown candidate, Rudy Giuliani? No.


STEWART: They're backing Senator John McCain. The Times says McCain is, quote, "the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe."

TOURE: But the Times does have a bone to pick with their GOP candidate. We have shuddered at McCain's occasional, tactical pander to the right, they say. And why not Giuliani who they know so well? Here's where the Times starts having fun.

STEWART: I don't think they really like him.


STEWART: Listen to this. Quote: "The real Mr. Giuliani, whom many New Yorkers came to know and mistrust, is a narrow, obsessively secretive, vindictive man who saw no need to limit police power. Racial polarization was as much a legacy of his tenure as the rebirth of Times Square. Mr. Giuliani's arrogance and bad judgment are breathtaking." End quote.

TOURE: Tell them what you really think.

STEWART: Yeah. What about that other big announcement, Toure?

TOURE: Yesterday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer got this news from their hometown guy Dennis Kucinich.

Representative DENNIS KUCINICH (Democrat, Ohio; Presidential Candidate): I will be announcing that I'm transitioning out of the presidential campaign.

STEWART: Kucinich's official announcement is to come today around noon in Cleveland. Now this transitioning rather than dropping out of the race is likely an allusion to the fact that he'll be directing his energies towards a tough congressional race, something that Plain Dealer's Sabrina Eaton told us back - told us about a few weeks ago on the BPP.

Ms. SABRINA EATON (Reporter, Cleveland Plain Dealer): The congressman, in fact, has his first serious primary challenge in a long time coming up. He's got four people running against him, including - in the past, he's had a couple of people who were just political non-entities throwing their name in there. Now he's got the mayor of North Olmsted. He has a very popular Cleveland city councilman running against him. And that's just from the Democratic primary.

TOURE: I got to admit, I wasn't aware Kucinich was still in the race. But when he was in the thick of it, he was a unique presence.

STEWART: Always kept the Iraq war on the table. And remember that time when he got in this shot about the Patriot Act, nice.

(Soundbite of New Hampshire Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate)

Mr. WOLF BLITZER (Reporter, CNN): Congressman Kucinich, I believe you're the only person on this stage who had a chance to vote on the Patriot Act right after 9/11, who voted against it right away.

Rep. KUCINICH: That's because I read it.

(Soubdbite of cheering)

TOURE: Ooh. I'll never forget that time he took it head on with Tim Russert when he asked him if he really saw a UFO.

(Soundbite of Democratic Presidential Debate in Philadelphia)

Rep. KUCINICH: I did. And the rest of the account. It was unidentified flying object, okay? It's like it's not identified. I saw something. Now, to answer your question, I'm moving my - it's - and I'm also going to move my campaign office to Roswell, New Mexico, and another one in Exeter, New Hampshire, okay?

STEWART: Dennis Kucinich, thanks for the memories.

That's the BPP's Big Story. Now here's Rachel Martin with even more news.

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