Bloggers Weigh in on 'Generation Vote' and Detroit's Woes

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Participants on the program's blog offer thoughts on the generational split among Democratic voters, Detroit politics and love for the Barbershop.

MICHEL MARTIN, Host:

And now, it's time for Backtalk, where we lift the curtain on conversations on the TELL ME MORE blog and get a chance to hear from you. Lee Hill, our Web producer, joins me here in the studio as always.

Hey, Lee, what's up?

LEE HILL: Hey, Michel. Well, two words: Super Tuesday. The results from this week's primary elections in 24 states has the blogosphere bursting with predictions about who will become the Republican and Democratic presidential nominee.

As you heard earlier in today's program, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney announced he's suspending, as he put it, his GOP bid, making it almost certain that Arizona Senator John McCain will be the nominee. Now, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are still in a tight race for the Democratic nod. Exit polls Tuesday, showed Clinton enjoyed a boost from women and Latino voters, while Obama won support of voters under 40 and African-Americans.

Now, Michel, one of our bloggers, Glen, who lives in Austin, Texas, posted this note to the blog. I'll read it.

(Reading) Super Tuesday reinforced the generational importance in the Democratic race, with older voters going for Clinton and younger voters going for Obama. Hopefully, younger voters will stay engaged throughout the campaign. This is a defining moment in American history. And he says I am anxious to vote.

MARTIN: Thanks, Glen, and I know you're looking forward to March 4th, when Texas has its primary.

Now we want a back track a bit. Last week, we had a conversation about a scandal involving the city of Detroit and its mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick. The mayor is accused of lying under oath about the circumstances surrounding the firing of a top city official, as well as about an extramarital affair with his chief of staff who has since resigned.

Last week, we heard perspectives from two people on this matter, from local Detroit radio host Mildred Gaddis and Detroit Councilwoman Sheila Cockrel. Well, one perspective that we didn't hear from was that of ordinary citizens. And we received a note from John(ph). And we wanted to hear what he had to say. Hi, John.

JOHN: Hi, Michel.

MARTIN: Now, you wrote us to say that you didn't feel that your perspective on this or that of the ordinary taxpayer is being addressed in the coverage. What is that perspective?

JOHN: Well, the perspective is that we pay a lot of money relative to our property values and our incomes, and we're not getting basic services, things like the streets being plowed aren't done. Calling for police - we're understaffed. The police are understaffed when they do come about a vacant house, all they can really do is say, please make sure the house doesn't get stripped.

MARTIN: What is - I'm sorry. And how does this connect to the whole situation involving the mayor?

JOHN: The city needs so much help. It's like old-style politics. It's old-style insider family and friends and everyone else pays for it. And people in Detroit don't like that.

MARTIN: John, thanks so much for your perspective. Thanks for calling.

HILL: Well, there's a lot to say about that, Michel. I mean, people are talking in Detroit, and so I'm glad we were able to get to John and get his perspective.

MARTIN: Yeah. I'm glad he reached out.

HILL: And moving on - and just before we go, I wanted to highlight a comment from one of our listeners, Ana(ph). She's out in Oakland, California, but she wrote to us and wanted to let us know how much she enjoys the Barbershop.

ANA: I love the Barbershop. I wait for Friday to roll around so that I can hear what the guys have to say about whatever is going on. I don't always agree with all of them or sometimes even any of them, but I truly enjoy hearing them say how they feel.

I have really been loving their political commentary, especially that - I think the last time I heard them, they didn't get around to talking about the Super Bowl because they were too busy talking about the upcoming Super Tuesday, which I think is really cool.

MARTIN: Well, thank you, Ana. And I hope the Barbershop guys are listening. They better be.

Thank you, Lee.

HILL: Thanks, Michel.

MARTIN: And remember to tell us more about what you think and see what other listeners have on their minds. You can go to npr.org/tellmemore and blog it out.

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