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Hour Two: Florida, Michigan Want 'Do-over Primaries'

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Hour Two: Florida, Michigan Want 'Do-over Primaries'

Election 2008

Hour Two: Florida, Michigan Want 'Do-over Primaries'

Hour Two: Florida, Michigan Want 'Do-over Primaries'

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

With the Democratic presidential race still tight, the governors of Florida and Michigan want to hold primaries that count. The Democratic Party stripped the states' delegates for holding their primaries before Feb. 5.

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

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Live from NPR Studios at Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan, this is the BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News: news, information, apply directly to the forehead. I'm Rachel Martin.


And I'm Alison Stewart. It's Thursday, March 6th, 2008. Does that really help your headaches, that HeadOn?

MARTIN: I don't know, but it's so true. I hate those bloody commercials. Am I allowed to say that? I don't know. We're going to find out, though. There's a story, the company - well, we're not going to talk about the ad, but we're going to talk about - the company that makes Airborne health tablets has settled a lawsuit over false advertising. We're going to examine why.

STEWART: That caught everybody's attention. I know everybody uses Airborne and believes in it, but apparently, there may have been some shenanigans with the clinical trials. Airborne says they did nothing wrong. So we'll dive into that a little bit. And how hard was it for you to get dressed this morning, knowing who our guests on the show were going to be?

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MARTIN: I actually didn't even think about it. I had forgotten. But our guests - we're going to talk to some people, women, who put together a book, an examination about what women wear to feel powerful.


MARTIN: And today I happened to pick out a shirt that I do feel kind of powerful in and realized that it's kind of a man's shirt. I mean, you know, it's like a button-up shirt with big cuffs and a big collar, and sometimes when I'm feeling kind of Elvis, I like stick my collar up.

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MARTIN: And it kind of makes me feel cool and powerful.

STEWART: We think it might be a news girl thing, because I picked out almost the exact same kind of shirt.

MARTIN: I think we're both wearing stripes.

STEWART: We're both wearing stripes, menswear shirts. I love these. The shirt I'm wearing - they're hideously expensive. They're too expensive. I always wear cufflinks. I love cufflinks. I've got little fish, little mother-of-pearl fish.

MARTIN: But see, what does that say about us?

STEWART: I don't know.

MARTIN: Men. I mean, what's the man thing?

STEWART: I don't know. It's a whole sort of menswear thing that I always loved these particular shirts, and they make me think I can go out and do anything.

MARTIN: But wearing very feminine stuff can also make you feel powerful. I'm totally interested in this conversation.

STEWART: It's an interesting conversation about power and clothing and gender roles, and there you go. So that's coming up very shortly. Also, a man with 40,000 comic books faces a dilemma. What do you do with 40,000 comic books? We will find out.

MARTIN: I'm going to walk you through the day's headlines, and, of course, we have the Ramble this hour. But first…

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MARTIN: Florida and Michigan want a do-over. With Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton locked in a tight race for the Democratic nomination, the two states whose primaries didn't count may try to hold new contests that do.

STEWART: Florida and Michigan were stripped of their delegates by the Democratic Party after they moved their primaries ahead of February 5th without permission. That means candidates did almost no campaigning there, and the primaries held in the two states awarded no delegates.

MARTIN: The Republican Party punished the states as well, but only took half their delegates away. Since then, the states have been lobbying to have all their delegates seated. That's an effort supported by Hillary Clinton's campaign, since she technically won both states. She was actually the only major Democrat on the ballot in Michigan.

STEWART: So if the party bosses won't count the Florida and Michigan results, the governors of those states have an alternate solution. Florida Governor Charlie Crist and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm say they're willing to hold do-over primaries by June. This sounds like first grade. Crist addressed the media yesterday.

Governor CHARLIE CRIST (Republican, Florida): The people of Florida voted January 29th. They voted legally, and, you know, some party boss in Washington decided that they were not going to have the people's voice be heard? Are you kidding me?

STEWART: Well, that party boss, Democratic Party chair Howard Dean, spoke to NPR yesterday. He said the party is open to negotiating some solution with Florida and Michigan, but it must be done within established party rules.

Mr. HOWARD DEAN (Chair, Democratic National Committee): We're not interested in disenfranchising Florida and Michigan voters. They're important to us. But what we are saying is we have to be respectful of the other 48 states who stuck by the rules, played by the rules, and we most certainly have to be respectful of the candidacies of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who knew what the rules were, and changing the rules halfway through the game is incredibly unfair to both of those candidates, and frankly, would split the Democratic Party. So we're not going to do it.

STEWART: And while Florida and Michigan want to vote again, Texas just stopped its voting. The primary was on Tuesday, but because of what's been called the Texas Two-Step, voters have a caucus right after the primary, and the caucus awards a third of the state's delegates.

MARTIN: Hillary Clinton won the primary, but with 40 percent of the caucus vote counted, Obama is winning nearly 56 percent of that turnout. If that margin holds, Obama would end up with three more overall Texas delegates than Clinton.

STEWART: Which brings to mind the age-old riddle: If a caucus finishes after the media has declared a winner, does it make a sound? Think about it. Now let's get some more of today's headlines.

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