Sunshine State Smiles on McCain John McCain continued his comeback run for the Republican presidential nomination, winning the Florida primary Tuesday. Mitt Romney finished a few points back, with Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee far behind.

Sunshine State Smiles on McCain

Sunshine State Smiles on McCain

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John McCain continued his comeback run for the Republican presidential nomination, winning the Florida primary Tuesday. Mitt Romney finished a few points back, with Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee far behind.

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

(Soundbite of music)


Live from the NPR studios of BRYANT PARK in Midtown, Manhattan, this is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT. We are news, information and always just a Twitter away. I'm Alison Stewart. In fact, I'm going to write on Twitter what I am doing right now.

Go ahead, Rico.


I am Rico Gagliano. It is Wednesday, January 30th, 2008.

What are you writing?

STEWART: Typing on the air live. This Twitter feed, I'm obsessed with our Twitter feed. For folks who don't know, we have this sort of dual conversation going on. We have the radio conversation, the podcast, the Webcast, but over at for BRYANT PARK PROJECT, we have some 229 members and we just kind of tell each other what we're doing.

GAGLIANO: Why don't I get that functionality over here?

STEWART: We'll take care of that during the news. I got to give you the secret code, the password and then the pinky swear that you won't tell anybody.

GAGLIANO: You're not going to do anything of the sort. You're being mean to me, and it's the morning kind.

STEWART: I promise I'll let you into our Twitter club, it's all right.


STEWART: Hey, this hour on BRYANT PARK, the Khmer Rouge trials, could they actually be close to reality?

Reporter Erika Kinetz is headed back to Cambodia this week. She's going to be in our studios for a few minutes to get us caught up on this historic event.

GAGLIANO: And the band The Whigs are here with some early morning rock and roll that's within age. We'll talk to them about that.

STEWART: All right. Politically motivated?

GAGLIANO: Yeah, actually not really that much. Actually, sort of the opposite. You'll hear it. It's awesome.

STEWART: Excellent. We're also talking TED - not Baxter, not Lange, but technology, entertainment and design. The curator of the conference and the winner of the TED Prize - this woman, she got her wish granted, literally. They'll talk about her wish to change the world and how they're going to go about it.

We'll go to Rachel Martin for today's headlines in just minute, but first, let's get to the BPP's Big Story.

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Senator JOHN McCAIN (Republican, Arizona; Republican Presidential Candidate): Tonight, my friends, we celebrate. Tomorrow, it's back to work.

GAGLIANO: That's Arizona Senator John McCain, celebrating a big win last night in Florida. He won the state's Republican primary, nabbing all 57 of its delegates. McCain beat Mitt Romney 36 percent to 31 percent. Rudy Giuliani came in third with 15 percent. Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul came in fourth and fifth, respectively.

STEWART: McCain's victory puts him in a strong position heading into next week's Super Duper Fantastic Tuesday primaries, quite a turnaround from a campaign that was running out of money last summer. McCain referred to that rough patch in his victory speech last night.

Sen. McCAIN: To everyone who, in good times and bad, devoted much time, energy and hope to keeping our candidacy competitive, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

(Soundbite of applause)

GAGLIANO: Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani, New York homeboy, who had largely pinned his hopes on Florida, is expected to drop out of the race and endorse McCain.

Here he is, conceding Florida last night.

Mr. RUDY GIULIANI (Former Mayor, New York; Republican Presidential Candidate): I want to congratulate each of my opponents on a hard fought campaign here in Florida. I want to congratulate Sen. McCain, who I believe has been declared the winner. I spoke to Mitt Romney and told him my regards to him as well. These are honorable people. They're accomplished public servants, and they're good men.

STEWART: One person who wasn't wasting any time putting on her dancing shoes, the old gray lady. That's right. The New York Times seemed to be Riverdancing all over Giuliani's political prospects.

GAGLIANO: Why Riverdancing?

STEWART: Because those clogs hurt.


STEWART: The paper of this city where he was mayor published a blistering piece of news analysis that blames Giuliani's fall on, quote, "Hubris and strategic miscalculations." He was called a man with a pugnacious task who went through, quote, "A dizzying free-for-all."

GAGLIANO: Free fall.

STEWART: Free fall. Be like that. Yeah.

GAGLIANO: Yeah. It's a free-for-all.

STEWART: That, too.

GAGLIANO: Everybody wants to wrestle with that guy.

STEWART: I just don't think they like that guy.

(Soundbite of laughter)

GAGLIANO: Oh, my word.

On the Democratic side, Giuliani's fellow New Yorker Hillary Clinton, who you heard just then, faired much better, although her party's Florida primary had a lot less at stake.

Clinton won the state with 50 percent of the vote compared to Barack Obama's 33 percent and John Edwards' 14. But the Democratic National Committee had stripped Florida of all its delegates after a dispute over scheduling, and the candidates agreed not to actively campaign there. But that didn't stop Clinton from actively celebrating.

Senator HILLARY CLINTON (Democrat, New York; Democratic Presidential Candidate): I could not come here to ask in person for your votes, but I am here to thank you for your votes today.

STEWART: So where do the campaigns go from here? Well, we're only six days away from Super Duper Ginormous Tuesday.


STEWART: So I guess we only have one more chance to pose that question to one Howard Dean.

Mr. HOWARD DEAN (Chairman, Democratic National Committee): We're going to 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 then we're going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House. Aaagh!

GAGLIANO: Those are all states. He's totally right about that. By the way, translation there, 24 states will hold contests on Super Tuesday.

That's the BPP's Big Story.

Now here's Rachel Martin with more news.

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