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CNN IN THE MONEY

Big Studios Use Clout To Win Oscars; Which States Count The Most On Super Tuesday? Donald Trump Trumps Image With "The Apprentice"

Aired February 29, 2004 - 15:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANNOUNCER: From New York City, America's financial capitol, this is IN THE MONEY.
JACK CAFFERTY, HOST: Welcome to the program. I'm Jack Cafferty. Coming up on today's edition of IN THE MONEY:

The coast-to-coast showdown: Democrats are gearing up for Super Tuesday and the Republicans are watching and waiting to see who emerges victorious. See which states will count the most in the fight to get to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Plus, a red carpet paved with greenbacks: We'll tell you how some Hollywood studios use money, power, and more to win a date with Oscar.

And Trump Towers: Donald Trump getting an image upgrade as the star of "The Apprentice." Find out how a reality show turned into a business school, the public can't get enough.

Joining me today on IN THE MONEY, a couple of our veterans, CNN correspondent Susan Lisovicz; "Fortune" magazine editor-at-large Andy Serwer.

So, they finally found a way to make Ohio into something more than important than perhaps it is at any other time except every four years when it's time to vote. It's because of the demogratic (SIC) makeup of the state -- or demographic makeup of the state and some of the other ingredients there. Ohio, one of the key states that's holding democratic primaries on Super Tuesday and one of the biggest prizes John Edwards and John Kerry are competing to win. CNN's senior analyst, Jeff Greenfield, joins us to explain which states will matter most on Tuesday and why.

Consensus, Jeff, is that Ohio is worth a closer look for some of the reasons I alluded to, right?

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: The first reason is that people assume, and that's what this is, that John Kerry's going to win California and New York -- Edwards is competing in some upstate New York counties for the relatively few democrats, but Ohio is the state that looks like the most possible state for Edwards to win that is not in the South. I mean -- you know, he's got to show that he can win something other than a neighboring state a state he was born in or something like that, and Ohio is a place that's lost four percent of its manufacturing jobs in the last three-and-a-half years. It's a state where his message on trade ought to resonate and it's also a state, that in November, as you have correctly alluded to, is a perennial battleground. Republicans have never won a presidency, in the modern era, which is the last 100 years at least, without winning Ohio and democrats think they can take it, so they may get preview of whether the traditional democrat Kerry or the more independent-minded democrat, Edwards, is stronger.

CAFFERTY: I mean, even if he wins Ohio, if John Kerry wins New York and California, which the polls suggest he's going to win in a walk, isn't it game, set, match? Isn't the news media making more out of this Edwards thing than is really there?

GREENFIELD: Maybe not. First of all, the poll numbers three, four days out, we've seen in Iowa, we've seen in Wisconsin, they can change like the meter on a fixed taxicab. The numbers roll very quickly. I think you're right in that Edwards has to do something -- perform something dramatic on Tuesday. You know, the numbers suggest he might be able to take Georgia, he's close in Maryland. If he could somehow pull off Ohio he at least has the right to say, OK look, any democrat can win in New York and California in November. Which is pretty much the way it's been.

CAFFERTY: Sure, that's true. Sure.


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