Monday, February 01, 2016

OPINION - Brooks and Dionne 1/29/2016

"Brooks and Dionne on GOP debate brawls, the importance of Iowa" PBS NewsHour 1/29/2016


SUMMARY:  New York Times columnist David Brooks and Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne join Hari Sreenivasan to discuss the week’s news, including the last Republican debate before Iowa and whether it hurt or helped Donald Trump to sit it out, the tight race between Democrats Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton and how much the caucuses actually matter.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  I have got to ask, is Iowa worth paying as much attention to?  It’s not by any stretch demographically representative of the entire country.

Perhaps it’s changed over the last 50 years.  And this is now a reflection of how the political system has worked and who tries to game it.  But should we be paying as much attention to this state?

E.J. DIONNE, JR., Washington Post:  Well, since I’m sitting here, I guess I should say the answer is yes.

I think there are two things in contradiction here.  On the one hand, it’s absolutely true that neither Iowa nor New Hampshire are representative of the country as a whole, beginning with the fact that they have a much higher percentage of white voters than the country as a whole.

But I end up — I find myself defending their role, for the following reason.  Campaigns have become so much about advertising, candidates going from airport tarmac to airport tarmac, that there is still something lovely, if romantic, about candidates having to answer questions from actual voters, instead of us in the media.  And that part of it, I really like.


Very briefly, David.

DAVID BROOKS, New York Times:  I agree.  The process is great, but the results should be taken with a grain of salt.

I would be surprised if especially the Republican campaign was — I think it will be over maybe in April, May.  We have got a long time to go here — maybe the Democratic one, too.

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