Monday, February 15, 2016

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 2/12/2016

"Shields and Brooks on Democratic debate strategy, Trump’s N.H. win" PBS NewsHour 2/12/2016


SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to the discuss the week’s news, including takeaways from Thursday’s PBS NewsHour Democratic debate, Donald Trump’s victory in New Hampshire and how the first primary re-scrambled the GOP field.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  The Democrats faced off on the debate stage last night, and now the focus of the race for the White House turns to South Carolina and Nevada.

With that, we turn to the analysis of Shields and Brooks.  That’s syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

And welcome, gentlemen.  Some of us are back from Milwaukee, and glad to be back.

Mark, Tuesday — it was only three nights ago — Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary big time.  How did that change the race, how did it change the dynamics, do you think, in last night’s debate?

MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist:  Well, it changed the race, Judy, by guaranteeing that we will probably have a race in June, that there will be a Bernie Sanders/Hillary Clinton competition in California.

It guaranteed Bernie Sanders $6.5 million in the first 19 hours after the polls closed.  He’s got a national following.  He’s got a national treasury.  It puts her at a disadvantage. It gave him credibility.

So, going in last night, Hillary Clinton, on the heels of a thrashing 48 hours earlier, was in a position of trying to bring him back down to earth as they head South.  And I thought she arrived, surprisingly, with her poise and confidence intact.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  How did you see the dynamics going into the debate last night?

DAVID BROOKS, The New York Times:  Well, going into the debate, it was a question of how aggressive she would get, and would she get overly aggressive or not?

I thought her demeanor, especially in the first half-hour, 45 minutes, was quite good.  She can be sometimes lecturing.  But she was more explaining, because — you were there, Judy, so you might know this.


JUDY WOODRUFF:  I know this.

DAVID BROOKS:  That they were — it was a debate over pragmatism vs. vision.


DAVID BROOKS:  And she was saying, well, you know, that’s not reality.  You can’t start the health care system as if we don’t have a health care system; 100 million people have their employer health care.  You just can’t do that.

And so she was trying to explain reality to them.  And I thought she was quite effective.  I think, toward the end, one of have the central facts in the structure of the race, the first is pragmatism vs. his radical vision, but the second is, on what ground is this debate being fought?

And because he has such a strong narrative and his campaign is built around that narrative, his life is built around that narrative, it’s always fought on his ground.  And she has no narrative.  And she’s trying to create one with Obama, but that’s Obama’s narrative.

And so I think, as the domestic part went on, he sort of gained strength just by the structure of the way the argument is.

Shields and Brooks analyze the PBS NewsHour Democratic debate

No comments: