Shields and Brooks on the Week in Politics

By The NewsHour, The NewsHour - October 26, 2012

Make a Comment

Listen: MP3

JUDY WOODRUFF: And to the analysis of Shields and Brooks. That is syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

Welcome, gentlemen.


JUDY WOODRUFF: So, we just heard the professor say, Mark, whoever wins Ohio is going to win the election. Is that how you see it?

MARK SHIELDS: I never argue with a tenured professor.


MARK SHIELDS: No, I think he's absolutely right.



JUDY WOODRUFF: What do you think, David?

DAVID BROOKS: I often argue with tenured professors. But this one happens to have stumbled upon the truth.


DAVID BROOKS: No, I do think it's very hard to see Mitt Romney winning without Ohio. It's possible to see Obama winning. But Romney really has to win.

And the paradox of the election, one of them, is, if Barack Obama does win, he should give Steve Rattner, who successfully ran the auto bailout, some sort of high-level government job, or at least a big case of wine to thank him.


DAVID BROOKS: And the second real irony is that if Mitt Romney wanted to carry Ohio, he should have given a lot of money to the environmental groups who were trying to stop fracking.


DAVID BROOKS: The fact that they were unable to stop fracking means that the job growth in -- especially in Eastern Ohio has been pretty sensational, not only the energy products itself, but because of the cheap energy it's generating, you are beginning to see fertilizer plants and other things like that.

So, you are getting some pretty broad prosperity out of that, and more to come. And that is as a result of the shale gas.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark, you know that state well. Does one candidate or the other have more going for him at this point?

MARK SHIELDS: Well, Judy, I mean this is the year, truly. You can forget the Big Apple and forget big D. and L.A. It is Chillicothe, Zanesville, Steubenville that really is -- this is the big casino of this election.

I don't see how either one of them wins without Ohio. I will be very blunt about it.

And I think that what is interesting about Ohio is it is whiter and older than the country. And that's been -- the Republican growth area has been among white, more white and older voters.

And so it is sort of counterintuitive. Ohio has one-sixth the percentage of Latinos or Hispanic voters than the country does at large. I mean, it doesn't have the minorities that you associate with sort of Democratic growth or the Democratic coalition.

And I really do think David's right. Steve Rattner did a great job, but it was Barack Obama. And Mitt Romney was wrong. And they're still on the defensive about this.

As recently as Thursday night in Defiance, Ohio, Rob Portman, senator from Ohio and the surrogate debate substitute for President Obama, introduced Mitt Romney, saying let's get this straight.

Mitt Romney was the first guy -- Barack Obama took GM and Chrysler through bankruptcy. Mitt Romney was for guaranteeing loans. I mean, they're still trying to explain it.

And he's very much on the defensive. So Obama is running better with whites and white males in Ohio than he is elsewhere, in large part because of the auto bailout, and they have got a great ground game in Ohio too.

DAVID BROOKS: Yes. We should emphasize it's not a slam-dunk for Obama.

Read Full Article »

Latest On Twitter

Follow Real Clear Politics

Real Clear Politics Video

More RCP Video Highlights »