"Shields and Brooks on Hillary Clinton’s election candor, Trump’s dealing with Democrats" PBS NewsHour 9/15/2017
SUMMARY: Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Hari Sreenivasan to discuss takeaways from an in-depth interview with Hillary Clinton on her election memoir “What Happened,” President Trump’s move to work with Democrats on protections for young undocumented immigrants and what it means for his base of support.
HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour): And now it’s time now for the analysis of Shields and Brooks. That’s syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.
First off, your reactions to the interview so far?
MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist: What I find interesting is, I don’t pay any attention to books from politicians.
And the only time I listen to any politician waxing semi-candid is when they are either over 70 or given up all hopes of the White House.
And I think Mrs. Clinton is not 70, or close to it, I guess, but she’s obviously given up all hopes to the White House. And, in that sense, there’s a lot more candor, than I think I have certainly seen in past books, an admission that every candidate is ultimately responsible for his or her campaign, victory or defeat.
And every campaign is inevitably a mirror reflection of the candidate. And she does accept responsibility, but she doesn’t do it exclusively. She wants to share it with some in the press, with other forces in our society.
DAVID BROOKS, The New York Times: Well, as for the book, it’s tough to be reflective and a good storyteller and be in the public sphere.
You’re so active that you don’t have time for reflection. And I read the book. And I thought it was interesting, by political standards, way more interesting. I think she’s right, as she said in the interview, that it was just not her year. She’s not going to the anger, outsider politician.
I think she’s pushed up too much emphasis on Comey and all that other stuff and the Russians in blaming this. But she has cusps of thoughts throughout the book.
For example, at one point, she says she really loves the parable of the prodigal son. And she says, I’m so much like the older brother, who is the rule follower. And, of course, then you think, well, Bill Clinton is the ultimate younger brother, the prodigal son. And she’s on the cusp of a really interesting insight about her relationship with him.
But she can’t — she never, never takes the next step. And I think that’s just because active people — I remember I once interviewed Margaret Thatcher, and she was the same way — so much active, not a writer, not reflective, not getting the analysis you actually want.
But that’s just a product of being in the public sphere. I think the book with is far more interesting than most political books of that sort.