"Shields and Brooks on Trump trade war risks, President’s political pardons" PBS NewsHour 6/1/2018
SUMMARY: Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week’s news, including the Trump administration’s move to impose tariffs on U.S. allies, the President’s move to pardon conservative pundit Dinesh D'Souza, reactions to Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet and Samantha Bee’s vulgar insult, plus veterans are running for Congress in record numbers.
Judy Woodruff (NewsHour): And that bring us to the analysis of Shields and Brooks. That’s syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.
Welcome to both of you.
So, Mark, do we believe that being a veteran this year is going to help these candidates?
Mark Shields, syndicated columnist: I think it will, Judy. And I will tell you why, why I think that.
And I thought Lisa’s piece captured it, but particularly with Mr. Avery there.
We now are in an era, irrespective of how you feel about parties, of the era of self politically, the era of me. And it’s — I was thinking how out of sync this era is with John McCain. John McCain’s message in 2000, 2008 was to serve a cause greater than yourself and my cause and my country, which I have served imperfectly.
Well, I think voters crave people who do have a sense of service, whether military service, certainly, but the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, that they have had a cause greater than themselves.
And I think we’re yearning for that in the country and I — it’s missing in our national leadership. It’s missing in the White House. And I think it’s prized by voters. I truly do.
Judy Woodruff: How do you see this?
David Brooks, New York Times: Yes.
Well, it’s always the case that voters want to know how a person’s character is formed before politics. And so strong candidates have military, maybe a business background, a faith background, something that will say, this is who made me who I am. It’s not just being a politician.
So, that’s perennial. I think this year in particular the veterans are surging, in part — I have met a bunch of them through a group called With Honor. And what strikes me is, when you meet them, is they bring that can-do attitude that they all learned in Iraq and Afghanistan or elsewhere, and they bring that to office.
I would say party identification is a smaller part of their personal identity than other people. They are running as Republicans and Democrats, but that’s not quite the same team they grew up in, which is not the case for a lot of people who have spent their lives working as staffers, and then moving up ranks.
And so they want to come to Congress and be less partisan. Whether that can actually happen is another question. Once you get here, you know, the fund-raising takes a ton of time. The party — the team spirit takes a lot out of you.
So we will see if they can actually do it. But it’s — they’re certainly all amazingly impressive people that you meet through this.
The final I will say is, so far, their win/loss record is not perfect. A bunch of them are losing too, which is what you would expect. So it’s not a lock-in, as we heard from Lisa’s piece.
Mark Shields: I will say the Democratic nominee in that race that Lisa just reported on in the 11th will almost surely be Mikie Sherrill, the former helicopter pilot.
And Amy McGrath, of course, did win Kentucky last week, a colonel, Marine Corps jet fighter pilot. And I think do think, Judy, that the reason that veterans are sort of prized is that at a time of universal draft, when four out of five senators that served, now we’re down to 7 percent of Americans who have ever worn the uniform, and just very few in the Congress.
Judy Woodruff: Well, we’re going to continue to watch and see how they do as the year goes on.