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As Democrats Battle On, Shields and Brooks Size Up Tactics

Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are turning their attention to Indiana and North Carolina as the battle for the Democratic nomination rolls on while GOP Sen. John McCain has sought to hone his political message on the campaign trail. Analysts Mark Shields and David Brooks discuss the week's political news.

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  • RAY SUAREZ:

    And to the analysis of Shields and Brooks. That's syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks, who joins us tonight from Charleston, South Carolina.

    Mark, I want to get from you and David to begin tonight your lay of the land as the candidates are propelled out of Pennsylvania by the results there.

  • MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist:

    Well, propelled is the key word. I mean, Hillary Clinton got a big boost out of Pennsylvania. And with Barack Obama with six weeks to address the problems of Ohio, they went unaddressed or at least they went unremedied.

    And he still did very badly with working-class voters, in particular white working-class voters in Pennsylvania, which is in stark contrast to what he'd done in Wisconsin, in Maryland, in Virginia, in Connecticut with union members, white men, white voters. So it's a problem that has been unique to both Ohio and Pennsylvania.

    Going into Indiana, I think the question is to whether Barack Obama is going to win this nomination or whether he's going to corner the nomination and just get it by attrition over an extended period of time all the way through Montana to the end of the season.

    If he wins Indiana and North Carolina both, and I think that's a major "if" at this point, I think the nomination will come to him and he will be seen as the winner, rather than somebody who just does it by being the last survivor, the last standing candidate.

    For Hillary Clinton, it bought her time, it bought her some money. She's got enough money now to compete in North Carolina. She's got probably her top organizer, Ace Smith, who ran California for her, ran Texas, now running North Carolina. They're taking it seriously.

    And I think, you know, it's a real ballgame between now and the 6th.

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