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Shields and Brooks Assess New Dynamics of ’08 Race

With both national party conventions now complete, Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama hit the ground running as the race begins to Election Day. Analysts Mark Shields and David Brooks discuss the road ahead.

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    And finally tonight, the analysis of Shields and Brooks, syndicated columnist Mark Shields, New York Times columnist David Brooks.

    David, did the Republicans have a good convention, a successful convention?

  • DAVID BROOKS, Columnist, New York Times:

    Yes. They had a slightly worse convention than the Democrats, but did better out of it. I'm speaking in ironies.

    And I think that's because they were so far behind, people had an image of what the Republican Party was, that was so negative that if they got up there and showed they were not a bunch of Tom DeLays and Jack Abramoffs, people said, "Oh, yeah, they're not so bad." And I think they did that.

    And it was a tight convention, because I thought some of it was harkening back to the past with the DeLay-Bush era, but they got enough into the future. Palin is just new. Whether you like her or not, she's new. With John McCain, what you got was the integrity, the intention to change.

    As Mark pointed out last night, I think there was a mismatch between the policy, which was not transformational, and the passion, which was transformational.

    But people got to see a great man, and I think they'll respond to that. I think the danger for the McCain campaign, it's Dole all over again, somebody people admire, but don't necessarily support.

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