Shields and Gerson on the 2012 campaign and a polarized public
Columnists Mark Shields and Michael Gerson join Jim Lehrer at the Chautauqua Institution to analyze the presidential election. Both think the national convention speeches and the 3 presidential debates will be critical to victory for Obama or Romney. They offer suggestions on how to deal with a highly polarized electorate.
- Mark Shields: A nationally known columnist and commentator, Shields has worked in Washington through the administrations of nine U.S. Presidents. He was an editorial writer for The Washington Post where he began writing his column in 1979. That column is now distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate. Since 1988, Shields has provided weekly political analysis and commentary on national campaigns for PBS' award-winning "The PBS NewsHour" where he has matched wits with David Gergen, The Wall Street Journal's Paul Gigot and most recently with David Brooks of The New York Times.
- Michael Gerson: Michael Gerson is a nationally syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in the Washington Post. He is the author of Heroic Conservatism (HarperOne, 2007) and co-author of City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era (Moody, 2010)
- Jim Lehrer: Moderator. Retired anchor of PBS Newshour. In the last six presidential elections, Lehrer has served as a moderator for eleven of the nationally televised debates among the candidates. In 1988, he moderated one presidential debate; in 1992, he moderated two presidential debates; in 1996, he was selected to be the sole moderator of all three debates -- two presidential and one vice presidential. In 2000, he was again selected as the sole moderator of the three presidential debates, which were conducted in different formats - podium, round-table and town hall. In 2004, he was selected to be moderator of the first presidential debate in Coral Gables, Florida. In 2008, he was selected to be moderator of the first presidential debate in Oxford, Mississippi.