Monday, August 31, 2009

Why Liberals Love David Brooks

Gabriel Sherman at The New Republic explains the relationship between the White House and David Brooks and why liberals read his column. Sherman writes:
"That first encounter is still vivid in Brooks’s mind. 'I remember distinctly an image of--we were sitting on his couches, and I was looking at his pant leg and his perfectly creased pant,' Brooks says, “and I’m thinking, a) he’s going to be president and b) he’ll be a very good president.” In the fall of 2006, two days after Obama’s The Audacity of Hope hit bookstores, Brooks published a glowing Times column. The headline was 'Run, Barack, Run.'"
He continues:
"Brooks concedes that his place on the political spectrum has shifted somewhat over the years. 'I used to think conservatives were right about the big things--the Soviet Union, economic growth,' he explains. 'Now, on a lot of issues, I think liberals have been right about some big things, like rising inequality. Both sides of the education divide are within the Democratic Party. . . . The Republicans are sitting this one out. And, then, the war in Iraq has caused me to rethink things in a much more modest [way], and that is Burkean, too.'"
"As much as any columnist, Brooks speaks to these left-of-center suburbanites. After all, he is known for attracting liberal readers who normally can’t stand conservative pundits. 'I get a lot of people who say, ‘I’m a liberal and you’re the only one I read,’ ' Brooks says. 'Sometimes, it can be a little condescending. . . . But you take the readers where you can get them. I do wish more people walked up to me and said, ‘I’m a conservative and I love you.’ But, mostly, they don’t read the Times.'"

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