National political analyst, TV commentator Mark Shields is Saint Michael's 2013 commencement speaker
Mark Shields, called by The Wall Street Journal, “frequently the most trenchant, fair-minded, and thoughtful” political analyst around, and the wittiest, will be the 2013 Commencement Speaker at Saint Michael's College. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, who served as an enlisted man in the United States Marine Corps, Shields has a storied career in the American political scene. He will speak on Sunday, May 12, 2013, at the 106th Commencement exercises of Saint Michael’s, the Catholic liberal arts college located in Colchester, Vermont.
Shields began writing a column for the Washington Post in 1979, which is now syndicated by Creators Syndicate. Since 1988, he has been a political analyst and commentator for “The PBS NewsHour” where he matches wits with David Brooks of the New York Times in the storied Brooks-Shields dialogue. For 17 years he was moderator and panelist on CNN’s Capital Gang, and he is now a regular panelist on “Inside Washington” the weekly public affairs show on ABC and PBS.
Shields is described as providing insights that are “first-hand and up-to-the minute, drawn from four decades of knowing, covering and savoring the country and its politics.”
A native of Weymouth, MA., Shields began working in Washington in 1965 for Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire. In 1968, he went to work for Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign. Over 11 years he helped manage campaigns in 38 states. In addition to attending 17 national party conventions, and working on or covering the last 11 presidential elections, Mr. Shields has taught American politics and the press at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton school, at Georgetown University’s Graduate School of Public Policy, and was a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy Institute of Politics. He is the author of the highly praised book, On the Campaign Trail, an account of the 1984 presidential campaign
In a syndicated column of January 19, 2013, titled “Only a Fool or a Fraud Could Sentimentalize War's Cruel Reality,” Mark Shields wrote about the diminishing number of senators who have served in the military, and commented on the recent nomination of Senator Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense, writing, “Like fellow Vietnam combat veterans Colin Powell and former Marine Corps Commandant Jim Jones — both of whom back his nomination to be defense secretary — and unlike the think-tank commandos who have carefully avoided any personal risk of real-life service, Chuck Hagel reluctantly sees war only as a last resort and for the cruel reality it is. Which indeed is a strong recommendation for a US secretary of defense in 2013.”