(Formerly The Great “Agronsky and Company”
MODERATOR: MARK SHIELDS
WJLA TV PANEL:
COLBY KING, WASHINGTON POST;
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST;
EVAN THOMAS, NEWSWEEK;
NINA TOTENBERG, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO
SUNDAY, JANUARY 24, 2010
SENATOR-ELECT SCOTT BROWN (R-MA): (From tape.) I’m Scott Brown. I’m from Wrentham and I drive a truck.
MR. SHIELDS: This week on “Inside Washington,” a political knockout: a Republican wins Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat.
SENATOR-ELECT BROWN: (From tape.) People do not want the $1 trillion healthcare plan.
MR. SHIELDS: So what happens to healthcare reform now?
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH) [House Minority Leader]: (From tape.) This bill is dead.
MR. SHIELDS: The Supreme Court reopens the money faucet in politics. Corporate and union bucks are back big time. President Obama calls for bank reform now.
PRES. BARACK OBAMA: (From tape.) If these folks want a fight, it’s a fight I’m ready to have.
MR. SHIELDS: And what does Scott Brown’s victory mean for the election year ahead?
JAKE TAPPER: (From tape.) Interesting anniversary present for you guys from the voters.
DAVID AXELROD: (From tape.) I mean, admittedly, we would have preferred a cake.
RUSH LIMBAUGH: (From tape.) This is a stunning and for Democrats an ominous development.
MR. SHIELDS: Hello. I’m Mark Shields sitting in today for Gordon Peterson. Republican Scott Brown drove a pickup truck fueled by voter anger and anxiety straight into Washington this week. Brown beat Democrat Martha Coakley handily in the special election for Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts Senate seat. Within 24 hours of his victory, the healthcare reform bill in its current form was dying. And another blockbuster story broke Thursday. The Supreme Court struck down parts of the McCain-Feingold campaign law. Corporate and union money will be back in the game big time and on the airwaves in this election year. We’ll get to that in a minute but we want to start with Scott Brown, senator elect.
SENATOR-ELECT BROWN: (From tape.) What I’ve heard again and again on the campaign trail is that our political leaders have grown aloof from the people. They’re impatient with dissent and comfortable in making backroom deals and we can do better. (Applause.)
PRES. OBAMA: (From tape.) We were so busy just getting stuff done and dealing with the immediate crises that were in front of us that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are.
MR. SHIELDS: When a Republican comes out of nowhere to win Ted Kennedy’s seat taking down healthcare in the process, it’s clearly cause for worry for the Democrats. Evan, the president admits he lost touch with the voters. What’s the message for him and for Democrats?
MR. THOMAS: Be more honest. He tried to finesse this. Regular voters can figure out that if you’re going to extend healthcare to 40 million people you’re going to have to pay for it someway and they’re just not going to believe it if you say to them nothing will change, this will be okay, no problem for you.