About Mark Shields

Mark Shields

Mark Shields

Pundit Mark Shields has been on the political playing field since Robert F. Kennedy ran for president in 1968.  After years of managing campaigns from the courthouse to the White House, he is now one of the most widely recognized commentators in the United States.

Shields is best known for his work on CNN's "Capital Gang," where he debates policy issues with syndicated columnists Robert Novak, The Wall Street Journal's Al Hunt, and Time magazine's White House correspondent Margaret Carlson, and for his weekly appearances on the award-winning "NewsHour With Jim Lehrer," where, since 1987, he has teamed up with conservatives such as David Gergen, Paul Gigot and David Brooks to provide the program's principal political analysis.

Shields grew up in Weymouth, Mass., and graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1959 with a major in philosophy and a minor in history.  In 1964, after serving in the Marines in Florida, Shields moved to Washington, D.C., to indulge his love of American government.

His first political assignment was as a legislative assistant to former Sen. William Proxmire (D-Wis.).  From there, he launched into a career on the campaign trail.

Shields' first major campaign experience was during Robert F. Kennedy's bid for the presidency, for which Shields helped organize the California primary.  He then went on to work for Sen. Edmund Muskie's presidential campaign in 1972, R. Sargent Shriver's bid for the vice presidency and Rep. Morris Udall's campaign for the Democratic nomination in 1976.

In 1979, Shields joined the editorial staff of The Washington Post and a year later started writing his column, which is now syndicated weekly by Creators Syndicate.  In addition to written commentary, Shields began regular appearances on television and radio in the early 1980s, including a nightly piece on ABC Radio's "Look at Today."

Shields' book, "On the Campaign Trail," about the 1984 presidential campaign, has been praised as "funny," "irreverent" and "insightful" and for bringing that race "to magnificent light." As one reviewer put it, Shields "is the wittiest political analyst around, and he is frequently the most trenchant, fair-minded and thoughtful."

Now enjoying life as a full-time political pundit, Shields appears regularly on CNN, on public television and on radio.  He speaks to audiences often, sharing his firsthand accounts and impressions of the major political events of the past few decades.  He has also taught courses on American politics and the press at Harvard University and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Shields lives near Washington, D.C., with his wife, Anne, chief of staff at the Interior Department.

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The Buck Doesn't Stop Here Jul 11, 2020

Dan Buck is a philosopher friend of mine with a rare gift for explaining the political world. Back when Ronald Reagan was an enormously popular president (carrying 93 out of a possible 100 states in two national campaigns), I marveled at how voters w... Read More

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As Bastiat Would Say, Peer Past the Obvious With Pandemic Policies Jul 04, 2020

Attention readers: Mark Shields is off this week. Please enjoy this column by Veronique de Rugy. This week marks the 219th birthday of the great 19th-century French economist Frederic Bastiat. It's the perfect time to talk about his famous essay, "Th... Read More

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Polls Apart Jun 27, 2020

New York Times/Siena College has Democrat Joe Biden at 50% and Republican President Donald Trump at 36%; CNN has Biden at 54% and Trump 36%; Fox News has Biden at 50% and Trump at 38%. These recent national polls have left Democrats almost giddy with... Read More

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Give Individuals and Small Businesses a Government-Backed Line of Credit Jun 20, 2020

Attention readers: Mark Shields is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by Veronique De Rugy. The economy is reopening. Consumer spending increased by almost 18% last month, sending the stock market soaring. That's the good news. The bad ... Read More