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.

...

Needed From Democrats: A Realistic Case for Optimism Apr 03, 2021

The differences between an ideologue — someone who subscribes completely to a political ideology (whether conservative or liberal) and a pragmatist — someone who is concerned almost exclusively with the practical results of a specific pub... Read More

...

Opening Day Is Good News Mar 20, 2021

Baseball is back, and not a moment too soon. America — and especially Washington — in 2021 desperately needs the values and the constancy of baseball. Nobody put baseball better than did war hero, team owner and American original Bill Vee... Read More

...

Raising Campaign Money Doesn't Build Character; It Reveals Character Mar 13, 2021

Shortly after the cooling of the earth when I was a younger man, I managed political campaigns for Governor, for mayor, for the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House. Some of my candidates, in spite of my brilliant managing, actually won. I learned early on... Read More

...

Antidote to March Mar 06, 2021

In the New England where I grew up, March was an unpopular month — wet, muddy, cold and, with the occasional late-spring snowfall and mud, really ugly. Nobody ever wrote a memorable (or unmemorable) ode to the charms of March. For this reason, ... Read More