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The Democratic Take On the 2012 Race

South Carolina speaks. We go to big Democratic party thinkers for their take on how the 2012 race is shaping up.

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich listens to staff during visit to Children's Hospital, Friday, Jan. 20, 2012, in Charleston, S.C. (AP)
Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich listens to staff during visit to Children's Hospital, Friday, Jan. 20, 2012, in Charleston, S.C. (AP)

We’ve had seventeen Republican primary debates now. Votes in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina. Santorum’s squeaker. Romney’s win. The Newt Gingrich Carolina surprise. It’s been wild, feisty, in Barack Obama’s face, and all over the media, whatever Newt’s loud protestations.

So, what are Democrats thinking about the GOP field as it narrows? About the lines of attack? About the way this fall’s contest for the presidency is shaping up? This hour, we’ll ask.

This hour, On Point: big Democrats on the Republican campaign and President Obama’s position for November.
-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

William Galston, senior fellow on governance at the Brookings Institution. Served as a senior advisor to President Bill Clinton on domestic policy and worked on Clinton’s 1992 campaign.

Robert Shrum, senior fellow at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service. Senior advisor to the Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004, and to the Gore 2000 presidential campaign.

Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation.

From Tom's Reading List

Newsweek "The right calls him a socialist, the left says he sucks up to Wall Street, and independents think he's a wimp. Andrew Sullivan on how the president may just end up outsmarting them all. "

The Week "If Mitt Romney wins South Carolina after Monday's debate performance, then he really is unstoppable. And that's the probable outcome unless, after Rick Perry's departure from the race Thursday, there's an unlikely last-days coalescence of the religious right around the pyrotechnic Newt Gingrich, who as a nominee would prove to be a pyromaniac, reducing the GOP's White House hopes — and perhaps its House majority — to a handful of ashes. "

The New Republic "Unless something dramatic happens—fast—the general election will soon be upon us, with Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee, and President Obama fighting for a second term. "

This program aired on January 23, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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