My interview with David Brooks

By Tim Murphy

Matt and I disagreed on the merits of David Brooks’ case for Barack Obama, but that shouldn’t take away from the significance of Brooks’ unofficial endorsement of the Illinois Senator. And unrelatedly, the column also reminded me of my very brief conversation with the Maroon alum in Nashua, NH four years ago.In January 2004, I went up to New Hampshire for a day to see John Edwards and John Kerry speak at seperate events after the Iowa Caucuses. I caught up with Brooks at the Edwards rally and had a chance to ask him a few quick questions. Here’s what he said, as taken from a subsequent article I wrote for the Medfield Press:

David Brooks, a columnist for The New York Times, enjoys semi-celebrity status at this political festival and is at the event covering Edwards as well. I take the opportunity to speak with him about the senator’s delivery.”He’s the best,” Brooks said. “Not only is he the best candidate this year, but of the last 20 years.”Brooks, who has been following this campaign closely, explains that this is “differentation” month for the Edwards camp, and that the goal is to show how different he is from all of the other candidates. Brooks also expresses his views on New Hampshire and the early primaries.”I like them. Not so much now, but two months ago when there were ten people in a room. I think it changed the candidates.”

What a difference four years makes. Granted, John Edwards in 2004 was a sight behold. He had an outstanding stump speech and an even better delivery. Compared with John Kerry, he might as well have been William Jennings Bryan. Brooks’ praise almost certainly had nothing to do with his economic plan. But I can’t imagine him saying anything like that about the current Edwards campaign.