Saturday, April 19, 2008


Observations on Carville-Matalin

Some random thoughts on seeing James Carville and Mary Matalin last night:

1. I was surprised at the lack of young people in the audience. This was at Brenau University, and the tickets for students were free. I could count on one hand the number of students there, yet the auditorium was packed. Either young people aren't as involved politicially as I would hope/expect, or Carville and Matalin just don't resonate with the young (which is possible).

2. I was there with my dad, my step-mother, and my wife. Pretty scary when you consider the "baby" of the group was me (age 43).

3. I finally figured out the mystery of their marriage. They aren't ideologues. Sure they tease each other mercilessly about ideology, but they don't take it seriously. For them, it is all about political strategy, and they mutually respect each other's abilities in that area. They just happen to work for opposing sides.

4. They made some VERY good points about our current election, specifically about how we have never had one like it. Matalin said that McCain's early leadership followed by his slump, allowed his campaign to regroup. Carville correctly pointed out that the last election which did NOT involve a sitting president or vice president was in
1928 (President Coolidge chose not to run for re-election, and Vice President Charles Dawes did not run). We are in new territory for political strategists.

5. Carville talked about his test for the best vice presidential choice: It makes the opposing campaign manager "throw up". He suggested the best choice for McCain would be Colin Powell. Ironically, both my dad and I had the same thought at this: Why not Condi Rice? Later it occurred to me that Rice is too closely associated with the Bush administration, and an opposing campaign manager might salivate at that choice.

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