Whether you agree or disagree with James Carville, just about everyone in yesterday’s Opening General Session would concur that the man is indeed fascinating. Judging from the nearly full ballroom of PPAI Expo attendees who got out of bed before dawn to hear his presentation at 7:30 am, Carville’s reputation for razor-sharp assessments and straight-talking common sense brought hundreds who sought to hear his candid, off-the-cuff comments—and they got plenty.
Welcomed onstage by PPAI outgoing chair of the board Sherri Lennarson, MAS, Carville talked for about 45 minutes on Washington, America and the government infusing his unscripted observations with sharp one-liners (“If you break down ‘politics’ it’s ‘poly’ which means ‘many’ and ‘ticks,’ which are blood-sucking animals,” as the audience hooted).
Pacing the stage like a college professor (he lectures at Tulane University), he said today’s leaders need to take time to explain to the American people what they are going to do. He also emphasized that there are good people in government and encouraged listeners to get involved. “You have more power than you think,” he said.
His passion, it seems, is not just America but America’s youth. And he has high hopes for the future of the country in their hands. Carville’s talk was not just riveting, it was optimistic as he said more than once that he believes the nation will emerge from its current economic woes as a stronger and better nation. “The only way we’re going to come out of this is together—and we will.”