On November 15, I was honored to broadcast from an annual event at Tulane University that has grown year after year.
James Carville and Mary Matalin started “Beyond the Ballot: A Government in Transition” four years ago. After an initial turnout of a hundred or so people the first year, the event has grown to attract more than 1,000 of the nation's top political leaders, journalists and other experts Thursday at Tulane University.
During the broadcast, James and Mary sat down with me, and our conversation turned to a top all three of us care about passionately: Coastal wetlands loss.
Click the window below to view the video of our interview. As usual, James doesn't hold back.
11.6.12 firstname.lastname@example.org - It’s hard to believe and admit that for decades I was not interested in politics and elections...at all…nada….zero….no interest.
Katrina changed all that. What the government does to and for us is of much interest, especially having a teenage daughter who has to live in what my generation leaves.
I am told this is one of the most important elections in our nation’s history, but for the life of me I can’t understand why. I’m thrilled to be here with our political experts, because I suspect they can explain.
Here is why I don’t see the importance of who gets elected. I call it the “two-year” syndrome. For two years Mitt Romney will tell us he would do what he promised, if Barack Obama hadn’t left him such a mess. President Obama will have just two years before he becomes a lame duck. How do problems get solved in that scenario?
And, this may be the biggest reason for my inability to see tonight’s importance…the pride, the pomposity, the ignorance of pure dogma. Democrats are proud of their beliefs…they are absolutely correct. No wait…Republicans are proud of their beliefs…they are absolutely correct. Those against abortion, gay marriage, and sex education not only know they’re right, but that those issues are even more important than paying our debts, infrastructure, and education. Those who disagree know they are right and agree that no other accomplishments are as important. How do I know? Seven years in this seat listening to members of the two clubs say they will never compromise. Seven years of listening to Senators and Congress men and Congress women who can’t go five minutes into an interview without explaining why the other side has caused gridlock.
I ask you. How is tonight so important, if we are assured of gridlock? Since the clubs think moderates are simply people with no convictions, no back bones…why would they moderate? Why would they compromise? The partisan media screamers know that moderation would evaporate their ratings, their private jets and beach mansions. The partisan politicians know their partisan states will return them to Washington regardless of how bad Congress’s record becomes.
How does a leader lead? How does a leader do great things? How does a leader motivate a nation in proud gridlock? And, what evidence do you see that gridlock is being unlocked? Perhaps I’ll see that evidence tonight and then I can join those of you who believe tonight is one of the most important moments in our and our children’s LIVES.