LiveBlogging the OOW Keynote with James Carville and Mary Matalin

I'm sitting in the bloggers section in the keynote room. Great view. Raimonds Simanovskis is sitting next to me on one side. David Roe is on the other.

Since we're sitting in these sweet seats, I figured I'd better liveblog the event.
So here we go. Keep refreshing for updates.

Safra kicks things off with a yay-rah about how big OOW is. (it's big)
Larry's keynote is Wednesday. Michael Phelps will be here tomorrow morning.
Right now we're starting off with mayor Gavin Newsom. Yay rah San Fran.

Ed Begley Jr talks now. Yay green business. Yay recycling. Yay for public transportation. SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT. Be smart about what you're using. Don't waste. Business and the environment are not competitive endeavors, they are complementary.

James Carville and Mary Matalin are being introduced now by Safra. Conversational approach. Sitting in lounge chairs on stage. Lots of jokes and marriage tips.

Mary Matalin points out that in their combined years of experience they've never seen anything like this year in the ways people are so emotionally invested in one candidate or the other. From an information technology standpoint Mary points out that the campaign staffs are perpetually behind the 8-ball because they're always trying to pull things together every 4 years with teams of volunteers.

Mary talks about the "internal structural shift" of the polls. She suggests looking at polling aggregators rather than one poll or another. There is a fundamental shift in polling "internals" that is making this race look more and more like a conventional race. Toss up states are much more of toss ups than usually. Republicans are doing better than they should in core constituents.

"Democrats expected Sarah Palin's nomination to shake things up but not to the degree and extent that it has. ... No one expected to be where they are." -Matalin.

Mary Matalin is making the points that you control what you can. The political realm is rife with examples of how what you cannot control can wildy affect your outcomes. She suggests that the debates will not affect opinions unless someone really screws up. The internal structures will not change if both candidates are "just good". What will change the internals, what will affect outcomes is the way the the candidates respond to the unknown and demonstrate leadership. The way both candidates handled the financial bailouts was wrong. They both responded politically and the country wants not just "political" responses.

Mary's advice to both candidates is to stop being political and start (again) being yourself. People can smell through the politics.

Her introduction of Carville was fun.

Carville pokes some good fun at George Bush and Dan Quayle. "The clinton's are behind Obama and that's good because Hillary can get the woman's vote and Bill can get the other woman's vote"

Carville agrees with Matalin that this is not merely "historical" it absolutely outstanding. "History is being made right in front of us." A senator will be president (the last one was JFK). We will either elect an African American or someone over 70 (neither been done before).

Carville thinks that the debates will matter this year. The debate on friday which is supposed to focus on foreign policy will be dominated by the news cycle. Whatever is dominating the news cycle (even domestic economy items) will be the issue of focus.

By and large, the big news of the election will be a generational divide like we have never seen before. "I think that, in the end, if you look at the polls, the big thing is, in what numbers will the young people turn out?" If they turn out in the numbers I think they will this will change the face of american politics. 18-29 year olds typically carry about 12-14%. Carville thinks that they can run as high as 60% this year. There is an enormous generational gap in this country. How that plays in the election will determine the election.

Carville and Matalin take questions now.
Question 1: does it really matter who we vote for when the Wash lobbyists will end up buying whatever they want from whomever wins?
Answer: Matalin - like anything there are good lobbyists and bad lobbyists. Influence buying is bad. Issue education and requests are really proxies for you and your issues. The government is set up to allow the people to petition the government. Anyone. What is bad is not that lobbyists are there but rather the lack of transparency. Carville - if you want career advice, become a banking lobbyist. They will be crawling all over washington.

Question 2:as two people who live and breathe media, what do you think of the job John Stewart and Steven Colbert are doing on Comedy Central?
Answer: Matalin - the statistics show that upwards of 40% of folks get their info from comedy sources (Stewart, Colbert, South Park, SNL). Comedy sucks if there is not a touch of truth there. Why aren't more politicians doing that? Because they're not that clever. Carville - I love the Onion! Look at the numbers of people who are watching. They're not getting *all* their info from those sources. This election especially people are so very engaged it's amazing. Look at the numbers of people who tuned in to the Conventions - largest ever in history. The new paradigm is the information flow and cycle.

Question 3:Has the media become so blatently liberal that it's not helping the people.
Answer: Matalin - it's the paradox of the information age. Columbia University has studied and analyzed the media production and there is definitely a herd or pack mentality. The issue is that the amount of sources out there allows us to all go to where we want to go to validate our own assumptions. There are more sources of information but less variety. Carville - it's true, most journalists are liberal. As women get higher education. 75% of women with post graduate degrees are democrats. Matalin - The liberal bent started with Watergate. It's a 40 year trend. It's not due to more women in journalism. More and more people believe that the press are advocating not reporting.

Question 4: If Obama can't flip the south and if he's in Ohio how can he win?
Answer: Matalin - well... yeah, you're right. The south was key for Clinton. Obama has to flip some of the south states. Carville - in the 28 states where you have to register in a party (so they're they only ones we know) there are 2.2 million more registered democrats than republicans. That number should increase. Combine that with momentum and you should win. McCain's voting base are whites who are over 50. They vote. The under 30's (whites and non whites) typically don't vote in large numbers.

Question 5: Are we going to go to bed on election night knowing who the next president is?
Answer: Matalin - Oh Lord have mercy. I hope so. Carville - I think we're going to know on election night but I could be wrong.

battery died. sad... heading to the blogger meetup.


nice piece and I like Carville's generation gap perspective but I think Nixon was the last president who was a senator.

Posted by D Berry on September 21, 2008 at 03:36 PM CDT #

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