Power Couple Kicks Off Keynotes

Mary Matalin and James Carville Address a Packed Oracle OpenWorld

keynote1.jpgBy Stephen Fox.

At the event’s first keynote, political strategists Mary Matalin and James Carville talked about the upcoming election, the current financial turmoil, and how the couple stays married in a politically divided house.

Matalin and Carville took the Moscone North stage following welcoming remarks by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome and an introduction by Oracle President and CFO Safra Catz.

Matalin, who served as assistant to President George W. Bush and counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney, told the crowd that strategists are looking at structural change in this election season. “The short and long of it is a shift.”

These changes, she pointed out, are being mirrored in today’s business climate. “Control what you can, but be prepared for the things that you can’t,” Matalin said.

Matalin also had some insight for both the McCain and Obama campaigns. “Quit listening to us, and go back to being yourself.” Insisting that the upcoming election is the most important in years, she pleaded, “Don’t run out the clock. Run like you mean it.”

Then, it was Carville’s turn. The Ragin’ Cajun’s remarks were repeatedly funny, and often informative. “There has never been a presidential cycle like this one,” Carville said. “History is being made right in front of us.”

He pointed out the enormous numbers of Americans registering to vote, watching the debates, and following the party conventions. But in his mind, this election season, like Oracle OpenWorld, is just getting started.

“I think that this cycle, this time that we’re living in … that things are going to keep coming,” Carville said, adding that he thought the upcoming debates were going to matter again.

As one of the brains behind Senator Hillary Clinton’s “3 a.m.” primary campaign TV ad, Carville had some wisdom to share with the crowd. “I’m going to be 64 in a month, and I know damn good and well what John McCain is doing at three in the morning… He’s looking for the bathroom!”

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