Politicos Carville, Matalin to headline Hall of Fame ceremony in New Orleans

THIBODAUX – Politically divided – yet matrimonially united – James Carville and Mary Matalin, two of the nation’s most respected political consultants, will deliver the keynote address Saturday, March 28, at the Louisiana Center for Women and Government’s Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony.

carville_matalinSlated to begin with a coffee and cash bar at 10:30 a.m., followed by a luncheon at noon, the ceremony will be conducted at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside.

Mary Matalin, former assistant to President George W. Bush and counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney, was the first White House official to hold that double title. Before joining the Bush/Cheney White House, Matalin hosted CNN’s critically acclaimed debate show Crossfire, and she is the former founding co-host of the Washington-based political talk show Equal Time, which premiered in 1993 on CNBC.

Her political astuteness and antics contributed to the show being called “the best talk show on television” by Knight Ridder News Service. Her humor, straightforward style and ability to discuss the hottest political issues in Washington helped to make the show one of the most talked-about programs in the network’s history.

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush named Matalin deputy campaign manager for political operations, which required her to spearhead all 50 state operations. As the on-board planner who traveled with President Bush throughout the 1992 campaign, she emerged as the vocal – and occasionally controversial – defender of the president and his policies.

Matalin now runs Threshold, a new conservative publishing imprint at Simon & Schuster. She also serves as vice president of the Washington Humane Society and is a board member of the Cheney Cardiovascular Institute. In addition, she sits on the editorial board of Campaigns and Elections magazine, which features up-to-date campaign information, the latest news about political consultants and business trends in the industry.

James Carville is America’s best-known political consultant. His long list of electoral successes evidences a knack for steering overlooked campaigns to unexpected landslide victories and for re-making political underdogs into upset winners.

Carville’s winning streak began in 1986 when he managed the gubernatorial victory of Robert Casey in Pennsylvania. The following year brought Carville to New Jersey, where he guided Frank Lautenberg’s campaign for U.S. Senate to victory. Carville next managed the successful 1990 gubernatorial campaign of Zell Miller in Georgia. In 1991, he drew national attention when he led Sen. Harris Wofford from 40 points behind in the polls to an upset landslide victory over former Pennsylvania Gov. Richard Thornburgh.

Carville guided Bill Clinton to the White House in 1992, defeating President George H. W. Bush. In 1993, he was named campaign manager of the year by the

American Association of Political Consultants. He was also spotlighted in the feature-length documentary film The War Room. After the Clinton victory, he began to focus on foreign consulting, and in 1999, he led Ehud Barak to victory in his campaign to become prime minister of Israel.

In addition, Carville is an author, actor, producer, talk-show host, speaker and restaurateur. In 2003, he and his wife Matalin put a critically acclaimed spin on political consulting in the HBO series K Street. A regular CNN commentator and contributor, he also co-produced the remake of the 1949 movie All The King’s Men with a cast that included Sean Penn and Kate Winslet.

Carville and Matalin live in New Orleans with their daughters, Matalin “Matty” Carville and Emerson “Emma” Carville.

The Louisiana Center for Women and Government, established in 1991 and headquartered at Nicholls State University, encourages and promotes the leadership of women by providing resources and non-partisan support through educational workshops, training seminars and outreach programs. With more than 600 members from eight regions across Louisiana, the center promotes women in government and public service, acknowledges achievements of women and teaches all citizens about the importance of public service and responsible citizenship.

Each year, up to four Louisiana women are inducted into the center’s Hall of Fame. The 2009 ceremony, sponsored by the New Orleans Leadership Council, will honor Phyllis Mayo, special assistant to the governor on women’s policy; Ann Milling, founder of Women of the Storm; Lily B. Moskal, founder of Success Seminars; Rosemary Ewing, preservationist and public service activist; Cherry Fisher May, publisher, Independent Publishing Group; and Mildred Fossier, the first female director serving the City of New Orleans and political activist.

Additional center-sponsored events and programs in 2009 include the Congress to Campus program, Louisiana Girls Leadership Academy, National Women’s Leadership Summit and the ongoing internship program.

For additional details, including Hall of Fame ticket information, call the center at (985) 448-4770.