CHICAGO, July 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During a free-wheeling keynote at a trade show hosted by the Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI), political odd fellows Mary Matalin and James Carville riffed on national politics, debated America's future and bandied predictions on a wide range of subjects, including Hillary Clinton's upcoming pick for vice president.
Carville, an unabashed liberal largely credited with engineering Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential win, suggested Hillary Clinton could well choose former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, now U.S. agriculture secretary, as her running mate.
As for capturing this year's ultimate prize, the wild card, he said, is how white, college-educated people will vote. "You know who's going to decide this election?" said Carville. "Most of the people in this room."
Matalin, a Chicago native and popular conservative commentator who recently switched from Republican to Libertarian, said GOP billionaire Donald Trump – aka "The Great Orange One" – has the "testicular fortitude that the Republican Party needs."
Matalin, who advised both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, chided Clinton for being behind Trump in swing states like Florida and Pennsylvania, while outspending the GOP nominee on advertising 40-1. "I'm flummoxed by that," Matalin said. "Her worst negative is her practice of shady business in the public eye."
Matalin and Carville, who earned their political stripes working opposite sides of the aisle, appeared Thursday at McCormick Place before a packed house of small-business owners, entrepreneurs and CEOs attending ASI Show® Chicago, a three-day convention for members of the $22 billion promotional products industry. Timothy M. Andrews, president of ASI Show and president and chief executive officer of ASI, conducted the on-stage Q&A.
When asked about the rapidly changing political landscape, Carville said, "You stay the same, you die. Everything in the world is changing around us and nobody in business says 'We're going to keep doing the same thing.' Businesses adapt."
The spirited he-said, she-said discussion between the long-married couple, who are raising two daughters in New Orleans, wowed the audience. "I thought the keynote was absolutely wonderful," said Janice Hadfield, of Geiger. "They are both brilliant speakers and intelligent people."
ASI Show Chicago was attended by almost 650 exhibitors and nearly 4,300 distributors from 46 states and 10 countries, including 54 companies from Illinois, 48 women-owned companies and 72 minority-owned companies.
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SOURCE Advertising Specialty Institute