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Tulane hosts D.C. think tank’s bipartisan political summit

Managing/City Editor

Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012

Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 14:11

James Carville and Mary Matalin are political consultants. He is a democrat, and she is a conservative. They are married. This is precisely why they were chosen to co-host the Bipartisan Policy Center’s fourth annual political summit, which will be taking place Nov. 15 at Tulane University.

Zachary Hastings Hooper, director of public affairs for the Washington D.C. based think tank, said the couple, who reside in New Orleans, are a perfect example of the importance of bipartisanship.

The center does believe strongly in political parties, and recognizes strongly held views, he said, but to actually fix the problems and develop policies, bipartisanship is necessary. More and more polarization is seen lately, he said. “The center is trying to bridge those gaps and develop solutions that everyone can agree with.”

The summit will feature many well-known politicians, journalists and political pundits, including former U.S. senate majority leader Trent Lott.

The summit is meant to bring together strategists and pundits who spend a lot of time in D.C. combatting against each other, take them away from it all and have them reflect on what is really happening and what is really important. “There is the element of getting people together in the same room,” Hooper said. “We want people to realize that they do actually like each other!”

The summit will be addressing topics that affect everyone’s future, said Hooper. The younger you are, the more you will have to deal with these issues in your life, he said.

The center has identified over 80 bipartisan initiatives underway in the current congress.

Karin Curley can be reached at

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