Long working on opposite sides of the American political spectrum, James Carville and Mary Matalin are pulling in the same direction when it comes to promoting their adopted home of New Orleans as a Super Bowl host.
Carville, a longtime Democratic strategist, and Matalin, a Republican pundit, are the co-chairs of the Super Bowl host committee. They're also married.
They've been making the rounds together from one event to the next in the convention center, which houses both the NFL Experience theme park and work stations for several thousand international media.
Carville is from Louisiana and the couple married in New Orleans. Then in 2008, they decided to move here from Washington, D.C. Now living in a stately home just two blocks off of historic St. Charles Avenue, they've been among the biggest boosters of the Big Easy's recovery from Hurricane Katrina, lending their support to a variety of community projects with goals ranging from restoration of fragile coastal wetlands to education and economic development.
The pair agree that while organizing a Super Bowl doesn't cost as much as a presidential campaign, it's just as hard because it's a multiyear project with a lot of moving parts.
Carville says he's always been a sports fan so the transition was natural for him. Matalin says one obvious goal is to get New Orleans back in the regular rotation as a Super Bowl host, but the larger goal is to help the city's future by demonstrating how successfully it can host one of the biggest single events in the sports world. While New Orleans is hosting its 10th Super Bowl, the NFL championship has not been played there since 2002.
Says Carville: ``If it goes the way we hope it does, it'll go beyond economic impact. It'll go beyond who won the game. It think there's something significant that's coming to a point here in the city.''
- Brett Martel -http://twitter.com/brettmartel
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