Politicos James Carville And Mary Matalin Debate America’s Future At ASI Keynote

Carville predicts Clinton picks Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as her VP; Matalin says Trump has ‘testicular fortitude’ Republican Party needs

CHICAGO, IL – July 14, 2016 –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 Clinton could well choose former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, now U.S. agricultural 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 has 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, asi/202900. “They are both brilliant speakers and intelligent people.”

After the keynote, Carville and Matalin spent nearly an hour visiting booths like Gill, ADG and Helping Hands, posing for photos and asking questions about products like the ubiquitous election bumper stickers.

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. All told, 25 distributors also chose ASI’s show to host their sales meetings, 15 of which are Top 100 companies. Once again, AIA held its national meeting at ASI Chicago, the largest promotional products trade show of the summer.

“The ASI shows are terrific opportunities for our affiliates to see the products that are out there and to interact with the vendors,” said Ross Silverstein, of iPROMOTEu, asi/232119. “The education is very good…the show floors are nicely laid out, the major suppliers are in attendance and it’s just a great forum for learning and networking.”

Supplier Eva Perlman, of Martini Promotions, asi/68935, said, “I judge the quality of the distributors based on how long they stop in our booth and the questions that they ask, so for us the people stopping in are engaging, which means great quality.”

Rita Ugianskis-Fishman, senior vice president and general manager of ASI Show, said she was thrilled at the response from suppliers and distributors. “They’re impressed by the ways ASI shows continue to evolve and that we’re listening to what they want and need, delivering quality, excitement and substance,” said Ugianskis-Fishman. “I couldn’t be happier, and we’re already looking to 2017 and beyond.”

On Wednesday, at a prestigious black-tie event at the historic Field Museum, ASI also announced winners of the 2016 Counselor® Awards, including Brand Addition U.S. CEO Chuck Fandos as Person of the Year and BDA Senior Director of Sourcing LeeAnn Schumacher as International Person of the Year.

The awards, chosen by the editors of ASI’s award­-winning Counselor magazine, recognize outstanding individuals and companies in seven categories and include the best and brightest leaders from throughout the industry.

For information on exhibiting or sponsorship opportunities, contact Rita Ugianskis-Fishman, senior vice president and general manager of ASI Show, at [email protected].

Go to www.asicentral.com for complete coverage of the show. Visit ASI’s Facebook page to view a live feed archive of Counselor Awards speeches.

About ASI Show 
The ASI Show Family of Events – ASI Show, fASIlitate, ASI Roadshow and Engage – fosters business-building relationships throughout the promotional products industry. The flagship ASI Shows are large-scale convention center trade shows held in Orlando, Dallas and Chicago. fASIlitate is a three-day hosted buyer event that brings together top suppliers and million-dollar distributors for one-on-one meetings in resorts across the country. The ASI Roadshow visits 40 cities across the U.S. and Canada and is open to escorted end-buyers. Engage combines the best of all formats and features enhanced engagement among select, high-quality distributors and suppliers, with additional regional attendance and end-buyer participation. Visit www.asishow.com for more information.