Tuesday, Jun 19, 2018
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Political rivals on TV spar politely over Campaign ’16

Pundits offer their take at Authors! Authors!

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    James Carville, left, and Tucker Carlson were part of an Authors! Authors! event Wednesday night.

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    Jim and Nancy Lapp of Sylvania Township have their photo taken with political pundit Tucker Carlson, center, before he debates James Carville at the Stranahan Theater.

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Sharp analysis and wit took center stage Wednesday at the Stranahan Theater for an Authors! Authors! pre-election exchange between two well-known observers of the political scene — conservative Tucker Carlson and liberal James Carville.

Their visit was sponsored by The Blade and the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.

Mr. Carlson of Fox News Channel and the news site, the Daily Caller, said Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump had it right about his rival, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton: “She’s dogged. She’s tough in a way.”

But still, she exhibits a fragility, he said in response to a question from moderator Kurt Franck, who is vice president and executive editor of The Blade.

“You get the sense that she’s hiding behind the facade, and only fearful people do that,” Mr. Carlson said. As for what he doesn’t like about the Republican presidential nominee: “Come on, he’s emotionally incontinent.”

He said he appreciates that Mr. Trump isn’t beholden to donors, unlike others in political life.

Mr. Carville, who managed Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign, spoke of Mrs. Clinton’s hard work and preparation.

“I believe that Hillary Clinton by temperament, judgment, and character is ready to assume the office of president of the United States,” he said to cheers from at least some in the audience of about 1,300.

“What do I like about Trump? I like the fact that we’re going to beat him,” Mr. Carville said. “He has some comedic talent. He can hold a line. If he wasn’t running for president, he would be a B comic in lower Manhattan.”

Positioned on opposite sides of the stage, Mr. Carlson largely stayed behind his lectern, while Mr. Carville prowled the stage during Mr. Carlson’s answers or questions from Mr. Franck or an audience member. The men rarely sparred, even as they disagreed, and often complimented each other.

Mr. Franck, after posing several questions, opened the floor to the audience, who asked about abortion, civility, voter identification, and former President Bill Clinton’s behavior in contrast to Mr. Trump’s comments about women.

“If you don’t like Bill Clinton, don’t vote for him,” Mr. Carville said.

Mr. Carlson, answering a question about millennial voters, said he agreed with Bernie Sanders’ critique of Mrs. Clinton: “She’s not a liberal. She’s a puppet of finance.”

Mr. Carville moved to New Orleans in 2008 with his wife, Mary Matalin, who advised President George H.W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, and two daughters.

Their book, Love & War: Twenty years, three presidents, two daughters, and one Louisiana Home, was published in 2014. Mr. Carville’s book, We’re Still Right, They’re Still Wrong: The Democrats’ Case for 2016, an update of his 1996 bestseller, was published in August.

Mr. Carlson, author of the 2003 Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites: My Adventures In Cable News, is co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Daily Caller, which describes itself as a “24-hour news publication.”

He is an anchor of Fox & Friends Weekend on the Fox News Channel. Earlier, he hosted programs on MSNBC and PBS and was co-host of on CNN.

The next Authors! Authors! is to feature Bill Nye, the television host and science educator, at 7 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Stranahan Theater.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.

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