"Is the Guvnah heah?"
The rousing reply to James Carville’s question was "Yes!"
"Well, I understand we’re goin’ to have a tussel in Baton Rouge on Friday."
And that’s all there was about football from the "Ragin’ Cajun."
The political consultant, author, and star of TV and film spoke Monday night as part of the Log Cabin Democrat Lecture Series at UCA’s Reynolds Performance Hall.
Carville told that being a sophomore at LSU was "the best four years of my life" and that he graduated with a 4.0, "but that was my blood alcohol level."
The audience — almost a full house — was poised to be entertained. Before Carville took the stage, a video of several actors impersonating Carville had the crowd laughing.
He spent about half of his 90 minutes in monologue; finishing up with questions from the audience.
Ever the analyst, he ran down the Republican presidential candidates, describing how each one has faded.
"Who was on top first? Trump!" Carville said he admired Trump somewhat because he (Carville) had been trying for years to bankrupt a casino.
He said Michelle Bachmann was the next favored. When asked what she thought of Herman Cain’s 9-9-9, she said: "27."
Rick Perry said he loves Latin Americans, according to Carville, but added that Perry said he was sorry he never learned to speak Latin.
The biggest laugh came when Carville said that in the race for president, the only Republicans with one wife are two Mormons.
Turning serious and speaking to the students in the audience, Carville said the biggest danger to the country is that young people will fall prey to cynicism.
"You can change the country. It’s fun! It’s fun to do something that matters in people’s lives."
He also encouraged the students to take advantage of their time at UCA.
"The value of your education is as good as any school in the country. You have one heckuva bargain here," Carville said.
He said the country has survived other tough times.
Something good came out of the worst year, 1862, the year Congress established land-grant colleges.
"It was a beginning, a way to make the country into the country it needs to become," Carville said.
In answering the last question from the audience, Carville said the way to get the country moving in the way it needs to go is to reduce the rising cost of health care, increase the value of an education and get money out of politics.
His strident voice softened only twice during his lecture.
In answer to a question about Bill Clinton, he compared him to an athlete.
"You think they are down, but they come back, even better."
"I’m a big fan," he said of Clinton.
And he also said how much he likes former Sen. David Pryor: "A good man."
(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at email@example.com and 505-1234.)