When Mary Matalin heard a baby cry during a Super Bowl news conference this week, she paused midsentence, peered in the direction of the fussing child and asked: ‘Is that my husband.’ … Their passion for the Big Easy and its recovery from Hurricane Katrina was why Carville and Matalin were appointed co-chairs of New Orleans’ Super Bowl host committee … Carville, a Louisiana native, and Matalin moved from Washington … to historic ‘Uptown’ New Orleans in the summer of 2008, a little less than three years after Katrina had laid waste to vast swaths of the city. … ‘The storm just weighed heavy,’ Carville said. ‘We were thinking about it. We’d been in Washington for a long time. The more that we thought about it, the more sense that it made. We just came down here (to look for a house) in late 2007 and said we’re just going to do this and never looked back.’
Matalin said she and Carville also wanted to raise their daughters in a place where people were willing to struggle to preserve a vibrant and unique culture. ‘It’s authentically creative, organically eccentric, bounded by beauty of all kinds,’ she said. ‘People pull for each other, people pull together. … Seven years ago we were 15 feet under water. … This is unparalleled what the people here did and that’s what you want your kids to grow up with: Hope and a sense of place, resolve and perseverance.’ … An LSU graduate, Carville has been a regular sight in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, often wearing a purple and gold rugby-style shirt. …
Matalin is on the board of the Water Institute of the Gulf, which aims to preserve fragile coastal wetlands … Carville teaches a current events class at Tulane University and he looks forward to getting involved in the 200th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans in 2015 and New Orleans’ tercentennial celebrations in 2018, when the city also hopes to host its next Super Bowl, if the NFL sees fit. … The host committee spent about $13 million in private and public funds to put on this Super Bowl, and the payoff could be enormous in terms of providing a momentum boost to the metro area’s growth, Carville said.
More from the AP’s Brett Martel here.