Keynoter Begala talks conflict, resolution in D.C.
Caucus keynoter Paul Begala. (Dietsch photo)
Sept. 10, 2013 – Keynote speaker Paul Begala, a well-known political commentator and former advisor to the Clinton administration, spoke at NAFCU’s Congressional Caucus about the nature of conflict and compromise in national government.
First, Begala praised the credit union representatives who attended Caucus, saying, “There is no replacement for what you’re doing this week.” He said personal engagement with congressional representatives is crucial and commented on the rareness of an industry being seen as “the white hat,” as credit unions are viewed.
Begala also shared how credit unions had helped him at the beginning of his career, when he and fellow political consultant James Carville were not yet successful and he was evicted from his apartment. He said his fiancée was able to get a loan from the University FCU in Texas, when “no one else would take a chance on us.” He credited that loan with helping him start his family and his successful career.
Begala also spoke about the periodic shift in power between the legislative and executive branches and about how the conflict in Syria might affect President Barack Obama’s ability to advance other administration goals, including what he referred to as the “armageddon” issue – the debt ceiling.
Overall, he advocated for compromise and said America must “find a way to renew those ties that bind” to serve the greater good beyond partisan disagreements.