Paul Begala and William Kristol are opinionated political analysts on opposite sides of most issues, but there’s one important issue where they both missed the mark during interviews with the Kentucky Chamber in March: Neither picked the University of Kentucky basketball team to win the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Perhaps their visit to Kentucky this July to speak at the Kentucky Chamber’s Annual Meeting will help them make more informed bracket choices in the future.
Begala, a populist Democrat who served as counselor to President Clinton in the White House, will sound off against Kristol on July 17 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown, where the two will discuss the presidential election race and other major national and global affairs.
We sat down with Kristol, a neoconservative Republican who served as chief of staff for then-Vice President Dan Quayle, and Begala and asked them to weigh in on everything from politics in the Commonwealth to the greatest worries for the U.S. Both Begala and Kristol say they’re looking forward to sharing the stage.
“He’s a fairly smart person,” Begala says of Kristol. “We don’t agree on much politically, but analytically we don’t disagree that much. I’m a huge Bill Kristol fan, so it will be fun.”
Kristol said he and Begala will debate and tease each other, but “sometimes we actually end up agreeing analytically on what’s likely to happen. I always try to put it in a little bit of a historical perspective, and how do we understand this moment we’re in.”
Though Begala and Kristol may occasionally agree, Begala says they won’t let the other one-up them: “Each of us will always want the last word, ‘Oh, here’s one more thing about Afghanistan!’”