Tag Archives: Penguin Audio

President George H W Bush, Mary Matalin… and Me

Mary Matalin, husband James Carville, along with the president and his Barbara in 2012

With the passing of President George H W Bush this weekend, allow me to tap the brakes just a second, and pause for some rather remarkable personal reflection.

Hired by AudioBook producer John F. McElroy in October 2013 to record Mary Matalin & James Carville’s “Love & War” for Penguin Audio in Manhattan, it fell on me to host James & Mary for a few weeks at the Airlift Productions Studios here in New Orleans.

That October morning Mary showed up to record –  and dressed to thrill – little did I know at first but, after the session, she was off to the French Quarter with hubby James for dinner and drinks with Bill Clinton!

Mary Matalin on-phone in the Bush Oval Office, along with Karl Rove and the “Think Tank”

Really.

Her tireless on-mic performance that day was really something… one bathroom break in four straight hours of recording.

Through that session Mary was a real firecracker!

LISTEN as she details her love for the president, while she vehemently defends a then-maligned one-term George Herbert Walker Bush at the Airlift microphones

** Mary Matalin “Love & War” excerpt, courtesy Penguin Audio **

Yes, indeed, Mary, along with her kids, always called and referred to this president as “Poppy”. A term he enjoyed and relished.

And this recording was but Day 1!

In Mary’s subsequent Airlift recording sessions we had many a laugh and bonded, at least as much as an audio engineer and a highly-respected and quoted public figure can.

One of my favorite memories from those October days was Mary’s nickname for me – “Zen Master”.

Of course, the goatee I was sporting at the time, along with some of my coaching tips & philosophical ramblings, probably contributed to that cutesy moniker.

But what a thrill and honor it was for me to play a part, however small, in capturing this now-classic part of America’s oral history, with the audiobook recording of “Love & War”.

As Mary got her opportunity to set a few records straight, while shedding some light on the warm, genuine side of George Herbert Walker Bush that but few would ever really know.

Rest in Paradise, President Bush, and, on behalf of all of America, we thank you for your unending and tireless devotion and service to the USA.

The final words Mary had for me on her last day of recording as she walked to her car?

“Til next time, Zen Master!”

You got it, Mary.

In the meantime, tell James “Howdy” from Airlift Mike, the studio mics are always open to you… and let’s not make it too long until ‘next time’, OK?

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JamesCarvilleRecordsAtAirliftProductionsNOLA
Airlift Productions Proprietor Micheal Ziants shoulder-to-shoulder with JAMES CARVILLE at the Airlift Studios

“I’ve been in studios from the Bayou to the Beltway and I can say after recording my last two audio books with Mike that there is no better place than Airlift Productions. The quality of the production, the studio, and frankly the comfort make it the only place I want to record now or in the future”​ ~JAMES CARVILLE, Political Commentator, Tulane Professor & Campaign Strategist behind the most dramatic political victories of our generation

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Airlift Productions – we’ll leave the mics hot… and the light on for you.

Airlift PROductions, telling America’s Greatest Stories from New Orleans since 1984