Paul Begala is a commentator for CNN, where he is part of the political team that has won both an “Emmy” and a “Peabody Award”. In the 2012 campaign he was a senior adviser for the pro-Obama Super PAC, making Begala one of the few people to play a critical role in electing two different presidents.
After helping engineer Bill Clinton's presidential campaign with his partner, James Carville, Begala served as counselor to the President, one of Clinton's closest aides. He has consulted for political campaigns across the country and around the world, including advising politicians in Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.
Former President Bill Clinton described his longtime friend and former aide as, "a witty dynamo from Sugar Land, Texas...who brought energy, focus and credibility to our efforts." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Begala, "embodies a passion for populism with a commitment to civility, no easy feat."
And radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has said of Begala, "If you don't know who The Forehead is, Paul Begala, he's the guy, the kid that played the banjo on the bridge in the movie Deliverance."
He helped his friend John F. Kennedy, Jr. launch the political magazine George and wrote the "Capitol Hillbilly" column, and is the author of several New York Times best-selling political books.
Begala is an affiliated professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University. He has also taught at the University of Texas and the University of Georgia. Along with James Carville and GOP strategist Karl Rove, he was a recently inducted into the American Association of Political Consultants' Hall of Fame.
Begala received his bachelor's degree in Government and his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was the student body president.
Plenary: Advocacy in Action