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Carville: Less Washington, more Buffalo

OPINION l Democrats all over the country heading into next year will be anxiously awaiting word from Hillary Clinton on whether or not she will be running for president.

The opinion of most Democrats is that she would be a great candidate and an even better president. Having said that, she is a very deliberate and methodical person, and is going through a forensic process over the now very famous political decision over the best course of action. I would not be surprised if she ran, but I would also not be shocked if she didn’t run.

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However, being that I write a column and I am an occasional pundit, I cannot help but to dispense with a little bit of advice in the event that she does decide to run. The advice will be brief.

Now, most people of my generation fondly remember the 1967 film “The Graduate” and Mr. McGuire’s great exchange with young Benjamin. Mr. McGuire says “Plastics.” My advice can be summed just as succinctly: Buffalo.

That’s right. Buffalo, as in Buffalo, N.Y. The new site of campaign headquarters.

The political class always likes to talk about how things change and anything that happens is a seismic shift in the way politics will be handled. Well, I am going to go ahead and make a bold predictions about 2016.

Washington and the ways of Washington are going to be massively unpopular. Get the hell out. Go, and take everybody with you.

The same political class will say it is simply symbolic and transparently phony. Heck, it’s the same thing they said about Pope Frances washing the feet of the young female Muslim prisoner — it could’ve been symbolic or a stunt, but damn it was good symbolism.

Before you move forward, think about your campaign in Washington. Think about all the journalists, the producers and every consultant, public relations expert, direct mail insider and pollster who will be clambering to get inside your campaign. Every time you enter and leave headquarters, the demands for interviews and sound bites will be incessant. Think of every restaurant in Washington and every interaction and how closely they will be monitored.

Now, think of Buffalo, about the people who are going to uproot and go and about the people who are going to be with you.

Anyone who wants an interview, don’t dare set up a satellite feed or allow them a satellite interview, make them come to you. Just simply disallow any conference calls or long email chains with Washington and New York.

Let’s remember that Buffalo has the added benefit of being in one of your favorite areas in western New York. Personally, I would have preferred Erie for the direct flights. I keep harking back to the 1992 campaign and the fact that, in the final days before the election, the best thing about being in Little Rock is that there were no non-stop flights from Washington.

The less Washington, the better. It has been more than 20 years since I have done a domestic campaign, and the more things change the more they stay the same. The less Washington, the better.

Carville is a chief political correspondent for ARISE Television. He also serves as a professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he lives with his wife, Republican strategist Mary Matalin. Together they are finishing their book Love and War. His column will appear twice a month in The Hill.