While they spoke to a much smaller crowd than former President Bill Clinton did the day before, political strategists James Carville and Karl Rove closed out the HIMSS annual conference and exhibition in lively fashion, and may have engaged the audience more than the former president did—even if their discussion barely mentioned health information technology.
Rove, the former deputy chief of staff for President George W. Bush, started by giving a plug to Dooky Chase's Restaurant, a local favorite. He later made a passing reference to how he thinks health IT could play a role in keeping healthcare costs down. Carville, a Louisiana native and a former Clinton adviser, told how he was involved in a "hackathon," where participating IT experts competed to create a winning mobile telephone application to be used during the Super Bowl held last month in New Orleans. The winning app was one that allowed tourists to tip street musicians using their cellphones, Carville said.
Carville, who now teaches at Tulane University in New Orleans, also told how the city appreciates that HIMSS brought almost 35,000 people to its restaurants and hotels.
"This is an enormous event for our city," Carville said. "You're the Super Bowl of conventions."