James Carville

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James Carville was a close advisor to Bill Clinton, and Clinton's campaign manager in the 1992 Presidential election. Carville is known for his rhetorical skills in the demagogic tradition of fellow Louisianian, Huey Long.

In 1998, Larry Flynt took out an ad in the Washington Post offering a $1 million reward for scandalous stories that could be used to smear leading Republican Congressmen as they prepared to impeach President Bill Clinton. Carville refused to repudiate Flynt's offer:[1]

Jim Nicholson, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said last week that 'when General James Carville declared war on the president's enemies, Private Flynt enlisted.' ... Judicial Watch also uncovered, after a lengthy court fight, Carville's 40,000-page archive of "opposition research," which included investigative information about Ken Starr, former FBI agent Gary Aldrich and other Clinton critics. ... On Dec. 20 [1998], James Carville, who is unfailingly obedient to Clinton, was a guest on NBC's "Meet the Press." Pressed by host interviewer Tim Russert to disavow Flynt and his sleazy tactics, Carville bobbed, weaved and dodged. Finally, Russert asked Carville this: "Well, if Larry Flynt says he's the James Carville, will you say to Larry Flynt this morning, `knock it off, no more?' " Carville's answer: "No."

While purporting to represent the interests of the poor, downtrodden, and oppressed, and against debasing public discourse, Carville referred to President Clinton's former employee Paula Jones, who had accused the President of sexual harassment, as "trailer park trash." According to the Howie Kurtz of the Washington Post, Carville's signature-style comment only "helped fuel (Jones's) determination to press on with the sexual harassment suit that ultimately led to Clinton's impeachment." [2]

Criticism of Obama

Carville, a Louisiana native turned visibly angry in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC's Good Morning America over President Barack Obama's "lackadaisical" response to the Gulf oil spill disaster. Carville said,

The political stupidity of this is just unbelievable.... you got to get down here and take control of this, put somebody in charge of this thing and get this thing moving. We're about to die down here.[3][4]

In 2023, Carville was inducted into the prestigious Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.

Further reading


  1. Robert J. Caldwell, "Scorched Earth; Clinton's allies trigger the `Doomsday Machine' against his enemies The San Diego Union-Tribune, G-4 (Jan. 17, 1999)
  2. James Carville, Party Animal, By Howard Kurtz, Washington Post, January 14, 1999.
  3. 'Political Stupidity': Democrat James Carville Slams Obama's Response to BP Oil Spill Democratic Strategist Said White House Should've Acted Quickly: 'We're About to Die Down Here', Jake Tapper and Huma Khan, Good Morning America, 26 May 2010. Retrieved from abcnews.go.com 28 May 2010.
  4. Unhinged Carville goes off on Obama on oil spill, The Raw Story, May 26, 2010