Filed underNewsmakers Series
James “The Ragin’ Cajun” Carville is America’s best-known political consultant. His long
list of electoral successes evidences a knack for steering overlooked campaigns to
unexpected landslide victories and for re-making political underdogs into upset winners.
His winning streak began in 1986, when he managed the gubernatorial victory of Robert
Casey in Pennsylvania. In 1987, Carville helped guide Wallace Wilkinson to the governor’s
seat in Kentucky. Carville continued his winning streak with wins in New Jersey with Frank
Lautenberg elected to the US Senate. He next managed the successful 1990 gubernatorial
campaign of Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor Zell Miller, including a tough primary win over
Atlanta mayor Andrew Young, and in 1991, Carville—who had already become prominent
in political circles—drew national attention when he led Senator Harris Wofford from 40
points behind in the polls to an upset landslide victory over former Pennsylvania Governor
and U.S. Attorney General Richard Thornburgh. But his most prominent victory was in
1992 when he helped William Jefferson Clinton win the Presidency.
In recent years, Carville has not been a paid political consultant for any domestic politicians
or candidates for office, instead focusing on campaigns in more than 20 countries around the
globe, including leading Ehud Barak to victory in his campaign to become the Prime
Minister of Israel in 1999.
Carville is also a best-selling author, actor, producer, talk-show host, speaker and
restaurateur. His titles include All’s Fair: Love, War, and Running for President (with wife
Mary Matalin); We’re Right, They’re Wrong: A Handbook for Spirited Progressives; And the
Horse He Rode In On: The People vs. Kenneth Starr; Buck Up, Suck Up… and Come Back
When You Foul Up; Had Enough? A Handbook for Fighting Back; Stickin’: The Case for
Loyalty; his children’s book, Lu and the Swamp Ghost; and 2006′s Take it Back. His latest
book 40 More Years: How the Democrats will Rule the Next Generation was released in
Along with pollster Stanley Greenberg, Carville founded Democracy Corps, an independent,
non-profit polling organization dedicated to making government more responsive to the
American people. Democracy Corps has conducted over 200 national, congressional and
local surveys, interviewing over 220,000 American voters during the past 10 years.
Carville is a frequent political commentator and contributor on CNN. He also serves as a
Professor of Practice at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he lives with his wife
Mary Matalin and their two daughters.