About the Author
James Carville is an American political consultant, commentator, educator, attorney, and prominent liberal pundit. He lives in New Orleans with his wife, Mary Matalin, and their two daughters. Carville, who probably has managed more campaigns than any other political consultant in America, got his first job in politics—canvassing for a car dealer running for the Louisiana state legislature—while still a student at Ascension Catholic High School. He managed his first campaign, a U.S. Senate race in Virginia, in 1982. The following year, while managing Lloyd Doggett’s unsuccessful bid for governor of Texas, he acquired the nickname “Ragin’ Cajun” and began his odd-couple professional collaboration with Paul Begala, who had just graduated from the University of Texas. The two teamed up full time in 1989 and formed the Carville & Begala political consulting firm, specializing in strategy, message development, “earned media,” and, above all, winning elections for Democrats. Carville’s long list of electoral successes also includes the 1991 U.S. Senate victory of Harris Wofford over Richard Thornburgh, in Pennsylvania; the 1990 gubernatorial victories of Zell Miller, in Georgia, and Robert P. Casey, in Pennsylvania; the 1988 re-election of Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, in New Jersey; the 1987 gubernatorial victory of Wallace Wilkinson, in Kentucky; and the 1986 gubernatorial victory of Robert Casey, in Pennsylvania.