The film came out on December 5, 1993, and profiled the 1992 Presidential Campaign that catapulted Bill Clinton into the White House. A large part of that campaign strategy came from the Ragin’ Cajun, James Carville.
Carville’s a pretty smart guy – you’d have to be if your mom sold World Book Encyclopedia’s door-to-door – and he got his law degree from Louisiana State University. He did two years in the Marines after graduating, from 1967-9 in San Diego, and then headed back to law school.
Carville’s first election victories began in the 1980s, and the big one was Robert Casey of Pennsylvania in 1986, followed by Zell Miller in Georgia in 1990. The man could get governors elected.
He proved he could work magic at the national level in 1991 when he drove Senator Harris Wofford back from the brink, erasing a 40-point deficit to take the win. Things like that just didn’t happen, not when the President was supporting the opposing candidate.
Perhaps that was the problem, however – it was during that Wofford campaign in Pennsylvania that Carville implemented the economic strategy that would propel Clinton, mainly through the line “it’s the economy, stupid.”
We saw a lot of Carville over those two days in Senior Government, and I think many students enjoyed the film. Now, most students will enjoy just about any film while in Senior Government, but I remember saying to the teacher that it was certainly better than Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
It’s sad stuff thinking about that, but I’m sure James Carville thinks about it quite often, or at least once a week. That’s when he does a radio show with Tim Russert’s son, Luke, called 60/20 Sports.
Now Carville is coming to Helena, as the Billings Gazette reported yesterday. He’ll be speaking at the Mansfield-Metcalf Dinner on March 7 and you can buy tickets here. As you can see, they’re quite expensive: