Longtime Democrat Strategist James Carville: 'I'm Scared to Death' for Democratic Party


Democratic strategist James Carville expressed his concerns for the Democratic Party in a Tuesday appearance on MSNBC.

“I’m 75 years old, why am I here doing this? Because I’m scared to death, that’s why,” Carville said.

“Let’s get relevant here, people, for sure. All the [Bernie] Sanders people are taking pictures wishing Jeremy Corbyn the best,” he said. “I don’t want to go down that path.”

The former Clinton adviser pointed to the Democratic Party’s success in the 2018 midterm election and said that who it picks as its 2020 candidate “matters.”

“We had the highest turnout in 2018 since women were granted the right to vote. We had the biggest margin. We ran a smart campaign and it worked,” he said.

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“It matters who the candidate is. It matters what a party chooses to talk about.”

He added that the Democratic party needs to “wake up” and “talk about things that are relevant to people.”

“We have to go back to 2018 where we had good, diverse, strong candidates that had real connections … and talked about real things,” he said.

Do you think the Democratic Party needs to be more relevant?

Carville said that the only “moral imperative” for 2020 is “to beat Donald Trump” and the reason the Democratic Party doesn’t win elections is that “we talk about stuff that is not relevant.”

“So, hopefully, we have time time to jerk this thing back and be about health care, prescription drug prices, education, infrastructure, climate, diplomacy, rejuvenating whatever it is,” he said. “These campaigns have got to be more relevant.”

In January, Carville formally endorsed Democratic Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet for president, WMUR-TV reported.

In the MSNBC interview, Carville also criticized the party for the calculation of the results in Monday’s Iowa caucuses, adding that polls indicate “enthusiasm among Democrats is not as high as we might like it.”

“I’m just looking at the mega-polling averages, I’m looking at public opinion right now, and frankly we’ve got to snap back and get this thing going,” he said. “This is, so far, not so good.”

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The Democratic strategist said that the media corps went “AOC crazy” in its coverage of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but more moderate Democratic candidates like former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg received a lot of votes in Iowa.

“We’ve got to decide what we want to be. Do we want to be an ideological cult? Or do we want to have a majoritarian instinct to be a majority party?” Carville asked.

“What we need is power, you understand? That’s what this is about. Without power, you have nothing. You just have talking points.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith