Carville on Convention So Far: "There's no message comin' outta heah"

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That's for sure.

As the political gargoyle from the bayou put it on CNN (paraphrase!): They only got four nights and they've already wasted most of tonight! There's no sense of urgency, no sense that 80 percent of the country thinks we're headed in the wrong direction, that McCain is into the war, or is even the other party's nominee.

As the Beijing Olympics underscore, political spectacle shouldn't be that hard to pull off in this day and age!

NEXT: You Know What Leeches Do, Right?

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  1. This plays into something I’ve observed watching the last 9 or 10 Presidential elections. The guy who wants the job most wins. McCain wants it bad. There is no vibe like Bush 92 or Dole coming off him or the campaign.

    Barack seems kinda tired and disinterested at times.The DemocRAT base wants it bad, the Party and candidate don’t have that kind of intensity.

  2. Are there really enough people out there who don’t know who Carville is, to warrant the CNN “FACT” run while he was speaking? (“Carville actually ran Clinton’s ’92 campaign? What the?!?) Saw that at the gym, and remembered why it is that I don’t watch TV news: the presumption of stupidity.

  3. the presumption of stupidity.

    No one ever went broke yada yada yada

  4. Is it just me, or as he gets older, does James Carville more and more resembles the Crypt Keeper from “Tales From the Crypt.”

    I keep expecting him to let loose with that high-pitched cackle.

  5. I’m sure there are a lot of voters in the 18-24 range who don’t know who Carville is.

  6. I think a first night of happy stuff works well, especially given what Obama is hoping to achieve in this race.

    If the entire convention is like this, that might be a problem, but I doubt that.

  7. I’m sure there are a lot of voters in the 18-24 range who don’t know who Carville is.

    There aren’t a lot of voters in the 18-24 range period.

  8. I think Joe Biden will give the nasty attack speech.

  9. Don’t worry, I’s sure Biden is even now furiously searching British archives for a message.

  10. Are there really enough people out there who don’t know who Carville is

    I think we’re clear on WHO he is. It’s WHAT he is that’s problematic.

  11. It wasn’t a disaster for the Democrats but it was a missed opportunity. Michelle gave a patriotic speech that was far better than Teresa Heinz Kerry’s speech where she called a Peace Corps volunteer the best face of America. The girls are just about the cutest things ever and the theme of the night seemed to be “Hey, Obama’s not an America hating Muslim.” But unless you watched the coverage on C-SPAN, you saw far more talking heads trying to play up the Hillary-Obama rivalry than you did that message.

    Bill Clinton should have spoken tonight. It would have gotten the media juices flowing and would have prevented him from overshadowing Biden later in the convention.

  12. I didn’t watch a single second of the first night of the convention, which makes me the most qualified to comment on it. My take:

    Zzzzzzzzzzz

    YMMV.

  13. I like Carville just fine, but his wife really grinds my gears. God she just makes me angry.

    He seems to have an intuitive feel for politics and always has that aww shucks bullshit while goin for the jugular delivery of his analysis.

    ahhh, maybe it’s just a man crush

  14. really grinds my gears

    Heh, made me think of that episode of Family Guy where this is a recurring slogan.

    I’m sure there are a lot of voters in the 18-24 range who don’t know who Carville is

    I just asked my co-worker (who’s like 4 years younger than me) and he said “Isn’t that the guy that makes ice cream?”

  15. I think you guys forget that most Americans aren’t don’t pay attention like most of us do, and this touchy-feely stuff works pretty good on them.

  16. “the theme of the night seemed to be ‘Hey, Obama’s not an America hating Muslim.'”

    I’m not sure that’s such a good thing for Obama. I mean, if McCain’s convention starts off trying to demonstrate that he is not a closeted transvestite dominatrix, well, I guess it will be all up from there.

    Quick, don’t think about blue.

    It’s a damned good thing for Obama that McCain is about 99 years old. Almost everybody is a little freaked out by really old people (I’m freaked out by people over the age of 25), particularly when they wear leather diapers, finger a whip, and continuously mumble “You’ve been a very bad boy, Mr Amedhinejad.”

    Carville may be the crypt-keeper, but that’s better than being what’s kept in the crypt.

  17. Carville may be the crypt-keeper, but that’s better than being what’s kept in the crypt.

    You, sir, have a wild imagination.

    *Cajun style!*

  18. This is starting to look a whole lot like 2004.

  19. Does anyone else think the Democrats seem to have a mental block about winning?

  20. I’m not turning on the tv until the riots start.

  21. This is starting to look a whole lot like 2004.

    Does anyone else think the Democrats seem to have a mental block about winning?

    Oh come on. Michelle’s speech was oodles better than Teresa Heinz’s. In that saccharine “See? I don’t eat babies. I *love* them!” sort of way. Which would be embarrassing if it weren’t necessary, as most of middle America is terrified:

    1. Of women who are more accomplished than them
    2. Of black people that are more articulate than them
    3. Of Democrats in general

  22. Elemenope, she was nice and their daughters were adorable.

    But nice and adorable won’t beat the Republicans, who are going to be essentially calling Obama a radical terrorist 1960s socialist radical from day one of their convention.

    Why are Democrats such pussies?

  23. I really object to the idea of political spouses giving speeches. When did this absurd practice start? I don’t remember Roslyn Carter or Nancy Reagan or Barbara Bush giving speeches at their husband’s conventions. What if the politician’s spouse is a lousy speaker or has a stutter, is that a reason to vote against the guy? As much as I disagree with Howard Dean, I always respected him for not parading his wife around for political ends.

  24. Elemenope,

    Michelle Obama could have really given the hate whitey speech last night and Andrew Sullivan and a few of the more craven members of the media would be saying she gave a brilliant speech. Again, what does the candidate’s wife have to add beyond we don’t beat our children?

  25. I think we can blame Hillary for this, John.

    Also doesn’t help that the Republicans have essentially demonized every potential Democratic First Lady since Kitty Dukakis (weird exception: they were very nice to Tipper Gore. Why?)

  26. “Also doesn’t help that the Republicans have essentially demonized every potential Democratic First Lady since Kitty Dukakis (weird exception: they were very nice to Tipper Gore. Why?)”

    It was a reaction to Democrats going after Nancy Reagan so hard. First Ladies were totally off the table until Nancy Reagan. The Democrats demonized her in a big way. She was portrayed as a modern day Marie Antoinette for replacing the Whitehouse China with a $200,000 set, which was all donated. I never really saw the harm in the Whitehouse having good china, but the Dems went after her for it and a lot of other things. Then of course Hillary claimed to be “two for the price of one” and things got totally out of control. I honestly can’t explain the Tipper Gore thing.

  27. Didn’t know about the Nancy Reagan stuff, it was before my time.

    Still I haven’t seen the Democrats (unless we’re talking about the fringe loons) ever attack Barbara or Laura Bush.

  28. Obama has charisma. Michelle: not so much. They did the right thing by getting her out of the way early.

    Now, I eagerly await Hillary’s coup. I know it won’t happen, but man, I certainly wish it would. “The Deathmatch in Denver” would be fantastic.

  29. Does Sullivan still claim to be conservative? He seems more like a left-liberal and Obama cheerleader now. Aside from the (very) occasional comment on Bush Administration profligacy.

  30. I gotta say, Joe Biden has by far the hottest wife of anyone running on a national ticket right now.

  31. John,

    Because like it or not (and I’m gathering from your comments you like it about as much as I do), the First Lady has become a de facto policy advisor and executive-legislative liaison over the last twenty years or so.

    I might also add that many people believe they can divine the character of someone from their choice of mate. There might be something to that…

    Also, as a spouse, they do have dimensions and degrees of influence over their spouse that is fairly significant; it would be nice to know where they are coming from.

  32. Elemenope,

    But that is absurd. What if your wife is not a good public speaker? My wife is a great person and a wonderful character. You can say a lot of bad things about me, but my choice of her is not one of them. But, she would never have the presense and charisma to stand up in front of a national audience and give a speech. Should that disqualify me from national politics? Moreover, if she were a great speaker, does that make me more qualified to be President? The whole thing is nuts.

  33. Does Sullivan still claim to be conservative? He seems more like a left-liberal and Obama cheerleader now.

    Do you read much Sullivan? I do. While he is a relatively unabashed Obama cheerleader, he’s no liberal. I think his latching on to Obama has more to do with the GOP becoming a disgusting parody of itself, than any liberal affections.

    I mean, fer chrissakes, he’s against progressive taxation! How could a liberal be against that?

  34. Hey, John, like I said, I like it *about as much as you*. It is absurd. But you know who you can blame for this shit?

    “Family Values” obsessed conservatives.

    Nobody else gives a damn who a guy is married to.

  35. The whole Michelle Obama as a female George Jefferson does look a little silly now.

  36. Elemenope,

    Because like it or not (and I’m gathering from your comments you like it about as much as I do), the First Lady has become a de facto policy advisor and executive-legislative liaison over the last twenty years or so.

    I think it’s still optional. Think of Howard Dean’s wife.

  37. I just wanna know when the Democrats will take the gloves off.

  38. I just wanna know when the Democrats will take the gloves off.

    Uhh…never?

  39. And that, Epi, is why they have a good chance of blowing this. The Republicans are going to be beating Obama over the head from day one of their convention.

  40. Joe,

    Dean never got the nomination. I think had he gotten the nomination, they would have drug his poor wife into public life even if it meant the media had to break into her house and force her to give a speech at gunpoint.

  41. Think of Howard Dean’s wife.

    Don’t wanna. You can’t make me!

    I think it’s still optional.

    I think you’re right about that, and so far as it goes, that’s a good thing.

  42. Elemenope, I scan his blog a bit, and while he occasionally posts a conservative economic belief, most of his content seems to be Obama cheerleading, filler, gay rights (not incompatible with conservatism IMHO), and centrist or more left comments.

    The thing about the Obama cheerleading is that Obama, and his voting record, are left-liberal. And the cheerleading seems to be his main thrust now. Hence, I guess I see him as that kind of blogger. Perhaps I am being to hard on him as cheerleaders really annoy me.

  43. The Republicans are going to be beating Obama over the head from day one of their convention.

    And provoke the nastiest backlash we’ve ever seen? If only they were so stupid.

  44. Elemenope, I have a feeling Dick Cheney is going to give a speech the first night of that convention that will make Buchanan’s 1992 Kultur War speech look tame by comparison.

  45. I mean, did it provoke a backlash with Kerry, Gore, and Dukakis? No.

  46. “Still I haven’t seen the Democrats (unless we’re talking about the fringe loons) ever attack Barbara or Laura Bush.”

    Uhh, see the Laura Bush is a murderer stuff.

    You’re either 12 or have some seriously blue-tinted shades if you think the Democrats are any better than the Republicans with that shit. These people are all assholes.

  47. Dick Cheney is going to be on the other side of the planet during the Republican convention, BDB. He’s touring Georgia.

  48. I mean, did it provoke a backlash with Kerry, Gore, and Dukakis? No.

    Pat Buchanan, 1992. Probably handed the election to Bill Clinton.

    Nobody’s in the mood to hear Republicans drag out their culture war crap. It’s 2008.

  49. They said hes speaking.

  50. Joe, well, the Republicans don’t seem to realize that. They’re running the Dukakis/Gore/Kerry strategy.

    “Maybe if we play nice, they won’t hurt us!”

  51. You can’t give a real speech to a convention hall over a monitor, BDB.

  52. Your concern is noted.

  53. Hes coming over a monitor? Thats creepy.

    So who gives the Republican attack speech? Rudy 9iul1an1?

  54. why did Tipper Gore get a pass from Republicans?

    the Tipper Sticker.

    established her bona fides as a cultural conservative.

  55. McCain is not going to directly attack Obama at the convention. He is also running a “clean” campaign, in that all his attacks will be indirect through 527s and the like.

    The GOP convention will be “we done won the warz” and “America is teh bestez”. Count on it.

  56. Mosby, did you see the part where I said “except for fringe loons?”

    I never even heard of the Laura Bush as murderer thing until you just mentioned it, but I sure as hell heard about how Hillary killed Vince Foster.

  57. Dick Cheney is going to be on the other side of the planet during the Republican convention, BDB. He’s touring Georgia.

    Visiting Atlanta, is he?

  58. So who gives the Republican attack speech? Rudy 9iul1an1?

    All of them.

  59. I just wanna know when the Democrats will take the gloves off.

    Don’t be so impatient. They didn’t choose Biden because of his legendary love of taffy.

  60. Last night the dems were still on the defensive. Michelle’s speech felt very much like an attempt to counter attacks over her “first time I felt proud of my country” remark. They need to get on the offensive if they’re going to get anywhere.

  61. Reinmoose —

    You’re missing the part where all they have to do is convince the country they don’t eat babies, and they win.

  62. Elemenope, what did Kerry have to do in 2004?

  63. I should add that much of the country still thinks they do. Cause they’re black…and articulate.

  64. They didn’t choose Biden because of his legendary love of taffy.

    Damn, I was hoping that would be the key to my VP run.

  65. Elemenope, what did Kerry have to do in 2004?

    Honestly, all he had to say was:

    “I’m not embarrassed of being a Catholic, and I’m not George W. Bush.”

    He blew both parts of that message, and so he lost. And as joe pointedly (if repetitively) keeps pointing out, he has come the closest of any candidate in the *history of the nation* of unseating a president during war time.

  66. Reinmoose,

    It looked like that to us geeks. Most people voting this fall have never heard those attacks on Michelle Obama – which would make the speech come across somewhat differently.

    Elemenope, what did Kerry have to do in 2004? Unseat an incumbent wartime president for the first time in American history, while that president had a 50% approval rating and the economy was half-way decent.

  67. I am looking forward to the Biden speech for purely “post rational” reasons. Hes an extremely unlucky guy in a lot of ways but instead of bitching about it he just keeps going.

    Still hate his policies, though.

  68. I think the Democrats, in addition to not coming across as radical socialist baby eating Islamofascists, also have to make McCain into, well, a typical Republican instead of a maverick.

  69. Yay! I out-joe’d joe!

    Oh, hell.

  70. I think the Democrats, in addition to not coming across as radical socialist baby eating Islamofascists, also have to make McCain into, well, a typical Republican instead of a maverick.

    I’m pretty sure that if they hammer away at that “life begins at conception and roe v. wade is the worst decision evar!!!1!11!!!” which McCain says at the drop of a hat these days, even the stupids who are wandering around spanging off walls will not be able to but notice that he’s not pro-choice.

  71. The Hillary delegate that’s now for McCain (presumably an educated woman) actually said “I thought McCain was pro choice!” at her press conference the other day.

    So never underestimate peoples ignorance, Elemenope.

  72. The convention bored me and I didn’t watch a second of it. I just get the feeling it was boring.

    Where are the “Clinton in 2012” banners?

  73. Kerry lost because he was a terrible candidate, not because of any war mojo. An ex-porn star could’ve beaten Bush.

  74. An ex-porn star could’ve beaten Bush

    Freudian Slip much?

  75. Michelle’s speech was ok, but I’d like to see the spunk and energy she showed when she did that movie Network in the 70s.

  76. I also found the Kennedy montage rather disturbing, though…not…as…disturb…bing…as…his…speech. Whoever’s idea it was to put Teddy anywhere near water must have been retarded. At leat he learned that boats work better than cars.

  77. “An ex-porn star could’ve beaten Bush”

    Gannon never said anything about “safety” words.

  78. Kerry lost because he was a terrible candidate, not because of any war mojo. An ex-porn star could’ve beaten Bush.

    Sure. Wartime president, 50% approval rating, positive economic growth…should have been a cakewalk. All the political models and historical examples show you that..

    Also, if Barack Obama doesn’t get a 27% bounce, he’s doooooooooooooommmmmmed.

  79. Kerry lost because he was a terrible candidate, not because of any war mojo.

    So…you’re saying that a war which was still well over 50% approval rating (as it was in Nov. 2004) had *nothing* to do with Bush’s 04 victory?

    Huh.

  80. I actually think Gore had a worse campaign than Kerry.

    Heres what he had to do in 2000:

    “Hai guys. I’m Al Gore. Did you like the last eight years? Good, vote for me and I’ll keep things just as they are.”

    He blew THAT.

  81. *walks up to BDB aggressively*

    *standing too close*

    *loud sigh*

    *rolls eyes*

  82. Whoa, I’m gonna be seeing that name all day.

  83. An ex-porn star could’ve beaten Bush.

    But Marilyn Chambers was not on the top of the ticket. Charles Jay was.

    Do you think Marilyn Chambers would be our president now if she’d been on top?

  84. BDB-It wasn’t entirely Gore’s fault; his boss decided to help his wife win a Senate race rather than focusing his energy on getting his successor elected. Clinton, had he actually put some effort into it, could easily have swung West Virginia or New Hampshire into Gore’s column, bringing a victory.

  85. Also, if Gore had not been pro gun control, he would have won WV and TN I think.

  86. Shem —

    And it wasn’t even much Clinton’s fault. Gore’s own campaign staff said to stay at arm’s length from Clinton. Had to be among the top five worst pieces of campaign advice that a candidate actually listened to ever.

  87. BTW, that’s a very postmodern name. “Shem”. Hah!

  88. It looked like that to us geeks. Most people voting this fall have never heard those attacks on Michelle Obama – which would make the speech come across somewhat differently.

    I guess if you only ever listened to Wolf Blitzer and the CNN crew, you would have thought that Michelle Obama’s speech was about whether or not Hilary is going to throw her complete support behind Obama and if there is any lingering negative feelings between the campaigns.

  89. “Also, if Gore had not been pro gun control, he would have won WV and TN I think.”

    That and if they hadn’t sent Elian Gonzalez back to Cuba via a Janet Reno sponsored SWAT team, he would have won Florida. The Democrats really did it to themselves in 2000.

  90. Elemenope,

    Indeed, I am saying that. Kerry was a loser, with a big ‘L’ tattooed on his forehead. Bush could’ve been defeated (Episiarch!) by a current porn star.

  91. Also, if Gore had not been pro gun control, he would have won WV and TN I think.

    Gun Control: The millstone of the Democratic Party.

  92. Yup. That’s the real reason the don’t do well in the rural south, not because people are slackjawed ignorant racists or whatever reason Bill Maher says.

    That’s why Democrats continually win at the state level in West Virginia and Arkansas, but suck when it comes to Presidential candidates. The only difference is guns.

  93. Bush could’ve been defeated (Episiarch!) by a current porn star

    I am not a porn star, I merely play one in the bedroom. But thanks. By the way, my pornstar name (being my middle name and the name of the road I grew up on) is John Slade. Beat that.

  94. Four score and seven years ago, our forefathers…

    What? Why is everyone booing?

  95. Friends Romans Countryman, I come not to bury Obama but to praise him…

  96. No, no, Episiarch, the parenthetical was my epic yell of “Episiarch!”, similar to the “Khhhhaaaaaaaannnnn!” of William Shatner or, perhaps, the “Newman” of Jerry Seinfeld, intended to address your twisting of my previous statement about porn stars beating Bush.

  97. BTW, that’s a very postmodern name. “Shem”. Hah!

    Howzat?

  98. Episiarch,

    Peter Barrows. Not bad, huh?

  99. ProooooooooLlllllllll!!!

  100. Dickinson Grace.

  101. Peter Barrows. Not bad, huh?

    Peter “I carry my nuts with a wheel-” Barrows.

  102. Howzat?

    I’m sure you’re aware, one of the meanings of “Shem” in Ancient Hebrew is “name”.

  103. Did anyone notice Carville’s shoes?

  104. I think a bunch of bored political junkies who have been watching this process for 8 months now are probably NOT the best judges of “What America sees”.

    Sadly, that also includes the media, whose boredom is rather obvious. This convention is the biggest love-fest I’ve ever seen on the Democratic side, with absolutely no actual controvsery. It looks practically Republican, in terms of strict message control and no public fighting.

    And yet the media is wandering around interviewing the same 50 PUMAs and trying to find a fight to justify their expense accounts.

  105. . . .Now if I’d been really torqued, I would’ve gone Charlton Heston on you. Something like, “Episiarch, you blew it up! God damn you! God damn you to hell!” Or “Episiarch is peo-ple!” Or maybe “Episiarch! Let my people go!”

    I friggin’ loved that man. How could God take Heston from us when we need him the most?

  106. By the way, my pornstar name (being my middle name and the name of the road I grew up on) is John Slade.

    I thought it was the name of your first pet and the name of the road you grew up on.

    For me, Lobo Chestnut.

    Beat that.

  107. It looks practically Republican, in terms of strict message control and no public fighting.?

    On that note, I can’t wait till the RNC, as if the Paulbots have been working their mischief at the local nominating committees, there very well may be a nasty floor-fight.

    Yay!

  108. By the way, my pornstar name (being my middle name and the name of the road I grew up on) is John Slade. Beat that.

    edward marlboro

    HA

  109. “”I think a bunch of bored political junkies who have been watching this process for 8 months now are probably NOT the best judges of “What America sees”.””

    I think this is correct. Conventions are for the dumber part of the electorate, like church is for the dumber part of the religous.

    Just about everyone on this blog, even SIV, reads about this stuff on a level a bit higher than the silly platitudes which are common currency for conventions…

  110. I thought it was the name of your first pet and the name of the road you grew up on.

    For me, Lobo Chestnut.

    Beat that.

    Poco Slade. Still good. However, just having “nut” in it is a big win for you.

    edward marlboro

    Not bad, not bad.

  111. I’m out–I can’t think of one.

  112. “I thought it was the name of your first pet and the name of the road you grew up on.”

    I heard that too, but that must be for women, especially if you had a female for your first pet. Mine would be “Peaches Amber Hill” which I will not claim…

  113. “I thought it was the name of your first pet and the name of the road you grew up on.”

    Pretzel Glatt?

  114. So far, the “message comin’ outta heah” is that porn is a lot more interesting than the 2008 Democratic Convention. And I’m certainly down with that.

    “John Forest” here. Not very porn-o-rific, unfortunately.

  115. “I thought it was the name of your first pet and the name of the road you grew up on.

    For me, Lobo Chestnut.

    Beat that.

    Poco Slade. Still good. However, just having “nut” in it is a big win for you.

    edward marlboro

    Not bad, not bad.”

    Nick RD860…ah damnit.

  116. “””I really object to the idea of political spouses giving speeches. When did this absurd practice start? I don’t remember Roslyn Carter or Nancy Reagan or Barbara Bush giving speeches at their husband’s conventions.”””

    I agree. Let’s see if the republicans do it too. I don’t care what the spouse has to say. I wouldn’t want to hear Bill if Hillary was nominated either, and he has far more of reason to speak.

    I think it has to do with keeping up with the Kennedys, the dems want to count you as a dynasty if your wife speaks at the DNC. I’m not sure which channel was on, but I kept hearing about a Clinton dynasty and an Obama dynasty. Two people or less serving in government is not a dynasty. But they sure want you to think it is.

  117. Barbara Bush was the first presidential candidate’s spouse to speak at a convention in 1988, according to firstladies.org. That’s not surprising, given how popular she was at the time.

    However, it does run counter to the notion that first ladies do that now based on their increasing policy role–she was more traditional than Nancy Reagan that way.

    Since the conventions are now nothing more than four-day political advertisements, it makes plenty of sense to have the spouse speak. Especially since so many Americans have an almost unhealthy interest in the personal lives of our presidents. Creeping monarchy?

  118. I dated a girl in high school whose married name now is “Sharon Peters.”

  119. I once dated a woman named Pussy Galore. No, I must be dreaming.

  120. Elemenope: Not to get too far off topic, but Howard Dean’s wife once gave my mom a pelvic exam. Just sayin’.

  121. Also:
    Elemenope: “You, sir, have a wild imagination.”

    You don’t know the half of it buddy ;).

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