James Carville has had a strange, profound, and ever evolving influence on me as a person. When I was a kid, I was into political campaigns the way other kids were into sports. Michael Jordan was cool, but James Carville with his shaved head, snake-like features, and deep Louisiana accent was wicked (He looks more than a little like Gollum from Lord of the Rings).
His sly wit, crazy looks, and an aggressive attitude made my younger political-junkie-self idolize the guy.
But, as I’ve gotten older it’s his life story that is more compelling. Before he won that fateful election in 1992, he was a man in his 40’s who was dead broke, unmarried, had won very few campaigns up to that point, and couldn’t even get approved for a credit card. He was, on paper, a failure. Any “normal” man would have given up and switched careers. But not Carville.
He was, to use my own phrase, “A failure … not a quitter!”
Because of his tenacity, his willingness to push through no matter what anyone else says or thinks, he ended up in the White House with Bill Clinton. He is also a best selling author, TV pundit and commentator, and even an actor appearing as himself in myriad TV shows and movies. Not bad.
Here’s one of his funnier quotes:
“When your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil.” — James Carville