January 26, 2006

SIUC to host political consultant James Carville

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- One of the nation's best-known political consultants, commentators and analysts will offer his insights about the nation's current political debates next month at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

James Carville – who guided President Bill Clinton's campaign to victory in 1992 – presents his view of Washington politics Thursday, Feb. 9, in the Student Center Ballrooms. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The lecture begins at 7 p.m.

The event is free to all SIUC students, faculty and staff. Admission is $3 for the general public.

Also known as the "Rajun' Cajun," Carville is a frequent guest on television news programs and is a CNN commentator and contributor.

Carville helped engineer Clinton's first victory against an incumbent president who months before enjoyed a 91 percent approval rating for his handling of the first Gulf War. Carville also has a track record of managing successful campaigns across the country. The list of significant campaign wins includes the 1986 Pennsylvania gubernatorial victory by Robert Casey – who had failed in three previous attempts; Wallace Wilkinson's 1987 gubernatorial win in Kentucky; New Jersey Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg's 1988 Senate win over Rhodes Scholar and former Heisman Trophy winner Pete Dawkins; and the 1990 gubernatorial campaign of former Georgia governor and former U.S. Sen. Zell Miller.

Carville's political clients also included such foreign leaders as British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former Greek Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis, former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, and former Ecuador President Jamil Mahuad. Carville helped Ehud Barak in his effort to become Israel's prime minister in 1999.

In 1993, Carville earned the Campaign Manager of the Year award from the American Association of Political Consultants for his "war room" work at Clinton campaign headquarters in Little Rock, Ark.

Carville is the author of several books, including "All's Fair: Love, War and Running for President," which he wrote with his wife, Mary Matalin, a former assistant to President George W. Bush and counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney, and deputy campaign manager for former President George H. W. Bush's campaign.

Among Carville's other books is his first children's book, "Lu and the Swamp Ghost."

Carville's latest book, "Take It Back: Our Country, Our Future," was written with fellow CNN commentator and Clinton strategist Paul Begala, and released earlier this month.

The SIU College Democrats; SIUC Student Programming Council Lectures Committee; SIUC Undergraduate Student Government; SIUC Graduate Professional Student Council, and the Jackson County Democrats are sponsoring the event.

For more information, contact Student Programming Council Lectures at http://www.spc4fun.com or call 618/536-3393.

Promoting programming for the University and community and region that involves individuals with national or international distinction is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.