James Carville: Obama’s 2015

James Carville: Obama’s 2015
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As on most NFL Sundays in south Louisiana, I had one too many bowls of gumbo and a few too many bourbons as I sat parked fully reclined in my leather wingback chair watching my fellow New Orleanian Peyton Manning play. And I dozed off ... 

I had a dream. It’s our heritage, we Democrats, we dream a lot.


My dream opened at a swanky resort in the Republican enclave of Naples, Fla., in October 2012. Karl Rove and I were giving a joint speech in front of the Truck Stop Tobacco Wholesalers conference. We’ve given dozens of speeches together. 

Rove begins his portion of the talk lecturing me about the upcoming election and the downfalls of the liberal Democrat Party (it’s actually the Democratic Party). 

“Let me tell you, Jim Cravell (the Republicans butcher my name, too) about why these truck stop tobacco wholesalers should vote for Mitt Romney. I’m voting for Mitt Romney because if I vote for him, I know the following will happen ...

“By casting a vote for Mitt Romney you vote for a capitalist, not a socialist like Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaMeghan McCain after Gaetz says Trump should pardon Roger Stone: 'Oh come on' Trump seeks to distance strong economy from Obama policies in White House report The Hill's Morning Report - Democrats duke it out during Nevada debate MORE. He will create, not kill, jobs. If Romney is elected, the Dow will reach well over 17,000 (note: it was hovering around 13,000 in late October 2012). Consumer confidence will be restored to pre-recession levels. And in two years he’ll grow private sector jobs in every month of his first term, so much so that unemployment will get down below 6 percent.”

There were claps from the audience. Rove continued.

“And Cravell, as opposed to your state-loving, collectivist, socialist and anti-free-enterprise Democrat Party, Republicans actually know how to manage the budget. In just two years Romney will get the deficit in control. Under Mitt Romney the U.S. will pursue smart energy policies and gas will get so low that you’ll be able to get gas for under $2 a gallon in New Orleans. The dollar will gain strength against literally every currency; unlike members of the Democrat Party, the Republican Party likes dollars.”

In the midst of my dream I thought, “Well, I don’t think my wife likes dollars very much, because she keeps getting rid of them.”

“And because Mitt Romney actually understands how to get the public and private sectors together on healthcare,” continued Rove, “the cost curve will flatten and uninsured rates will plummet to their lowest ever. And he’ll do it all with low interest rates and low inflation.” 

I couldn’t imagine a president doing the things that Rove was describing. I looked over at his pink cheeks and realized he was just getting started.

“OK Cravell, let’s talk about why Mitt Romney is better for foreign policy. First, Mitt believes in democracy and freedom. He will not pal around with dictators.”

Oh gawd.  

“And Mitt Romney would never be so naive to call Vladimir Putin ‘Pooty-Poot’ or to say, ‘I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul.’ ”

I slumped deeper into my chair. Obama couldn’t have said something that stupid or naive ... God, I hope I never have to go on O’Reilly, I would never have an answer for that. I guess all I could say is I was with Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton'Where's your spoon?' What we didn't learn in the latest debate The Hill's 12:30 Report: Roger Stone gets over three years in prison; Brutal night for Bloomberg Poll: Democrats trail Trump in Wisconsin, lead in Michigan and Pennsylvania MORE in 2008.

“When it comes to Russia, he’ll play chess, not marbles like Obama. We need someone like Mitt to wrestle the bear that is Putin and Russia. They are a real threat, and only someone who knows that can effectively deal with their rise. Mitt is also tough enough to take on the Iranians. His sanctions will help bring them to the table to end their nuclear program. And he will be man enough to take on Assad’s regime, eliminating Syria’s stockpile of chemical and biological weapons.”

Still there was more bloviating and prognosticating to come from the man that was most responsible for bringing us the disaster that was Bush 43 and two wars on the nation’s credit card. 

“Mitt Romney understands that our borders must be secure. He will bring deportations to an all-time high, going after criminals first.”

It was at this time, I was cheering myself. I was voting for Romney in my sleep. 

“And lastly, Mitt Romney is a God-fearing Christian. Now Cravell and the Democrat Party wouldn’t know much about this. If you vote for Mitt Romney, he will celebrate the culture of life. I know that under Mitt Romney crime rates, abortion and teen pregnancy will all decline. And unlike our current president, he will work with the pope on humanitarian issues, and together, they will work to end the 50-year standoff between the U.S. and Cuba.”

Rove took a deep breath, exasperated from his climax: “Mitt Romney — good for America’s economy, good for American foreign policy, good for America’s standing in the world.”

The audience was standing and cheering U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A. And just as I was about to take to the podium, I woke up ... to the nightmare that is President Obama’s America in January 2015. Rove was right, the next president would do all of those things. 

To tell you the truth I am really embarrassed — I think I became a Republican for three minutes. What a nightmare.


Carville is a political contributor for ARISE News. He serves as a professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he lives with his wife, Republican strategist Mary Matalin. His column appears twice a month in The Hill.