August 30th, 2009
05:15 PM ET
9 years ago

I'm 'slightly miffed' at Obama, Carville says

Democratic strategist James Carville and his wife, Mary Matalin, a Republican strategist, moved their family to New Orleans in mid-2008.

Democratic strategist James Carville and his wife, Mary Matalin, a Republican strategist, moved their family to New Orleans in mid-2008.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A prominent Democrat who is also a Louisiana native said Sunday he was somewhat offended that President Obama has yet to pay a visit to New Orleans, a city trying to rebuild after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina four years ago.

“I’m a Democrat and this is a Democratic president. I would describe myself as slightly miffed that he hasn’t been down yet,” Democratic strategist and longtime Clinton ally James Carville said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, “but he says he’s coming down before the end of the year. And we’re hospitable people and we certainly will welcome him.”

Carville and his wife Mary Matalin, a Republican strategist and former Dick Cheney aide, moved their family to New Orleans in mid-2008.

“I can honestly say, . . . you can start to feel the progress now,” Carville said of the legendary city’s efforts to rebuild. “It’s a work in progress but there has been progress. I promise you that,” Carville also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

Carville’s words were echoed by one of the Louisiana’s senators, Democrat Mary Landrieu.

Also on State of the Union Sunday, Landrieu said she was “a little concerned” that Obama had not paid a visit to New Orleans yet. But she noted that Obama has many other issues to deal with in his young administration.

“The president’s heart is there,” Landrieu told King, “and I know that.”

In his weekly Internet and radio address Saturday, the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the president noted that 11 members of his Cabinet have visited the country’s Gulf Coast region. “I’m looking forward to going to New Orleans later this year,” he added.

Watch: Obama on rebuilding four years after Katrina

Mr. Obama also said that his administration – particularly his choice to lead the Federal Emergency Management Agency – has “a focus on competence and accountability.”

soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Alfred E. Neumann


    There must be better news story's than this around CNN – for goodness sake!

    August 30, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. Doraine Gordon

    James Carville of all people knows how busy Obama is these days. He will get to New Orleans eventually because he said he would. Obama does everything he says he will do. James knows that. There are so many things for our President to do. He is a very busy man. So have some patience, James, and know that Obama will come to see you and your city as soon as he is able. In the meantime, keep on working on the rebilding of that great city!!

    August 30, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. jon

    I'm not sure why President Obama would care what comes out of Carville's mouth.

    August 30, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. Wilma

    oh yeah – let's just run right down to New Orleans and coddle everyone who was dumb enough to move back – give me a break – don't you think Obama has more pressing issues than to go and take a tour and shake hands?

    August 30, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. California Beauty

    I think the President is a little busy, Mr. Carville, with a couple of wars, a drowning economy and a sinking healthcare system....!

    Your state is very important....but it is only 1 of many in trouble. California deserves a visit right now. : )

    August 30, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. Tom Paine

    Isn't Carville the guy who ran the Karzi campaign? Who cares what this money hungry politico has to say? Nobody, except maybe, his wife.

    August 30, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Aspen Professor

    A visit to New Orleans would be a photo op and not productive. Obama does not flit about the Country looking for photo ops like so many politicians do. Kudos to him for that!

    Those helicopter "visitations" by politicians show "concern" but do not produce assistance. Congress votes the money, not the President.. And Congress investigates activities by such groups as the Corp of Engineers, not the President. This President has bigger fish to fry..

    August 30, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. Saul Virginia

    The previous administration investigated itself and claimed that they were following the law, which is the exact reason why the AG holder must set up such investigations.
    Secondly, a lot of new facts has come out since five years ago that warrant serious attention. I just want the truth to come out so that we can all be informed about what truely happened.
    I admire holder for breaking with the Obama administration to ensure that he is serving us.
    Lastly i do not believe anything that Cheney say!

    August 30, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. Robert New York City & Miami, Florida

    Watch Obama run to New Orleans when he hears this.

    August 30, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. normajean

    Come on James, you're a big boy know exactly what the president has facing him on so many fronts. He needs your backing ,understanding and help now, .not more of what he's getting from the opposition.You're one of our "good guys". Give him a break, he'll get to you.Obviously the economics,healthcare and home losses,among other problems will take time and have to be priorities.

    August 30, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  11. Yvette

    I'd like him to visit Wyoming too! He can't be everywhere - anytime someone asks. The other day Hannity had the farmers in California visibly upset because he had not visited the dried out farms in Cali! They wanted him to visit that day. Get a grip people. How about you ask those Republican Governors that you elected to do something about your state.

    Like I said....Wyoming needs a visit from him. Our hospitals are understaffed. Now....shall I pout and cry because he doesn't show up on Monday morning when I clock in? GET REAL! He is but one man....and there are 50 states in this country, and hundereds of thousands of cities in these states, and millions of people who have problems. Lets put things in perspective!!!!!!


    August 30, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. zago

    Here you can see the difference. A great Catholic Fellow and God's Servant: Sen Ted Kennedy wrote to the Holly Father, but the Holly did not find it appropriate to Himself reply to a great Man. A great American Senator: Ted Kennedy. He ask his staff to reply to the letter.
    The difference that I am trying to exhibit is that, when the humblest American citizen writes a letter to the President Barack Obama. The president himself reads and writes his reply. What a great Human Being is president Barack Obama. He is the symbol of a wise and humble Man. God bless you and keep your heart in the right direction for the good of the people president Obama.

    August 30, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. Sher, OR

    I'd rather have a President arrive well informed than arriving clueless just for a photo-op moment, no?

    August 30, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. jeffrey

    I'm a free thinking liberal democrat that lives in New Orleans. There's lots of places the president hasn't been. He's got a full plate in front of him as it is. Carville is a gas bag.

    August 30, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Lauren

    Drink some more Kool Aid Carville, you will feel better in the morning. It seems a lot of people are waking up the morning after drinking to Kool Aid cocktail and realizing,,, geeeeez,,, he really is not a super hero. He is just another smooth talking liberal.

    August 30, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  16. Letcommonsenseprevail

    So the Chocolate City can't get Obama down there? I guess he's pissed at Ray Nagin too.

    August 30, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. Sonia G

    Why would this be surprising??!! He was never really an Obama supporter from the election – nothing has changed. Obama has only been in office 7-8 months and is being held to a standard that none of his pundits and critics could even stand up against. Give the man time to do what he was elected to do...govern!

    August 30, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  18. sagin

    For heaven's sake give the guy a break! he has been torn apart and chewed up by republican dogs left and right and now this from his own people? Everyone is expecting something from Obama and I am actually amazed he kept his sanity thus far. America is still in turmoil and idiots from fox news tear him apart everyday and as if that is not enough he has to salvage whatever is left of'on, this guy is not a superman; he is doing all he can under the circumstances...I pray for this brilliant and kind-hearted young president day and night not to lose his cool and just go nuts one day! too much is on his shoulder and he is cruising along with great pride so far...but there is a limit. Thus, back-off Carville. He will visit New Orleans before the end of the year....I am sure he is aching as to why he waited this long, but I know he will do it. He is not phony you know!

    August 30, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  19. Susan

    don't worry, he will be there when election will be near.
    he has to campaign.

    August 30, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  20. American

    Oh Carville, give it a rest. You're still mad that Hillary lost. CNN is always trying to get a rise by half quoting to get ratings. CNN used to be the news channel to watch but boy has it become a rag magazine. Right up there with the National Enquirer. Give me a break.

    August 30, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. Mike Allen

    James is always a little miffed. As is his twin / wife Mary.

    August 30, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    Visit all you please, Mr Obama–at your own expense–but don't spend my money on the place. Resurrecting New Orleans is a local problem, not a national one, and should be dealt with locally.

    August 30, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. BH

    The problem for the Secret Service is there's too many bullets flying around New Orleans to possibly jump in front of them all. He won't be assassinated, he'll just die from a random stray bullet.

    August 30, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. Mario, mtl, ca.

    Well it's hard to be at three places at same time

    August 30, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. Carlos Jean-Gilles

    I did not agree much with Carville during the last Democratic primary. He got on my nerves several times for bluntly lying at his boss' biding, but I concede this point to him. Please Mr. President be sure to visit the people of New Orleans. They need to know that you are with them in their struggle to rebuild. They also need to know that you are keeping a watchful eye on reconstruction so that everything that can be done will be done in order to prevent such a disaster in the future.

    August 30, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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